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Mechanical Watches

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Air Ministry Observer's/Navigator's 6E/506E/50 Observer's/Navigator's watch:
6E/50 is not a manufacturer but a military code assigned by the British Air Ministry during World War 2 to a type of pocket watch issued to observers and navigators in the Royal Air Force.  These watches are very similar to the GSTP watches issued to the British Army (see examples below) except that they lack luminescent paint on their dials and hands.  Accounts suggest that such watches were more practical than wristwatches as they could be laid on the maps and charts from which the airmen were working and be more easily read at a glance.  Movement.
This 9ct. gold Accurist belonged to my paternal grandfather.  It has a 21 jewel movement but I've never dared to have a closer look for fear of scratching the case.  Robin Armstrong from poshtime.com recently posted a neat blog article about Accurist watches of this vintage that contains some pictures that really show off the super-slim case.
Accurist MS906SAccurist MS906S:
This stylish, modern Accurist from the "Pure Precision" range uses a solid and reliable workhorse 21-jewel Miyota automatic movement from Japan.  I haven't bought a watch for about a year and a half but, having spotted this on Amazon for crazy money I felt that it would be rude to not buy it!  Normally retailing at £200, Amazon are currently (Christmas 2013) selling this for £45.  That's seriously a lot of watch for the money.  [UPDATE]  Here's another quick picture taken on New Year's Eve of of this cracking watch.  A week after purchase it's losing about 1 second per day which is better accuracy than my Chronometers costing ££££ achieve.
Alpha "direct read"Alpha direct read:
Alpha watches are made in China to an impressively high standard given their modest price.  This one (which cost about £20 including delivery from Hong Kong) is reminiscent of the "direct read" digital watches of the 1960's/1970's.  The watch is powered by a mechanical, 21 jewel automatic movement.
Alpha Jump HourAlpha Jump Hour:
Perhaps not a true "jump hour" as such, what they've done here is replace the hour and minute hands with dials that are numbered anti-clockwise.  As the dials rotate clockwise, the time can then be read off against an index mark printed on the viewing window - an interesting addition to any collection I think.  The watch is powered by a mechanical, 21 jewel automatic movement.
Alpha "Reverso" / ReversataAlpha "Reverso" / Reversata:
OK, so whilst this isn't  a true JLC-type Reverso, it's a double-sided watch that can be worn one side up or the other.  To reduce the overall thickness of the final watch, the rotors at the bottoms of two automatic movements are removed.  Thickness is further reduced by relocating the second hand from the centre position of one movement to a subdial located at 6 O'Clock and then removing the second hand of the other movement but exposing the balance wheel to serve the function of a second hand instead.  The two movements are then fused together to form a double-sided, hand-winding watch with hands independently adjustable on each side giving dual time zone functionality.  Alternatively,  the hands on each side can of course be set to the same time and you can then just wear the watch whichever way up you like.
Alpha SkeletonAlpha Skeleton:
Another little marvel from the Chinese Alpha stable.  This time a 17 jewel manual wind skeleton watch in a "tank" style.
Benarus Bronze MorayBenarus Bronze Moray:
In 2011 there was a significant upsurge in the number of bronze-cased watches made by so-called "micro" watch companies that produce watches in very small numbers compared to mainstream brands.  Bronze watches are produced by the likes of Anonimo, Helson, Kazimon, Magrette, Olivier and Zenton not to mention Panerai, although the latter can hardly be called a micro producer!  Bronze is resistant to salt water corrosion so naturally lends itself well to maritime applications, including dive watches.  For those of us that don't dive but just love the dive watch look, bronze is very attractive because it will naturally develop a layer of oxide on its outer surface over time giving it a unique patina.  This bronze-cased dive watch is a Benarus Bronze Moray produced in August 2012.  It has a titanium crown, helium escape valve and case back and a double-domed sapphire crystal.  Although it employs an ETA 2824-2 movement (the standard (and very good) workhorse movement employed by many Swiss watches) the overall fit, feel and finish of this watch is really quite remarkable.  It certainly wasn't cheap, especially when you factor in that I had to import it from the US, but it was far less expensive than my Rolex and Breitling models and yet performs equally well and feels rather superior, like something massively over-engineered from Victorian times!  It comes in a lovely travel case, has both leather and rubber straps and a screwdriver and spares for the screwed bars.  At 44m wide it's quite a big watch and yet the case design with short, sloping lugs, suits even my slender <7" wrist.  I shall be wearing this one for a long time.  For those (like me) that can't wait for a patina to develop naturally, you can bring on the effect by immersing the watch in Liver of Sulphur or, if you're not afraid to experiment, you can try household ingredients like  egg yolk, Horseradish Sauce or, my favourite, Dark Soy Sauce and wet salt!  If you don't like the results, don't worry, you can always polish the watch back to it's original finish using the likes of Brasso.   
Breitling DatoraBreitling Datora:
1960's Breitling Datora, featuring a 45 minute chronograph with units per hour and pulsations scales.  The rotating outer bezel can be used to show elapsed seconds or the time in a second time zone.  The movement is a Valjoux 7734.
Breitling SuperOceanBreitling SuperOcean:
The SuperOcean was developed in the 1950's for professional and military divers.  Originally water-resistant to a depth of 200 metres, these latest models can withstand the pressure at depths of up to 1500 metres and feature an escape valve which allows helium (built up after long stays at depth) to be evacuated from the watch case which would otherwise explode when returning to the surface.
