The Oris Divers Sixty-Five, an instant classic

Now really you shouldn’t be that surprised with the title of this article.  After all the Oris Divers Sixty-Five was a classic back in it’s day so no one is really shocked that it’s still turning heads in horological circles at least.

Take a look over our video below, you’ll see that classic watches are very collectible and the great news is that they take up a fraction of the space that cars do although rather worryingly, they can cost just as much.  The Divers Sixty-Five even enjoys its own classic lines with it’s raised sapphire crystal and a case styling which curves around the wrist rather than those angular lines that mark out many modern watches of our day.  Instead the Oris Sixty-five stays faithful to it’s earlier incarnation, aside from growing a few millimeters over the last fifty years… Its now 42mm in diameter.

Things are aided along nicely (in this version in particular) by a very impressive coloured dial.  This picks up the light at any given opportunity and although the Blue-Dial Sixty-Five is outselling the green, we prefer the green tone, especially with that distressed brown strap.

The classic Oris for wearing everyday

It doesn’t really matter if you’re off to the office or the beach, another wonderful feature of the ’65 is that it pretty much goes with everything.  Its kind of an ideal holiday watch.  You can swim in it (not necessarily that you’d want to) or its going to look great on the wrist as you head out for your evening meal.  Formal or informal the 65 looks great although the steel bracelet variant does have the edge accross the style board.

Let’s get technical

The Sellita SW200-1 powers the 65 for about 40 hours and is an automatic winding movement based on the ETA 2824.  ETA have prioritised their supply for Swatch group brands which means Oris have had to look to pastures new for their off the shelf watch movements but in the Sellita SW200-1 they have found a reliable, well respected movement which operates well within the thresholds set forth by the watches specification.  Of course this is no in huse behemoth (unlike the 10 day power reserve cal.114), but its only the watch ‘toffs’ who would have a problem with owning a watch with this movement inside and we suspect ETA’s decision to prioritise supply to brands within the Swatch group will mean we get to see plenty more  from the SW200 along the way.

To conclude…

This watch comes from a great brand, it’s faithful to its own origins and it’s priced very competitively indeed (and we thought Tudor were good value for money!).  Couple all of this with a well made solid performer and you end up with something that will hold its value well and look great in anybodies collection…  Yes we love it…

The Watch Book – Rolex Edition Review

 

Watch collectors may come from all different walks of life and backgrounds but more often than not, they have a few things in common.  They usually have an eye for detail an interest in history and mechanics and most will own up to  thinking about which watch they’d like to own next.  Most of us also have to think about how exactly we’re going to pay for it too.

 

Somewhere on most collectors lists there will be a Rolex,  many would argue that no collection could actually be complete without at least one in there somewhere,  after all up until 2017,  Rolex were the biggest watch brand in the world, they lost the crown to Apple but lets not go into that…

 

For anyone with even a passing interest in the history of Rolex or the wristwatches its produced since 1905, The Watch Book -Rolex Edition by Gisbert L Brunner is going to be of interest.  This edition from 2017 follows a similar format to other watch books from the TeNeues line with excellent photography and readability throughout.

 

The book is written in English, German and french so light readers need not be put off by its weighty appearance and the chronological storytelling narrative is full of all the anecdotes and details you’d expect but with a nice personal touch too, lifting the lid on the lives of the people behind the brand through the ages.

 

If you are already up to speed with all things Rolex then you won’t be surprised by anything that’s in here but if you’re new to the brand or the hobby then you’ll soon develop a sense of the values behind the company which are all bourne through to the products themselves.  The details, dedication and determination of those behind some of the most iconic watches in the world is impressive and it’s not unfair to say that this book really does showcase just why Rolex is the number one luxury brand for wristwatches in the world.

 

The book covers the history of the company before looking at the the history and development of some of Rolex’s key models before finishing up with a fascinating section on production values.

 

This is a wonderful addition to any watch collectors library and it even has a luxurious feel thanks to its fabric trimmed cover in striking Rolex green and gold.  It’s no wonder then that the contents are of equal quality to the exterior.  An epitome of the brand itself.

Watch Collecting : A Beginners Guide

When you’re starting a new hobby there’s a lot to get your head around.  Lots of people with opinions aplenty and before you know it, you could actually find yourself living out someone else’s hobby rather than your own.

 

Some hobbies seem to suffer from this more than others and many could be forgiven for thinking that an intrinsically technical interest like watch collecting naturally treads dangerously towards this cliff-edge of pretentiousness and ‘hobby-snobbery’ but I’m writing this to tell you, it doesn’t have to be like that at all!

 

 

Making a Start

 

For any collector, the first watch is usually a gift or a purchase made more out of necessity than desire in any case you may glance at the watch thousands of times before you actually think ‘what makes this tick?’.  The likelihood is also that after a few hundred or thousand glances, you’ll notice more and more about it’s design and form over function.  You may enjoy a moment of appreciation based on what’s on your wrist and when you notice something else on another watch, either in a shop window or an advert or even someone else’s wrist, well then you’ve taken your first steps to becoming a collector.  Don’t fight it, resistance really is futile.  Come in and immerse yourself on some of the most beautiful and mechanically perfect machines mankind has ever made.  Enjoy the miniature classic lines, shapes and colours similar to how car ‘officianados’ do and start to learn about some of the makes and models that you’ll probably hanker after for many years before actually owning but will you allow me the opportunity to share one critical piece of advice early on?

