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Thread: A bit of a catch-up!

  1. #1
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    A bit of a catch-up!

    Well, it’s been a while since I posted about anything new, but the past few weeks/months have seen some watches arrive and become assimilated with what appears to be a growing collection. (That certainly isn’t something that I intended, to be honest, and once again I find myself wondering how I’m going to give them all sufficient wrist time to ensure that they don’t start to feel like a burden.)

    Anyway, here they are, with a few words about each…

    1960 Jeager LeCoultre E393

    I’ve been looking for a nice birth year watch for years now, and even though I’ve seen a fair few options come and go I really wanted something just slightly different from the norm. When this 9kt JLC came up on a website that I keep an eye on I decided that it fitted the bill so snapped it up without too much mithering about it.

    I’m fairly sure that it’s an E393 but I stand to be corrected; I have had one before in steel, but that had a slightly different movement (a cal K881). This one has a cal K880 and is a simple three hander without a date, but both variants are interesting in themselves.

    They were introduced in 1959 and were the first JLC movements to feature a centrally pivoted 360 degree rotor that wound in both directions. The K part of the calibre number was a reference to Kif Flektor, the form of shock protection mechanism used. (Incidentally, a development of this calibre, the 888, is still manufactured by Jaeger LeCoultre today which is an indication of how significant, and how brilliantly engineered, these K88x movements were.

    One of the most obvious characteristics of the K880 is that, almost uniquely on a movement of this grade, it has no mechanism for fine adjustment. Astonishingly, the reason for this “omission” was that the K880 was manufactured as standard to such fine tolerances that it would achieve chronometer rated accuracy as a production norm, without the need for any further adjustment. The American publication “WatchTime” ran a test on it and the various other related Jaeger LeCoultre movements from the same era in its August 2003 edition, concluding that this mechanism “embodies superlative expertise that emphasises skilful, precise craftsmanship and surface beauty”. Further mention is made that in its very slightly revised form, this same movement type was officially certified as a chronometer and sold in tiny quantities as the “Chronometre Geomatic”, a model that commands a lofty price today on account of its scarcity.

    The 34mm gold case was made for JLC by the London based case makers, De Trevars Ltd, whose sponsor’s mark of DTE is stamped to the inside case back. De Trevars supplied them with a range of high quality wristwatch cases, including gold cases for some of their famous Geophysic models which were launched a couple of years before the production of this one.

    Anyway, it’s a little beauty, and although I won’t wear it often it’ll give me a great deal of pleasure.



    Panerai PAM 512

    A few months ago I decided that – having lost a fair amount off weight – I was going to stick to watches no larger than 42mm, and as a consequence I sold off quite a few that failed to meet that criteria. Amongst them was my very beautiful PAM 346, and even as it left the fold I know that I’d buy another Panerai to replace it; I do love these watches, despite one or two brand-related issues that some find off-putting.

    Anyway, having previously owned a 337 I decided to go for something that had been tempting me since its release – the 42mm, 1940-cased 512. There are actually quite interesting in a historic sense, because it was in 1940 that Panerai effectively transitioned from the wire-lugged and onion-crowned Radiomir to the very different style of case that was to become the Luminor. Granted, at that time the crown guard had yet to be introduced, but the lugs and crown at that time were very much like those on this “reissue”.

    The 512 is fitted with the in-house P.999 hand-wound movement, which has a respectable 60-hour power reserve but also has the distinction of being Panerai’s slimmest movement. The full spec is:

    • Hand-wound mechanicalP.999 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai
    • 12 lignes, 3.4 mm thick
    • 19 jewels
    • Glucydur® balance
    • 21,600 alternations/hour
    • Incabloc® anti-shock device
    • Swan's neck regulator
    • Power reserve 60 hours
    • 154 components

    It’s actually very pretty…



    Aside from the case (and interestingly, Panerai deems the Radiomir 1940 to be distinct from both Radiomir and Luminor ranges) the 512 comes with a sandwich dial, tobacco lume and that wonderful simplicity that I just love.



    Omega Seamaster 60th Anniversary

    For those who have been living in a vacuum of late, Omega recently released what they called “The Trilogy”; these were very faithful reissues of the original (1957) releases of the Speedmaster, Seamaster and Railmaster and were intended to mark the 60th anniversary of that historic time. Initially, and in limited number, they were available as a set, and frankly I wish I’d bite the bullet and bought it whilst I could. However, the one I really liked was the Seamaster, so when an opportunity to buy one at a sensible price presented itself I regarded it as fate. (In fact, I’m going to be honest here, and say that I’m more than a little surprised that – with all the discussion about the Speedy 60th – this almost seems to have gone under the radar.)

