On one hand, itíd be a clichť to kick off any sort of watch article with a declaration of the importance played by minute details. Both you and I know itís that killer typeface, or seldom seen hand style that makes a great watch. On the other, it could be said that there are levels to the minute details game, which all the pieces in this weekís roundup arguably prove. At the one end of the spectrum, weíve got professional watches like the Breitling Chronomat, Omega Marine, and Technos Skin Diver Ė each distinguished by unconventional details like import hallmarks, experimental case constructions, and helium release valves. At the other end of the spectrum, thereís a smaller, time-only piece from Rolex with a great set of indices, along with a rectangular IWC in remarkable condition. Shall we?*
Breitling Chronomat Ref. 769

Thereís an artist by the name of Tom Sachs who is an outspoken advocate for transparency in industrial design. This is plainly evident in his sculpture and installation works, where screw heads are always left exposed, along with raw, unpainted plywood edges, and various other *imperfections which are byproducts of rudimentary manufacturing techniques. All of this is done in an effort to celebrate the telltale signs of something made by humans. Youíre probably wondering why Iím nattering on about the work of a seemingly unrelated individual, but itís because this individualís aesthetic ethos is arguably aligned with a certain aspect of this next piece.
The watch in question is a slide rule-packing, Ref. 769 Chronomat from Breitling, which played an important role in the brandís history of professional chronograph production. The case has been polished, but is still a clean example, with a near spotless dial, and a unique sign of human interaction which I alluded to earlier. Not sure what Iím talking about? Check the bottom right lug. Not sure what youíre looking at? Thatís an import hallmark, which in this case would indicate that this watch was originally imported to France for a retailer. Import hallmarks are details that I donít necessarily seek out, but certainly appreciate, when after a particular watch. These indications of human interaction allow for an understanding of the provenance of whatís on your wrist in an instant, which is always a great conversation starter.*
At the end of the day, weíre just talking about a case stamp thatís indicative of the government regulations surrounding the sale of wristwatches, in a certain place, at a certain time. Some may think thatís trivial at best, and others will find it ridiculously cool. Iím not sure about you, but I most definitely fall into the latter camp.*
Should you be concerned by the unsigned bridges of the Venus Cal. 175 movement, fear not, as this is a known trait of the earliest examples of the Ref. 769 Chronomat. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Breitling produced the reference using unsigned calibers, with quite a few examples leaving the factory this way. It is believed that unsigned calibers were used until the mid 1950s, at which point Breitling finally incorporated their mark. All in all, Iíd say this an attractive example of a desirable chronograph, thatís elevated by an import hallmark. Apart from a personally or historically significant caseback engraving, itís hard to beat an interesting import hallmark.*
An eBay seller based out of Newport Beach, California has this Chronomat listed in an auction thatíll come to an end on Sunday evening. The high bid stands at $1225 at the time of publishing. Youíll find more photos and details here.*
1961 Rolex Precision Ref. 4658

Iím not sure about you, but Iíve had a good bit of fun watching tastes in case size change over the last decade. Within ten years, weíve gone from regularly donning sober and even-keeled timepieces to thinking it was totally fine to leave the house with medallion-esque, dinner plates for the wrist strapped on tight, all the way back to focusing our admiration on the conservative dimensions of yesteryear. Iím not one for playing soothsayer or attempting to predict trends, but it wouldnít be ridiculous to think that people might further consider smaller watches with the passing of time. Crazier things have happened.*
Bubblebacks have become gradually more desirable once again, and I donít see why pieces like this 61 Rolex Precision shouldn't as well. Though it measures just 32 mm across, itís a stunning example of a more contemporary dress watch design from Rolex, thatís almost reminiscent of a Ref. 2526 Calatrava. The 2526 similarities end there, seeing as this watch is powered by the manually-wound Cal. 700 movement. The movement on this example also happens to have just been serviced, an always welcome bonus.*
I personally couldnít pull off a watch this small, but Iím sure many could and would Ė a few individuals I know who already do. On a nicer strap, on a smaller wrist, this would be the perfect watch for everyday wear for someone who appreciates a left field vintage Rolex.*
This example of the Ref. 4658 is being offered on eBay by a US based seller for $4,685. The full listing can be found here.
Omega Marine Ref. CK 679