Breitling Limited Edition SuperOcean GMTBreitling Limited Edition SuperOcean GMT:
A limited edition (250 pieces) of the SuperOcean with a dial and bezel similar to the "Steelfish" but with the added benefit of a GMT function.
Bulova - 1950Bulova:
The origins of Bulova can be traced back to 1875 when Joseph Bulova (a 23 year old immigrant from Bohemia) opened a small jewellery store on Maiden Lane in New York City, USA.  By 1912, Bulova had begun manufacturing movement components in Switzerland.  This watch was manufactured in 1950.  Just two years later, Bulova would begin development of the Accutron (see below).
A charming 7 jewel Buren from the 1940's.  Buren appears to have had a rather colourful history: Founded in Switzerland in 1873, the company was bought in 1898 by H. Williamson Ltd. of London.  Around 1929, the company was sold once more to a group of new shareholders including the Swiss-American financier, Roland Gsell.  In 1966, the company changed hands again, and was this time acquired by the Hamilton Watch Company (USA) with Hamilton transferring a good deal its production to Buren's Swiss premises.  Unfortunately, as with many other Swiss watchmaking companies, production ceased in the 1970's.
Cartier Tank FrancaiseCartier Tank Francaise:
A contemporary interpretation of the classic "Tank Louis Cartier", the designs for which were first visualised by Louis Cartier in 1917 in homage to the armoured fighting vehicles of the allied troops.  This large sized Francaise model has an automatic movement, octagonal crown, steel bracelet and retains the classic Cartier guilloche dial with roman numerals.  Just beautiful!
CLARO "Beach Star"CLARO "Beach Star":
CLARO was formed in 1961 by George Josef von Burg who had been actively making watches under his own name since the 1930's.  This particular watch I imagine was destined for the Middle Eastern market as it appears to have an Arabic day wheel.  The Beach Star was produced between 1969 and 1973 as a concept to make a mass-produced, highly water-resistant, sports watch using a mechanical BFG movement and front-loading, Noryl-Fiber plastic/metal alloy case. At least 7 different colours appear to have been available, including black, red, blue, green, white and silver/grey, as well as the yellow one pictured here. The concept and the manufacturing technique was the precursor to that developed by Swatch some 10 years later. The watch was "standard issue" to the Basel City Fire Department.
Copernicus SpacelinerCopernicus Spaceliner:
I don't know much about this watch other than that my photograph doesn't do it justice!  It has a beautiful, shimmering, smoked brown dial and a manual wind 21 jewel copper plated
Unitas 6300N movement.  I just love the red-tipped second hand.
CWC ChronographCWC Chronograph:
CWC (Cabot Watch Company) was founded in 1972 solely to supply timepieces to the British armed forces.  This is the date version of what was once the RAF issue pilots watch.  It has a Valjoux 7765 chronograph movement.  The back of the watch bears the broad arrow mark and the numbers 6645-99 924-3306.  Although the date version was never actually issued to the military, it's otherwise identical to the official issue non-date version.
CWC Pocket WatchCWC Pocket Watch:
Official issue pocket watch with Swiss, mechanical 17 jewel movement, chromed brass case and classic military type dial.
Probably from the 1960's, this CYMA CYMAFLEX has the original CYMA/Tavannes R458 shock protected movement and not the now very common ETA variety found in more modern examples.  A very slim and pretty watch despite showing signs of having led a quite active life.  "CYMAFLEX" was a shock absorber system developed by CYMA and first used in their Navy Star models I believe.
In the 1940's the British Ministry of Defence produced a standard specification for watches to be issued to the armed forces.  The result was the WWW (or Wrist Watch Waterproof) and was made by Buren, CYMA, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger Le Coultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex.  You can see pictures of the 15 jewel CYMA movement HERE and the caseback HERE.
A contemporary Dunhill with classic looks.
I don't know much about this little watch but I'm guessing it's from the late 1920's or 1930's.  Although it's rather primitive, I think it has lots of character and a very loud tick that's impossible to ignore.
Elgin GS MkIIElgin GS MkII:
GS MkII refers to a type of military watch issued to the British Army from around the mid-1930's until the early years of the Second World War.  This example is circa 1941 and was  imported from the American, Elgin Watch Company.  It has a fancy, hinged case featuring a protective cover for the 7 jewel movement.  This example also appears to have its original crystal which exhibits severe burns over the numerals from the Radium-based luminescent paint.
I don't know much about this little watch.  But with it's two-tier, rose gold plated case, two tone dial and ornate hands it certainly is a looker!  I t has a 17 jewel movement by FE and was probably made in the early 1940's.
Glycine AirmanGlycine Airman:
This watch has achieved legendary status since its introduction in 1953 from which time an Airman model has always spearheaded the Glycine range.  Popular with travellers, frequent-flyers and military pilots it's a 24-hour watch with a lockable rotating bezel that provides a second time zone.  This particular watch is probably from the 1960's and has an AS1701 25 jewel automatic movement.
Gruen Veri-ThinGruen Veri-Thin:
Gruen was an American company founded by German watchmaker Dietrich Grün and his eldest son Frederick.  Gruen arranged for movements to be manufactured in Switzerland which were then cased and timed in America.  From it's style and the numerous watchmaker's marks inside the case, I would guess that this watch is from the early 1950's - a time when the Gruen Watch Co. was undergoing considerable hardships which would lead to the Gruen family selling their interests in the company (latterly known as Gruen Industries) and to its ultimate demise in 1958.  The watch has a 17 jewel cal.