    Limited to 3,557 pieces, this really is a faithful reproduction of the original CK2913 - right down to the 39mm stainless steel case (which to my mind is a perfect size, especially with what is a relatively narrow bezel). The configuration of the dial is also a perfect match, except the original radium markers have obviously been replaced with SL on both the indexes and the broad arrow handset. The lume colour might not be to everyone’s taste, but (as I keep saying to anyone who’ll listen) to my mind it’s better than mint green! Or, at least, a perfectly valid alternative!

    As with the original reference CK2913, 60th runs on an automatic movement, but this time the advanced calibre 8806; this is one of Omega’s Master Chronometer movements, technical details of which are:

    • Self-winding movement with a Co-Axial escapement
    • Certified Master Chronometer, approved by METAS
    • Resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss
    • Free sprung-balance with silicon balance spring
    • Automatic winding in both directions
    • Special luxury finish with rhodium-plated rotor and bridges with Geneva waves in arabesque
    • Power reserve: 55 hours

    True to the original once again, the reverse minute countdown was chosen for the bezel, together with the same font and applied lume pip at the 60-minute mark. One difference, though, is the bezel material, with aluminium guaranteeing a much higher resistance than the acrylic used in the late 1950s. Omega even made sure that the Naïad sign embossed on the crown and the Seahorse on the case back would be correctly shown, and there’s a retro-style Omega logo on the bracelet clasp.

    What a great job they did with this one!



    Omega Speedmaster Professional

    Yes, the final arrival was a moon watch! I’ve had so many Speedies it’s ridiculous, but I think I’ve finally determined that the only real Speedy is… well, the real Speedy. I won’t bore everyone with a write-up on this as it’s been done a thousand times, but here it is on a Hirsch Heritage, I think it’s a wonderful match and a wonderful strap (and yes, I have the 512 on one as well)!

    Last edited by learningtofly; 20th October 2017 at 11:53.

  2. #2
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Lovely write up Tony, all the watches are from an era when 'less seemed more' I'm especially taken by the Omega 60th anniversary.
    Sent from My etch a sketch

  3. #3
    The seamaster is really quite appealing and I share your surprise that this has been completely usurped by the Speedmaster '57

    Do you still have the modern (42mm?) SM300 with vintage lume? I would be interested to have a comparison shot with that and the '57 - oh and a watchco SM300 if you can magic one of those up as well!

    Thanks for the photos Tony.

  4. #4
    Master
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    makes this horology lark an art form. lovely pics on all of them

  5. #5
    Master
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    JLC looks superb in particular Tony!

  6. #6
    Master Chinnock's Avatar
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    Lovely post Tony. Particularly get the "real" Speedy, looking myself for a 69 stepped dial, my perfect birth year watch.

  7. #7
    Master
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    The Panerai is the pick of the bunch for me Tony, I'd love to try that particular model myself.

    It has everything you want in a Panerai, in a size everyone could wear. Just perfect.

  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    Great pictures of some lovely watches.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Love the pics

  10. #10
    Master hhhh's Avatar
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    Superb, Tony.

    We definitely need to have that beer, so I can have a proper look at what ones I want.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Excellent photography. Could teach a manufacturer or two about how to take flattering photos.

  12. #12
    Master Pitch3110's Avatar
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    Always a lovely read and learn something new every time.

    Enjoy

    Pitch

  13. #13
    Journeyman RS404's Avatar
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    What a lovely collection, thanks for sharing.

  14. #14
    Loving the 60th Seamaster. Beginning to question why I didn’t buy one when I had the chance now.
    It's just a matter of time...

  15. #15
    Master
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    Great write up, and I especially love the 1940, if you couldn't have guessed that. Was going to ask what strap the PAM is on but see it is the hirsch heritage. Will try one on my 49 I think.

    Sent from my SM-G920F using TZ-UK mobile app

  16. #16
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post

    If anyone stumbles across one of these Seamasters in a dealers would you be kind enough to PM me.

    n2.
    Last edited by number2; 13th October 2017 at 01:57.
    Sent from My etch a sketch

  17. #17
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanBear View Post
    JLC looks superb in particular Tony!
    It certainly - stunning!!

  18. #18
    Grand Master
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    Nice watches Tony, your enthusiasm for them all us obvious and that adds something to the post.

