This Bring A Loupe might surprise you; while you know the brands selected, you might never have considered these watches before, except the crazy good looking Rolex 6062 we’ve found – arguably one of the most complicated vintage watches Rolex ever made. So let me introduce you to a late Heuer Autavia, a very dressy Seiko Credor Node, and a vintage Longines Diver. This is your Bring A Loupe for March 4, 2016.
A Seiko Credor Node Reference GBBE 979 – A Beautiful Modern Dress Watch
Let’s start with this Credor Node, the most under-the-radar piece of our entire selection this week. You might remember Credor as the high-end offering from Seiko that we covered in our review of the Eichi. The Eichi, amazingly enough, compared favorably to watches from Philippe Dufour and Laurent Ferrier extremely well. Again, this Node reference GBBE 979 will most likely give many modern dress watches from competing blue-chip brands a run for their money. While some might think its aesthetic a bit too sterile, I see it as a statement of confident elegance, with a flawless sense of balance in the dia layout, with the four polished indexes and the well-placed sub-register. Let’s not forget the thin blued hands, displaying a a wonderful contrast to the 38 mm white-gold case, which houses an in-house movement less than 2 mm tall.
The movement is Credor ultra-thin caliber 6898. The 6800 series of movements goes all the way back to 1969; this version is extremely thin at 1.98 mm (for comparison, the ultra-thin Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 849, which we looked at here, is 1.85 mm thick).
A Japanese dealer is selling this beautiful Credor for 699,800 yen (or around $6,000) here.
A Rolex Reference 6062 With Moon-Phase Complication
This watch is as close as it gets to the end-game in collecting vintage Rolex. It’s easy to lapse into thinking of Rolex purely in terms of tool watches, but the reference 6062 provides a totally different picture, more in the league of the famous Patek reference 2497. Granted, the Patek is a perpetual calendar while the Rolex is “only” a triple calendar. It is nonetheless one of only two references with a moon-phase complication ever commercialized by Rolex. The movement is automatic – to be expected for a Rolex – and protected by a 36 mm Oyster case – in stainless steel to make it even better. The case has been cleaned up, certainly, but the seller’s asking price reflects that and this piece presents extremely well. This is not your average vintage Rolex, for sure.
The U.S.-based dealer Alex Ciani is offering this beautiful complicated Rolex here.
A Heuer Autavia Reference 73663MH – A Military Chronograph You Don’t Often See
An entire book has been dedicated to Autavias – a clever combination of “Automobile” and “Aviation” – this tells you about the importance that this line holds in the hearts of Heuer aficionado. From the case shape of the reference 73663, you can infer this Autavia came much later than the reference 2446 we usually feature in Bring A Loupe. The full black dial with lumed numerals is also an indication of its military vocation, originally commissioned by the German Bundeswehr in the early 1970s. The 41 mm case is the real attraction of this chronograph; you can really see the brushing on the lugs and the polished bevels, a very rare sight for a piece over 40 years old. The Valjoux 7736 was just serviced – unfortunately the tritium on the seconds hand of the chronograph was lost on that occasion, which is the only real drawback to this otherwise stunning Autavia.
Rare Birds is offering this rare Autavia for 10,500 euro (or around $11,500) here.
A Lemania 15TL Chronograph With Two-Tone Dial
Lemania chronographs remain reasonable picks in a vintage market that’s currently bullish on this action-oriented complication. There is a lot to like about this Lemania, starting with its elegant 38 mm case – a size you don’t find often in two-register chronographs of its era. In addition there are three other main points to notice: the attractive two-tone dial, the olive pushers, and the famously reliable 15TL movement. In short, you get both a great daily wearer and a good looking vintage watch here.
A collector is offering this oversized Lemania for 2,650 euro (or around $2,900) here.
A Longines Diver Reference 7494-2 With Large Compressor Case
Longines recently re-launched this dive watch, initially introduced in 1959; the “new” Legend Diver remained faithful to the original in terms of size and design. Here, you get one of the original models, an iteration from the mid-1960s. This Longines reference 7494-2 is in outstanding condition for a 50-year-old watch, with a crisp case and a nicely patinated dial. Its 42 mm size makes it extremely relevant nowadays, and it looks amazing with the tropic bracelet, ready for a dive – although I would not recommend that with a vintage piece, of course (at least not without a service, new gaskets, and a pressure check). The two hatched crowns are a sign of the super-compressor case used to guarantee its water-resistance, initially up to 200 meters deep – this is theoretical pressure but it’s more than enough for underwater use up to and including recreational SCUBA .
The patent for this innovation belongs to the casemaker Piquerez; the idea behind it is to use the pressure of the water to compress the sealing gasket and thus further tighten the case back. You can find some detailed information about the many brands who trusted this case here. The top crown of this Longines controls the inner rotating bezel, tasked to track time during a dive – the real mission of the watch, as shown by the engraving below.
This beautiful Longines Diver is offered for sale here.
An Autodromo Monoposto Automatic Limited Edition Consigned By The Brand For Charity
We reviewed this Autodromo three years ago, and were impressed by the care brought to the case, and also the packaging, both echoing nicely the universe of vintage cars. One example of this limited edition watch is offered at the Amelia Island Auction in a NOS condition (in the strictest sense of the word, as it comes straight from Autodromo archives). I like that this tachometer-resembling piece is actually a black-dialed example, as the color of the dial in combination with the short lugs makes the 43 mm case look much smaller on the wrist. Note that the red line is actually on the domed crystal, not printed on the dial; reminiscent of the RPM limit on a 1950s racing car, it gives a strong look to the watch.
You can find offer this lot offered by Bonhams here, and the proceeds of the sale will go to charity.