422 R SS movement.
GSTP is not a manufacturer, but rather a type of British military watch issued during the Second World War as "General Service Time Pieces" (although GSTP might also stand for "General Service Temporary Pattern").  They were purchased by the War Department from very many different sources and not all bear manufacturer markings, hence I decided to show my GSTP's all together.  All these watches are Swiss made, have 15 jewel movements and black or white dials with Radium luminescent paint applied to the dials and hands.  Most have snap-backs although some have screw-backs.  The casebacks bear GSTP and broad arrow markings plus a code number.  Movement.
This GSTP clearly shows radiation burn marks from the Radium luminescent paint around the 12, 3, 6 and 9 O'Clock positions...


...and this one shows similar burns to the dial where the hands have remained stationary for a long period of time.


A CYMA branded GSTP...


GSTP HelvetiaGSTP - Helvetia:
...and one from the Helvetia stable.


Hamilton 46374BHamilton 46374B:
A Hamilton US military "general purpose" watch from 1982.  In keeping with similar watches of this type, the dial bears the "H3" mark which I think signifies the use of Tritium in the luminescent compound and the Radiation tri-foil symbol.  The
back of the watch bears the relevant military specification, part number and date information, together with the instruction that it should be disposed of as "radiation waste".
This watch has an interesting life story!  As I understand it, it was procured, along with many other watches, by the British MoD in the 1950's and was evaluated at Herstmonceux Castle (at that time owned by the Admiralty) for potential military use.  In the 70's, the watches used in the evaluation were sold and became part of a private collection.  Ownership was then transferred to the author of a well-known book on military timepieces who, in 2004, sold the watch on to another collector.  Later, the watch briefly appeared on eBay, but the buyer returned it to the seller as he thought it was too small for him, thus enabling me to acquire it instead :-)
Longines Admiral HFLongines Admiral HF:
HF stands for "High Frequency".  In an effort to compete with the new quartz watches of the time, several manufacturers increased the "beat" rate of their mechanical watches in an attempt to dramatically improve their accuracy.   This watch also has an interesting variation on the hacking seconds function.  Normally on pulling out the crown of a mechanical watch with hacking seconds, the seconds hand will stop.  On this watch, the seconds hand continues until it reaches twelve and then stops.  This particular watch is a 1972 Munich Olympics commemorative edition with a superb inscription on the
case back.  It uses a cal. 6952 movement.
Longines_WWW_MODLongines WWW MOD:
In the 1940's the British Ministry of Defence produced a standard specification for watches to be issued to the armed forces.  The result was the WWW (or Wrist Watch Waterproof) and was made by Buren, CYMA, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger Le Coultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex.  This Longines (also sometimes referred to as the "Greenlander" as it was supposedly used by members of the British North Greenland Expedition between 1952 and 1954) dates to 1946 although it appears to have had what I suspect is an MOD redial at a later date.
Marathon 46374EMarathon 46374E:
This is a US military "general purpose" watch from 1991.  It has a Swiss mechanical movement contained in a sealed composite (plastic) case.  The dial incorporates tritium vials for luminosity.
Mickey Mouse WatchMickey Mouse Watch:
Watches featuring this world famous Walt Disney character have been around since the mid-1930's.  This one is from the 1960's and has a nicely decorated Swiss 17 jewel movement by Sonceboz.  Today, Sonceboz manufactures "mechatronic" devices, but they began in 1900 by making industrial clock mechanisms.
Molnija 1980 Moscow Olympics Pocket WatchMolnija 1980 Moscow Olympics Pocket Watch:
The Molnija clock and watch factory is located in Chelyabinsk in Russia.  During the Second World War, the city was apparently dubbed "Tankograd" due to the large number of military factories in the area.  This pocket watch commemorates the 1980 Olympic Games which were held in Moscow.  These games were infamous for the large number of countries which boycotted the event following the Soviet Union's involvement in Afghanistan.  Among various Olympic-themed decorations to the watch case and dial is a motif of a boxer.  I wonder if this depicts Shamil Sabirov, who won the Soviet Union's only boxing Gold medal at these games.
Ollech & Wajs CarribbeanOllech & Wajs Caribbean:
This is a model 702 O&W Caribbean 1000.  The "Caribbean" name seems to have been used by more than a dozen different marques but the origins appear to go back to the first 1000m dive watches manufactured by Jenny in 1964.
Ollech & Wajs Early BirdOllech & Wajs Early Bird:
Manufactured around the late 60's and early 70's the "Early Bird" was reportedly a popular choice of US soldiers in Vietnam who favoured them over their issue watches.  It's a 17 jewel, manual wind, true 24-hour watch with a rotating bezel to give a second time zone and is water resistant to a depth of 200 metres.  The strap is a NATO "Speedbird" from
Timefactors, the colours of which are based on those of the British Overseas Airways Corporation (B.O.A.C.)  I think it's a perfect match for the Early Bird!
Ollech & Wajs M1Ollech & Wajs M1:
O&W have been making sports and military watches since 1956.  Water resistant to a depth of 200 metres, the M1 divers watch is very much in the style of the Rolex Submariner/Sea-Dweller, but with a military-style dial featuring highly luminous Arabic numerals.  Supplied on a stainless-steel bracelet, the watch is pictured here on a "James Bond" NATO strap.