    I'm not a Panerai fan usually but I do like this one. The JLC's a nice one too, everyone should own a quality gold vintage watch even if it doesn't come out often!

    Having seen your pics I've decided to get myself a decent camera, I'm 60 in January so it could be my present to myself!

    Paul

  19. #19
    Master
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    As usual Tony excellent collection and great thread.
    Regards
    Colin.

  20. #20
    Great collection Tony and even better pictures, it's been a pleasure watching your collection change and evolve over the past few years.

    Ryan

  21. #21
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for all the responses. It's much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by carryondentist View Post
    The seamaster is really quite appealing and I share your surprise that this has been completely usurped by the Speedmaster '57

    Do you still have the modern (42mm?) SM300 with vintage lume? I would be interested to have a comparison shot with that and the '57 - oh and a watchco SM300 if you can magic one of those up as well!

    Thanks for the photos Tony.
    Haha... I don't have that one any longer, I'm afraid.

    Quote Originally Posted by hhhh View Post
    Superb, Tony.

    We definitely need to have that beer, so I can have a proper look at what ones I want.
    Yes we do, Howard! I have a Sea Dweller for sale, if you fancy that ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Nice watches Tony, your enthusiasm for them all us obvious and that adds something to the post.

    I'm not a Panerai fan usually but I do like this one. The JLC's a nice one too, everyone should own a quality gold vintage watch even if it doesn't come out often!

    Having seen your pics I've decided to get myself a decent camera, I'm 60 in January so it could be my present to myself!

    Paul
    Thanks Paul, and do go ahead and buy yourself a proper camera. Then forget about shooting watches and get out there with it!

  22. #22
    Master
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    I can’t really say anything others haven’t said other than this thread has resulted in me ordering a Hirsch Heritage. The speedy looks stunning on it!

  23. #23
    Master
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    Hi Tony. As usual superb pictures. For me the ‘real’ Speedmaster is my favourite. It looks like you may need a new watch box for that little lot!

    Martyn.

  24. #24
    Master
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    I could quite happily look at those all day, each one is a fantastic piece. I have to say that for me the Jaeger is my favourite it just looks so "right".

  25. #25
    Craftsman Cyclone's Avatar
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    Great write up. The PAM is the pick of the bunch for me. Beautiful

  26. #26
    Master
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    That JLC is lovely, just so simple and classy.

  27. #27
    Master hhhh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    Yes we do, Howard! I have a Sea Dweller for sale, if you fancy that ;)
    There's always a deal to be done, Tony.

  28. #28
    Master JackW's Avatar
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    Lovely watches and beautiful pictures as always. The Trilogy watches received some criticism for being quite bling-y, and I tend to agree to some extent. What are your impressions having worn it for a while?

  29. #29
    Craftsman
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    Great write up and photos. All superb watches, for me the JLC and Panerai are the two outstanding ones. I agree, every collection should have a vintage gold watch, unfortunately I'm not there yet (but I am working on it). Enjoy them all!

  30. #30
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Thanks very much ^^^

    Quote Originally Posted by JackW View Post
    Lovely watches and beautiful pictures as always. The Trilogy watches received some criticism for being quite bling-y, and I tend to agree to some extent. What are your impressions having worn it for a while?
    It doesn't look overly blingy at all, although I do wonder what it would look like if the lugs were brushed. I may even have that done at some point but I'm perfectly comfortable with it as-is. (I'm sure it's moderate size helps in this respect, too.)

  31. #31
    Master Wooster's Avatar
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    To put it briefly, gorgeous pics, gorgeous watches! So... you know... the 512... ahem...

  32. #32
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    It's a pleasure to read your posts, Terry.

  33. #33
    Master JackW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    It doesn't look overly blingy at all, although I do wonder what it would look like if the lugs were brushed. I may even have that done at some point but I'm perfectly comfortable with it as-is. (I'm sure it's moderate size helps in this respect, too.)
    Thanks, and I agree the size is a big plus. I will definitely try one of these as soon as I get the chance.

  34. #34
    Lovely additions, Tony. Especially the 512. I think I will have to invest in a Hirsch Heritage for mine...

  35. #35
    Craftsman
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    Wonderful write-up and pictures. I'm always in awe of your engaging and informative descriptions!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  36. #36
    Great post as always Mr T, JLC is the pick for me, please let me know if too much dust gathers upon it..?

  37. #37
    Master
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    Outstanding pictures. The 512 is very classy. Great write up.

  38. #38

    Strap

    Loving the Hirsch Heritgae strap combos on the Pam and Speedy. Food for thought!

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