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About Always"watching"

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  1. Many thanks for that post, dear @John_D. Fascinating, and nice pics, too, including your greatly refreshed Timex Electric.
  2. Thanks for posting the picture, dear @Lampoc. Looking at your watch, Hugo, I would say that it dates to the late 1970s or just into the 1980s. I like the design and reckon this is a real "keeper" - well, it would be for me, that is.
  3. I must admit that I do have mixed feelings about modding watches but, in the final analysis, I come down on the side of liberalism and wouldn't criticise members who enjoy modding watches. My slightly puritanical edge when it concerns to my own collecting and historical researching means that I myself prefer watches to remain as they were when they left the factory for the first time, rather than be modified later. In matters of cosmetic taste and aesthetics, I have seen some horrible modifications of what were really nice watches, but I have also seen some quite sensitively handled mods that give the watch an interesting and/or pleasing look. As a final note, I think that Steve (WRENCH) has a point in preferring mods that are not geared towards trying to recreate another well-known or classic model by way of a homage; the personal touch is more welcome as a mod to my way of thinking.
  4. Without any preamble to introduce this subject, I can say that the most expensive watch ever sold at auction to date is the unique Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime For Only Watch Ref. 6300A sold at Christie’s biennial charity auction, “Only watch,” in Geneva on 9 November last year; for a hammer price of $31,225,649 million or about £24 million. This well and truly trumps the previous record-holder; a Paul Newman Rolex Daytona wristwatch that had actually been owned by the actor himself and which sold for $17.75 million on 27 October 2017. Two facts of note need to be inserted at this point, before looking at the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime in more detail. Firstly, the record-breaking Patek Philippe sold at Christie's “Only Watch” auction in last November had actually been created for the particular biennial charity sale and it’s full title includes the suffix, “For Only Watch.” And secondly, a notable feature of the watch is the material used for the case - polished steel rather than precious metal. Rare Patek Philippe watches in base metals (steel and titanium) have held a particular attraction over recent years, partly because the company has tended to produce far more watches in precious, and the Grandmaster Chime For Only Watch is a case in point and not a peculiar aberration in this regard. (Pic from resize-parismatch.lanmedia.fr) (Above four pics from hodinkee.imgix.net) The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime For Only Watch is far more than just a chiming wristwatch; indeed, it is highly complex and sophisticated, representing one of the most complicated watches ever made by the company. The original Grandmaster Chime was launched in October of 2014 in the form of the ornate yellow gold watch, Reference 5175, produced to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the company in Geneva; an extraordinary accomplishment. Six of these watches were made and sold to collectors for $2.5 million apiece. Then, in March 2016, a white gold version of the original model was produced, the Reference 6300G, and this was sold for $2.2 million. Finally, we come to the Reference 6300A, shattering the auction price bar and perhaps the swansong for this model. The One Watch auction Patek is powered by the hand-wind Caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM - a movement supporting 20 complications and five chiming modes that took the company 11 years to perfect, representing a peak moment in the long history of Patek chiming watches. The complications include a minute repeater, grande and petite sonnerie, and two unique chiming complications. One of these is an alarm that when sounding will also chime the hour for which the alarm was set. The Grandmaster Chime is also the first watch to have a date repeater complication which sounds the date of the month on two gongs, reading the date off the perpetual calendar. (Above two pics from Monochrome Watches at stackpathcdn.com) The Grandmaster Chime For One Watch itself is chunky to say the least with its reversible hobnail guilloché sided steel case measuring almost 48 mm across with a thickness of 16 mm; nevertheless, it apparently wears well, if rather large, on the wrist due partly to the long articulating lugs. On one side of the case, replete with about half the available complications, is a beautiful salmon pink (rose gold) dial, while the other 50% of the complications are found on the opposite dial which is coloured an ebony black and has rose gold hands. The ebony dial is a four-register design but, like the watch in general, legibility is surprisingly good. Note that the pink dial is branded for Patek Philippe, of course, and also bears the legend, “THE ONLY ONE.” (Pic from watchesbysjx.com) (Pic from i.redd.it) At this stage in the proceedings, I could go all philosophical and wonder just “why” would a company go to such enormous lengths to produce a classical and complex one-off mechanical watch in the modern world, does it represent any sort of value for money, and should we be happy that there are individuals who have the power to bid up this watch into multi-millions of dollars, noting of course that in this case the watch was sold at a charity auction? However, I shall leave that for others to ponder upon and just enjoy the beauty and micro-engineering achievement of the Grandmaster Chime Reference 6300A for what it is. (Pic from gearpatrol.com)
