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!
I don’t usually talk about military watches, but this Breguet Type 20 caught my attention. It has fantastic patina, from the faded lume to the cracked crystal, and it represents a unique part of history. I’m not sure it’s worth the € 3,000 starting bid, but it might well be to an enthusiast.
Let’s see how many watch enthusiast hot-buttons I can press… Glashütte? Platinum? Chronograph? Limited Edition? Sized for modern wrists (but not giant)? How about all this for a $16k auction starting bid?
With so many brands making watches it can be difficult to track down some of the oddballs you run across. Such was the case recently when I stumbled on a lovely tonneau-cased Paul Picot Firshire Chrono for sale at auction. I had never heard of the brand or model, and the description was less than helpful. So I set about learning more.