Hello WC! Today I decided to share my collection, and some stories and meanings behind them (and maybe a few half-decent pics as well). I hope you enjoy, but if you don't want to read my long-winded babble, hopefully you can scroll to the end for a couple close-ups and a special surprise!
Omega Speedmaster (2020/1) Toyko Olympics Blue
First up to bat is my blue speedy professional. This one is one of my few modern pieces, but a fun one I won't ever let go (hopefully). I got the chance to pick this up pre-owned in Shinjuku at a great price in 2019! I normally don't like the whole "limited edition" gimmick perpetrated by so many brands now, but in this instance it was a case of falling in love at first sight. The blue reverse panda resembles that of the Gemini Speedy, with an addition of red on the chronograph seconds hand tip, a pie-pan style dial, a sapphire crystal, and an Olympic honorific caseback (with the original Tokyo Olympics logo, before they changed it in 2021). This watch really reminds me of the good times I had in Japan with my then-girlfriend-now-wife, such as drunk karaoke with my cousins (who were also traveling in Japan), or waking at crack of dawn to hike shrines before the tour buses.
During the pandemic I used to joke that this Speedy is actually the 2020 Coronavirus Edition
Glashutte Original SeaQ 39
My all-around toolwatch, adventurer, and just sharp-dressed tank! The GO was a purchase that I was influenced into by my friend @El_Lay_Time, who is one of the guys I run our watch blog with! @El_Lay_Time was one of the first to nab these beauties from a dealer in NYC, and his pictures and rhetoric regarding it really set things in motion for me. The finishing on it is sublime - blasting finish between the grip on the bezel, brushed finishes in various directions split only by black polished bevels, oh my! I really enjoy the sheer robustness of this piece, the discreet thinness for a dive watch (and it is a true dive watch with ISO certification), and the vintage flair bestowed upon it by its case design and distorting sapphire crystal. What I love most about this piece, however, is that this represents my friendship with the guys whom I blog with - it was their company, our chats, and our shared passion for watches that this purchase stemmed from!
90s Timex Ironman
This watch is just cool to me. When I was young, my dad was a former track & field Olympic hopeful, and I attempted following in his footsteps throughout high school and college. During high school he gifted me this model of Timex to use to help keep track of my workouts - my first ever watch. The actual watch itself was lost to time, but I managed to nab one a few years ago for less than $15 off eBay, and it still accompanies me to the gym, on runs, and sometimes backpacking in the Rockies. Plus, I think it looks rather dashing on a Bond NATO!
1997 JLC Reverso Night and Day
This one warrants two pictures, of course... I call this one "The Mullet" Reverso - business in the front, party in the back! I frequently wear this white gold Reverso to work or around town, and when the need for less pizzaz is there - boom, the black dial with sharp indices and hands is the go-to. When it's time to show a little flair, or just get lost in the dial - bam, salmon/copper it is! Admittedly I wear it more with the back dial showing than the front, but can you blame me? The combination of not one, but two engine turned guilloches, and an outer of clous de Paris, make for a stunner with and without a loupe. Did I mention it can track two time zones at the push of a button?
1965 Heuer Carrera 2447S
The 2447 is just a cool piece of history. In the 60's, Heuer reigned supreme in the sports chronograph world - their stopwatches were all preferred by many professional racing teams, and their watches became hallmarks for chronograph design. The Carrera line soon held what would epitomize the brand: Jack Heuer wanted a chronograph watch that a driver could wear seamlessly from the cockpit of a car at Le Mans, to the press room, to the celebratory dinner after. The idea was as simple as the design: create a clean, yet elegant case shape, a legible dial, and keep it as neat as possible. The use of the patented tension ring around the dial allowed legibility of the watch to exceed that of its rivals. It was from other brands attempting to capture the same elements of the Carrera that we got the phrase, "poor man's Carrera," primarily in reference to subsequent Hamiltons, Breitlings, and a number of smaller brands that followed in the Carrera footsteps. This guy was equipped with a Valjoux 72, at the time considered the finest chronograph in watchmaking, and used mostly by only the mot prestigious brands: Patek Philippe and Rolex to name a couple. Finally, the dials themselves were made by Singer - yes, the same dial manufacturer as the Rolex 6238. I'm a big fan of Heuer history, if you can't tell, so this one I had to experience.
