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Croque Monsieur? Non, Je Suis Achete le Chronographe

The Monsieur Ranomo (Panda) Quartz has a handy 20% off its list price of $199.00. Just use “take20” at checkout for 20% off all purchases says the brand. If, like us, you haven’t heard of the make, here’s the spec on this motorsports themed chronograph.

Monsieur Ranomo Series feat. Vintage Racing Chronograph. It has taken the 60s & 70s inspiration inspired from the likes of the Rolex Daytona to the Zenith El Primero, we decided to craft a panda and reverse panda with a racing tradition.

Key Specifications

–  Case Diameter: 38 mm Case
–  Thickness: 10 mm
–  Band Material: Genuine Italian Leather Band
–  Band Width: 20 mm
–  Total Weight: 40 g (Miyota 0S21)
–  Case Material: 316L
–  Back Plate: Sapphire Crystal Exhibition Back
–  Buckle: Standard Brushed Buckle
–  Buckle Material: Stainless Steel
–  Dial Window Material: K1 Domed Sapphire Coated
–  Display: Chronograph
–  Movement: Japanese Miyota 0S21
–  Date Function: Yes (*Only For Miyota 0S21)
–  Seconds Function: Yes
–  Water Resistant: 5 ATM / 50 Meters

What’s included in the order:

1x Watch box

1x Brown leather case

1x Watch + strap

Raven Trekker Is A Cool, Class Act. Pricey Though

The latest watch from Raven is this edition of the Trekker featuring ceramic or stainless steel bezels, date or no-date movements, a newly designed flat jubilee bracelet with easy to size single sided screws, brushed stainless steel case with polished accents, and available dial colors in black, gray, and yellow.

The 39mm steel case tool watch has a sapphire crystal, screwdown crown and a depth rating of 300m. It’s got a striking steel bracelet too, with a smooth, brushed finish that really gives this watch an impressive look in the press photos. The only downside is the cost, at $750. That’s a bit steep for a Miyota powered auto, even one as classy as this one.

On the upside the blue version of the Trekker is on early bird special offer  – $50 off – until March 31st. More here. 

New Patek Philippe Ladies Twenty-4 Models

Patek have some new ladies watches for 2021, here’s the spec from the press office;

Patek Philippe unveils three new Twenty~4 models designed to share the lives of modern active women The manufacture is continuing the renewal of its Twenty~4 collection, which has come to epitomize timeless feminine elegance. The “manchette” or cuff-style models with quartz movements now include a new version in rose gold with a chocolate-brown sunburst dial.

The Twenty~4 Automatic, in a round case, offers two new models, one in steel adorned with an olive-green sunburst dial, the other in rose gold, its dial gilded with a rose-gold sunburst. Three new expressions of the Patek Philippe style, bringing beauty to every instant of daily life. Twenty~4 as in the 24 hours comprising a day and night. Twenty~4 as for all the facets of a rich and varied existence. When Patek Philippe launched its first exclusively feminine collection in 1999, it had the busy lives of modern active women in mind. Refined, elegant independent women.

Price? It’s £21,400, or about 18 seconds wages for Elon musk.

The Twenty~4 quartz “manchette” model, featuring a cambered rectangular case and a dial adorned with applied Roman numerals, appeared in a wealth of different versions. In 2018, attuned to the needs of twenty-first century women and their increasing interest in mechanical movements, Patek Philippe launched the Twenty~4 Automatic. While this model stands out by its round case and its dial’s Arabic numerals, it retains the same exclusive bracelet and the same spirit – that of a modern classic at ease in every situation. In 2020, the manufacture gave a new face to its “manchette” model by endowing it too with applied Arabic numerals. The creative impulse continues today with three new Twenty~4 models, so that women now have the choice of twelve lifestyle companions – with either a round or “manchette” design, a quartz or automatic movement, a steel or rose-gold case and bracelet, and a splendid palette of dials, together with diamond-set versions ranging from discreet sparkle to dazzling.

Twenty~4 Reference 4910/1201R-001: a new model in rose gold with a chocolate-brown sunburst dial The third “manchette” model to adopt the new Twenty~4 face, Reference 4910/1201R-001 pairs an 18K rose-gold case with a chocolate-brown sunburst dial – a warm-toned, refined, feminine combination. Two vertical rows of seventeen Top Wesselton Pure diamonds (total: 34 diamonds, ~0.57 ct) set with textbook precision highlight the distinctive two-tier shape of the case. The clean layout of the dial gives center stage to the applied Arabic numerals, the applied trapeze-shaped hour-markers and the rounded baton-style hands, all in rose gold with a luminescent coating. A Calatrava cross, emblem of the manufacture, decorates the crown. The rose-gold bracelet with fold-over clasp is a jewel in its own right. Fully hand-polished, it feels smooth and cossetting on the wrist. The mechanical components of the Patek Philippe caliber E15 quartz movement are crafted with the same devotion to fine workmanship as those of the mechanical movements. The new Twenty~4 “manchette” Reference 4910/1201R-001 joins the models in steel with a blue sunburst dial (4910/1200A-001) or a gray sunburst dial (4910/1200A010).

Twenty~4 Automatic Reference 7300/1200A-011: a new model in steel with an olive-green sunburst dial.

This new Twenty~4 Automatic in steel stands out by its elegant dial in olive green, a color making its first appearance in the contemporary Patek Philippe collections and presented to great effect with a glowing sunburst decoration. The white-gold applied Arabic numerals and white-gold hands have a luminescent coating, ensuring excellent legibility under all conditions. A white-gold frame adorns the date aperture at 6 o’clock. The pure circle of the case is lit with 160 diamonds (~0.77 carat) set in two staggered rows according to the “dentelle” (lacework) technique. A transparent case back reveals the painstaking hand-finish and decoration lavished on the caliber 324 S C self-winding movement. The polished-steel bracelet features a new, patented fold-over clasp secured by four independent catches. This new Twenty~4 Automatic Reference 7300/1200A-011 joins the models in steel with a blue sunburst dial (7300/1200A001) or a gray sunburst dial (7300/1200A-010).

