Monthly Archives: May 2015

tomvox1’s Watches for Sale — May selection, Pt. IV

Just when I though I couldn’t sneak one more watch into the month of May I get something that demands to be seen immediately. And for a change of pace it’s not another big ol’ sport diver either. Instead, it’s a classic Rolex Air-King with a special twist — a very rare “Winn-Dixie 10 Yrs Safe Driver” double name dial. This presentation watch from the great American supermarket chain dates to the early 1980s and the handsome Winn-Dixie logoed silver sunburst dial makes it a great addition to any co-branded Rolex collection and about as cool as an Air-King gets.

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Whether you’re looking for something a bit more than a run of the mill AK or a way to get into double name Rolex dials at the entry level, this Winn-Dixie Air King has got the funk and the flair on the wrist to turn heads and start a conversation. And isn’t that a big part of what we want in a watch, really?

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Check out the full ad including complete description and many more pictures plus a special price over at Vintage Rolex Forum’s Market section. SOLD

2015 F1 Grand Prix of Monaco — Results & aftermath

Hamilton sees certain win snatched away by team error, Rosberg seizes opportunity for victory in Monte Carlo; Vettel an opportunistic 2nd

In one of the most bizarre endings to a Grand Prix that you will ever see, Lewis Hamilton was denied certain victory on the streets of Monaco when his Mercedes team inexplicably decided to pit for fresh tires under a Virtual Safety Car late in the race. That was brought about by 17-year-old Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen’s rash attempt to pass Romain Grosjean with 15 laps to go and the Dutch teenager’s subsequent spectacular shunt into the safety barrier at Sainte Devote. But the F1 stewards quickly switched to an actual Safety Car due to the extent of the damage and the time needed for repairs. That left Hamilton stuck in the pits as his second place teammate Nico Rosberg steamed around on track to obliterate his once-formidable 21-second lead. By the time Hamilton rejoined the race he was behind not only Rosberg but also the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Despite his fresh super soft tires, passing in Monaco is about as easy as leaving the Casino with all of your money and Hamilton could never find a way by Vettel much less Rosberg. In one moment of major miscalculation, Hamilton not only saw the opportunity for his first-ever Monaco win vanish but also his Championship lead dwindle to a mere 10 points. After the race the normally volatile Englishman was admirably restrained in his public statements regarding the costly miscue but it was clear from his stunned face that he was gutted.

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Rosberg for his part realized he had lucked into the win and while he seemed happy for the victory you could tell by his sheepish demeanor that it was not quite the way he wanted his very impressive third consecutive Monaco GP victory and second race win in a row to go down. Vettel, on the other hand, was overjoyed at his rival team’s blunder and was more than happy for Ferrari’s gift wrapped P2. As down as Hamilton was, Vettel was practically giddy.

Lost in all that chaos was team Red Bull’s best performance of the year. On the legendary street circuit where straight line speed is never the deciding factor, their down-on-power Renault engines wound up being very competitive, with an impressive career-best P4 for young Russian Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo driving a spirited and aggressive race to finish P5. Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonnen complained about slower cars impeding him all race long and had to settle for P6, while Force India’s Sergio Perez was more than happy to take 7th place for his best finish of the 2015 season and much-needed points for the team. Jenson Button scored McLaren’s first points of the year with a savvy veteran drive for P8 after teammate Fernando Alonso was forced to retire on Lap 42 with gearbox troubles. Again, the relatively week Honda engines of McLaren saw their disadvantage neutralized on the slow and twisty Monaco circuit but it was still a big boost for the desperate McLaren team. The final points were taken by a storming drive from Sauber’s rookie Felipe Nasr to come home P9 after starting from 14th on the grid and Toro Rosso’s other rookie Carlos Sainz who grabbed 10th with grit and persistence after starting from the pits due to a Qualifying day weighbridge infraction.

Williams had a disastrous weekend and finished out of the points, with Valtteri Bottas at P14 and Felipe Massa P15. The slow, twisty circuit at Monaco definitively proved that what ails Williams this year is not power, which they have in abundance, but downforce, which they sorely lack in relation to their rivals at Ferrari and Red Bull. If they don’t get that rectified it could be a very long second half of the season for last year’s comeback kids.