  5. Dear Hugo @Hugo ReadYour watch is actually a rather interesting item, even without pictures to back up your post. Although branded "Paul Freres", your watch may be a product of the Vacuum Chronometer Corporation, founded by Hans-Ulrich Klingenberg on 5 January 1966 in Biel,Bienne, Switzerland, subsequently trading as Century Time Gems Ltd. The firm is currently headquartered in Nidau, Switzerland, and the current head is Phillip W A Klingenberg. Hans-Ulrich Klingenberg was aware that the atmosphere around us, with its moisture and impurities, impaired the precision of automatic chronometer watch movements. In order to overcome these problems, and also lessen the problem of temperature differences, Klingenberg devised and manufactured a watch case where an 80% vacuum could be achieved and maintained. In further perfection of this process, the company began to make these vacuum cases in boron carbide followed by sapphire (corundum). Klingenberg's vacuum chronometer watches were sold under several well-known trademarks. With the advent of quartz watches, there was a drop in demand for vacuum automatic watches. However, because quartz movements are smaller than their automatic equivalents, Klingenberg was able to finally perfect his vacuum watch, using a monolithic diamond-facetted watch case in sapphire under another of his patents. Century Time Gems Ltd is a fully-fledged member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. This brief summary is far from being a complete history of the vacuum watch and the Klingenberg concern. If you are interested in reading more then I would recommend the article, "The Vacuum Watch You May Never Have Heard Of", by Adrian Hailwood. The online address for this is: revolution.watch/the-vacuum-watch-you-may-never-have-heard-of/
  6. Dear Andy, you might like to know that I wrote a topic for the Forum about Avia which was titled, "Avia: Forgotten but not Gone". This topic was posted on 7 June 2015 and will be available through the Forum search feature. I hate to disagree with you about the date of your watch but this model is most certainly post-1960 and probably dates to about the mid-later 1960s. The presence of an original watch glass that was octagonal plus the general colour scheme of your watch reminds me of a class of watches from the period that were more "colourful" in approach; sometimes produced with middle-Eastern and Indian subcontinent markets in mind.
  7. I'll have a dark chocolate Toblerone please... Lush! But haven't the number of mountain peaks been reduced, in the game of smaller amount/higher price? (Pic from eurosuper.net)
  8. Dear Jeremy, caution should prevail with regard to the lume, as Scott so wisely warns above. Touching or ingesting that sort of lume is to be avoided, even if the quantities involved might seem trivial. The case shape of your watch is essentially "round" with no special name; it is the lugs that are slightly different from the normal run. As far as the date of the watch is concerned, I would put it at just post-War, perhaps nudging into the early 1950s, and I notice that there are plenty of Rotary Super-Sports illustrated online; I am not sure how long that particular "Super-Sports" branding was used by Rotary or when it was introduced.
  9. I would date that watch to the mid or later 1970s. I have a Sekonda mechanical with a similar button on the side of the case but have forgotten exactly what it does...
  10. Many thanks and yes, dear @BondandBigM, I believe you are correct. I have just noticed that there was no warning message today after using my new laptop to log in to Google Docs...
  11. Thanks, dear @BondandBigM, the problem is that every time I use a different machine when logging on to Google Docs, a message comes up in my email warning me that someone has just logged in to my Google account on a different device. I then have to activate the email link, go into my Google account and click that this activation was myself and not some hacker. If I could connect the computers I regularly use to the one Google account then I wouldn't be bothered by these warning notices.
  12. I have just started using Google Chrome as my main browser with Google Docs, and I am having a couple of problems which I would greatly appreciate help with. These are as follows: 1) I have just posted a new Forum topic written on Google Docs and posted via Google Chrome. When writing the topic on Google Docs, the text was fine, but when I copied the topic from Google Docs to the Forum, the text automatically became "bold." I have tried to figure out why this happened but I just can't sol ve this problem without some advice. 2) I would like to add my new laptop as a new device to my Google account but it seems that I cannot do this except by opening another Google account. I currently only have a single laptop linked to my Google account and just want to add the new laptop so that I don't keep getting Google alerts about using my new machine on the current Google account. If anyone can solve these conundrums for me, I would be most grateful.