1997 (Tag) Heuer Carrera Reissue CS3112
Well if you've read through the word-vomit that was about the last watch, rejoice this one will be a bit shorter! Collectors call this one the "unicorn" Carrera - never before had Heuer or Tag used a copper dial, and their production number was significantly less than those it was released alongside (exact numbers, however, are unknown). The reissue line of the late 90's had intent to bring back the 2447 Carrera of the 60's, and in this model and the CS3113, slight tweaks were introduced to show they were a little special. The reissues used a Lemania 1873, which funnily enough is the base that Moonwatches have used for ages! In my opinion this is how an homage is done perfectly - tribute to the original by keeping the spirit of the original, but give it a little twist that just looks gooooood!
1971 Zenith Defy TV A7650 & 1971 Zenith Defy A7682
A pair of vintage 70's funk, with original bracelets? Yes please! These are fun to wear out and about, and as predecessors to the much more famous 70's Genta sports watches, they get a lot of "what is that?" The TV, or "Bomberman" as my friend @Noboringwatches calls it, is on an original Zenith Gay Freres beads of rice bracelet. The red Defy, however, is on an original Zenith manufactured yet Gay Freres designed "lobster" bracelet. The red Defy was also my adventuring companion for a few years, tackling many a 14'er, backpacking through the Canyonlands, or trekking throughout several national forest BLM lands and National Parks - I did a write-up on this watch and the topic that can be found here: https://thosefourwatchguys.com/?p=520
2001 Vacheron Constantin Gen 1 Overseas 42042 - Blue Military Dial
The flagship of my collection, this watch is likely the rarest of my collection - supposedly only 75 were made for the North American market in the late 90's / early 00's. This one in particular came off the production line later in the generation's span. This is not only evidenced by the papers it came with, but the butterfly clasp on its faceted bracelet was used after complaints regarding the "lock & flip" clasp that was used on earlier pieces. This watch was a purchase I made after selling a rare Grand Seiko and also had a recent milestone in my career.
Gen 1 Overseas, with a 2nd-round of production clasp
The 75pc limited production blue military dial can appear near-black under low-lighting conditions.
Honorable Mention: 1963 Omega Seamaster Pre-DeVille
Last, and not pictured above in the SOTC shot, is my '63 Seamaster with "shadow-lined" dial. This watch was given to my grandfather by his father, and years and years later he bestowed it upon me. This one I don't have in regular rotation as it is so special to me, and while it is a rare dial of a non-rare Omega, it has the most sentimental value - thus it lives in the safe full-time.
Where to go from here?
To be honest, I swing like a metronome on the idea of being done collecting or not. What I've come to the conclusion is that it is never really "done," but it does slow down. I've gotten to the point of selling a watch and then getting a watch, and really only converting maybe once a year. There are some that pique my interest, though:
Sinn 244 Ti-F - I saw one in the wild in Munich recently and have been salivating pretty hard ever since!
Movado Sub Sea M95 (panda variant) - an ongoing chase of mine since 2019, these have gone up to prices that make it hard for me to want to commit when a good one actually shows up on the market. Someday... Someday...
Rolex Datejust 6014 "Buckley" - I've always been a little interested in these dial variants, but it wasn't until recently I've given them more consideration than simply admiring from afar. Perhaps a day will come, but not today.
So there you have it! I'd love to hear feedback, or see your SOTC and stories - after all, what is the point if we don't have tales behind this otherwise outdated hobby?
Below I've included a few bonus shots just for fun:
Congrats on making it to the end! Enjoy my old pug getting her bath time! 🥳