Orion TravelOrion Travel:
One of many intriguing Russian watches, the Orion Travel features two manually wound 17 jewel movements - probably intended for ladies watches - housed in a single rectangular case.  Each movement can be set independently allowing the wearer to tell the time in two different time zones.  Many thanks to
Paul Groom (PG Tips) for allowing me to use his picture of the Orion Travel movements.
Oris Pointer Calendar (1940's/50's)Oris Pointer Calendar (1940's/50's):
Apparently there has been a "Pointer Calendar" watch in the Oris collection since its introduction to the range in 1938.  A classic!
Oris (1950's)Oris (1950's):
A charming 1950's Oris which has been lovingly restored to almost perfect condition.  The combination of raised/applied numerals and sunken batons gives the dial a marvellous sense of relief.  I particularly admire the trapezoid date window and red seconds hand too. Two decades later, the fashion would be startlingly different...
Oris (1970's)Oris (1970's):
...Bling bling anyone!?  Outrageous 1970's Oris 25 jewel automatic (cal. 648) with highly polished case (terrible for fingerprints, dust and scratches!) and a kind of iridescent ridged, blue dial!
I know very little about this little watch.  I'd guess it's from the late 1950's or early 1960's but it may well be older.  It has a 15 jewel, anti-magnetic, shockproof movement probably made by OSCO themselves and a water protected rolled-gold case.
First Moscow Watch Factory Kirova "Rodina"First Moscow Watch Factory Kirova Rodina:
I've read that this was Russia's first example of an automatic watch.  You can see a picture of the 22 jewel automatic movement HERE.  Some people have also claimed that Juri Gagarin wore an example of this watch during his Vostok-1 space flight in 1961.  That particular watch was sold at auction for $25,875!
First Moscow Watch Factory Kirova "Sporting"First Moscow Watch Factory Kirova Sporting:
Shortly after Juri Gagarin's pioneering space flight in 1961, watches produced at the First Moscow Watch Factory were sold under the name "Poljot" (see below).  Prior to this, the watches were sold under a variety of different names including "Pobeda" (not to be confused with the similarly-named watches from the Maslennikov factory), "Moskwa", "Majak" and "Kirowskie".  I'd guess this watch to be from the late 1950's or early 1960's.  It has a hacking, 17 jewel, manually-wound movement.
Poljot AviatorPoljot Aviator:
Poljot ("Flight") watches are manufactured at the First Moscow Watch Factory.  The "Aviator" is a classic pilot style watch using the famous 23 jewel 3133 chronograph movement which is a high quality Russian made version of a Swiss movement by Valjoux.  This watch is number 190 of a run of 999 watches in this particular style.
Poljot Sturmanskie SS-18Poljot Sturmanskie SS-18:
Utilising the same movement as the Poljot Aviator, the Sturmanskie SS-18 has a case made from Titanium recovered from de-commissioned Russian SS-18 "Satan" Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles!  The Cyrillic inscription around the outer edge of the case reads "Made from the Soviet Rocket SS-18". The emblem on the dial is that of the Russian bomber squadrons.  This watch is number 340 of 500 made in this particular style.
PRS-7 Speedbird II "Goldbird"PRS-7 Speedbird II "Goldbird":
This is one of several watches designed and commissioned by Eddie Platts of
Timefactors.  A classic pilot-style watch, the "Goldbird" is one of three rose-gold plated versions of the Speedbird family which can be made to order.
PRS-11DN Broadarrow 300 Metre AutomaticPRS-11DN Broadarrow 300 Metre Automatic:
Broadarrows are military style watches designed and commissioned by Eddie Platts of
Timefactors. They are often based upon or exceed the military specifications to which original military watches were made. The PRS-11DN has its roots in the 1971 Defence Standard 66-4 (Part 1) to which the Royal Navy divers watches were constructed. Here though, the PRS-11DN has a black PVD coated case, 25 jewel ETA 2824-2 automatic movement and sapphire crystal. Water resistant to 300 metres, this "DN" version of the PRS-11 is one of a run of only 25 watches which incorporate the handset from the PRS-2 Dreadnought 500 metre dive watch.
PRS-12 Speedbird 1903PRS-12 Speedbird 1903:
Reminiscent of the IWC Portugieser, the Speedbird 1903 commemorates 100 years of manned, powered flight since the Wright Brothers first flew at Kittyhawk, North Carolina on 17th. December 1903.  This watch is number 038 of a limited edition of 100 pieces and employs a Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement.
Raketa "Calendar"Raketa "Calendar":
The Russians seem to have a habit of producing watches with functions not found elsewhere.  This watch has an inner bezel showing years and days of the week that rotates to align with months and dates printed on the dial.  You can use this to determine the dates and days of the week for any year between 1992 and 2012.  The Raketa ("Rocket") Petrodworzowy Watch Factory near St. Petersburg allegedly went bankrupt in 1995/96, but stocks of apparently brand new Raketa watches seem to be readily available.
Raketa "Pilot" for Detente WatchesRaketa "Pilot" for Detente Watches:
This is a special 24-hour dialled Raketa with Titanium Nitride coated case produced in a limited edition of 100 pieces for Detente Watches of the USA.  This watch is supplied on a gold coloured bracelet with optional black leather strap but I think it looks quite good on a green NATO, as pictured here.  Andrei from russian24hours.info recently posted an excellent interview with Anatolii Aleksandrovich Cherdantsev (the Executive Director of Raketa) which sheds considerable light on the hitherto mysterious (in the West at least) history of the company and their plans for the future.  You can read the interview on Andrei's website HERE.