  13. It seems to be received wisdom, reinforced by reviews of the recent reincarnation of Eza watches, that the history of the original Eza watch brand is part of the Hermann Becker story - a company started in 1921 by Hermann Becker in Pforzheim, Germany. The twist is that one important reference indicates that this information might be incorrect; that the Eza watch brand belonged to another Pforzheim watch company, Ziemer & Co, which was founded just six years after the Becker concern. If we are to believe the general run of opinion then we can summarise the story of Eza watches as follows: In 1921, Hermann Becker, a German watchmaker, established a small case manufacturing facility in Pforzheim, and over the years the firm diversified into the production of dials (by the late 1950s) and watch movements (made from 1955). At first, the movements were hand-wind, but automatic movements were produced from 1958. The last automatic Hermann Becker caliber was the 25J HB313 - with an old and new version produced over its production run. A gold plated Eza wristwatch from about 1960 with 34 mm case (excl. crown) and powered by a hand-wind 17J movement (pics from assets.catawiki.nl): The first Eza watch collection was introduced by the Becker company in the 1960s, and in the 1960s and 70s, the brand apparently produced a line of “funky” dress watches. Unfortunately, Hermann Becker KG was hit by the Quartz Crisis and filed for bankruptcy; thus, the Eza name disappeared until it was revived almost half a century later. The recent revival of the Eza name in 2016 does not have any concrete linkage to the original brand, but because the new Eza company produces respectable watches in vintage style - so far majoring on dive watches including a take on an Eza dive watch design from1972 - it is worth mentioning here. The firm is based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and was founded by two friends, Diederick van Golen and Adriaan Trampe, with Adriaan having studied watchmaking at Vakschool Schoonhaven, the same school distinguished contemporary Dutch watchmaker Bart Grönefeld attended. Apparently, the duo assemble their watches from parts sourced abroad. A 1970s Eza wristwatch with a stainless steel 35mm (excl. crown) case and screw-on caseback; water resistant to 4 ATM and powered by a 25J HB313 automatic movement: Having now provided the version of the Eza story propounded in the review literature pertaining to the new Eza watch company, we need to further introduce the “elephant in the room” that links Eza with Ziemer & Co. We find this reference in the Mikrolisk directory under “Eza” and it comprises the script trademark, “Eza,” and links it to Uhrenfabrik Ziemer & Co., wristwatches, Pforzheim, Germany. Unfortunately, there is no (registration) date given for this mark. The Ziemer watch company was founded by Wilhelm Ziemer in Pforzheim, Germany, in September 1927, and was apparently manufacturing wristwatches from the beginning. In 1963, the leadership of the firm passed to Robert Ziemer, son of Wilhelm, and the firm remained in family hands until, in 1985, it was taken over by long-time employee Günther Schäfer. In 1987, the company was legally changed to Ziemer GmbH, and two years later the brand name, Claude Pascal, was launched and registered. Indeed, the Claude Pascal name has been the sole brand of the Ziemer company since 1989. 2002 saw the management of Ziemer GmbH pass to Schäfer’s son-in-law, Peter Gießler after many years of co-operation between the two men. Finally, in 2011, the firm relocated from Pforzheim to larger premises in Niefern. According to the current Claude pascal website, Peter Gießler is still the executive director of the company. Eza stainless steel dive/dive-style watch with cushion-shaped case, rotating bezel, and heavily lumed hands, probably later 1960s and powered by a 25J automatic HB312 movement (pics from uhrforum.de): I have been unable to find supporting evidential material concerning Ziemer watch brands in the period prior to 1989 including “Eza” other than the isolated Mikrolisk reference, and we can’t assume that Mikrolisk is infallible. The assumed link between Eza and Hermann Becker is the current favourite theory but the evidence supporting this link in available literature is also scant. Given that the Eza brand name has been resurrected, and applied to watches worthy of consideration, it surely behoves us to examine the question of brand name attribution. Was the original Eza watch brand related to Hermann Becker, Ziemer & Co, or perhaps both or another company altogether? Hopefully, someone out there will have a definitive answer - it just isn’t me… for the time being at least. Stop Press: It has come to my attention that some Eza branded watches were powered by Voumard movements; sometimes these are labelled as, "Voumard by Eza" watches. The first watch pictured in this topic where the movement isn't specified, it transpires that at least some of this Eza model of wristwatch were powered by the Voumard caliber 1050 movement.
  14. At 53mm, that watch is way to big for me, so only beefy soldiers need apply. I reckon that at the estimated price of about £450, this model will sell well, partly because it is a limited edition. What I don't quite understand is the nature of the "partnership" is between the MoD and Casio G-Shock. Is the new G-Shock going to actually be issued to soldiers, or will it be recommended by the MoD as a suitable battlefield accessory? It has been suggested that the partnership with the MoD may result in G-Shock watches for the Royal Navy and the RAF.
  15. Just to add my tuppence worth to the debate, I personally would also keep the watches until you REALLY want to sell one (or more) and go for less expensive but durable worktops.
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