Top 10 finishers for the Monaco Grand Prix:

POS. DRIVER COUNTRY TEAM TIME POINTS
1 NICO ROSBERG GER MERCEDES 1:49:18.420 25
2 SEBASTIAN VETTEL GER FERRARI 4.486 18
3 LEWIS HAMILTON GBR MERCEDES 6.053 15
4 DANIIL KVYAT RUS RED BULL 11.965 12
5 DANIEL RICCIARDO AUS RED BULL 13.608 10
6 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN FIN FERRARI 14.345 8
7 SERGIO PEREZ MEX FORCE INDIA 15.013 6
8 JENSON BUTTON GBR MCLAREN 16.063 4
9 FELIPE NASR BRA SAUBER 23.626 2
10 CARLOS SAINZ ESP TORO ROSSO 25.056 1

Complete race results available via Formula1.com.

The next F1 race is in two weeks at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. We’ll see how Lewis Hamilton rebounds from Sunday’s stunning disappointment in Monte Carlo. My money is on the combative Englishman to come out swinging in Canada in an effort regain his once-unstoppable momentum. Hope to see you then when we find out what dramatic turns the championship saga takes next!

2015 Grand Prix of Monaco — Qualifying results

Hamilton reasserts authority in Monaco with dominant Pole for Mercedes, Rosberg relegated to 2nd; Vettel’s Ferrari a game 3rd

Personal engagements prevent me from intensive blogging on today’s qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix but I will say that Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton laid down a marker for Sunday’s race with his first-ever pole in Monte Carlo. Rosberg locked up his tires on his final lap in Q3 and could not get closer than .34 back and Sebastian Vettel was a game P3 for Ferrari after it seemed that the Scuderia may have been primed for a surprise fast lap this weekend. The rest of the Top 10 for tomorrow’s Grand Prix are below, including no Williams but two highly-placed Red Bulls, two young Torro Rosso’s and one surprising Force India and Lotus respectively.

POS. NO. DRIVER TEAM Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 44 LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES 1:16.588 1:15.864 1:15.098 28
2 6 NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES 1:16.528 1:15.471 1:15.440 25
3 5 SEBASTIAN VETTEL FERRARI 1:17.502 1:16.181 1:15.849 24
4 3 DANIEL RICCIARDO RED BULL 1:17.254 1:16.706 1:16.041 28
5 26 DANIIL KVYAT RED BULL 1:16.845 1:16.453 1:16.182 26
6 7 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN FERRARI 1:17.660 1:16.440 1:16.427 23
7 11 SERGIO PEREZ FORCE INDIA 1:17.376 1:16.999 1:16.808 22
8 55 CARLOS SAINZ TORO ROSSO 1:17.246 1:16.762 1:16.931 29
9 13 PASTOR MALDONADO LOTUS 1:17.630 1:16.775 1:16.946 30
10 33 MAX VERSTAPPEN TORO ROSSO 1:16.750 1:16.546 1:16.957 2

Complete qualifying results available via Formula1.com.

Tomorrow’s race starts at 8AM EST Sunday morning and can be watched live on NBCSports.com. Hope to see you then!

tomvox1’s Watches for Sale — May selection, Pt. III

Closing out the merry month of May with another classic diver, this one a 1970s Scubapro 500. Sold by the legendary diving equipment manufacturer, the Scubapro 500 has become an icon to vintage dive watch enthusiasts. And this is a very fine and honest one-owner example with desirable automatic movement, lovely Mint original dial, unpolished case and original matte black elapsed-time insert with Tritium triangle secured in the big, chunky unidirectional ratcheting bezel.

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Overall, this classic diver shows use but is in Very Good to Excellent vintage condition with just the right amount of tool watch WABI. And its robust ETA 2784 automatic movement with quickset date has just been completely overhauled, giving you peace of mind and years’ more faithful service.

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An unmistakably masculine look with plenty of wrist presence and tremendous build quality, the Scubapro 500 makes a rugged and stylish companion for all of life’s adventures. In fact it’s such a cool watch that I’m sorely tempted to keep it for myself — so grab this great vintage diver before I change my mind.

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Check out the full ad with many more high-res pics and complete description over at Timezone.com’s Sales Corner. SOLD 

What we’re listening to — Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell by The Flaming Lips

This little beauty from The Flaming Lips keeps popping up on shuffle so I figure that’s a sure sign I should be sharing it. From 2002’s slightly incoherent but often brilliant not-quite-sort-of concept album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell” is one of the loveliest songs in the Lips’ impressive canon.