This watch belonged to my maternal grandfather.  I'd guess it's from the 1950's or 1960's.  It has a 25 jewel automatic, Incabloc shock-protected movement by Felsa.
This Ramona belonged to my father.  A late 1950's or 1960's model I'd guess, it has a 30 jewel automatic, Incabloc shock-protected movement by Felsa.
Lovely little 1940's Ravella with 15 jewel AS movement which, after a light clean and service, is keeping great time some sixty years after it first left the factory.
Record WWWRecord WWW:
In the 1940's the British Ministry of Defence produced a standard specification for watches to be issued to the armed forces.  The result was the WWW (or Wrist Watch Waterproof) and was made by Buren, CYMA, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger Le Coultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex.
Rekord "Standart"Rekord "Standart":
Most people think only of Switzerland as makers of mechanical watches but Russia has quite a tradition of watchmaking too!  How they can make such a nice quality watch with 17 jewel movement, date function and metal bracelet (though pictured here on a leather strap) with a retail price of only around £25 I'll never know!
This 1970's Renis (stop sniggering at the back!) has a manual wind 17 jewel movement by FHF/ST.  The combination of gold-plated case, deep blue dial and red second hand is stunning.
Richard ChronographRichard Chronograph:
I couldn't very well not buy this watch seeing as it bears my name!  The squared case makes it look a little like a Heuer Monaco and I especially like the blue dial with white sub-dials and orange chronograph hands.  It utilises a beautifully engineered
Lemania 3872,  manually winding 17 jewel movement.
Ritalux WatchRitalux Watch:
This 21 jewel automatic watch commemorates the 1972 Winter Olympic Games held in Sapporo, Japan.  These were the first Winter Olympic Games to be held outside of Europe or the USA.  When it was released this watch was water resistant to 200M but I don't think I'll be putting that to the test now!
RLT Watch Co. RLT5RLT Watch Co, RLT5:
The RLT5 is one of several watches designed and built by Roy Taylor of
RLT Watch Co.  This is an early RLT5 with a 17 jewel ETA 2824-2 automatic movement regulated to keep time to chronometer standards.
RLT Watch Co. RLT10RLT Watch Co. RLT10:
The RLT10 is a true 24-hour watch.  The dial is numbered from 1 to 24 and the hour hand makes one complete revolution of the dial per day instead of the usual two.  This watch has a Titanium case but it is also available in polished or sand-blasted steel options.  The movement is a Russian 17 jewel Vostok.
RLT Watch Co. RLT13RLT Watch Co. RLT13:
Evocative of the clocks of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which were effectively mechanical sundials, the RLT13 has only an hour hand which provides sufficient resolution to read the time to the nearest five minutes.
RLT Watch Co. RLT18RLT Watch Co. RLT18:
After some discussion on the RLT forum about the military style Timex boy's watch from the 1970's (which everyone generally seemed to regard as a bit of a classic and an example of which is shown below)  Roy Taylor made the RLT18.  Of course, being based on the RLT5, the RLT18 is of a much higher pedigree than the old Timex and sports a Swiss 25 jewel ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with RLT signed rotor.  Click
HERE to see the movement.  Click HERE to see my original Timex boy's watch from 1977.
RLT Watch Co. RLT19 - Renault F1 coloursRLT Watch Co. RLT19 - Renault F1 colours:
Powered by the ever-faithful 25 jewel ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, the RLT19 sports a splendid carbon fibre dial and is available in a range of different colours.  However, I had this one specially made in the colours of the Renault Formula 1 team.  At the time of writing (April 2005) it's the only one in this configuration although there is enough paint left over to make a few more.  So if you'd like one, act now! :-)   In certain lighting conditions the numbers appear to float in the space above the dial and beneath the underside of the crystal.  Cool!
RLT Watch Co. RLT19 - Ferrari coloursRLT Watch Co. RLT19 - Ferrari colours:
As above, but this one's for the Tifosi :-)  The red hands with white inserts really suit this watch I think.
RLT Watch Co. RLT21RLT Watch Co. RLT21:
This watch has a highly decorated Valjoux 7751 movement which provides a host of features: a 12-hour chronograph, date pointer, day-of-the-week and month indicators, moonphase dial and 24-hour hand.
RLT Watch Co. RLT22RLT Watch Co. RLT22:
An elegant, traditionally styled watch with guilloché calendar dial and Roman numerals, the RLT22 employs the familiar ETA 2824-2, 25 jewel automatic wind movement with quick set date and hacking seconds.
RLT Watch Co. RLT30RLT Watch Co. RLT30:
Another elegant, traditionally styled watch with guilloché dial, sub-seconds dial at 9 O'Clock and Arabic numerals, the large (43mm diameter) RLT30 employs the manual wind Unitas 6497 movement sometimes found in pocket watches.
RLT Watch Co. RLT38RLT Watch Co. RLT38:
This lovely Valjoux 7750-powered chronograph features a 1970's NOS case engraved with a motor racing motif by "Born T". The racing car's number corresponds to the limited edition number of the watch. Originally a limited edition of 10 pieces, "No.1" went missing in transit and is presumed stolen, so if you see it for sale anywhere, don't be tempted to buy it, but drop me a line to let me know (richard@h-spot.net). My thanks to Roy Taylor at RLT Watches who was able to obtain another case and dial from Switzerland to make me the watch you see here, "No.0".
