I finally got around to taking a photo of my updated collection.
From left to right (and top to bottom):
Helson 40mm Shark Diver
Bagelsport Explorer II Homage
Bagelsport Submariner Homage w/ Green Bezel
Tisell 42mm Flieger
Rodina Nomos Homage
CITIZEN NIGHTHAWK | HELSON SHARK DIVER | STOWA ANTEA | STEINHART OCEAN 1 | AUTODROMO PROTOTIPO | SEIKO SARX013 | HALIOS TROPIK SS
Beijing ZhuFeng - the one that started my obsession with Beijing Watch Factory. One of the most beautiful watches I ever saw. Handwind SB18 movement, no date, enamel dial. Simplicity itself
Beijing BeiHai - the most beautiful watch I ever saw. The textured dial looks as crisp as a freshly folded napkin in an expensive restaurant. Handwind SB18 movement. Oh my.
Beijing ZunJue - the other most beautiful watch I ever saw. Never yet taken a photograph that properly captures this watch. To the naked eye it's a riot of textures and reflections. Adorable. Handwind movement's apparently a one-off melding of the T18 and SB18 movements, hence the date. Domed sapphire is stunning.
Beijing ZunDa (white dial) - when is a chrono not a chrono? When it's a ZunDa with sub seconds at 9 o'clock and a power reserve at 6. Auto movement, so the power reserve is more about balancing the dial balance than utility.
Beijing ZunDa (black dial) - couldn't resist getting the black version. Was gonna sell whichever one I loved the least, so yes, I'm keeping both
Beijing Liaoning - Beijing produces a diver? Really? Yes, really.
Beijing Model One Reissue - modern recreation of their first ever watch model. Vintage looks with a more 38mm modern size. Auto movement and date, but I forgive it that for the looks.
Sea-Gull 1963 Reissue - this is the first photo I've ever seen that truly captures the ivory tone of the dial. Every collection should have one, at these prices there's no excuse. At least I had none.
Sea-Gull Sun Yat-sen - metal textured dial, no-nonsense good looks.
Sea-Gull Dragon King - the first sub-type diver that ever caught my eye. I like the flashes of blue that come from the outer markers.
Alpha Paul Newman, aka The Panda - yes yes, it's a homage. But just *look* at it. On a reddish brownish strap this watch comes alive. And I used the chrono function to time some steaks on the barbecue last weekend. Worked and treat.
Maranez Layan - another diver, which is strange because I'm not someone who likes divers and now I have three. Another homage, of sorts, but the brass case gives it a different dimension to all the rest. And "only" 42mm, so not overwhelmingly big.
WUS 2012 Dual Crown - a flawed beauty is still a beauty. The Dual Crown and the Maranez were the only watches I took on our three week family holiday, and I enjoyed wearing both immensely. And no fears in the pool; 'cept for the odd snake or alligator.
Baume et Mercier 18 Carat Gold - bought on a whim (a most expensive one, this was two thousand quid fifteen years ago) whilst on holiday 'cos I spotted it in a shop window. The perfct dress watch that I (erm) wore daily for about ten years. The gold case and sapphire crystal still looks fresh as a daisy. People forget that the prior popularity of gold was more to do with durability than with intrinsic value.
Stowa Flieger No Logo Auto COSC - bought after months of plotting 'cos even I could see (after, erm, ten years)that a bloke can't be wearing a three thousand dollar watch daily. Good looking, a bit sterile, perfectly made and perfectly detailed. Reminds us all that Jörg Schauer is first and foremost an artist.
Stowa Landeron 248 - bought on a whim on Ebay because I couldn't resist the price or looks. The gold-plate is all but worn away, but I'll replate it one day.
Smiths Everest - a very good looking watch indeed. Wears nicely in the office now that I've swapped the heavy bracelet for a decent strap. The bracelet is excellent, by the way, but I just don't warm to 'em.
Strela 3133 - bought from Juri Levenberg 'cos I knew I could never find a vintage Strela 3017 without the usual inner markers. Which is exactly what I found days after this was delivered. Ah well. Gold markers and hands are very nice indeed. And nice to know I have one of the last available 3133 movements that'll ever be manufactured.
Vostok Amfibia 1967 - bought after a lot of worrying in case it's too big. Well, it is but somehow I don't care. I *love* this watch's vintage looks, especially on this thickish mesh. I call this my Bond villain watch, 'cos I could imagine any number of the baddies on the original Sean Connery movies wearing something just like it. 'Cept Goldfinger, obviously.
Strela 3017 - dunno what happened with this photo 'cos it's amplified the inevitable dings and dial scratches way buying what yer see with the naked eye. Must try again one sunny day. Anyways, this is *the* Russian watch that I'd hankered fit since sniffin' around the Russian forum one sleepless night. Bewitched, I was. Rarer than hen's teeth, I understood. So I bought a modern 3133-powered Strela instead. Then found this, nipped onto the Russian forum to confirm authenticity, then snapped it up sharpish. Mine. All mine...
Raketa 24hr Radio Room - my first Russian watch bought out of curiosity for a 24 hour dial. Opened up the package, took one look at the silver dial with it's reds and blues, and was bewitched. I *love* this watch. It's right up there with almost all of the vintage Chinese watches that I've grown to love.
Raketa Red Twelve - bought from a pal 'cos I loved the archaic political statement of colouring the twelve red. How daft is that? But still it has its charm. But is it for me? Not sure, so inevitably it'll end up sold onto to someone who better deserves it. Ah well.
Raketa Kopernik - bonkers, innit. That hollow moon "eclipses" the gold sun once an hour thereby causing Copernicus to spin in his grave. Still, a charmingly flippant bit of Soviet design.
Poljot Signal Alarm. I briefly had two, but gave one to a pal who showed interest in it. Can't remember which, and too lazy to open the watch box to see which one remains. Anyway, the alarm is, erm, alarming. Jumped out of me socks when I wound it up for a test.
Smiths De Luxe - the oldest watch I own, being a 1953 model. It's gold plated, but from the times when gold plated *meant* plated and not just waved over a bit o' gold vapour. The dial is remarkably racy for its day; no numbers, tiny dots of lume. And it's British, sah.
Smiths GB Crosshairs - good looking Smiffs from their less posh Welsh factory, see? Ca. 1967, according to the good book,
Smiths GB Pembroke - a more retro looking Smiffs, this time from about 1964.
Timex GB Army, Civilian and Junior - ahhh, therein lies a story of a 48 year old WIS, an empty bottle of wine (me second, hic), and access to Ebay; nostalgic to lay his hands on his long lost first junior Timex (sniff) wot I *loved* to bits. Literally. Anyway, on the third try the mists of time finally parted enough for me to buy a true Timex GB Junior (it's the black dial with a date), having erroneously bought a Timex GB Civvy (white dial) and then the actually quite collectible Timex GB Army watch. Shall sell the non-juniors off just as soon as I have the patience to deal with Ebay, post offices, wrapping, etc.
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