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Zhangwenna1993

Vintage Watch Update

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This update opens with a superb example of the Rolex Air-King Ref. 5500 with so-called “3-6-9” dial. Date stamped for the year 1964, this is one of the early variant Air-King dials. The watch is in outstanding condition, the dial has no visible signs of oxidation or light damage to the surface and the steel case retains excellent definition.

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Above is an Extract from a Rolex catalogue from 1963 which shows a very similar variation of the Air-King – the catalogue version has a printed Rolex signature, luminescent hands and accents above the numerals; by contrast, the present watch has a raised Rolex signature and is a non-luminous version. The 1963 catalogue watch was advertised with a leather strap at £40 and with bracelet at £43 10s which, interestingly, was just £3 less than a Rolex Explorer model in the same catalogue.
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Next is a rare Universal Polarouter wristwatch. The Polarouter was launched towards the end of 1954 but soon afterwards the model was re-named the ‘Polerouter’ and, consequently, examples with the ‘Polarouter’ name are especially scarce. The watch is a Ref. 20217-3 which has a lovely large and robust stainless steel case with ‘bombé’ lugs, which have a sinuous flow and a polished finish. The ‘Polarouter’ / ‘Polerouter’ are iconic models and the original versions were designed by Universal in conjunction with the famous watch designer, Gerald Genta.
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Above is a detail showing the 1954 Polarouter signature to the present watch and, to its right, the Polerouter logo from a Ref. 20217 -5 dating to 1955. Note the change in shape and design of the Universal shield and the subtle changes to the fonts and cross-hair. Polerouters were the official pilots’ watches of the Scandinavian Airline, SAS. In 1954, SAS launched a new route from Copenhagen to New York which flew over the North Pole. This new route exposed the planes to strong magnetic fields that could adversely effect the timekeeping of a mechanical wristwatch. The Polarouter was designed to counter these effects and provide precision timekeeping for the Scandinavian Airline.
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Shown next is a Tudor / Rolex Royal which is cased in 9ct yellow gold. This watch has a very unusual, textured, silvered dial. The dial’s background has a cross-hatched web-form texture which is overlaid with asymmetrically placed, ribbed, oval-form motifs. The effect gives the dial a unique wave-form appearance as the dial catches the light and provides a great sense of three-dimensionality. This watch is in excellent condition and is complete with its original Tudor presentation case and receipt of sale, which shows that the watch was originally sold by Alexander Clark Jewellers of Fenchurch Street, London, in 1961.
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Photographed above is a stylish Tudor Oysterdate Ref. 7992. This watch has a circular satin finished dial and multi faceted losenge and baton shaped indexes. The serial number of this watch indicates the year of production as 1966, however, the numbered jeweller’s guarantee paper that accompanies the watch is dated 17th December 1973 and therefore suggests that the watch was either a new/old stock item, or perhaps was sold as a second hand item at that time.

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Also just added to the website is a very handsome Omega Ref. 14387, which dates to circa 1960. The dial is blemish free and the original lacquer has a wonderful lustre. Cased in stainless steel, the watch has a polished chamfered bezel and down-turned lugs.

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Rounding off this newsletter is a large and unusual stainless steel, cushion form wristwatch with hooded lugs. Measuring 37mm in width and made in 1975, this is an Omega Genève Ref. 166.0170 with an automatic calibre 1022 movement. The fast-beat movement has a hack feature for time synchronisation as well as provision for quick adjustment of the days of the week and date.  
 

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