RLT Watch Co. RLT'69RLT Watch Co. RLT'69:
Number 016 of a limited edition of 100 pieces, the RLT'69 is an homage to the Smith's military watches of 1968-1970.  This example is shown on a black NATO strap.
RLT Watch Co. Automatic Divers WatchRLT Watch Co. Automatic Divers Watch:
This is one of a very few watches that combined the dial and hands from the RLT11 divers watch with the case used by the
Ollech & Wajs "M-Series" divers watches.  At the request of an RLT forum member, Roy Taylor made just one of these watches with a quartz movement and followed up with a tiny handful of automatic versions utilising ETA's 2824-2 25 jewel movement.
RLT Watch Co. "20th. Anniversary"RLT Watch Co. "Anniversary" Watch:
No. 4 of a limited edition of just 20 pieces sold to members of the
RLT Watches forum, this watch was produced to commemorate the 20th. anniversary of RLT Watches.  This is the 37mm cased version (a 40mm version was also produced) and is powered by an ETA 2801-2 17 jewel manual wind movement.
Rolex GMT-Master IIRolex GMT-Master II:
The story goes that this watch, originally launched in the 1950's, was developed for commercial airline pilots who needed to be able to quickly establish the time in more than one time zone and that it was also adopted by several military pilots and astronauts, including William J. "Pete" Knight, who wore a GMT-Master during his record-breaking 4,520 mph flight on October 3rd. 1967 in the hypersonic X-15A-2 rocket plane. This is a 1996 example (model 16710) which utilises the Cal. 3185 movement.
Rotary Pocket WatchRotary Pocket Watch:
A relatively modern Rotary Pocket Watch with ETA stamped Unitas 6498 17 jewel movement.  I find it sometimes makes a nice change to carry a pocket watch instead of wearing a wristwatch.
Seagull 1963 Chinese Air ForceSeagull 1963 Chinese Air Force:
The Seagull 1963 is an official reproduction (or replica, if you will) made by Tsinlien Seagull of the Tianjin Project 304 that was issued to the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force in the early 1960's. It utilises the 21 jewel version of the Seagull ST-19 hand-winding column wheel chronograph movement which, like the similar Soviet Poljot 3017, is based on a Swiss Venus caliber using original tooling sold by the Swiss manufacturer. The result is a high quality watch of historical interest with classically beautiful styling at an affordable price.
Seiko BullheadSeiko Bullhead:
I'm no Seiko expert so there's not much I can say about this watch other than that it's the first Seiko I've ever owned and I'm pretty stunned at the incredible quality!  It has a 21 jewel 6138-0040 automatic movement and I think the serial number dates it to August 1974.  My first Seiko, but judging by this one it surely wont be the last!
Seiko "Pepsi" BezelSeiko "Pepsi" Bezel:
Actually a Seiko SKX025 with 7S26 automatic movement and 100 metre water resistance.  These and other similar Seiko's are sometimes referred to as having Pepsi bezels because the colours on the bezels are similar to those of the Pepsi Cola drinks cans.  The strap is a NATO "Speedbird" from
Sekonda Alarm Sekonda Alarm:
This is an old Russian Sekonda alarm watch dating from somewhere around the 1970's I would imagine.  The lower of the two crowns winds the 18 jewel Poljot movement whilst the upper crown winds and sets the alarm.  It vibrates and gives a very healthy buzz when it goes off!
Sekonda ChronographSekonda Chronograph:
Nowadays, the Sekonda name is owned by a British company and is best known for producing very cheap "fashion" watches.  This Sekonda is one of the original USSR manufactured variety and uses a high quality Poljot 3017 chronograph movement.  Watches identical to this one were used by several Cosmonauts on Soyuz space missions in the 1970's.
I'm guessing this watch to be from the late 1950's or early 1960's.  Its 17 jewel, Incabloc shock-protected movement by ST is still keeping excellent time.  The history of the company has always been a bit of a mystery (to me at least), but thanks to "mach 0.0013137" we now know that they were a British company which assembled parts manufactured elsewhere.  They appear to have been based in Leicester from the mid-late 1920's until at least 1969 and also had a sales arm based in London from the late 1940's.
Services RegattaServices Regatta:
This is a British made watch from the 1950's.  It has a 5 jewel movement.  The two-tone dial is remarkably similar to the British made Smiths Empire pocket watch from the same era, shown below.
Slava ("Honour" or "Glory") watches are made in the Second Moscow Watch Factory.  This watch has a 25 jewel automatic movement with quick-set date and day display.  The style of this watch borrows rather heavily from a particular model by master Swiss watchmaker, Patek Philippe.  Unlike the Patek Philippe, this Slava cost an astonishingly tiny £19!
Smiths EmpireSmiths Empire:
This is my first and, at the time of writing, only pocket watch.  I know very little about it apart from the fact that it's gorgeous! :-)  It was made in Great Britain probably in the 1950's I would think and, thanks to the accompanying Smiths plastic stand, it also doubles as a neat little mantle or desk clock!  And as Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish) once proclaimed in The Night of the Hunter:  "That watch sure is a fine, loud ticker."
