It’s once again time to get down to the nitty-gritty, and oh, what a bunch we’ve got to do so with this week. Filling the slot of the hilariously epic “just because” watch is a white gold and diamond Royal Oak featuring a black aventurine dial, but we’re still rooted in reality with picks like a tropical and high-flying Jardur Bezelmeter. Those that enjoy a good tale of the hunt are sure to get a kick out of the gilt-dial Explorer, and those that dig double signatures are covered too, with the inclusion of a Serpico y Laino-retailed Oyster Perpetual Date, and a Grand Seiko produced for Toyota. Shall we?
1963 Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016
My perspective on watch collecting has evolved drastically over the years. Unfortunately, things started off fast and furious with what in retrospect felt like a continual quest to one-up myself. Having said that, I did learn over time to appreciate focusing down a collection, and really making watches your own. All the while, the hunt for that next great watch always stood out as the most exciting facet of collecting, and if there’s a story that supports this notion, it’s that of the first pick of the week.
You’re looking at an especially clean example of the Ref. 1016 — widely regarded in vintage watch collecting circles as the ultimate Explorer and an ideal single watch. What makes this one most interesting is how it originally emerged fresh to market. A short while back, this watch was discovered by a collector in a Connecticut estate sale, who jumped through hoops with the help of friends to secure the proverbial bag, as one does. This is proof that hunting high and low does indeed pay off, and it is why I start and end my days with online watch scours.
Though I love a good story, the watch itself in this instance is worth talking about. The example dates to 1963 and is fitted with a stunning, gloss gilt, chapter ring dial. Also included and original to the watch is a green Rolex box, which indicates it was first sold at Philippe Béguin in Geneva. Philippe Béguin is the same retailer who originally sold the later record-setting Ref. 6062 “Bao Dai,” and while this doesn’t guide the price in any way whatsoever, it’s an exciting detail worth noting. Should you be on the hunt for a gilt-dial Explorer of the cleanest variety, I’d suggest reviewing what this one brings to the table.
A collector on the Omega Forum is asking $ 26,000 for this Ref. 1016. Find out more and get in touch by following the link.
1993 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 14813BC
It’s always exciting to see a class of wristwatches come into vogue after years of admiration, which is exactly what I see happening with exotic variants of the Royal Oak as of late. As jeweled and stone dial-fitted Day Dates have grown increasingly more popular, I think it’s safe to say many are now looking in different directions than those they’d have considered before, and that of the exotic Royal Oak is perhaps the best direction to look in. Though I do tend to teeter into Rolex fanboy territory, I’d deem this next piece to be a more compelling buy than a Stella-dial President, which trades for comparable money in similarly jeweled configurations.
There are no two ways about it: This is a decidedly luxurious watch in 18k white gold, with a diamond-set, black aventurine dial and matching diamond-set bezel. However, at only 36mm across, it’s afforded a few stealth points, but we both know the word stealth has no business describing this one. The piece we’re discussing is not only exceedingly luxurious, but also extremely uncommon, given how the bulk of stone dial Ref. 14813’s were fitted with dials crafted from blue lapis lazuli. In all honesty, this is the first I’ve ever seen in this configuration, and I must say I’m obsessed.
Those who buy this sort of watch are in search of perfection, because after all, no one wants a Royal Oak that’s both iced and worn out. Luckily, this example is exactly that — perfection. Lines are everything on this watch, and they’re still clearly visible thanks to not a single instance of polishing in this piece’s past. That’s not to say there aren’t signs of use, but the depth of the hallmarks surely speak to its condition. It’s got every original accessory you could ask for, and it is simply downright gorgeous.
You’ll find this one in the inventory of the Los Angeles dealer Craft & Tailored, where it’s been priced at $ 55,000. Hit the link for the full scoop.
To fully understand our next pick and how it came to be, one must first have an understanding of Jardur as a company and its history in the field of precision instruments. Prior to entering the arena of watchmaking, the brand got its start in 1937 as the Jardur Import Company, after being founded by Samuel Klepper of New York. In the earliest days, the brand focused largely on the importation of accessories and tools for aviators, so much so that they’d later change their name in 1945 to the Jardur Aviation Company. With a breadth of experience in the production, sales, and service of flight instruments, the logical next step was to begin selling pilot’s timepieces. Naturally, Jardur rose to the occasion in a singularly epic fashion with this chronograph.