A companion piece in regret to the album’s angular opening track “Fight Test”, “Ego Tripping” has a bouncy, wet bass line pushed way up front in the mix, a typically quixotic Lipsian choice for a ballad about lost romantic opportunity. But when Wayne Coyne’s high, vulnerable vocal kicks in it definitively evokes that hollow, melancholy feeling familiar to anyone who’s ever hesitated when they should have made a move. “I was waiting on a moment/But that moment never came… I was wanting you to love me/But your love it never came.” Yeah, I think we’ve all been there before.

Coming directly after the amazing artistic breakthrough of 1999’s The Soft Bulletin, a verifiable masterpiece of beautifully orchestrated neo-psychedelia, Yoshimi may not be quite as consistently great an album as Bulletin. But a gem like “Ego Tripping” still shows The Flaming Lips at the peak of their powers. Best of all it’s one of those albums available for free streaming with an Amazon Prime membership, so there’s no excuse for letting the moment pass you by.

RIP B.B. King, 1925 — 2015

B.B. King, one of the legends of the Blues and arguably the man who did the most to popularize it with a diverse worldwide audience, has died at the age of 89. Sometimes overlooked by Blues “purists”, King was nevertheless an authentic Mississippi Delta original, albeit a performer who incorporated external influences such as Big Band Jazz and R&B in creating a signature sound with broad popular appeal. A tireless, good humored performer forever on the road playing one-night stands first to all-black audiences then to all comers, B.B. King’s very endurance insured that he would be able to capitalize on the big Blues revival of the 1960s. Sure enough, his biggest hit, the seminal “The Thrill Is Gone”, came in 1969, over 20 years after he had left a life of sharecropping and poverty on the Delta for the lucrative rewards of DJing and performing in Memphis, Tennessee.

While not name-checked as frequently as some other Blues guitar legends, King’s expressive playing style was nonetheless influential on generations of musicians. He made his big, curved Gibsons, always named Lucille, sing and cry with restrained, elegant power. His wonderfully well-modulated yet still raw singing style was indelibly unique — when you heard him sing an opening verse you knew right away just who was doing the singing. And by dint of his longevity, his many skills as a performer and showman and his pure enthusiastic passion for playing B. B. King came to embody “The Blues” for generations of listeners.

The excellent multimedia New York Times obituary is here.

2015 F1 Grand Prix of Spain — Results & aftermath

Rosberg reigns supreme in Spain, Hamilton forced to settle for hard-fought 2nd; Vettel in the mix for Ferrari with another podium

Pictures courtesy GrandPrix247.com

Pictures courtesy GrandPrix247.com

After being thoroughly dominated by his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the first four “fly away” races of the 2015 F1 season Nico Rosberg desperately needed to reestablish his bona fides as a championship contender. The question on everyone’s mind as the series returned to European soil this past weekend was a simple one: could he muster the will to throw a scare into Hamilton and truly make a fight of the championship? In Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix the world received an answer. Rosberg emerged form the three-week break refreshed and relaxed and proceeded to do some dominating of his own for a change. Starting from the pole, the sensitive German put his self-doubt and the rest of the field in the rearview mirror, checking out on the first corner of the first lap. With an all around impressive race weekend in which he was undoubtedly the fastest man on the track, Rosberg put Hamilton on the defensive for the first time this season and the victory revivified the prospects for an authentic intra-team battle for the championship. With Monaco coming up in two weeks, the jewel in Formula 1’s crown and a race Monte Carlo resident Rosberg has also won the past two years, it would seem to be game on again for the two Mercedes rivals.

Because of his teammate’s untouchability on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Hamilton’s race came down to damage limitation after a poor start saw him immediately overtaken by Sebastian Vettel Ferrari. Continue reading

2015 F1 Grand Prix of Spain — Qualifying results

The boys of Formula 1 are back after their 3-week layoff for the Spanish Grand Prix. And if it’s Saturday that means it’s 3 rounds of knockout Qualifying to determine who starts from the Pole on Sunday. Would Nico Rosberg finally get the better of his dominating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton? Or would Ferrari jump the Silver Arrows with their ever-improving performance?