Sorna "Jacky Ickx Easy Rider" Bullhead ChronographSorna "Jacky Ickx Easy-Rider" Bullhead Chronograph:
Jacky Ickx of Belgium was a Formula One racing driver between 1966 and 1979.  He raced for Tyrrell, Brabham, Lotus, Williams, Ensign, Ligier and, perhaps most famously, Ferrari.  He also holds the World Record (only just equalled by Denmark's Tom Kristensen in 2004) for the most number of Le Mans 24 Hours wins (six, in 1969,  1975-77 and 1981-82) and was the 1982 World Sports Car Champion.  This watch is one of several by Sorna and Heuer that bear his name.
Stocker and Yale (SandY) 46374F Type 1Stocker and Yale (SandY) 46374F Type 1:
This is a US military "general purpose" watch from 1993.  It has a high-beat Swiss mechanical movement contained in a sealed composite (plastic) case.  The dial incorporates tritium vials for luminosity.
"Thermidor" is apparently the 11th. month of the French Revolutionary calendar which was established in 1793.  Quite what that has to do with this watch I don't know, but it's a nice watch all the same.  It has day and date functionality and an automatic movement by ETA.
This little Timex from 1972 has the distinction of being my first ever watch.  Although it's still going strong, I don't wear it now :-))
A Timex "Boy's" watch from 1977, I bought this one from eBay to replace the similar one I had as a child.  It has a classic military style dial with 24-hour markings and, unlike my childhood one, a date function.
Full size Timex watch I received as a Christmas present from my mother and father in 1975.
Timor WWWTimor WWW:
In the 1940's the British Ministry of Defence produced a standard specification for watches to be issued to the armed forces.  The result was the WWW (or Wrist Watch Waterproof) and was made by Buren, CYMA, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger Le Coultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex.
Topo GigioTopo Gigio:
According to
TV Acres, "Topo Gigio" (a.k.a. "The Little Italian Mouse") was the creation of the troupe of puppeteers that debuted on CBS's The Ed Sullivan Show in 1963.  He appeared 92 times and closed the final episode in 1971.  Although finished in the U.S, Topo Gigio found new fame as his creators introduced their friendly mouse in South America, Spain and Japan. Topo appeared on a weekly Italian TV show and a 1980s Japanese produced animated series called Topo Gigio where he played a space exploring mouse who accidentally returns to earth 400 years in the future.  This watch has an anonymous 1 jewel mechanically wound movement, which makes me suspect that it's from the late 60's or 70's.
In the 1940's the British Ministry of Defence produced a standard specification for watches to be issued to the armed forces.  The result was the WWW (or Wrist Watch Waterproof) and was made by Buren, CYMA, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger Le Coultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and this one by Vertex.
Vostok AmphibiaVostok Amphibia:
This Vostok Amphibia has a 31 jewel automatic movement and is water resistant to 200M.  It is one of my most accurate watches, gaining only around 1 second per day.  Not bad for £29!
Vostok AmphibiaVostok Amphibia:
Another Vostok Amphibia.  This one emphasises the 200M water resistance of the Amphibia case with its SCUBA diver dial.
Vostok AmphibiaVostok Amphibia:
You can't have too much of a good thing!  A third Vostok Amphibia, this time with a military style dial.
Vostok Amphibia "Rodina"Vostok Amphibia - "Rodina":
This watch was made in 1995 to commemorate the 50th. Anniversary of the end of "The Great Patriotic War" - the Eastern Front conflict of World War II. The picture dial portrays Rodina Mat (or Mother Russia), a statue which stands atop the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex overlooking Volgograd (Stalingrad). Wikipedia has an interesting historical article
Vostok Amphibia "Operation Desert Shield"Vostok Amphibia - "Operation Desert Shield":
I wonder if Vostok had run out of Soviet/Russian military events to commemorate by the time they produced this watch!  "Operation Desert Shield" involved the defence of Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War in 1990 and was the pre-cursor to what is perhaps the more well-known "Operation Desert Storm" (the liberation of Kuwait) in 1991.  The earliest examples of this watch were produced during the Soviet era whilst this one I guess is circa 1992 or later.
Vostok Amphibia-Cased Komandirskie for Infantry DivisionsVostok Amphibia-Cased Komandirskie for Infantry Divisions:
This is a Vostok Komandirskie for infantry divisions housed in an older-style octagonal Amphibia case, water resistant to 200 metres.  The inscription around the bottom of the dial reads "By Order of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR".  At some time, the original 17 jewel manual wind movement has been replaced with a newer 31 jewel automatic which fits perfectly.  The strap is an upgraded NATO from Timefactors which is thicker, softer and stronger than the normal variety and has 316L stainless steel fittings, bead-blasted to a matte grey finish.  A tough watch that makes for a great "beater"!
Vostok Generalskie for Marine Radio DivisionsVostok Generalskie for Marine Radio Divisions:
This USSR made 21 jewel automatic watch features in Juri Levenberg's "Russian Wristwatches" book:  "The dial was used by most ships in the... radio room.  The radio operator had to switch the radio to the international emergency frequency every fifteen minutes for the duration of three minutes, to receive possible SOS calls.  Therefore, the dial has a three-minute field marked in every fifteen minute segment."   I've also been advised that the red segments represent the times when the Silence Period was kept on 500KHz, formerly the international morse distress frequency (SOS),  whilst the pink segments are for the Silence Period on 2182KHz RT (speech) distress frequency (MAYDAY).