I have a feeling Iíve gone on about this before, but early dive watches are just plain old cool. The getting-the-hang-of-it stages of any industry always make for a few years of interesting designs, and the Omega Marine is no exception. Despite being a watch intended for underwater use, itís hard to say exactly how many were actually used that way, back in the 1930s. Having said that, I find it interesting that nearly every example of the Omega Marine Iíve encountered has had a drastically different patina. This might suggest that perhaps underwater use did factor into how these watches ended up looking the way they do today.
Just a few days ago, I was pleased to find another Omega Marine listed for sale on eBay, in honest and original condition. Itís hard not to wonder what the watch wouldíve looked like with a crisp, silvered dial, being traced by blued steel hands, but itís also hard to deny that the current patinated state looks good. Iím just happy to see that the surface hasnít been scuffed or severely damaged in any way, above all. *
The construction of this pioneering dive watch continues to amaze to this day, with its unconventional, double case seal, which also happens to look rather smart, and un-sports like on the wrist. To think that in 2019, the Marine can essentially pass as a subtle dress piece shows just how much design has evolved over the last century. If you get a kick out of experimental timepieces, Iím sure youíll enjoy this one.*
An eBay seller in Lisboa, Portugal has this Omega listed for $3,999. Not $4,000 ó but $3,999. Find the full scoop here.*
IWC Rectangular Watch

I canít say Iíve really ever regretted the sale of a watch, save for one, which was an incredible IWC with a two-tone sector dial. Since then, Iíve been after something along the same lines. While that watch hasnít surfaced yet, many interesting ones haves, including this next watch which just popped up for sale in Japan. Unlike my one that got away, itís rectangular, but in stunning condition thatís worthy of attention. On the current strap or a modified metal bracelet, this is an impossibly tasteful piece.*
Youíre looking at an IWC which dates back roughly to the late 1930s, early 1940s ó fitted with the manually wound Cal. 87, which tucks neatly into the case. Watches like this arenít uncommon, but what is uncommon is the condition itís being offered in. Examine the case lines and dial edges if you need further proof. As an aside, itís worth noting that the dialís finish is indeed original, as vintage IWC dials are often refinished and faked with decent accuracy.*
The only downside that many will find with a watch like this is that the lugs are fixed, meaning that your strap options are indeed limited. In my opinion, this should surely factor into the pricing of a watch, but not scare you away from a purchase by any means. When the example is as good as this one, and with nice quality fixed lug straps not being impossible to track down, thereís little reason to say no.*
Private Eyes in Tokyo, Japan is selling this watch for $3,030. You can find more photos both on their site, and through their eBay listing.
Technos Skindiver Ref. FHF 969

My introduction to the Technos back catalogue came by way of the ďBig CrownĒ Sky Diver watches, that when I first encountered them many years back, I thought of merely as nice vintage divers. While that is ultimately what these watches are, Iíve since grown to appreciate the brand in a different way, after learning of Technosí continued dedication to advanced dive watch production. To wrap things up this week, Iíd like to share one of the more sophisticated Technos divers with you, so as to show off just exactly how refined the brandís dive watchmaking chops were.*
The watch you see before you is a not a Sky Diver but a Ref. FHF 969 Skin Diver from Technos, which was presumably purchased in 1971. Though it lacks the gilt dial and ornate indices seen on earlier divers from Technos, this piece is surely far more heavily specíd than the initially mentioned diver, as the presence of a helium release valve in its crown would suggest. Considering how new this technology wouldíve been in the dive watch world at this time, itís always interesting to think just how quickly Technos got in on the game, and to what degree.*
Although the valve is exciting, Iíd also like to direct your attention towards the inscription found on the caseback of this watch. Perpendicular to the factory engravings, youíll find engraved script which reads ďLove, Peggy 12ē25ē71.Ē Like the import hallmark mentioned earlier, this really adds nothing to the watch value-wise, but it helps the watch tell its story. Take two seconds to put two and two together, and youíll realize that this was given to someone by ďPeggyĒ on Christmas of 1971. Knowing the origins of a watchís ownership is always worth something.*
Youíll find this piece listed on eBay by a seller in California. The bidding has reached $220.50 at the time of publishing, and where it ends up is anyoneís guess. Follow along here.*


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