Weekend Brunch Report is back in action! We are coming back this week to give you 5 super deals ranging from an early diver with funky look to an absolute winner of a Patek in white gold. Complication wise, our selection covers a wide array from chronograph to perpetual calendar. Sit tight and this is this week's Weekend Brunch Report.
<HKD5,000: A Vintage Zodiac Sea Wolf
But just as Universal Geneve, Zodiac also had its fair share of glory in the past. It was particularly strong in the territory of diving watches and its most notable feat was the release of the "Sea Wolf" line in 1953's Basel watch fair, rated to 200m. Rolex Submariner, though much more successful commercially, did not hit the market until 1954. It's safe to say Zodiac has pioneered the development of diving watches as a legitimate product category. Being relatively less known, vintage pieces from brands like Zodiac really represent a segment with high value for the money, at least for now.
The Sea Wolf we are featuring here has all the original parts in place and the most interesting aspect of it is its unusual use of the colors grey and orange from its rotating bakelite (the first ever artificial plastic created) bezel to the dial to the minute hand, which somehow, work very well together.
You can acquire this solid (yet under an unfortunate circumstance, forgotten) diver with historical importance here at a price of around HKD5,810.
HKD 5,000 - 50,000: A Razor-Sharp Bi-Compax Chronograph from Zenith
But this is not to say there aren't other noteworthy vintage chronographs from Zenith which could be had for a modest sum of money. What we have here is a prime example in excellent condition: A Zenith bi-compax chronograph with lovely silver dial. This beauty comes with the Zenith caliber 146, which was amongst the last manual chronograph movements used before El Primero came along. Caliber 146 is a robust chronograph movement in its own right, utilizing the column wheel structure to regulate its chronograph function, a more high-end treatment compared to the usual cam and lever structure. This Zenith timepiece has a case size of 36mm and blue hands that contrast nicely with its silver dial. Imagine when that blue hands swipe across the dial... it's got to be a hypnotic scene.
Menta Watches is offering this amazing piece for around HKD26,700.
HKD 50,000 - 100,000: A Fairly Priced Rolex Explorer II aka. "Steven McQueen"
While a Paul Newman daytona might be out of reach for most of us ordinary folks from a financial point of view, we should be glad that there exists another more accessible, but equally cool timepiece that has been so strongly linked to yet another legendary American actor that it has been essentially "named after" him. The man in question is Steven McQueen and the watch is the Rolex Explorer II Ref. 1655, one of our picks in this week's Report.
To put things into perspective, let me explain a little about the background of the Rolex Explorer II Ref. 1655. By 1971, Rolex has established itself as the absolute leader in the domain of tough, dependable tool watches that could withstand the test of harsh circumstances. While the Rolex Submariner was there for divers and Explorer for climbers, there was one type of adventure that Rolex hasn't yet had a Sub/Explorer equivalent for: Arctic exploration.
It was under this situation that the Explorer II was born, fitted with a fixed bezel with 24-hour marks and a bright orange, arrow-shaped third hand, both crucial components for scientists working in the Arctic area. The trouble with being in the Arctic comes from the fact that you could experience months of pure darkness/ daylight continuously and not being able to tell whether its 8am or 8pm. The Explorer II tackles this very problem with a third hand pointing to a number on the bezel indicating the current time in 24-hour format. For example, the time indicated in the picture above is 10am, judging from the orange hand's position. It was widely reported that this very model was frequently donned by Steve McQueen so by purchasing this watch, you'd become as charismatic as Steven McQueen (no, actually you won't).
The 1655 in mint condition is being offered on Chrono24 for around HKD77,500, a rather modest price tag considering its heritage and McQueen association.
HKD100,000 - 150,000: A Skeletonized Audemars Piguet Perpetual Calendar in Yellow Gold
Making the list here is an Audemars Piguet ("AP") skeletonized automatic perpetual calendar in yellow gold. Pardon the long description but it's exactly the complexity of this watch that makes this such a good deal. Although not the most famous Audemars Piguet model (a model which will be covered in the Legend 12 series), this beauty here boasts a range of high-end features/complications which if found in ANY modern references of ANY of the Holy Trinity (Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin) today, would set you back for at least 2-fold the estimated price of today's HKD100,000 - 150,000 pick. There are at least 4 factors that make it such an amazing deal: 1. It's an AP; 2: It has a perpetual calendar which means you do not have to adjust the date between 30th and 31st every 2 months or so at the end of the month - the watch would adjust for that automatically; 3: It's made in yellow gold; 4: It has a skeletonized structure, meaning you could see through the dial and look right into the movement in action. Any of the 4 factors would make an impressive watch but when they all come together under the same watch case? Man, it's sheer EPIC-ness.
This is without a doubt a grail watch level piece, to be auctioned at Antiquorum later this month in Hong Kong with an estimated price of HKD100,000 - HKD150,000 (let's take a moment to appreciate the perfect harmony with our own price segmentation).
HKD150,000 - 200,000: A Patek Philippe World Timer in White Gold
We are talking about a Patek Philippe World Timer Ref. 5130 in white gold. Patek Philippe. World Timer. White gold. Enough said. I could just stop here and tell you about its price tag (which is quite modest) right away and be done with it. But of course we will tell you a bit more. At least you need to know how to use a world timer?
A world timer, as its name suggests, aims to provide its wearer a clear view of the current times in different cities/ timezones. Take this Patek Philippe as an example, the city on the outermost ring located right above the 12 o'clock position represents the city you're currently in, which is in this case, Los Angeles. The number of on the inner ring provides the corresponding hour. Therefore it is 10:10am in LA right now and 3:10pm in Rio. The button on the 10 o'clock position is a quick set button, allowing you to advance the hour hand by one hour with each click and simultaneously have the rings rotate so that a new set of world times could be established. Below is a video that better explains this function: