Friday, January 14, 2011

Citizen Bullhead

SOLD - November 2011.
I bought this watch nearly two years ago and really did so just for the sake of having an example of the bullhead style in my collection.
It's been worn occasionally and sits nicely on the wrist, but I'm not carrying on a love affair with it........I don't find it an attractive design. The crown and pushers sticking out the top remind me of an insect!

The dial is immaculate but is in a rather dull brownish shade, although the overall effect is quite pleasant, with the white markers, white minute & hour hands, splashes of reddish/orange with the other hands and a bit of greenish-blue showing on the 30-second dial on the right.

The automatic movement includes a day/date complication, its positioning being somewhat unusual when compared to the vast majority.

The case is all stainless-steel, with a sort of "helmet" shape and it does sit very nicely and unobtrusively on the wrist.

I really like the (original, signed) bracelet design.......I think it's cool and very 1970s.

The case-back advises that the watch is water resistant and that it is made of stainless steel.

A very original item - it hasn't been mucked about - and runs perfectly, keeping good time.
Just a shame that I don't find it particularly attractive.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So much for New Year's resolutions!!

Not that I'd made any, but if I had, it would have been to not buy any more watches!
But I couldn't resist two very nice, vintage, Orient time-pieces that popped up on the old eBay recently.

The "Multi-Year Calendar" (scroll down) is still available.
The first one to catch my eye was this beautiful gold-plated charmer from the early 1960s.
 Don't you just love the name?!
"Olympic Orient Weekly Swimmer". Delightful!
That dial is in excellent condition, as are the gold hands and indices.
This is a day/date complication, with the day being displayed in Kanji only - no English characters.
The watch was a Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) model only.

The wording on the case-back is just as charming as on the dial...............
Note that it is "Perfect Water Proof"!
Well, I'm not tempted to try and prove it - certainly not after 50+ years. I'll take their word for it.
Now, you'd probably think that this watch would be an automatic.
Uh-uh. It's a manual wind..............
Just look at that mechanism.........not a blemish on it.
This model is featured in a Japanese-language catalogue and was actually made in 1963.

Just a lovely piece.
I removed the (non-original) expanding bracelet - with the intention of cleaning it - but when doing so I discovered that there was hardly any stretch left. When attempting to remove some links several of the little connecting wires snapped, most likely due to age.
So the bracelet has been replaced with a very nice genuine alligator-skin, tan, leather item with gold clasp which suits the watch perfectly.

You know what?
I've been wearing this watch since I received it - that's nearly a week ago.
I give it a 30-click wind each morning, it keeps time perfectly and is so comfortable to wear.

This Orient has an incredible power reserve.
On Friday morning (14th.) at 6:30 AM I gave it a normal winding and deliberately let it run until it stopped, which I expected to be around 30 hours later, based on my other manual-wind watches.

No - the Orient ran past not only the 30-hour mark but breezed past 36-hours, past 40 hours and finally called it a day at 5:27 this morning - Sunday 16th..
That's nearly 47 hours!

UPDATE to the UPDATE - 25th. January:
This watch has become a permanent fixture on my wrist - other than when showering and doing grubby work in the yard.
I would not have believed that I would have chosen to have this 50+ year-old timepiece as my daily watch!

Okay, I mentioned at the start that there were TWO Orients.
Here's the second one, which I bought two days ago and hope to receive in the next week or so.
This is a 1959-vintage Orient "Multi-year Calendar" 17 jewel, manual-wind watch.
It has been stripped, restored where necessary (all gold items replated with 20 microns of 14-carat gold) and fitted with a new crocodile watchband.

I can't wait to see this in the metal - it looks superb.
One thing about the perpetual calendar - 2011 is exactly the same as 1966, so I can pretend that I'm back being 19 again!

More on this Orient after I take delivery of it.

UPDATE - Feb 3rd. 2011
I've had this watch now for over a week and am delighted with its condition. The Orient is exactly as the vendor described it - nothing was exaggerated, nothing was overlooked - the watch is really beautiful.
The package in which it arrived provided the best protection for any watch that I have bought online - it could have protected an egg. Not only that, the watch was encased in its own display box.

Oh.....and it also runs perfectly . :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Girard-Perregaux. A name synonymous with quality.

SOLD March 2015.
In June 2009 I was fortunate in picking up this lovely 1950s hand-wound Girard-Perregaux from a chap in Western Australia.
It belonged to his father and came complete with its original presentation box but minus the original (leather) watch band.

It has a stainless-steel case-back and front (the split is around the extreme circumference, the movement being accessed from the front), an acrylic "glass", slim gold hour, minute and second hands and a cream dial adorned with gold baton hour indices and raised "G-P" initials.

When I received the watch I did nothing more than wind it (30 clicks) and it ran for over 40 hours, keeping excellent time.

To service it I simply removed the front, cleaned and polished the acrylic crystal, lightly polished the case and fitted a new, black leather watchband with a silver-metal clasp.
The dial itself has a wonderful patina which, in my opinion, does nothing to detract from the overall appearance.

This G-P is a beautiful example of quality watchmaking.