Vostok KomandirskieVostok Komandirskie:
Vostok ("East") watches are manufatured in Tschistopol, Tatarstan and in 1961 it was appointed as the official supplier of watches for the Soviet military.  Nowadays, many of the watches are available for members of the general public to buy.  This model is from the early/mid 1990's (I purchased it from a shop in Saigon, Vietnam  in 1994) and is of the type made for the Russian tank divisions.  It has a 17 jewel, manually-wound movement with a screw-down, protected crown and bi-directional rotating bezel.  This watch is one made for public consumption.  The official military watches bear the mark "3AKA3 MO CCCP" which means "By Order of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR".
Vostok KomandirskieVostok Komandirskie:
Oddly combined here with a NATO style strap in the colours of the British Royal Tank Regiment, this watch features in Juri Levenberg's "Russian Wristwatches" book:

"Model 'Komandirskie' for Tank Divisions, Caliber 2414, 17 jewels, manual winding, date, chromium plated case with green dial bearing the inscription 'By order of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR,' made in the 80's, rare."
Vostok KomandirskieVostok Komandirskie:
An early military Komandirskie, probably from the late 1960's or early 1970's I would guess.  At this time in the USSR, such watches could only be obtained from stores which catered specifically to Soviet military personnel.  The purchaser would be required to prove their status by their uniform or by showing their military pass.  This watch features the hacking Vostok 2234 movement.
Vostok "Treptower Park Soviet War Memorial"Vostok "Treptower Park Soviet War Memorial":
This watch was made in 1985 in the USSR and commemorates the 40th anniversary of the end of "The Great Patriotic War" (WWII).  The picture on the dial is of a statue which stands in the Treptower Park Soviet War Memorial in Berlin.  The statue depicts an heroic Soviet soldier cradling a little German girl in one arm whilst carrying a broadsword in the other and trampling a smashed Swastika underfoot.  You can read more about the memorial
Vostok-Europe Rocket N1Vostok-Europe Rocket N1:
A tribute to "the world's biggest rocket", the infamous (if ill-fated) Soviet, super-heavy N1, developed during the 1960's in a bold attempt to regain the lead in the Space Race and beat the Americans to land the first man on the moon.  The watch has two time zones courtesy of it's separate GMT hand and rotating 24-hour rotating bezel and features a decorated 31 jewel Vostok
2432 movement.
Waltham - 1937Waltham:
Waltham was founded in Roxbury (USA) in 1850 by Aaron Dennisson, Edvard Howard and David Davis before settling in the Massachusetts town of Waltham in 1854. A century later, the company was relocated to Switzerland. This elegant watch is one of the earlier Walthams, manufactured in the USA. The serial number of the movement dates it to 1937.
West End Watch Co. Sowar PrimaWest End Watch Co. Sowar Prima:
West End Watch Co. was originally formed by Arnold Charpié. The marque was purchased in 1886 by Constant Droz and Arnold Amstutz who developed the brand via their sales centres in Bombay and Calcutta, India.  In 1917, Arnold Amstutz (who was by then the sole proprietor) established a company in Geneva, Switzerland, which took control of the brand.  West End Watches were very popular with British troops in India and the Middle East during the First World War and one was apparently purchased by Lawrence of Arabia!  The Sowar (which means "warlike" in Hindustani) model spearheaded the range since its introduction in 1934 and many, such as this example from circa 1939, bear the broad arrow mark and "C.S.(I)" indicating that they were issued to members of the Civil Service (India).
Wittnauer was founded in America in 1880 by Albert Wittnauer and manufactured watches in Switzerland for the American market.  In the 1930's the company struggled during the Depression so in 1936 it was sold to the Hella Deltah Company.  The Wittnauer brand was revitalised and during the 1940's, following the outbreak of World War II, the company concentrated on manufacturing compasses, laboratory timers, aircraft clocks and watches for the American military.  However, Wittnauer craftsmen worked overtime during this period to produce watches for the civilian market using movements imported from neutral Switzerland.  I would think that this little 15 jewel example would have been one of them.
Zenith HS3Zenith HS3:
The Royal Navy's Hydrographic Department was supplied with Zenith deck watches during World War 2.  After the end of the war the watches were returned to the Admiralty at Herstmonceux Castle where they were redialled (like this example) and eventually re-issued.  The original "H.S. 3" markings on the casebacks were struck out and replaced with NATO style markings.  The issue number of these watches corresponds to the last four digits of the movement serial number.  The dial on this watch relegates simple time-telling functions to a small central scale, whilst seconds/minutes are read via the middle scale emphasised in red.  The outer scale denotes 10ths/100ths of a minute.  The high quality movement is apparently based on that used in watches issued to the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War, like this one.
Zenith, Royal Flying Corps, 30 Hour, Non Luminous, Mark VZenith Royal Flying Corps, 30 Hour, Non Luminous, Mark V:
The Royal Flying Corps was issued with "Mark V" pocket watches from a variety of manufacturers during World War 1 from around 1916.  The watches were mounted to aircraft instrument panels.  Later, when the concept of night fighters and night bombers was developed, a luminous version was introduced.  The movement is protected by a hinged, inner dust cover. 
Lovely, vintage Zeno automatic, circa 1970's I think.
Zeno De Luxe "direct read"Zeno De Luxe "direct read":
A mechanical watch with a digital readout that features jumping hours, a wandering minutes dial, date and a sweep-seconds hand in an octagonal, chrome-plated case with faceted acrylic crystal.  Typically mad and excessive styling from the 1970's.  Although the dial proclaims the movement to be 25 jewel, this watch actually contains a 17 jewel movement by Sorna.
A new old stock 1970's Zodiac with 17 jewel 36,000bph
cal.101 movement.
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