<HKD5,000: A 1970s Tissot Seastar Navigator
Bearing the flag in this particular market (excluding the now hugely successful Universal Geneve Compax family) are well designed references with top notch, workhorse movements from makers such as Valjoux (later known as ETA), Landeron or Minerva. Yes, even the godly Rolex Daytona Cosmograph used Valjoux movements at one point.
While a vintage Rolex Daytona using a similar Valjoux movement from the same period can set you back easily for anywhere between HKD300,000 to HKD1,000,000, we present you here a value find that only costs a tiny fraction of that.
The 40mm Tissot Seastar Navigator is powered by none other than the famed hand-winding Valjoux 7734 for its reliability and serviceability (which really is the case across all Valjoux movements). Dial layout is the classic 2-register type, with both registers in a grey-ish blue hue, complemented by the larger dial part in creamy white, with everything nicely rounded off by a striking, red chronograph second hand. In case you need any evidence that this belongs to this whole 60s/70s badass chrongraph genre.
This accessible Navigator is being offered here on eBay for around HKD3,700.
HKD5,000 - 50,000: A Very Sleek Universal Geneve Compur
Making into this week's Brunch Report is this sleek Universal Geneve which will go under the hammer soon at Christie's final watch auction in 2015 to be held in New York later this week. The watch, named Compur, comes with 2 sunken (meaning they are lower than the rest of the dial, if viewed from the side) "oversized" registers and what really commanded our attention are the gracefully faded numerical hour markers in a font hardly seen anymore in today's watches. Size is the classic 36mm (aka. the most balanced size, EVER). The movement behind is the classic UG caliber 287.
Another catch of this auction lot is the extensible steel bracelet with deployment clasp so wrist size shouldn't be a huge issue in making the purchase decision.
The upper estimate of this majestic UG Compur is around HKD16,000. Do expect the final price to over it. You could bid on the lot here.
HKD50,000 - 100,000: A Circa 1978, Tiffany & Co. Signed Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Also up for sale in the year end Christie's auction is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date which we can't take our eyes off, for it is a special variation of its kind in at least three clearly visible ways. Firstly, its dial is signed by Tiffany & Co., a prime distributor of Rolex watches back then and Rollies with dial as such are generally highly sought after due to their rarity (or really, see it as a kind of Rolex x Tiffany & Co. "Crossover", in today's term). Secondly, the champagne has received a straight brushed finishing, contrary to the standard "sunburst" finishing. From where we are, brush-finish is certainly the more favorable of the two, for it could tone down the watch's overall "golden-ness" by a notch, making it less of a simple bling object to add to your wrist. Last but not least, the usual baton hour markers are replaced by the beveled, square markers which blend really well with the rest of the watch profile. Case size is again, 36mm (sorry, we just can't get over this magic number).
It is a certainty that there will be times you'll be wearing the exact same Rolex as the next guy, given it is producing around 800,000 watches each year. And that's exactly why when special Rollies - with a different dial arrangement here, a special color scheme there - come up in the market, we take notice. Trust us, this one is a keeper. Take good care of your Tiffany and who knows? It might reward you tremendously down the road.
You could bid on this lovely Perpetual Date here. Upper estimate is HKD70,000.
HKD100,000 - 150,000: A Mint Ressence Type 1
The movement of Ressence's watches is not in-house per se, nor is this rotating complication. Yet Ressence is really the first ever brand to bring the formula together with solid engineering and commercial sense. Love watches but have an even keener eyes for product design? This mint Ressence Type 1 can be your entry ticket.
Exquisite Timepieces is offering this "Apple" watch for around HKD146,500. Did we also mention it comes with a titanium case?
HKD150,000 - 200,000: A H.Moser & Cie Big Date Platinum
Run and owned as a family business, H.Moser & Cie is a Swiss watchmaker who has made a name for itself by disguising complications with visual simplicity, with its most notable achievement being the GPHG-winning perpetual calendar mechanism. While its perpetual calendar is very much out of the price ranges we cover in the Brunch Report, its Big Date references are still arguably accessible from a price point perspective. Here's one such example.
Housed in a modern 40.8mm platinum case, the H.Moser Big Date is as simple as it can get, doing away numerical hour markers and any superfluous writings, leaving only the absolutely necessary (the brand name). A simple watch. Or isn't it?
Yes, we understand wearing a platinum watch means it would be mistaken as a steel watch in the eyes of the untrained and yes, we know it's much harder to explain the story behind your choice to someone who only knows Omega or Rolex. But that's what watch collecting is all about: establishing personal bond with a watch YOU like and forget all about what others have to say. Let this H.Moser Big Date be your unassuming grail watch and if needed, just turn the watch around and show your friends that little city ticking away for you inside the watch. We think they'll appreciate.
You can grab this H.Moser on Timezone here for around HKD175,000.