 

Value ≠ Cost

 

It’s only too easy (in any sphere of life) to know the cost of everything but the value of nothing and if you only look at watches as objects of $$$ then you’ll only be the kind of collector that jewelers and sellers superficially ‘respect’. Why not start your collection by collecting second-hand (no pun intended) vintage pieces that don’t cost too much but still give you chance to develop a distinct style and approach too.  Let the actual value of the watch as an object, almost with it’s own ‘soul’, appeal to you in it’s own right and before you know it, your collection will be growing along with your knowledge of brands and technologies.  You may even find that you still have some money left over for things like, let’s say bills and food.

 

Growing your collection, growing your hobby
The likelihood is, once you’re on the journey you’ll start to notice what other people wear on their wrists too and once you’re known as a ‘collector’ you’ll also find many more people who share this wonderful hobby.  Keep doing your research, try not to sell watches from your collection unless you absolutely must and finally remember to enjoy your hobby without getting stressed about what you don’t have or can’t afford. The magical day will come along when you get that ‘special’ watch, only to find it was something of a ‘mirage’ and another one appears in the distance for you to trek towards and so, I’m happy to report, your hobby continues!

Book Review : The Magic of Watches, Louis Nardin

I read a lot of books.  I suppose it’s a prerequisite for most writers however I’m sure some of us won’t mind admitting that sometimes it’s a bit of a chore. Especially when it comes to complex or technical subjects, like horology.

The Magic of Watches from Louis Nardin could certainly be described as technical.  It covers one of the most technical hobbies one could have yet straight from Lous’ very personal introduction, I realised that this book was going to be a delight.

All set…

The book flows seamlessly from the introduction into a section which will help the reader take their first tentative steps into watch collecting proper.  The book helps the reader to learn more about the history of timekeeping and the technical developments that have lead to some of the miniature marvels that can be worn on the wrist today.  Watches that where unthinkable a few decades ago can now be found in high-street jewelers and believe it of not, some won’t break the bank when it comes to cost either.

Myth-Busting

One of the main purposes of the book is to help us demystify, not just the terminology of watch-collecting but also to encourage us readers not to get too pretentious about it either.  Any collector with bottomless pockets can easily amass a collection to make most of us turn a shade of (Rolex) green, but Louis reminds us that watches come in all shapes and sizes and at various price points too.  You can start your collection with just about anything and many of us have indeed started with graduation gifts or Christmas presents that carry more sentimental value than cash value and it’s this approach to collecting that gives the watch it’s ‘soul’.  The back story to how you acquired  it invariably shapes your view of the timepiece itself and any collection that has grown over the years is rich with tales of first paychecks, hard work bonuses of even family heirlooms or generous friends, some tales even include classic timepieces piced up for an absolute steal at the local flea-market.

Time to Get Technical

The book doesn’t just remind us to enjoy the hobby regardless of budget, it also gives us a very helpful overview of pretty much everything that goes in to most wristwatches.  There’s helpful diagrams and illustrations that will teach anyone how watches actually work and although the information is sometimes kept superficial, there’s enough to get anyone started with plenty of help on where to find more should you so wish.

 

its this complete approach to the topic which helps explain why the book took Louis Nardin so long to write.  It would be easy to cobble something together that holds limited appeal with collectors who have similar tastes to Nardin’s but that isn’t what’s happened here.  Instead we have a book that invites us all to take a broad look at wristwatches, how they are made and why they represent some of the finest engineering acheivements of the last two hundred years.  You will finish this book with added enthusiasm for your hobby and Nardin is always encouraging you to do your homework before splashing the cash, you may even decide that your next purchase represents better value than you first thought.

 

The Magic of Watches, A Smart Introduction to Fine Watchmaking, Louis Nardin is available via Amazon

It’s complicated…

#SIHH2017 (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève) is off to to a flying start this year and despite gloomy figures showing a Swiss Watch Industry in decline, you’d be forgiven for not noticing thanks to some of the day one announcements.

If you’ve got a cool $1million dollars spare and you’re not sure what to do with it then you might want to get in touch with the team at Vacheron Constantin.  It seems they didn’t quite get the brief when it comes to industry cut-backs (at least in the exhibition development team at least).  Their new timepiece would set you back a fortune, if it were actually for sale, but despite this technicality it can still claim to be one of the most complicated wristwatches in the world.

That claim is founded on a total of 23 distinct complications (functions) which spring into motion thanks to 514 individual parts, all brought together in a case measuring a mere 45mm in diameter.  This double-sided watch includes astronomical functions alongside time and calendar features and the makers say that most of the engineering that has gone into this exhibition piece are reworked from a much larger pocket-watch which they put together in 2015: Yes that was the most complicated pocket-watch of its time too.

Unfortunately the wristwatch which is named: Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 is an exhibition timepiece only.  It won’t be available for purchase any time soon however the team from Vacheron Constantin have helped remind us that despite gloomy forecasts, continued technological development and refinements of horological engineering seems set to constantly amaze us.  It’s like a mechanical ‘Moore’s Law’ and today the delegates visiting SIHH are once again marveling at how it was done and where development like this will all and.

The ‘Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600’ from Vacheron Constantin is on display at the 2017 SIHH watchmakers industry exhibition in Geneva.  You can find out more about their new models launching soon via their website: http://www.vacheron-constantin.com/en/home.html