The Bezelmeter is nearly all you could ask for in a wrist-mounted pilot’s instrument that just so happens to tell the time and feature chronograph functionality. Using the bezel, you can track remaining flight time or an additional time zone. Using the red degreemeter scale in tandem with the chronograph, you can calculate just how much you’re turning. Using the tachymeter, speed and distance traveled can be determined. All this to say, the Bezelmeter is capable and then some, and as the photos would surely indicate, it’s certainly attractive, to boot.
My favorite details on this piece include the luminous-filled, cathedral-style hands that have aged to a rich tone of golden brown, along with the multi-colored dial itself, which has achieved tropical status after years of use and exposure to the elements. It is, however, important to note the small areas of damage found near the hand stack, which have likely come as a result of service over the years. Despite this, I’m still smitten and fascinated by the number of tones found within this tropical dial. This truly illuminates the uniqueness of every last tropical dial, making every last watch with one practically irreplaceable.
The dealer Rob Cooper is offering this chocolatey Jardur via an Instagram listing. It’s priced to sell at $ 4,950. Get in touch by sliding into the DMs of @timewaits_4no1.
1965 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Ref. 1500
While I can get down with any watch and appreciate the individuality of different collections, there are, without a doubt, certain pieces that’ll yield a big fat “meh” out of yours truly, including Rolex’s pared-down Ref. 1500. Don’t get me wrong, it’s objectively an excellent watch, and one more than fit to be your one and only, but it just rarely has that extra something something to properly pique my interest. I’d now like to go against everything I’ve just said and show you an example with more than enough cool factor to its credit.
As we’ve discussed before, Serpico y Laino was a Venezuelan jeweler and retailer of Rolex watches, formed out of a partnership between two Italian ex-pats living in Caracas. Within the realm of Rolex collecting, the prominent South American retailer’s name is one of the most sought after to find accompanying the coronet, but Serpico y Laino’s signing of Rolex watches wasn’t limited to dial embellishments. Upon flipping the piece over, you’ll notice engraved text reading “S&L ACERO” on its caseback, indicating not only the timepiece’s place of sale, but also the metal it was cased in. This engraving’s visibility is always a welcome bonus, as it would indicate the example hasn’t been overly polished in the past.
Apart from the coveted signature, this Rolex is also compelling thanks to the presence of its original boxes and papers, which surely don’t help in fighting the urge to resist. Seeing a signature as important as this on any reference is special, but seeing it on a reference as unassuming as the 1500 puts it in a league of its own, in my opinion. It’s a strange mix, but man oh man do they work well together. This one is most definitely deserving of some time on your radar this week.
Sotheby’s is selling this Oyster Perpetual Date from the ’60s in the latest of its weekly online sales. Its estimate has been set at $ 4,500 — $ 6,500. Get a closer look at this and the sale’s other four lots here.
1969 Grand Seiko 61GS Ref. 6145-8000
Not all that long ago, it wasn’t common for both North American and European collectors to know what a Grand Seiko was. But now, the legendary Japanese watchmaker’s top-shelf offerings have undeniably worked their way into the mainstream. It’s no little feat, but knowing Seiko and their clinical attention to detail, it’s one that perhaps comes as little surprise. This development of focus in collecting has also resulted in many looking towards the back catalog for horological goodness, of which there is much to be had in the world of vintage Grand Seiko.
On its own, in a form as conventional as they come, the reference we’re about to discuss is an outstanding watch to begin with, but given the obscurity-valuing ethos of this column, I couldn’t just show you any old watch. With this in mind, allow me to introduce you to an example of the 61GS co-signed by Toyota. This watch would’ve presumably been produced for an executive of some level at the automaker, and given the importance played by both brands within Japanese corporate culture, this really is a blockbuster crossover of vintage horology. Factor in the powering Cal. 6145A’s success in Astronomical Observatory Concours competitions, and you’ve got the full package.
In that finding something along these lines in mediocre condition is always a genuine bummer, I was especially delighted to see just how well this curiosity had been preserved. First things first: Its 37mm, Taro Tanaka-designed stainless steel case would appear to remain unpolished, which is always a terrific start in my books. Next, one must consider the fact that its dial is seemingly free of any flaws, effectively making it impossible to outdo the example in question. Despite having nothing but love and respect for the new references Grand Seiko is producing, I’d argue there’s infinitely more going on with this piece than any GS produced in a year starting with the number 2.
Momentum Dubai has this double-signed Grand Seiko listed on its site with an asking price of $ 5,500. Additional details and photos can be found here.