The week-long wait is over; Market Watch(ing) is here. This week we’ve got a huge variety, ranging from reasonably priced vintage watches, to expensive modern Pateks that might leave you sleeping on the couch for a few nights (hey, at least you’ll get some alone time with your new watch). I think it goes without saying, but, grab your wallets and READ UP!

Neil’s Picks

Seiko 6105-8000

We’ve ranted and raved about Seiko before, especially their vintage divers. In my opinion, the quintessential diver from Seiko is the 6105. It bears all the hallmarks of Seiko’s diving glory and paved the way for countless references that still bare its DNA. These are getting increasingly hard to find in good condition or without aftermarket replacement parts. What makes this one special besides being (claimed) all original is that it is the 6105-8000, with a slightly slimmed down, yet still wonderfully cushioned case. This is not seen*as often as the more commonly found*6105-8110. There is slight corrosion on the dial, which is to be expected, but it is quite minimal. The dial and hands are matching as well, which is a good sign. Any 6105 is one of the best vintage divers you can get in terms of classic appeal and value, and this is a prime example — all that’s missing is a vintage tropic strap. I almost hesitated to post this to try and win the auction myself!
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Panerai PAM025

Say what you will about Panerai, but there are some watches they do quite well. The 44mm titanium PAM 25 dive watch is one of those. There’s no doubt 44mm is a hefty case size, but the titanium construction helps it to wear well and stay balanced on the wrist. What’s most striking on the PAM 25 is the hobnail dial. It gives the whole dial a texture and dimension that you can’t help but stare at. This is an older tritium version which I prefer as it gives warmth to the dial and case. Although the hands are replacements, tritium ones could easily be sourced. As with most titanium cases, it had held up well and still looks great. Of course the original box and papers are always a plus as well. I’ve seen these climb up to $6,000 so the $4,100 asking price is quite fair.

Dean’s Picks

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time ref 5164

Time to mix it up a bit this week and talk about some modern watches. Listen, vintage is great, 7/10 times I reach for a vintage watch and that’s because today’s modern higher-end time pieces have become status-symbol-man-jewelry nightmares. Having said that they are also finely crafted and well designed with years of know-how and technological advancements worked into updated designs. When it comes to modern sport watches I run hot and (mostly) cold due to the emphasis on flash and status (does a sport watch really need polished center links?). There are however a few modern pieces that really click for me on a lot of levels. One such watch was recently being discussed by the W4L team in our never ending online conversation: the Patek Aquanaut Travel Time in stainless steel.
A little bit on the aquanaut; it was originally launched as the 38mm ref. 5065 Jumbo and 36mm 5066 midsize in 1997. The current base model iteration is the 5167, which clocks in at 40mm. The 5167 is generally considered to be the entry level Patek Philippe. Used versions can be had for $15-17K depending on the condition and accessories. In 2011, the release of the 5164 incorporated Patek’s travel time complication which is now also seen in the infamous 5524 pilot watch as well as the better received 5990 Nautilus. The complication is well balanced on the dial and useful, but for my money it is most at home in the Aquanaut. Something about the combination of the grey dial and the white hands and numerals just clicks for me. This is one of a few watches that I really feel could fill the mythical ONE watch role. It is sporty, dressy, waterproof, slim, complicated…it checks a lot of boxes. Grey market dealer extraordinaire DavidSW currently has one listed on the Rolex Forums for $28,875.

Patek Phlippe Gondolo 5109G

I’m gonna stick with the modern Patek theme for this week and talk about another great watch which is under the radar: the reference 5109 Gondolo in white gold. I won’t rehash the whole fascinating story of Rio De Jinero’s Gondolo & Labouriau. But if you’re not familiar, check out this article.*Rectangular watches, love ’em or hate ’em, are different and offer a nice touch of variety to anyone’s collection. The 5109G is a personal favorite of mine due it its understated simplicity and great proportions. It just wears so well, and paired with a well tailored suit, well…you’re good to go right there. A great example in white gold is available via a private seller on Timezone for 7,000 GBP (which is a good price).

Isaac’s Picks

Wittnauer 242T Chronograph

In one of my first articles here on the site, I took a look at the tests that NASA put a series of watches through in order to determine which would be able to withstand the trying conditions of the Moon mission. As we all know now, Omegaís Speedmaster Professional ultimately won the spot on the shuttle, earning it the ďMoonwatchĒ moniker. With that said, the Speedy did still have some intriguing competition, namely the 242T from Wittnauer – a supremely cool Valjoux 72 powered chronograph.
As far as older Wittnauer chronographs go, these are rather rare. When one pops up for sale, I always get a little bit excited, and equally tempted to pull the trigger. I can never get enough of the dial on this piece, as it has such a unique aesthetic that you simply canít find anywhere else. I like to think that the circle of dots that travel all around the circumference of the dial almost resemble a system of planets, though thatís just me making the NASA connection. An example just popped up on eBay a few days back, and with the exception of the newly applied luminous compound on the hands, itís pretty clean, and seems to check all the boxes.
$4,199 or Best Offer

Rolex Chronographe ref 4062

There are a few dealers that consistently stock top-notch inventory, and it goes without saying that Iconic Watch Company is one of them. While they may have some solid Oysters in stock, another one of their offerings happened to catch my eye – a tremendously clean, war-era chronograph by Rolex. This particular Ref. 4062 was executed in 18K yellow gold, and features a number of subtle, yet exciting details.
First off, one of my favorite facets of this watch is the coin edge finishing thatís been applied to the sides the case, and the way it contrasts against the smooth bezel. Pair that with a multi-scale dial, a set of dauphine hands, and a coronet engraving on the caseback (one thing that you almost never see) and youíve got a recipe for off the charts awesomeness. The price might seem steep, but with later Rolex chronographs in the same range — which were mass produced on a larger scale and much more common — it’s hard to believe these will decrease in value any time soon.

Shane’s Picks

Smiths Everest

I had a handful of watches on deck for this week, leaving me with tough decisions on which to cut. However, my Smiths article earlier this week made one choice nearly a given. Here we have a “Made in England” Smiths Everest from the mid 1960s. Overall, it’s in decent shape; not perfect, but probably slightly above average. There are some scuff marks on the outer part of the dial from 1:00 to 3:00, but other than that, the dial looks great. The hands look original, but the lume may have been touched up some time ago. For 285 GBP, it’s hard to get too picky, especially with a watch that’s not easy to find. For a piece of British watchmaking history honoring Sir Edmund Hillary making Everest look mortal, I think it’s a great buy.

Benrus Type II Class A (TWO OF THEM!)

Left with a hard decision for my second pick, I went for bang-for-your-buck, and found two listings of the same watch. The Benrus Type II Class A is one of the last military issued mechanical watches that really saw some action. Although it may not be the United States’ finest hour of foreign diplomacy, I have a lot of respect for the Benrus watches that survived combat in the hot and humid jungles of Vietnam. These watches are absolute beasts. Both of these examples look pretty good, especially considering the lives they’ve lived. One is for sale at $1,500, and the other $1,800, which are both fair. With issued watches rising in price pretty much across the board, I think the Benrus Type IIs are undervalued. Frankly, I don’t have a good reason for not owning one, and yet, here I sit, stupidly not pulling the trigger.
$1,500 and $1,800

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