Tag Archives: electronic

Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton

Hamilton’s Ventura watch was cool enough for Elvis, so do we need to say more? Yes. There’s a skeleton version of the famed triangular case watch now available from the Swatch Group. Hamilton also has a long heritage in electronic watches, so this latest version of the Ventura has a little electric pulse going on too. Here’s the press info;

Go bold and bright with a red electric pulse that lights up the center of a black PVD-coated case and skeleton dial; or, choose to shine a little brighter with a rose gold PVD-coated case, black skeleton dial and matching rose gold electric pulse. A black rubber strap finishes off both models, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit all day – and all night – long.

Available in two impressive versions, the Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton’s precisely cutout dial offers a striking view of finely engineered movement mechanics. With its Côtes de Geneve decoration clearly visible, our H-10-S movement with an extended 80-hour power reserve beats tirelessly beneath its skeleton dial.

It’s (still) electric

An automatic movement might power the Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton, but a stylized pulse of electricity zig-zagging across its open structure is a dramatic reference and tribute to the Ventura’s origins. The Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton is an ultra-modern tribute to the world’s first electric watch. A piece of history, a story of invention and a futuristic legacy, it’s an unforgettable representation of those who influence the world by daring to be different.

It retails for 1795 Swiss Francs, which is approximately £1620, we spottted on the CW Sellors website.



Gardiner Houlgate Auction 21.10.20: Rolex, Ball, Omega & More

Gardiner Houlgate has another watch auction coming up and the star of the show is a 1961 Rolex Submariner, with the 3-6-9 dial, which is estimated to fetch over £150,000. It’s got the original box and paperwork too, which is very unusual for a 60s Rolex as many people simply chucked that stuff away back then.

UPDATED: The watch sold to a collector based in Hong Kong for £210,000 by the way!

Several watch collections are being sold at this auction, which suggests that some old collectors are thinking now is the time to cash on a lifetime’s collecting and relocate to a country like Sweden where the fun Police won’t arrest you for singing Boheamian Rhapsody.

A Rolex Oyster Perpetual with a starting price of £1500 is very fair and if you’re hankering after your first Rolex then that could be the one. Having said that, this model from 1978 is in need of a clean and service, judging from the photos. No box or papers either.

Other rare stuff? Bulova Accutron, which is working. Plus a couple of Derby Swissonic digital quartz models. Will the early quartz models ever achieve the prices that mechanicls do? Probably not, but they do have their fans and for a few hundred quid you could get into the game.

There are two Jaeger le Coultre models that caught our eye; an 18K Day-Date gold automatic with a starting bid of £720 is tempting and a bumper automatic for about the same money is also excellent value. Ball watches are growing in popularlity so it will be interesting to see how much the Engineer II and Fireman Ionosphere make. The Fireman has the full set of paperwork and box with it too, again starting bid of just over £700.

There are military watches, modern Omega, Zenith, TAG, IWC, vintage pocket watches and more. Online bidding only of course, no actual physical auction.

More details here.


Lanco Electronic – The Quick Fix in the Face of The Japanese Invasion

I’m a sucker for project watches. Something lying in a drawer, in need of TLC, or simply unloved, slightly dusty and PX-ed in the shop against something shiny n new-ish.

This Lanco Electronic was a mystery to me, so I took a chance having shaken the watch and seen a few seconds of ticking from the second hand, before it fell lifeless again. Cash offer accepted. But the owner said it needed a battery – odd, I thought, as it said antimagnetic on the caseback, so there was a balance wheel in there. How could a watch need both battery and a balance assembly fettling?

Hmmm, intriguing as a case for Jason King and Department S you may say.

Lanco electronic 1

OK, back at the ranch and I prised the back off, only to see a bizarre arrangement of electronic calculator parts, plus a chunky balance assembly and circlip type adjustment lever, similar to an Omega. Interesting.

Ten minutes Google clicking later I discovered this Electronic was launched in the mid-1970s, no doubt to help the Tissot/Lanco empire strike back against the Seiko/Casio guys busily taking the world watch market by storm with digital models.

But there’s no quartz crystal being vibrated in the Lanco, instead an electronic impulse tells the balance to get busy and the circuit board wizardry sees to the accuracy of the time. A gentle clean up ensued, and to be honest, I didn’t fancy taking it apart as resistors and wires bore me to tears, plus I know bog-all about them, having ditched physics at school in favour of art after the third year. The physics teacher had extremely hairy hands, and it put me off frankly…but that’s another story.

pixl lanco 2

So, long story short, I slotted in a 395 battery and away it went. Magic. Just spinning like a top and happy a sLarry after about 40 years. Bloody marvellous. One new strap and a set of pins later and she’s looking good. Not a museum piece in A1 condition, but a fine example of a rare watch that’s part of the Swiss industry’s roller-coaster story during the supersonic Seventies.

Yours for a mere £75. Probably cost almost that much back in the day. There y’go, not every Swiss watch is a fantastic long term investment. No, some wristwatches are just for fun, and you buy them because you like the look of its shape-shifting browny-gold dial, and the word `Electronic’ emblazoned on it, shouting to the world that Lanco were suddenly hip, with-it, getting on down with Kool and The Gang. Hell yeah.