One of the most famous Seiko watch lines is the 7A28 chronograph series used in the movie, Aliens. These watches feature off-axis bracelet alignment and big boxy pushers that even regular people notice. In 2013, Seiko reissued these watches in their Spirit line, and today I’m wearing the 2014 SCED017 “Bishop” model.
Perhaps no country is more in love with mechanical watches than Germany, and it’s a wonderful experience to browse watches at Wempe or see the perfect photography in “Uhren” magazine. Although not everyone’s cup of tea, this Wempe Zeitmeister Pilot Chronograph “Uhren Magazin” Limited Edition captures this “zeitgeist” and makes a great daily-wear grail to boot! It features the bulletproof ETA/Valjoux 7750 movement in preferred 7753 form, is a certified chronometer, and looks darn good with classic pilot styling.
Today is a special day for watch enthusiasts: Watching a perpetual calendar watch tick over to February 29th and then March 1st represents a major accomplishment for horology. So today we will celebrate by highlighting a special perpetual calendar watch: IWC’s Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Edition Kurt Klaus. Named for one of the masters of modern watchmaking, this watch features a novel perpetual calendar mechanism that really sets it apart!
Some of the most recognizable and sought-after collectible watches weren’t all that expensive when they were new. One example of the low-end grail is the line of 7A28 Seiko chronographs designed by Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro. These odd asymmetric watches were used in the 1986 film, “Aliens”, but were not considered collectibles at the time. Now they are so in demand that Seiko has reissued them as limited edition models in their home-market Spirit line.
Many novices assume that a movement that “ticks” more than once per second is a trait of high-end watches, but it’s actually nothing special. Nearly all mechanical watches, from Chinese and Japanese value lines to Haute Horology, tick at least 5 times per second! The smooth 8-beat seconds hand now associated with fancy Rolex watches isn’t the pinnacle of technology. Seiko and Zenith popularized 10-beat movements in the late 1960’s, and some exotic pieces tick even faster!
If you’ve read this blog for long, you know that I love to scour auction listings for under-described watches that are way more special than they appear. But folks like me also often note pieces that are incorrectly described, and one great example just caught my eye: The Omega Seamaster 176.005 Chronograph is often described as the “Jedi”, an incorrect name for this model and an unofficial one regardless. Let’s take a look.
Parmigiani Fleurier is not a company that ordinary people recognize, and even many watch enthusiasts are unfamiliar with them. But the company has produced some truly remarkable Haute Horology pieces and often prices them aggressively versus similar brands. This Kalpagraphe chronograph follows that trend, with an in-house 68 jewel (!) movement and eye-catching palladium case.
Though lacking the original box and papers, this Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph is a platinum LE model, number 096 of 200. The scarcity of the model, combined with the historical importance of Calibre 752, and the platinum case should bring well over the $5,000 starting bid at Auctionata on March 10.
Here is a Lange Datograph Flyback, model 453.135. This was the very first Datograph model, cased in platinum, and featuring the then-new Calibre L951.1. The black Roman numeral dial catches the eye, but one should note the bracelet which suggests that this is one of the earliest Datographs produced.
Although not a well-known brand today, Universal Genève were leaders in the chronograph market in the 1940’s. And one sign of that success was the Aero-Compax, a full-featured pilot’s watch complete with chronograph and dual-time (GMT) complications. It’s no wonder that companies like Zenith and Girard-Perregaux chose Universal to build their chronographs back then!