Germano & Walter Nettuno – pt 2

•December 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Here’s an interesting find…after I sold my pre-production Nettuno, I found another one and couldn’t resist. They’re just such cool, big chunks of steel!

This one is yet another pre-production piece, but this one slightly different, this time with a carbonfibre dial.

What makes this one interesting is it’s serial#…it’s #1! I’ve never seen any others with this dial, so it could well be the only one out there…

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Heuer Autavia cal.15 ‘racing’ dial

•September 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is the ‘mysterious’ cal.15 Autavia with racing dial in the cal.11 case…for a long time there have been questions about this model’s authenticity. Hopefully this will now clear when I tell you how I came to find this watch…

This one came up for sale locally, very very cheap, but unfortunately, I was just too late and the owner sold it immediately.
To my luck, the new owner decided to flip it a couple days later, so with a hefty premium (over his price, but still a good deal for such a nice Autavia) I consider myself lucky.

The watch is in superb condition…except the original owner engraved his name on the side of the case.
But this is also a bit of ‘our’ luck, as this way I could trace the owner back and ask some questions about the authenticity and history of the watch.

The owner (now in his mid ’70s) bought it to dive and it has been used under water (!), but has never leaked and the movement is super nice.
He also told me it came on a rubber strap, and that’s one of the reasons he got it (for the diving).
It’s the original dial – not a service dial put in later.
Unfortunately he didn’t remember if the watch came in a blue or red box, but it was long gone anyway…
The watch was bought at a local dealer in the south of Belgium in 1979 or 1980. So this is in line with the picture of the display at Tag Heuer made during the 1st Heuer summit by Abel, where TH state it’s a ’78 model.

Also, when digging up some posts about these Autavia’s, the previous discoveries all had a 270xxx serial. Mine is a late 269xxx, so it must have been a close batch.

Hopefully this additional info clears some of the mystries of these Autavia’s.

Zodiac SeaWolf SST 36.000

•June 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m a big fan of dual crown, internal bezel divers; the Super Compressor watches from the 60’s and 70’s are amongst my favorite divers.

However, here’s a different kind of dual crown diver: the Zodiac SeaWolf SST 36.000.

These SeaWolf’s case design is nicknamed ‘coffin case’; look at the shape and it’ll be obvious.

As with all dual case divers, one crown operates the internal bezel and the other sets the movement. In this case, the movement is Zodiac’s own high beat 36.000 bph movement with day date feature: by pressing the crown, the date will quickset, day is set by turning the hands 24hours. This movement, since it is so accurate also featured hacking seconds, to ensure the time could be set very precise.

What’s also pretty special about this one is the dial: majority of the of these are black dial. The black hads give a very nice contrast against the silver dial. And it seems silver dials were not very popular on divers back in the day, which makes these survivers all the rarer.

Also a nice feature of the dial is the applied markers, which have a very cool wedge shape.

Seiko orange 6309-729B

•February 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This must be one of the rarest Seiko 6309’s out there: the orange one!

A very colourful watch, not only because of the very in your face orange colour of the dial, but also the nice golden hands and then a black bezel insert.

Also, water resistance marking is very nice on these, with the blue and black colours.

And a bit of advice on buying an orange 6309: you might not expect these to be so rare, as about half of the 6309’s on ebay are orange. However, pretty much 99.9% of those have been assembled using a reprinted dial.

The most obvious telltale is the caseback: the black 6309 (for this casetype) is 729A, orange 729B. So if you see an orange 729A, it’s not the real deal.

Other telltales are a black rehaut and the printing on the bottom of the dial.

Vintage Zenith Defy divers watch

•December 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Here’s one you won’t see often: the Zenith Defy with octagonal case, but with a screw down crown at 4 and a turning bezel!

The movement is the Zenith 2552PC and these watches were supposedly rated to 600m. This watch had the original Gay Freres bracelet too.

In the picture you can see the hands an indexes are painted black and filled with lume, except for the index at 3 and 9. I don’t know if this was an original feature or if those indexes were replaced at one time…

Here’s a funny story my watchmaker told me when these just came out in the 70’s: as a promotional stunt, Zenith tied a watch to a propellor of the ferry between Ostend and Hull. On the return trip, they took the watch off and it was still keeping time! Then, they took the same watch and asked a local Belgian celeb to throw the watch through a glass window. The glass chattered, but the watch was still good and ticking!

This one had a champagne dial. I’ve also seen them with red and orange and according to my watchmaker there was also a green one!

Dugena Yacht chrono

•October 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I bought this watch for it’s resemblance to the Aquastar Depstar, one of my all time favorites – my Grail watch – which I’ve still not been able to obtain. Since they’re getting very expensive these days – when I started this hobby they were 250 euro’s, now up to 1250 – I wanted to test the waters with the Dugena.

I love the perpetual second hand – it’s a shape I’ve seen on no other watch but the Aquastar and Dugena. I also love the bigger than normal minute counter: it gives the watch a nice presence.

Also the case is near identical to the Aquastar with it’s straight lugs, as you can see it the comparison shot with a non-chrono Aquastar.

The two main differences are the bezel and movement: whilst the Aquastar is equipped with the column wheel Valjoux 23 or 92 (the 92 Deepstar doesn’t have the perpetual second hand though), this Dugena had a Valjoux 7733 doing it’s business inside.

All in all it was a nice watch, but I don’t think I would spend the extra cash on the Deepstar. Will have to look for a new Grail watch;-)

Germano & Walter 500m

•September 26, 2010 • 1 Comment

Here’s a nice one I got some time ago: the Germano & Walter 500m ‘Nettuno’.

These watches grabbed my attention the very first time I saw one and was on the whish list ever since. I like it’s basic design a lot. Basically, these are a tribute to the Rolex Deep Sea Special, the one witch was fixed to the outside of the Bathyscape submarine when it went to it’s record dive to 3150m back in 1953.

The Germano & Walter is still for sale by the manufacturer, however, this one is a bit special compared to the ones you can still buy. It’s a pre-production prototype and has a different dial and different fixed non engraved bezel.

Huge screw down crown with an external thread on the tube. The crystal has a nice dome, but not as extreme as the Rolex DSS. This is a huge watch, but contrary to what you might think, it’s very balanced and a very wearable watch.

For more info on the Bathyscape/Deep Sea Special check this very informative link: http://bjsonline.com/watches/articles/0022.shtml