Tag Archives: collectable

LIV P-51 Chrono: Valjoux Power Without The Swiss Price Tag

You can pay a great deal of cash for a watch featuring the Valjoux 7750 movement, or slight variations on that base ebauche engine.

That’s why NWC mag has a lot of time for the LIV P-51 pilot watch. It’s got that Valjoux touch of class for £1095, plus VAT and UK import duty. Go figure say 30% on top.

That’s still way cheaper than say a Bremont ALT-1 for £5000, which features a tweaked 7750 movement. Or how about paying £7300 to IWC for a Portugieser with a green dial, which is also powered by a modded variant of the 7750? Yes, prestige brands are watch modders too.

You see why we mention this Swiss MOD watch angle right?

The same work that is kinda sneered at by certain watch blogs, magazines and experts as being `Frankenwatch’ is just the same process as factories carry out to Valjoux 7750 movements. Blue screws, decorated rotors, slightly different pushers.

So we say, check out thios LIV take on the Valjoux movement, because it has that sporty Top Gun vibe, day/ date window, sapphire crystal, a huge 46mm case if you are a fan of Breitling plus size cases, and a riveted tan strap that really sets off the black theme nicely.

Nope, we aren’t on commission, we just like spotting great value.

More here.

Omega Aqua Terra is Refreshed & Ready for 2021

Omega has refreshed its Aqua Terra model this summer, with a great choice in 38mm and 41mm diameter cases. It’s a model that’s often overlooked by collectors, who prefer the Speedmaster, Planet Ocean or Constellation models, but it has an everyday wearability that makes it a winner for many watch buyers.
Yeah, not everyone buys with an eye to make money in the future – sometimes, it’s because you like the watch. Radical huh? Here’s the press kit blurb from Omega.

As the name suggests, Aqua Terra is all about versatility. An OMEGA timepiece designed for adventurous individuals equally at ease in the central city as they are in the middle of the ocean. In keeping with the lifestyle of its intended wearers, the Swiss brand has taken the Aqua Terra into exciting new territory, by introducing a seconds hand that’s an absolute first.

The 2021 collection consists of ten 38mm models, two of which are luxury editions; as well as nine new 41mm models, including four luxury versions.

Small Seconds and other big changes

The standout feature on all new models is a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, encircled by an applied subdial ring: many in 18K Sedna™ gold – some even set with diamonds.

The collection features new dials in subtle sun-brushed shades and two-tone teak patterns with eye-catching hour markers, including diamonds arranged incrementally from 6 to 12 o’clock and sailboat hull-shaped indexes with iridescent mother-of-pearl inlay.

To fix the new watches firmly to the wrist there are bracelets in matching metals, rubber straps in beige and blue – and leather straps in red, burgundy, beige and green.

Of the four mighty movements driving the Small Seconds watches, there are two luxury calibres (8803/8917), each distinguished by an 18K Sedna™ gold rotor and balance-bridge.

38 mm

At the sportier end of the 38 mm spectrum are eight watches in either stainless steel, or a blend of steel and 18K Sedna™ gold, powered by OMEGA’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8802, with new dials in dark green, light green, linen and extra white mother-of-pearl. The latest 38 mm OMEGA’s sport matching bracelets or beautifully coloured leather straps, depending on the model.

For lovers of luxury there are also two 18K Sedna™ gold models with diamond-set bezels, powered by OMEGA’s exquisite Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8803 with 18K Sedna™ gold rotor and balance-bridge. Fans can choose an Aqua Terra with purple jade dial and 18K Sedna™ gold bracelet, or a model with extra white mother-of-pearl dial and red leather strap.

41 mm

The 41 mm range includes four stainless steel editions and one in stainless steel and 18K Sedna™ gold, all powered by OMEGA’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8916. Two-tone dials in blue-grey, silvery-blue and silvery-beige, add depth to the displays and contrast beautifully with the new subdials. Watches are fitted with either a matching bracelet, or an integrated structured rubber strap in a complementary colour.

The larger-sized editions also include four models in 18K Sedna™ gold, all powered by a movement as luxurious as the watch’s exterior: OMEGA’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8917. Aqua Terra aficionados can select either a two-tone blue-grey dial, or a two-tone silvery beige dial. Both options come with a choice of matching bracelet or integrated rubber strap.

Tested at the highest level

In addition to enjoying a new way to track the seconds, Aqua Terra owners can be sure their new OMEGA will perform perfectly every hour of the day. Each watch comes with a 5-year warranty and Master Chronometer certification card, ensuring that the watch has passed the tests certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).

Historic 1968 Rolex GMT Is a Bankable Investment

We love watches where you can trace the history since new, especially when that story has a military connection. So this 1968 Pepsi bezel Rolex GMT owned by Commander John Carr is a winner in terms of investment potential we think.

It is being auctioned later in May by Gardiner Houlgate and here is the spec from their website;

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date GMT-Master ‘Pepsi’ stainless steel gentleman’s bracelet watch, ref. 1675, circa 1968, serial no. 1870xxx, ‘Pepsi’ bezel insert.

‘Swiss -T<25’ black dial with twenty-four hour hand, dot markers, Mercedes style hands, sweep centre seconds and date aperture, cal. 1570 26 jewel movement, no. D167xxx

Expanding bracelet, the inside case back stamped ‘1675’ and dated ‘I.68’, bezel 40mm diameter.

Comes with the original box, guarantee booklet and chronometer certificate, Rolex service receipt for 1989, and tag.

Commander John R Carr was born in 1912 in Patagonia. Following the death of his father John returned to Britain and served at the Dartmouth Naval College. He served the navy during the war, rising to the rank of Commander, and retired in 1962.

