I don’t throw out Mint very often but this dial is that — beautifully aged Tritium and its high impact gray, orange & burgundy exotic Racing layout still having an intensity to the colors that is seldom seen. Featuring a tonneau case with sweeping lines and a fixed Tachymeter scale integrated into the mineral crystal to prevent the dreaded bezel knock off, the Speedy Mark II was an innovative design that showcased Omega’s modernist commitment to diversify their chronograph line above and beyond the tried and true Moonwatch.
This Speedy Mark II is also powered by the famed Lemania-based manual wind caliber 861, the same robust chrono caliber that is found in the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch from 1969 on. And in fact the movement serial number dates the watch to precisely that year making it one of the earliest Mark IIs around.
Recently serviced and running like a top, with the case exhibiting extremely sharp chamfers and all the original factory finishes, this big chrono makes a pure vintage statement on the wrist while the exceptionally well preserved colors provide uncommon visual punch. Like the Moonwatch, the Speedy Pro Mark II is an iconic chronograph in its own rather daring, avant-garde way. Just strap it on and prepare to fall in love.
And just like that it’s February! Where does the time go? I can’t tell you that but I can tell you how to track it — with this absolutely gorgeous early 1970s Omega Seamaster “TV Case” chronograph featuring the amazing Lemania-derived caliber 1040 and a stunning metallic blue dial.
This fantastic Omega automatic chrono not only tells the time but also has complications for quickest date, constant seconds, 24-hour indicator and full chronograph functions for recording seconds, minutes via the characteristic orange-tipped “jet” center-mounted minute counter and 12-hour totalizer at “6.” This sexy beast also features a sunken dial that has aged to delightful purple-blue surrounded by a fixed Tachymeter scale protected by a mineral crystal, all in a large faceted rectangular case with wonderful sweeping lines that retains its original factory finish.
The TV Case Seamaster chrono is one of the more striking and distinctive designs that Omega came up with in the 1970s following the successes of their tonneau-cased Mark II & Mark III Speedmasters. If you’re looking for retro funk and terrific functionality with a stunning blue dial, you’ve found your watch. And when you look at how the prices of vintage mechanical chronos have skyrocketed in the past few years, the Omega Seamaster TV Case model in steel is a premium piece that still represents excellent value for money. Better pounce before these finally have their day in the sun!
A new year calls for a new watch, doesn’t it? Or in this case a new watch that looks remarkably like an iconic vintage watch: a beautiful Longines Legend Diver reissue. The great Swiss watch company paid perfect tribute to its 1960s-era ancestor, especially with this more coveted No Date version that I’m offering. It also boasts no depth rating on its dial, thereby making it a virtual doppelgänger to its legendary forebear.
A big steel bruiser at 42mm, this Longines diver has a heavy compressor-style screwed case like the original and a gorgeous glossy black dial with inner rotating elapsed time bezel that in this non-date iteration is pretty much a dead ringer for the vintage Legend.
Making this modern neo-vintage classic even more collectible, this example comes complete with its huge original box set with booklets, guarantee card and even the original hang tag. It also has its original signed strap and buckle. But I’ve personally fitted it with a robust Italian leather strap that I think matches the watch even better, the perfect strap mate if you will.
Any way you want to wear this legendary Longines diver — on land or on sea — you’re sure to make a lasting impression. Simply put, this watch is beautiful, functional and ultra-masculine. So strap it on and make your own legend in 2018!
Didn’t get what you wanted for the Holidays? Stiffed by Santa? I may be able to fix that for you. Because I’m just now making this stunning classic Jumbo Seamaster available. This beautiful Omega features an ultra-desirable oversized 36mm steel case and handsome original sub-seconds dial highlighted by gold Arabic numerals at “12,” “3,” “6” and “9.” You might even say I saved one of my best for the last of the year.
Powered by Omega’s great in-house caliber 342 Bumper Automatic movement this big beauty also bears a cool double reference — 2494-4/2657 — and dates from circa 1950. Which is only fitting since the dial is pure mid-century elegance and style. But what’s extra nice abut this particular vintage Seamaster is that its relatively larger size still registers as perfectly “modern.”
It definitely makes a bold statement on the wrist, with its a mega-charming classic 50s layout made all the more striking by the large face, not to mention those long lugs. So after you’ve gone and bought for everyone else this Holiday Season why not treat yourself to a little something special? Such as this classic and uncommon Omega Seamaster dress watch that you’ll absolutely love wearing but that won’t break the bank after a season of giving. Best of all, you’ll be 100% certain you’re getting exactly the gift you want for once!
The weather may have finally turned truly chilly but that only prompts thoughts of heading to a beach somewhere to enjoy some sun, sand and surf while everyone back at home freezes their you know whats off. And on offer this month is the perfect watch to accompany you on any Caribbean or South Seas getaway you may have planned — a late 1990s IWC Aquatimer 2000 GST ref. 3536.
