Is anyone else struggling with the fact that it’s June? I am, and this month’s Spotted is jam-packed with some crazy cool watches.
Kicking things off, I started this month with ‘coffee and cars’ – and going in I was well aware that any combination of Heuer and Vintage Chronograph is always a winner amongst car enthusiasts. I quickly spotted this very interesting piece – a vintage Leonidas ‘Easy-Rider’.
These Leonidas Easy-Riders have quite an interesting history and were introduced in the 1970s for a short period of time by Heuer, developed as an affordable model to battle the increasingly popular quartz watches coming out of Japan. For a more in-depth look at their history, check out Calibre 11’s ‘Ultimate Guide to the Heuer Easy-Rider’ (it’s very good).
Later that morning, I spotted another icon on the wrist of @AutoReligion, who was wearing his Seiko PADI. Although owning a large collection of Swiss watches, like Rolex and Omega, its owner loved the classical design and robustness of the PADI. It’s his watch of choice for weekend activities and is also a nice reminder of the special place Japan holds in his heart.
Later in the month, I found myself in Brisbane for work. There, I managed to squeeze in a quick coffee with local collector Champs. Now, Champs really brought the heat, turning up with not one but three ‘grail-worthy’ collector pieces. Yes, you’ll notice the very desirable blue dial Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ultra-thin (REF 15400), a blue dial Rolex Sky-Dweller, and a white dial (or Panda dial) Rolex Daytona. Champs keeps a close eye on the annual Baselworld/SIHH releases, and pounces like a cheetah when he sees something he likes.
While in Brisbane, I made sure to also grab dinner with vintage watch-lover Donald. Don’s got quite the reputation for finding and acquiring rare vintage watches. Although he was packing a few pieces that night – his 1966 Rolex GMT-Master (Reference 1675) really stood out. Its faded bezel, gilt dial, and all-round patina was simply gorgeous. Seeing the wonderful condition of this 52-year-old watch is a nice reminder of the exceptional quality Rolex has always stood for.
Donald also happened to have another more recent (and much newer) acquisition – the Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar Moon Phase. Typically finding himself drawn to vintage pieces, Donald’s been surprised and a little delighted by the Nautilus – something he wasn’t really expecting. He also enjoys how low-key it is, especially around the office.
Wrapping up the month, I spotted something pretty cool on the Kiwi wrist of Mike. Not quite unique, Mike’s Les Artisans de Genève x Spike Lee ‘Cool Hand Brooklyn’ Daytona sure comes close. Limited to just 40 units, which are each made to order, Mike picked up number 4.
Designed by Spike Lee, Les Artisans de Genève (who are very much independent of Rolex) take a reference 116520 (previous gen) Daytona and modify numerous elements – from the dial, pushers and bezel to the case-back and rotor. Worth highlighting especially – the Bakelite blue bezel, which is really something! For all the finer details, head here.
In a world of mass production, this is really a unique and fun take on the classic Daytona, which is why Mike bought it.
Mike also had another interesting piece on him, which he’d recently purchased – an Omega Speedmaster 60thAnniversary Limited Edition. This piece was introduced in 2017 and is quite a nice tribute to the original Speedy. Mike loves the vintage styling but modern construction and build quality.
That’s it from me for this month — catch you next time!