The first time someone meets me in public, the conversation typically goes something like this: Them: “Hey, can you get me a discount on that new Rolex, Omega, Lange, or whatever?” Me: “Nah, I really can’t.” After the awkwardness subsides there, the next question is usually, “Okay, so then who’s next on Talking Watches?” And, usually, I have a handful of names with which to respond that might mean something to said John Q. Public â like a professional baseball player (with exceptionallyÂ good taste in watches and cameras), a noted writer (with exceptionally good taste in cars and comedy), or a watch-world intellectual, or perhaps even a well-known collector. Today, however, you’re getting none of that.Â
Few know the name Morgan King. He’s not a celebrity, or even an active poster of his watches on Instagram (but, then does he even exist?). He lives a relatively quiet life in suburban Los Angeles and is one of the most unsuspecting, down-to-earth, and fun-loving collectors I’ve ever encountered. Morgan is just a great guy â and one that many might confuse for a man considerably younger than he is. But don’t be confused, Morgan King is a connoisseur and watch collector of the highest order.
The majority of Morgan’s collection consists of vintage chronographs from Rolex, Heuer, Breitling, and others. But that’s not all he’s got.
This collection could very well be one of the most exceptional sports watch collections in the U.S., and before today, my guess is few of you had heard of its owner. And that is just wonderful. Prepare to be blown away. Today we are thrilled to present the official HODINKEE Talking Watches with Mr. Morgan King.Â
Heuer Carrera With Pulsation Dial
Being a chronograph guy, the Carrera plays a big part in Morgan’s collecting life. He owns the 2447 in both panda and reverse-panda configurations, and both the 2447S and 2447N. What he also owns is this â a rare 2447 Heuer Carrera with pulsation scale. Yup, it’s amazing.
Possibly Unique Heuer Stopwatch In Carrera Case
Now this is a watch I remember â I remember it because it once belonged to Eric Wind. This is something that you are sure not to see anywhere else. What is it? It’s a stopwatch in a Carrera case. The case is signedÂ 7753, but the hour and minute hands have been removed. The watch originally came from a well-known racing family who, in their day, had Heuer make them a few very special pieces designed specifically for the track. While this one can’t actually tell you what time it is, it’s a true treasure of Morgan’s collection.
Heuer Monaco Chronomatic With Blue Hands
Morgan is a Monaco guy, and boy does he have some special ones. He owns multiple prototype dial watches and more than one Chronomatic dial watch. What’s most amazing is perhaps this one, featuring early blue hands. Yup, they made them, and yup, Morgan has one.
Heuer Monaco ‘Dark Lord’
The Dark Lord Monaco is one of those pieces that, if you’re going to go deep into vintage Heuer, you just have to have. Morgan’s example is just wonderful and actually marks the third example of the Dark Lord featured on Talking Watches. Not too shabby.
Rolex 6238 Pre-Daytona With Black Dial
While it may be the Daytona that defines Morgan’s collection, the pre-Daytona has a place too. While you often see silver dial 6238s on the market, the black dial is a far rarer beast and, naturally, Morgan has a great one.Â
Rolex Daytona Reference 6239 Double-Swiss Underline
Morgan is nothing if not a completist, and if he has a 6238 then he must have a 6239, and his is one of my favorites â an early example featuring an underline and double-Swiss markings.
Rolex Daytona Reference 6265 Sigma Dial Big Red
Morgan’s 6265 is even special â a rare variant that includes both sigma markings at six o’clock and a “Big Red” Daytona above the lower register. His example is, as expected, flawless.
Rolex Daytona Reference 6263 Big Eye
His non-PN 6263 is also a special one, featuring a so-called “Big Eye” dial where the registers are larger than normal. This is a very subtle watch, but a personal favorite of mine.
Rolex Daytona Reference 16520 Floating Porcelain Dial
Now this is a fun one. This is one of the earliest self-winding Daytonas in the world, and this rare variant has a porcelain dial. Yes, on a Daytona. These watches have started picking up steam and this should only continue as more learn about these very neat dials.
Rolex Daytona 6263 With Paul Newman Dial
The 6263 Paul Newman is theÂ Daytona. It’s the end-game. This is what many describe as the most beautiful chronograph in the world and it’s hard to disagree. Morgan has owned his for years, well before these hit the numbers they do now, and it’s just a really, really cool looking watch.
Rolex Daytona Reference 6265 With Paul Newman Dial
As I said, Morgan doesn’t mess around when he likes something. So what he has here is another Paul Newman, but this time in a 6265 case. Same dial, same movement â only difference in the steel bezel. Doesn’t seem like much but by now, the vast majority of good Oyster PN dials have migrated into 6263 cases because that is most desirable, so it’s nice to see this one here.
Rolex Daytona ‘RCO’
You guys all know this watch â this is the big boy of the Paul Newman world. The black Oyster dial, or “RCO” or “Oyster Sotto,” was the very first Paul Newman to break the $1 million dollar mark back in 2013 and, luckily for Morgan, he bought this well before that sale and paid far, far less. Still, this is about as big as it gets when it comes to a Rolex chronograph and he wears his proudly and often.
Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 MilSub
Ah, the MilSub. You can’t help but love it. Morgan’s reference 5513 MilSub was issued in the mid 1970s to the British Ministry of Defense and is a great example with full lume and a lovely faded bezel.Â
Super Early Rolex Sea-Dweller Double Red Prototype
A double-red Sea-Dweller is a great watch, no doubt, but Morgan’s is an exceedingly special one. This watch was originally purchased at a police auction for $350 and then posted on TRF where it was at first met with great suspicion. Then, with time and photographs, people began to realize this watch may in fact be real. Ultimately, Andrew Shear authenticated the watch and brokered the sale to Morgan.
Rolex Milgauss Reference 6541
So we know Morgan loves his chronographs and has the occasional dive watch, but he had to go down the road of an early Milguass, right? He did, and his 6541 is just a beauty. That honeycomb dial is something few can appreciate until they see it in the metal.
Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 Big Crown
After the Paul Newman, the real “James Bond” Sub is a true classic that belongs in the collection of someone like Morgan. This example of the reference 6538 is just lovely and again, when you think of a man who owns some of the finest vintage watches in the world, this watch just makes sense.
Video: Will Holloway