This example of long discontinued and long admired professional grade dive watch has the more uncommon stainless steel case (most were made in titanium) with matching fantastically designed integrated bracelet. Better yet, this true tool watch from the great Schaffhausen marque comes complete with inner and outer boxes, manuals & IWC guarantee card (in Japanese), bracelet tools and a couple of extra links.
This example of 3536 features a rare mixed-media partially Tritium dial and hands. IWC did a very interesting and peculiar thing on the earlier examples of this model where they used Trit luminous for the “12” marking and for the hands (as well as the bezel pip) but Luminova luminous for the other dial markers. Odd & eccentric but kind of cool and sort of unique to IWC as far as I can tell. This version of Aquatimer dial has a real form follows function look to it and I greatly prefer the all-business, almost military style of this 3536 dial, especially with the Trit elements, to those models in the line that came after it.
Running like a top and ready for action this big steel IWC Aquatimer 2000 GST is ready for any aquatic adventure you’re likely to dream up. And if you find yourself stuck here in wintertime at least you can console yourself with a stylish, tough and rapidly-becoming-vintage classic on your wrist that can stand up to digging your car out of a snow drift and still help you cut a fine figure when you finally make it your office or evening’s engagement.
The weather is finally cooling down and there is a definite chill in the air as we hit mid-October. At long last it’s now the season for dressing up in handsome sweaters and vests, sports jackets & suits. And that makes my latest offering just about as fitting for these finer sartorial months as a Savile Row suit. It’s a very uncommon and drop dead gorgeous men’s Cartier Tank Obus in solid 18k Yellow Gold featuring a stunning silver guilloché Roman numeral dial and high-grade manual wind movement.
What makes this model so special is that it is part of the now discontinued and dearly loved Collection Privée Cartier Paris (CPCP), which was produced in limited numbers from the late 1990s until the early 2000s, and marked the return of Cartier utilizing truly high quality movements again after many years in the ETA and quartz wilderness. Not to be confused with the common plain quartz versions strewn across the internet, this scarce CPCP Obus (reference W1527551, I believe) features Cartier’s caliber 430 MC, a highly decorated version of Piaget’s fine ultra-slim cal. 430P.
The elite CPCP collection also mined Cartier’s storied past for the special models created. In this case, the Tank Obus was originally designed in the late 1920s and furthered Louis Cartier’s fascination with modern weaponry as design inspiration with it’s stylized bullet-shaped lugs (“obus” means shell in French, as in artillery). This classic mid-size men’s dress watch is in really excellent pre-owned condition and with its unique, well-engineered screwed case and gorgeous “Lotus” pattern dial is absolutely stunning on the wrist.
For the man who prefers the understated elegance of a smaller watch combined with the timeless avant-garde design that is Cartier’s hallmark this fantastic Obus is guaranteed to fit the bill. Strap it on and see it enhance your entire style game just like that!
My second offering in September is nevertheless a premier watch — a classic early 1960s Universal Geneve Polerouter Date with stunning black gilt-gloss dial and trademark Speedmaster-style twisted lug case (both watches shared the same case maker back in the day). Said to be designed by the great Gerald Genta himself in his early days — the legend behind such later icons as the Royal Oak and the Nautilus — these early Polerouters are getting harder to find in good condition and more & more desirable overall.
And with good reason. The Polerouter was made tough with a high quality steel screw back case for water resistance and gained its name keeping good time for Scandinavian pilots flying over the highly magnetic North Pole shortcut in the 1950s. The Polerouter was also made innovative, as Universal quickly came up with a revolutionary micro-rotor system of automatic winding, their own proprietary Microtor, to reduce the thickness of the movement and therefore the watch. This winding system was so clever and ahead of its time that Patek Philippe revisited it in the modern era to legendary — and legendarily expensive! — effect.
Most of all the Polerouter was made super stylish courtesy of Mr. Genta. With its two-part dial composed of gorgeous black gilt-gloss crosshair interior and machined textured calibrated silver outer track, this Polerouter Date is nothing short of a stunner. Most of these dials have deteriorated badly and while this one does show a little of its age it’s still in really fine condition with crisp printing and wonderfully warm vintage charm. Equally well-matched with a suit and tie, an Oxford or a faded T this classic Polerouter is a fine companion for any occasion. But hurry — just as time waits for no one this legendary vintage icon is priced to fly away quickly!
As we leave summer behind and head into fall it’s a great time to break out vintage dress watches that can compliment the more sophisticated styles that autumn entails. And it doesn’t get much classier than this beautiful early 1950’s Omega Seamaster in classic “Beefy Lug” case. This lovely reference 2576 features a handsome original waffle dial with Breguet numerals at “12,” “3” and “9” that has aged to a very attractive ivory hue. Check out the wonderful patina on the original radium lume.
Also special, this Seamster’s all-steel water resistant 3-piece case doesn’t appear to have ever been polished. It’s rather special to see those handsomely chamfered fat lugs as the manufacturer intended them to be. Under the hood you’ll find Omega’s robust in-house bumper automatic caliber 344 movement, which hammers pleasantly when you move your wrist.