Rosberg serves notice with dominant Pole for Mercedes, Hamilton 2nd fastest; Vettel snags P3 for Ferrari

Pictures from GrandPrix247.com

Pictures from GrandPrix247.com

Nico Rosberg returned from the three-week break after Bahrain refreshed and up for the fight in Barcelona. The German contender and last year’s championship runner-up served notice to his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton that he was not ready to concede this early in the season. He laid down an untouchable lap midway through Q3 that clocked in at a mega fast 1:24.681. And despite having a chance to overtake Rosberg with his typical last lap heroics, Hamilton could not quite manage it this Saturday. He was a mere .267 behind and will settle for P2 on the grid. It remains to be seen if Rosberg can make it happen in a race and with Hamilton winning 3 of the first 4 Grand Prix another victory for the Englishman would be hard to overcome. Still, Rosberg seems even more comfortable than most at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Formula 1’s default test track, and a win could do wonders for his badly shaken confidence, as well as the Championship battle as a whole.

Ferrari had mixed qualifying results in their return to Europe after showing steady improvement in each of the “fly away” races that start the season. Sebastian Vettel was back on form and was able to grab 3rd position barely half a second behind Hamilton. But Kimi Raikkonen, who placed an impressive 2nd in the last Grand Prix in Bahrain, struggled after one of his fresh sets of tires was bizarrely burnt beyond using by the warming blankets and had to settle for P7. That left Williams’ Valtteri Bottas in prime position to capitalize and the young Finn didn’t disappoint, hooking up a fast lap good enough for 4th on the grid. His teammate Felipe Massa was not nearly as quick and ended up a rather inexplicably poor P9, not what the desperate-to-overtake-Ferrari Williams team was looking for at all.

The youthful Torro Rosso duo of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen, whose combined age is only 37, continued to impress in their rookie seasons. Continue reading

tomvox1’s Watches for Sale — May selection, Pt. II

The hits keep on coming in May with this stone classic Rolex reference 5513 Submariner. With an “L” serial prefix, this watch represents the last of the line for plastic crystal Subs and the end of the road for the legendary 5513 reference. Dating from circa 1988 this beauty features a stunning gloss finish/white gold surround dial with only the handsome biscuity patina to the original Tritium luminous plots giving away its age.

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With important period correct details like a valuable original 93150 bracelet with correct 580 end pieces and original bezel insert with Tritium pearl intact, this Submariner is a great way to get into the world of Vintage Rolex. And as the 5513 reference gets bumped back another iteration on the family tree by the new Ceramic Subs, this outstanding last series example is no doubt destined to become even more collectible, which seems to happen to all the historical Rolex models as time passes. Putting the cherry on top of the sundae, this classic plastic no-date Sub has just been fully overhauled by my watchmaker for years more of faithful service. Strap it on and see how good it feels to go through your life with a Vintage Rolex on your wrist!

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You can view the full ad for this sexy Sub over at Vintage Rolex Forum’s Market section — check out the full description, many more pictures plus a special discount for buyers over there.  SOLD

tomvox1’s Watches for Sale — May selection, Pt. I

What better way to kick off May than with a special selection of cool vintage watches! First up, as I mentioned briefly in my previous post on affordable vintage Divers, the highly regarded Swiss brand Fortis was one of the many manufacturers to utilize the iconic big size twin crown Super Compressor case in the 1960s & 70s. And with their classic Marinemaster they did it in a most innovative way: they added an actual dive table printed on the dial in highly legible red and white to be used in conjunction with the inner rotating bezel. With this ingenious calibration a diver could now calculate his safe intervals for surfacing and resting based on how long and how far down he had gone right there on his wrist!

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Now, you can find reissue Marinemasters made from NOS parts with Luminova dials and hands all day long. But finding the genuine vintage article from the 1970s with Tritium luminous in unpolished condition and correct crosshatch crowns? Well, that’s something else again. Best of all, this Fortis Marinemaster has just been fully serviced and is ready for years more of enjoyment for its new owner. No, it doesn’t quite fall into the “bargain” diver category. But it’s really not that expensive relative to how hard it is to find an all-original Marinemaster. Some things in life are so cool they’re definitely worth stretching a little for.

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Check out the full ad for this mega-cool Marinemaster with complete description and many more pictures over at Timezone.com’s Sales Corner.  SOLD