Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club

//Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club

Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club

This weekend, 32 of the world’s most obscure watch collectors gathered in an undisclosed location, somewhere in central London. Two of them flew in from Bali, another, via private jet from New York, and many more made the special trip to the British capital with watches that adhered to the theme, “Issued By.” The get-together, organized on the same weekend as the London preview of the upcoming Phillips auctions, was invitation only, but I was briefly allowed into this horological fraternity, for which no secret handshake is required – so long as you’re wearing a special watch.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Comex  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club AMBIANCE IMG 0686

After going through (a lot of) security upon our arrival, we squeezed into an elevator that took us to the top floor of the building. It wasn’t long before all of the watches were placed on a large table in the middle of the room. Dozens of watches issued by Comex, the Marine Nationale, the South African Navy, and many more were on display. Enough said. Feast your eyes on the many, many watches assembled on a memorable day.

Rolex Diving Comex  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club AMBIANCE IMG 0864

Rolex Submariner Comex Reference 5514  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club IMG 0876

First up, a lot of Rolexes, including this reference 5514, issued by Comex (Companie Maritime d’Expertise), which has a beautifully uniform and golden patina.

Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 With Explorer Dial  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club ROLEX IMG 0804

Rolex Submariner 5513 With Faded Bezel  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club ROLEX IMG 8476

Another Rolex Submariner With Explorer Dial  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club ROLEX IMG 0597

Rolex Double Red Sea-Dweller (DRSD)  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club ROLEX Ref1665

Rolex Sea Dweller Comex Reference 1665  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club ROLEX IMG 0854

Another Rolex DRSD  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club ROLEX IMG 0776

Later Submariner Comex Reference 5513  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club ROLEX IMG 0869

Another Rolex Sea-Dweller Comex  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club IMG 0785

Rolex GMT Master Ref. 1675 for the UAE  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club ROLEX IMG 0758

More watches issued to the military, this time from Breguet, Panerai, and Tudor.

Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club BREGUET TYPEXX 1950s

Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club TAGHEUER BUND IMG 0809

Tudor MN '77 Blue Snowflake Submariner.  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club TUDOR MN77

Panerai Marina Militare.  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club PANERAI MarinaMilitare IMG 0765

Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club TUDOR Artic Mission IMG 0699

Next up, something non-military but just as historically important. It was Tudor – not Rolex – that supplied watches to members of the British North Greenland Expedition (1952-1954). In total, 26 were made, including this one belonging to Jock P. Masterton (J.P.M), the expedition’s doctor. Its current owner bought it on eBay a few years ago after “no one wanted it” –  which is nuts!

Jock P. Masterton's Tudor Oyster Prince.   Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club IMG 0693

Engraving on the back of Jock P. Masterton's Tudor Oyster Prince.   Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club IMG 0698

Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club 3

Reference 570 oversized white-gold Calatrava.  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club 1

Rolex Oyster Cosmograph 6265 Paul Newman.  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club 2

Omega Speedmaster Space  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club OMEGA SPEEDMASTER IMG 0748

Here’s another one that doesn’t follow the theme of the day, but is just too good to be kept away. This is an Omega Speedmaster that has actually flown in space, on the wrist of cosmonaut Gennadi Mikhailovich Strekalov, who wore it on five spacewalks (EVA) between May and June of 1995. Oh, and it comes with Strekalov’s glove. The watch is powered by caliber 861 (serial number 48294756), and bears the inscription: “Flight qualified by NASA for all manned space missions / The first watch worn on the moon” on the back.

Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club 4

Omega Speedmaster Professional, probably reference 145.022.  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club 5

Omega Speedmaster 2998-5.  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club 6

Rolex Chronograph reference 2303.  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club ROLEX Ref2303 Smallestchronomanufbyrolx Goldberger

Finally, reference 2303. If it looks quite small on the wrist of its owner, and that’s because it is. In fact, this is the smallest chronograph ever manufactured by Rolex (in the 1930s). It measures only 28 mm, which is remarkable for a single-button chronograph. That, and a few more special watches.

Tudor   Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club 7

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer with honeycomb dial.  Photo Report: Inside The UK’s Most Secretive Watch Collecting Club 8

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By | 2016-12-23T20:17:27+00:00 April 26th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

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