It all adds up to the complete vintage package: nicely proportioned, a super stylish layout and original, untampered-with condition. On the wrist this mega-charming classic mid-century Seamaster has unmistakable and timeless appeal. Whether you’re diving into a leaf pile or layering up with sweater and jacket for a night on the town this classy Omega will have you looking and feeling good.
Just when I think I’ve warmed up to Bleu de Chanel as the best and most versatile of the modern colognes out there I start using Acqua di Giò Profumo by Giorgio Armani. A richer and deeper flanker to the original aquatic classic, which is probably the biggest selling men’s frag ever, the Profumo version was released some twenty years later in 2015. And as nice as that original Eau de Toilette is, the Profumo is a superior juice, a stronger yet minimalist interpretation that ends up highly addictive.
In Acqua di Giò Profumo the original’s massive ingredient list gets pared down but the intensity dialed way up. Instead of the modern interpretation of the classic Italian Mediterranean aftershave experience that the original Giò executes so well with a veritable host of notes, the Profumo augments the signature seaside aquatic note by ditching many of the others and ramping up the herbs, mainly sage and rosemary (and do I get a hint of thyme in there even though it’s not listed officially?). The result is less salad dressing than bracing, almost peppery nose-tickling spices that stimulate the senses. These are listed as heart notes but really they come out to play almost immediately after the first spritz, pushing their way past the hint of bergamot in the open in a pleasingly assertive fashion. This spicey phase lasts a good long time, as befits an Eau de Parfum, and eventually mellows with an overall darkening where a sleek and non-sweet incense emerges to ground the composition beautifully. There is also a non-skanky, quite dry patchouli whispering in the background as well. Like a lot of modern EDTs this can be hard to detect when you’re used to wearing vintage patch powerhouses like Giorgio of Beverly Hills or Givenchy Gentleman but it’s there lending support to the persistent oceanic, incense and spice notes.
Despite or perhaps because of this relatively simple structure, Acqua di Giò really shines as a daily driver that is a cut above most other modern colognes. I guess I prefer it to the very good Bleu, which has definitely grown on me. Despite a general similarity in their use of incense and overall “feel,” that signature grapefruit note in Bleu’s open is more of a hit-or-miss, “in the mood” aroma for me than Giò Profumo’s green spices. And the Profumo retains its structure better over time than the Bleu EDT, which becomes somewhat defuse after 4 hours, though perhaps this is an unfair knock given the ostensible difference in formulated power between the two. Suffice to say there is just something in Acqua di Giò that appeals to my traditional fougere-centric side, despite it being listed as an Aromatic Aquatic. It’s like standing in an herb garden by the sea as briney breezes carry incense from a church service nearby.
It’s undeniably masculine, strong enough to make a statement but versatile and modern enough for daily use and on into the evening. Staying power is very good at about 8 hours, considerably more on clothes, and the composition also hangs together well over time unlike so many modern perfumes, which seem to disintegrate into fragments of their component parts. I see it as a year-rounder, very good in warmer weather like its forebear but also solid in colder months because of that addictive spicey kick and its subtle smokiness. Sillage is moderately strong but be forewarned: like one or two other very “inoffensive” colognes — Creed Green irish Tweed springs to mind — it is so pleasant smelling the temptation is to really lay it on thick. But this handsome obsidian-black and silver flaçoned modern marvel is also a subtle powerhouse. Less is more unless you are comfortable being noticed as cologne guy. However, this Profumo’s strength in moderation is also a good thing because it is far from cheap at nearly 100 bucks for a mere 2.5 ounces. But you get what you pay for with Acqua di Gió Profumo: a quality juice with all around wearability and worthy of signature scent status for the discerning gentleman.
My lucky run of quality vintage watches for August just keeps on coming up aces with this gorgeous circa 1950s Movado “Sport.” This watch was part of a jeweler’s deadstock that he inherited when he purchased the business and it is in near pristine condition. It features a stunning original eggshell silver dial with elegant partial Arabic numerals and closed minute track.
The beautifully designed 3-piece snap back all-steel case shows no signs of polish and the brushed and polished surfaces are pristine with razor sharp lugs. The outer caseback is marked for Stainless Steel and even has the original retailer’s price sticker on the back! This Sport is rather pleasingly over-engineered with an anti-magnetic dust cover protecting the movement. Can you imagine what a watch of this obvious build quality would go for if it said Patek on the dial instead of Movado?
Powering this vintage Sport is Movado’s high grade in-house Caliber 125 manual wind movement with 15 jewels and a nice oversized balance for greater accuracy. This is just an exceptionally well preserved watch with classic mid-20th century looks from one of the great houses of Switzerland. It all adds up to an uncommon opportunity to buy a time capsule sort of piece from 50+ years ago that you just can’t find every day. But if you act quickly you can make it yours and wear it everyday!