Great ‘Grams: The Fun EditionNick Kenyon
This week in Great ‘Grams I wanted to focus on the more lighthearted side of the hobby, and probably the initial reason many of us became interested in horology — it’s fun. It’s fun to learn about a totally new version of a watch you thought you were familiar with, and it’s fun to ooh and aah at a gem-set masterpiece because for some reason even though you might never own it, there is a part of you that is glad it exists. It’s also a lot of fun to meet other passionate people through this hobby: the founders of brands who are working hard to bring something new and exciting to collectors, the retailers who have a smile on their face as they share something you didn’t know before, or the fellow collectors who share their passion with you over a beer after work. So while around the world there is a pervasive mood of fear, confusion and uncertainty, let’s take a moment to focus on the fun of this wonderfully deep rabbit-hole of a hobby. And remember that if we do bump into a brand founder, retailer or fellow enthusiast, it’s best to follow Price Charles’ lead by bowing with a prayer gesture in lieu of a handshake.
116659SABR The rare 18K Submariner with diamonds and blue sapphires. I like the 15min track is made of a lighter sapphires than the rest of the bezel. Also the dial color changes depending on the light. Who would dive with this?
There’s a part of you that can’t help but be impressed by a wristwatch lavishly encrusted with 3.90 carats of sapphires (which we reviewed here) that is also a robustly constructed diving watch. It’s a meeting of form and function where neither has been sacrificed on the altar of the other, and both are of the highest standard.
The day finally arrived; the new @hamiltonwatch #psr is out and it’s just as awesome, if not more, as its vintage counterpart. Blending the coolness of vintage with the latest technology. Read my take on it @fratellowatches and make sure to get one. ☝ PS; they also have it in gold
Most weeks we are treated with a vintage reissue, but not often are we treated to one with such fun-filled flair and ’70s panache. Hamilton have done a great job here, keeping it fairly faithful to the original and keeping it relatively affordable (relative to the USD$2100 price in 1970).
1940s Cartier Ring Watch
Manual LeCoultre Co. movement with 16 jewels, time only, 14K gold case 17.5 × 16.5 mm (H × W) with silvered dial
A deceptively simple-looking ring, given away only by the recessed crown which hints at something more beyond the surface, is in fact the housing for a miniaturized watch movement, something that should come as no surprise given Cartier’s storied history and longstanding heritage as a jewellery manufacture.
The length and depth of the Cartier archive is remarkable, and despite my interest in the brand, I am thrilled to regularly see pieces from the French firm I have never seen before. Thought to be from the 1940s, and featuring a manual-wind LeCoultre Co. movement, it just goes to show the wonderful creativity that was present in Cartier during that period.
The Timor Heritage Field is a loving recreation fo the original combat watch issued to British troops during World War II. Now available on @kickstarter, There is more information at timorwatch.com
While this might look like a plug for a Kickstarter project, this is the brand I was thinking about when I previously mentioned the hard-working brand founder. Timor was popular in the 1950s after making an estimated 13,000 watches for the British Ministry of Defence during WWII, but by the 1960s seemed to have disappeared. In January 2019 hope was revived that the Timor name might live on once again on the dial of a watch, when someone posted on a watch forum their intention to revive the name. True to their word, the retired military veteran has secured AUD$228K of preorders (at time of writing) against a goal of AUD$158K, and has a prototype on his wrist. If this isn’t an example of grassroots passion and optimism about the history of watchmaking, I don’t know what is.
This watch “found” me a few years ago. A vintner in Bordeaux reached out to me to offer me for sale this watch, which his father had gotten new and worn daily for 50+ years before being put in a drawer. After a flurry of communication to work out a deal, the watch was delivered to a friend in Paris who brought it to me in California. As a good friend likes to say, “From one warm hand to another.” The white/albino sport Rolexes are an anomaly in the collecting world, with no one being able to concretely explain what they are or why they were made. We all have our theories, but no one knows for sure. What I like about this one in particular is the fact that it looks as it should – aged with the patina of 60+ years of wear, yet ready to be worn again another 60+ years without breaking out a sweat.
Eric has been featured here before, but I decided to include him once again thanks to the great story of this watch. Not only is it an example of one of the most cleanly designed Rolex dials from their archive, but it has the honest provenance of a watch that was bought and worn as it was intended, not bought and put in a deposit box for its resale value. Remember — always keep it fun, don’t always keep it in a safe.