We took a bit of a break with the happenings of New York auction season and the excitement surrounding H10, though Bring A Loupe is back with all the vintage watch goodness you could ask for and then some. There’s a little something fit for every collector’s tastes in this week’s roundup, including an ultra-thin from AP, one of the sharpest gilt dial chronographs we’ve seen in a while, and a little something from Omega for your inner gentleman racer. Also included is a less common Tudor that might catch you off guard. Let’s jump right in.
1968 Omega Chronostop Driver Ref. 145.010
Upon initially getting into watches, one of the first pieces I ever had eyes for was Omega’s uniquely complicated Chronostop. Though the mechanism found in the movement was intriguing, I think it was more so the accessible price point at which these were trading at which surprised me, as it seemed to be a lot of watch for the money. They can still be had for reasonable prices, and continue to offer a lot in the value department, though not all are created equally — allow me to explain.
In that the Chronostop only tracks elapsed seconds, and won’t tally up minutes and hours as they pass, the watch originally saw a great deal of use in sporting events in which short periods of time were of interest, including motorsport. With this in mind, Omega created the “Driver” variant of the Chronostop, with a dial rotated 90 degrees clockwise for increased legibility when behind the wheel, and looking to shave that extra few seconds off your lap time.
While scrolling through page after page on eBay, I came across a grey dial example of the aforementioned racing timepiece that looks to be in top condition. All luminous plots remain intact, the case is seemingly unpolished, and the original Omega No. 27 clasp is present, which is one of the cooler deployant strap clasps if I do say so myself. For the petrolhead, this would make quite a solid addition to the collection.
An eBay seller out of Brazil has this piece listed for $1,900, though you do have the option to make an offer. Click here for the full listing.
1941 Omega Multiscale Gilt Dial Chronograph
The gilt dial chronograph is something every astute collector of vintage watches aspires to one day own, and for good reason. In simple terms, they’re some of the most attractive chronographs ever made — thanks to the pops of gilty goodness against an abyss-like gloss backdrop — and collectors are certainly hip to this. With all this said, note that not all gilt dial chronographs are created equally, with case shape, powering caliber, and dial scale design having a say in the determination of overall value.
Luckily for you, today we’re looking at one that could be described as a cut above the rest, and upon seeing it you’ll get the picture. This is an oversized example of a Cal. 33.3 powered Omega chronograph, which dates back to 1941, and features the gilded accents we oh so love. Under a loupe, you’ll see that there are actually two tones of gilt detailing, one slightly more copper-like than the other, that work together to create one of the most stunning sights you could ask to see regularly on your wrist.
Its lugs look have to have been polished at some point, though not terribly much, as their current thick state would indicate. The good news continues, as the watch has just been serviced, and is being offered with an Omega archive extract, guaranteeing authenticity. In these cold winter months, I wouldn’t mind a little heat on my wrist like such.
Shuck The Oyster out of Berlin is offering this gilt dial Omega chronograph for €48,500, though as with most dealers reasonable offers are considered. Find more info here.
1982 Tudor Advisor Ref. 10050
Hunting down unconventional offerings of the Wilsdorf empire is somewhat of an horological passion, given the ubiquity of so many of the private conglomerate’s timepieces. I’m not talking about a rare dial variant, or a coveted bezel insert configuration, but an entire model variant that has gone largely overlooked — tougher find, right? Given the amount of interest in Rolex, it’s more likely that a watch like such would come from Tudor, and the last piece of the day is no exception.
With a shield on its dial and a tracing red hand, you’d be correct to guess this is a Tudor Advisor, the Rolex sister brand’s alarm watch. Though the Advisor is relatively known, and was even once reissued, this particular variant catches some off guard, given the lack of an Oyster case and signed crowns. It’s known as the Ref. 10050, and as I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s quite a looker.
What appeals to me most about this piece is just how un-Rolex/Tudor it feels. The case is more along the lines of something you’d see from a smaller brand, as are the unsigned crowns. These both come as puzzling inclusions, though it’s all correct and worth knowing, should you happen to come across an example in the wild.
Los Angeles’s Craft & Tailored has this Advisor listed accessibly at $2,650. Click here for the full scoop.
AUDEMARS PIGUET WHITE GOLD DISCO VOLANTE WATCH REF. 5093
If there’s one thing to be learned from the past year of notable auctions, is that despite the strength of more mainstream pieces in the current market, tastes are continually branching out in search of the lesser-known and perhaps overlooked. This is why collectors in years past have gravitated towards the expertly crafted, early offerings of Audemars Piguet, many of which were kitted out to the nines with chimes among other welcome complications. For today, let’s focus on a more mechanically subdued piece that still manages to amaze with out-of-this-world style.
You guessed it – it’s a so-called “Disco Volante,” which of course translates to flying disc, or flying saucer, thanks to the wide bezel and extremely thin case profile. This is one of the few cases in which I don’t mind the presence of what’s technically a hobnail bezel, in that the finish has been applied in the form a pattern, that’s actually quite nice. It contrasts the admittedly barebones, crosshair style dial well, and adds a little bit to the overall aesthetic. You really don’t see many designs like this from the 1950s – especially those executed in a white metal.
Aside from a little discoloration towards the edges of the dial, this is pretty much what a flawless piece looks like. I personally wouldn’t bother holding out for another, better example, in that you’re more likely to find a needle in a haystack.
The Keystone has this Audemars Piguet listed for $8,000.00 USD, which doesn’t sound unreasonable. Find more info on their site.