clectic would be the proper word to describe this week’s selection; we’ve got well known models (a cheap replica Rolex chronograph, anyone?) but also, some more obscure watches, such as a “Disco Volante” from Omega, and the sporty Vacheron Constantin reference 222. There is also a very dressy Leroy & Cie and a very colorful Dugena – all in all, a bit of something for everyone. This is your Bring A Loupe for July 15, 2016.
An Omega “Disco Volante” From An Ethiopan retailer
With its flat stepped bezel and fully round case, this Omega looks like a UFO (or as the French say, OVNI/Objet Volant Non-Identifié) but a beautiful one. To remain within horological terms, its shape is reminiscent of the “Disco Volante” – “flying saucer”, a term used to describe several oversized Patek Philippe from the 1950s. This Omega’s 39mm size was huge for the 1940s, and its dial lets us understand how special this watch really is. Indeed, it bears a double signature, with the retailer “Orlogeria Centrale” from Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. It would be fascinating to find out who ordered this watch and for what purpose, as it very much looks like a unique piece.
The dealer Vesper & Co just listed this outstanding Omega for $9,950.
Cheap Replica Rolex Chronograph Reference 6238
The reference 6238 is often referred to as the pre-Daytona since many design cues of the emblematic best fake Rolex chronograph can already be found, at the exception of an external scale on the bezel. As this clean example from 1965 shows, the reference 6238 was even produced alongside the first Rolex Daytonas. Currently, the 6238 is less popular; however, it recently got the the spotlight when a detailed presentation by the Omega Museum’s Petros Protopapas, about the watches submitted to NASA in the early 1960s, revealed that the model provided by Rolex was not the one many had thought – you can read more about the insights here. This revelation fueled the speculation that the reference 6238 was actually this opposing chronograph that did not manage to beat the Speedmaster to become NASA’s official watch. In any case, this silver chronograph exhibits dashing looks, which explains why it was James Bond’s choice in the movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.Cheap replica Rolex watches online.
A Rolex dealer in the US is offering this Silver 6238 for $30,000.
A Leroy & Cie Chronometre, With Oversized Case And Guilloche Dial
It is the second week in a row that a chronograph from the French company L. Leroy & Cie is featured in Bring A Loupe, and my Parisian bias has little to do with that. This watch is truly outstanding, from its large yellow gold case, to the sumptuous guilloche dial. Up to and including the handset, there is something very Breguet about it, and I mean it as a (huge) compliment. The hunter case back reveals the former Parisian address, and if you go in another layer, a gorgeous manual wound movement appears. The overall condition of this piece from 1943 is stellar.
The Italian dealer Andrea Foffi offers this masterful chronometer.
A Dugena Chronograph, With Caliber 15 And The Funkiest Dial Ever
Far from the classic looks of the previous watch, this chronograph resolutely comes from another time, with exuberant design and audacious color combination. This just might be the most 1970s watch ever, with a peacock blue dial with orange accents, and the absolutely psychedelic sub-registers. It also comes from an era where the challenge of creating an automatic chronograph had just been accomplished, and this Dugena houses the caliber 15, also used by Heuer after the caliber 12 (more info can be found here). Dugena might be considered the poor-man’s Heuer; and here it offers a fantastically bold design that would be hard to forget.
This chronograph is listed on eBay here, it is offered at 1,690 Euros or around $1,880.
A Vacheron Constantin Reference 222, In Stainless Steel
Contrary to watchworld’s rumors, this distant cousin of the Royal Oak and the Nautilus was not designed by Gerald Genta, the father of the two emblematic models. Nonetheless, the Vacheron reference 222 does rely on the same aesthetic, with a lavishly polished stainless steel case and an integrated bracelet. Its automatic movement is even based on the same Jeager-LeCoultre ebauche as the ultra-thin calibers of the AP and Patek. Yet, the resemblance stops there, as the 222 is resolutely faithful to the patrimony emblem of Vacheron Constantin : the Maltese Cross, which adorns on the dial, lower right lug, case back and clasp. On the wrist, it wears magnificently, explaining why this rare watch was Paul Boutros’ choice back in 2013, as you can read here.
This rare Vacheron is available on Matthew Bain’s website here.
This Breitling offers a pretty unique take on a diving chronograph, with a 60 minute central chronograph hand, and a function indicator. It was engineered from a pure utilitarian standpoint, which explains that the focus is on the elapsed minute of the chronograph; crucial information where you are underwater. The large dot above the 6 o’clock index allows you to see whether the chronograph is running, paused, or re-set to zero, since it’s not easy to tell just by looking at the slow chrono hand. This watch further comes with the rare (and for some collectors, controversial on a 2005 as it was not present on official documentation) yachting bezel, with its characteristic 5-minute countdown that would be more apparent with less fading. The overall condition shows some aging, and the crown has been replaced. The case back exhibits the correct SuperOcean logo, but I was not expecting to find a serial number here, and see the reference number so close to the center. Maybe it denotes an early production – research in progress.