He then went to work for Shell in Europe as Superintendent of Diving, and was the project director of an international group investigating the effect of mixed gas diving on the ability of men to work at great depths, called Capshell.

It was a collaboration of the Italian, US and British Navies, Shell and Italian diving firm Micoperi. This project was at the forefront of modern oceanography and paved the way for the oil industry to work in the deep sea.

The medical side of the research took place in Zurich and after the project was finished John was gifted this Rolex from the team. He passed away in 2001.


What we like about this watch is that it has NOT been restored or refurbished with modern hands, bezel or other bits by well-meaning technicians at Rolex. Yes the crystal has scratches, the case has marks and there is some dust inside the watch, but that makes it undeniably authentic, a true piece of watch history.

Clean it now and then, have it serviced but not restored – and then store it away safely. This is better than  money in the bank, we guarantee it will almost double in value in a decade – try getting that return from NatWest.

Auctions: Is a Rolex Explorer Freccione Worth A Bid?

We think so because Explorer values have been heading up a decent pace of late, as demand for GMT II, new Oyster and Subs becomes a feeding frenzy. There is something to be said the classic Explorer, especially one like this, which we spotted on a watch auction site. It’s in Italy, which often sets off alarm bells, but the period box and booklet looks good, plus there is a certificate of verification with it.

Yeah, needs the correct bezel and a new crystal to finish it off. Then again, maybe genuine `lived in condition’ is best, warts n all?

Then there’s the general wear. It’s been used, with big scratches on the crystal and quite a bit on the bracelet. That’s a good thing, because fakes tend to be much more minty, and we love that bold, big orange GMT hand too. This watch stands out, even if it is just 39mm. Yes, the bezel is non-original and those hands could be replacements fitted sometime in the early 2000s perhaps. They look too clean somehow, not a trace of fading over 40 years of sunshine – which you do get in Milan, has to be said.

But taken all round, yeah, well worth considering as an investment. There are still 13 days left on this one and we are going to guess it makes £6100.

More here.

Kickstarter: Zeitgeist H1 Bronze is Understated Brilliance

This Kickstarter project caught our eye for two reasons, first it is a bronze watch that is ultra thin. This is great because quite a few bronze watches look like an old school Jules Verne diver’s helmet. Secondly, you can specify ETA or Miyota movement inside, which is always good for those who want that Swiss vibe. It can boost resale value too, let’s be honest.

The Miyota models start at just $489 on the early bird deal, with delivery expected around June 2021. The ETA models start at about $1000 and you get a premium, handmade-in-Japan, leather strap and box with it as part of the deal.

But the real value of this watch is in the details. Things like the superlume on the markers and hands, the polished caseback and Harrison H1 chronometer etched-on logo, ceramic bezel and much more. The wave effect on the dial for example, just catches the eye and makes you want to glance at the watch again. This watch is 42mm across and just 13.4mm high. That is super slender, like Instagram pout model skinny.

Bear in mind the H1 model has a depth rating of 500m, yes that’s over 1600 feet deep, so this has to withstand a lot of pressure. In short Zeitgeist have created something very premium, impressive build quality, with a dive functionality that matches some Blancpain models, at a Hamilton or Tissot price. That is a powerful set of reasons to consider this watch and it is no surprise that the Kick project has been over-subscribed already, with £22,000 pledged.

More here. 


Japanese Anime Themed Seiko 5 Auto Models

Comic book themed watches have been around since the days of Batman, Superman, Hopalong Cassidy and Dan Dare. Some are highly collectable and can fetch thousands. So here’s some kapow type news from Seiko;

Introduced in 1968 and re-born in 2019, the Seiko 5 Sports watch offers durable and reliable mechanical watches for watch lovers. We are big fans of the modern Seiko 5 models, because they are amazing value. Seiko has launched seven new Seiko 5 Sports creations, inspired by two leading Japanese animations, NARUTO and BORUTO.

NARUTO was first broadcasted in Japan in 2002 and then marketed abroad. BORUTO is the sequel to the series and centres on Naruto’s son, Boruto Uzumaki, whose adventure continues today. Each of the seven creations capture both animation’s central characters: Naruto, Sasuke, Shikamaru, Lee, Gaara from NARUTO, and Boruto and Sarada from BORUTO.

The series will be available worldwide at Seiko Boutiques and selected retailing partners in December, as limited editions of 6,500 yen each. That’s about £50 on our currency converter, but we aren’t expecting these bargain Seiko models to make it to the UK at that RRP.

We aren’t big on anime stuff here at the Northern Watch Co but the Rock Lee is our fave. Just looks the part. Nice leg warmers too.


New Baltic Aquascaphe SB01 Launches on 30th June

Baltic are one of the most interesting French watch brands aorund and their new dive model, the Aquascaphe SB01 is launching on 30th June.

Featuring a steel case, one direction bezel with 120 clicks, a depth rating of 200m and a screw down crown, this entry level dive watch offers a rugged spec, plus Miyota automatic movement for just over £560. Our fave Aquascaphe at the moment is the Bronze Blue Gilt, at 750 euros – just saying.

The SB01 comes on a Tropic blue rubber strap, bright night time lume, and has a double domed sapphire crystal. Baltic are one of many indie brands making viable alternatives to those who fancy a Swiss dive watch, but are reluctant to pay the £1200-£1600 entry price for many prestige brands.

Sure, you get long term collectability by going Omega, Rado, Oris, Tudor, Longines etc. But Baltic watches offer pretty much the same tech spec – albeit with a Japanese movement – for a great deal less. And you know what that price saving means right? Yep, buy another watch!

More at the Baltic website here.