Twenty~4 Automatic Reference 7300/1200R-011: a new model in rose gold with a gilded rose-gold sunburst dial

Sculpted in rose gold, the new Twenty~4 Automatic Reference 7300/1200R-011 extends the warm sheen of its case to a dial gilded with a rose-gold sunburst and to hour and minute hands, applied Arabic numerals and the frame of the date aperture all fashioned in the same precious metal. A double row of diamonds in a “dentelle” (lacework) setting adds a touch of brilliance, as does the fine hand-finish and decoration of the caliber 324 S C self-winding movement visible through the sapphire-crystal case back. The new, patented fold-over clasp adds to the comfort of the bracelet, whose three rows of rose-gold links are fully hand-polished. The new Twenty~4 Automatic Reference 7300/1200R-011 joins the rose-gold models featuring a dial with a chocolate-brown sunburst (7300/1200R-001) or a “shantung” decoration (7300/1200R-010) and the jewelry versions (7300/1201R-001 & 7300/1201R-010) and Haute Joaillerie versions
(7300/1450R-001).

Affordable Vintage Watches For Men? We Have Some Winners For You

Like a nice cheap runabout car, everyone wants an affordable vintage watch. Preferably a Rolex. Only joking, even the old 1940s Rolex models are now getting expensive and given that spare parts for them can ONLY be sourced by breaking up similar examples, that isn’t a great option if you’ve got a few hundred pounds to spend on old tickers.

So here are some relatively cheap vintage watches for blokes. Plus, a few reasons as to why we rate them so highly.

accurist swiss movement ETA crop

  1. Accurist 21 jewel 1950s/60 slimline style

The main reason we rate the older Accurist watches is that they all feature Swiss movements. Some have ETA, some AS, and there were a few high end divers watches with Landeron chronograph movements inside. Those Landeron powered Accurist models tend to go for silly money now, about £700-£1000, which compared to a Landeron powered Chronograph Suisse for around £400 seems expensive to us.

But the humble, elegantly simple, Accurist Shockmaster series, do a great job of timekeeping if you find a cherished example, and can be found on ebay from aorund £50 upwards. It’s worth paying £100 for a really superb example in our view, expect to pay £300 plus a for a 9ct gold case version.

lanco 5

2. Lanco 1970s mechanicals

Now lots of watch collectors know Lanco was absorbed into the Omega-Tissot empire in the 1960s as the Swiss watch industry began to contract from its 1950s heyday. It became a sister brand to Tissot, with models like the Lanco Astrolon being a rebadged Tissot Actualis Autolub – the plastic movement experiment that began as IDEA 2001.

The 1970s Lanco models were built to a price of course, but they were still sharing movements and build tech with Tissot-Omega. There was cost-cutting in the industry as the Swiss coped with an onslaught of Japanese digital watches, but Lanco watches can make sturdy reliable vintage watches, with some nice retro 70s touches in terms of styling. You can find a clunker for £40-£60, or pay £100 for something that bears very few marks from the last 40-49 years of use.

sekonda header

3. Sekonda 1970s/80s Mechanicals and Automatics

There’s a great deal of snobbery regarding vintage wind-up Sekonda watches. These watches were built to last, in a Soviet era when people had to wait in line to buy outdated groceries and be grateful for whatever consumer goods they were allowed to purchase. Bit like Huddersfield under lockdown today.

The thing that Sekonda watch movements offer is tractor-like reliability and strength. You can bash these watches up, submerge them briefly, or simply not service the movement for about 40 years. Take it apart, clean everything, add some watch oil to a few jewels and generally speaking, away it goes. Just tremendously durable, tough watches. Given that you can buy runners foir £25 on ebay, Sekonda makes a great entry level watch for collectors.

They also made a nice alarm function Sekonda in the 70s, plus a succession of chunky case automatics. Budget £70-£80 for a nice example. You also see some late 70s and 1980s UK Sekonda watches, complete with their distinctive red watch boxes for sale sometimes. Always worth considering as an everyday vintage watch.

seiko 5 1

4. Seiko 5 Auto

The new Seiko 5 automatics are a better watch. There we said it, but it’s true. Modern machine tools and robot quality control on parts production all help to make a new Seiko 5 at £220-ish a bargain, compared to older models.

That said, if you want a vintage Japanese watch with a variety of eye-catching coloured dials, plus relaibility, then the vintage Seiko 5 models deliver. True, they need that mad shaking from side-to-side for 20 times or so to get going – you can’t wind them. But once running they tend to ekep going – and spare parts are plentiful and cheap.

So if you want to learn a little bit about watch repair, then the Seiko 5 is another great choice. Buy a job lot of non-runners and you’ll probably figure out how to get something working again. Even if it does just tick over for 3 hours or so before stopping.

There are some crazy prices being asked on ebay for some nice Seiko 5 watches. It’s also wise to steer clear of refurbished dial Indian models – these often have suffered a hard life, and a new lick of paint doesn’t mean that the movement has been thoroughly cleaned and oiled properly. The typical price of £16 is a clue as to the quality of these watches.

So spend £50-£75 and get yourself a nice, looked after Seiko 5. You’ll find it’s light on the wrist, takes abuse all day long, and just keeps ticking.

Have fun – be lucky!

 

 

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.