Vintage Watch Blog.
There are very few people that would argue with you, that Gerald Genta was the most important watch designer of the 20th and 21st Century. In fact, just about every major Swiss watch brand was lined up to try to hire Genta for his design work. Genta was born 1931 in Geneva, the luxury watch capital of the world, and went on to be the single most influential figure in modern horology. His unique designs and legendary attention to detail, to this day, are still regarded as the very best in modern design, such as the highly successful AP Royal Oak. I recently had the pleasure to feel, touch and learn more about this watch and the new line of Bvlgari while in St. Thomas at International Diamonds. Watch the videos below to learn more.
AP took a huge financial and brand risk in the late 1960's in deciding to design and launch the Royal Oak. In fact, the Royal Oak entered the market in 1972, the year my sister Tara was born ...not relevant at all, and was not initially well received. Critics from all over the world said it may be too modern and the watch was also chastised for what was perceived as an outrageous price. And it was, if your benchmark was the Rolex Submariner or any other established functional waterproof watch of the time. The Royal Oak was often much more expensive in stainless steel than even solid gold dive watches from the period. By the mid 70's the watch was starting to take off and since then has been one of the most legendary watches of all time, right up there with the Patek Philippe Nautilus, another Genta design.
Genta's other most famed watches were the Universal Geneve Polerouter and the Omega Constellation to name a couple. These were some of the most loved Genta designs along with the Royal Oak and the Nautilus.
Now that we've mentioned Universal Geneve, that leads us to a more uncommon but important Genta design, the Golden and White Shadow, launched in the 1960's by Universal along with using their in-house horology prowess by implementing their newer micro-rotor calibre. Unlike some of the other watch manufacturers that Genta worked with, Universal's appetite for in-house innovation was more predominant especially when you consider the Royal Oak's first versions implementing Jaeger-LeCoultre movements.
The Golden Shadow and White Shadow were first produced in 1965 and were the thinnest automatic watch movements at the time, with a thickness of only 2.3mm. This record was held until 1978. The Shadows were also designed by Genta and were available in 18K yellow and white gold as the Golden Shadow, and in stainless steel as the White Shadow. Both watches contained the Caliber 2-66 micro rotor movement up until the late 1960s. This watch is unchartered territory in the vintage market and is likely to appreciate rapidly; as the market is now discovering some of these treasures that were overlooked in the past. The White Shadow, in particular, is a great candidate for appreciation due to its brand, calibre, designer and very low production numbers.
The Patek Philippe exhibit in NYC was outstanding. I took many pictures with my phone. I wish I had brought my professional camera but for some reason I thought they would not allow pictures. To my surprise, they did. In fact the Patek Philippe staff that were there, were more hospitable and knowledgable than I could have imagined. Each time I send something out I'll be showing pictures from the event slowly. There are a couple watches I will review individually, the 2-3 I liked the most. I can tell you, I have a whole new respect for the brand. Although, I'm sure I would feel the same if V&C or Rolex did an exhibit. See four pictures below that tell a wonderful story. Please remember, that many of my content now it done through YouTube @adamvintage. I would recommend following my YouTube and Facebook page since many times, I'll post content on one of those that I won't use anywhere else.
We only have one, very nice, but just one Vintage Patek Philippe for sale at adamvintage.com; however, I felt very good after the exhibit that Patek Philippe takes great pride of craftsmanship in every watch they've ever produced. The were many classic looking rounds, tanks, square etc..., but I would like to point out, that in their museum collections the stranger watches PP produced from the 60's and 70's were not represented. Perhaps they are just not old enough - or perhaps they are just out of favor at the moment. I will say, there were a lot of pocket watches represented. Some few very early wristwatches that tell a great story that I cannot wait to share with you once I have everything edited and read through again for either a video blog on YouTube or in writing.
When you click on the pictures or if on a desktop, roll your mouse over it, both will zoom in to read the stories and get a better look of the watch.
Just a quick update, we've recently added a vintage watch gift page and we will now carry vintage Seiko on it's own page. Here are the links for both:
On a side note, we have some extraordinary watches for sale at AdamVintage right now.
That's a wrap, please remember to like us on facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
The Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster Pacman, is one of the rarest and most sought after dive watches in the world that's not a Rolex. Although, most collectors don't know much about them. This watch earned it's nickname among rare watch collectors due to the shape of the numerals on the dial, an Art Deco design, as you can see on the dial below. For disclosure purposes, I do not know the original person to take this picture and this is not the watch we procured.
I recently procured a very rare model of the Pacman. Some collectors may be wondering what I mean exactly. Part of procuring a watch as rare as this can mean hours of research may be needed to prevent a bad purchase that cannot be sold and also have pieces available that many other dealers don't have or are sold out; and consumers want. To begin with, in my research, I've learned there are several variations of this watch; and I do not think it is well documented as to the age of these models. I've learned that several models of significant difference exists. For example, the one in which I procured is a model 103 with no "automatic" or "1000m" text on the dial, which almost all have. That was a big hurdle to overcome because everything else said this is an original dial, which we learned now, it is. I've been able to legitimize this variations and they appear much earlier in date than than most examples. I also found that this version was only marketed to a depth of 3000ft, not 1000m (big difference as 3000ft is a little less than 100m) and I found two other example spanning about 10 years, in which very respected dealers labeled it as 1000m but the earliest version is not. Just take a look at the ad in this section. The watch in the ad is the one we have...available for pre-sale while in the shop for a service. It is the rarest of all the Pacman's. Here's a question, will the "Pacman" designation eventually change for these watches so that only the examples that have yellowish patina are granted that nickname? I ask this because 90% of the examples I see have white on the dial. Many were replaced at some point do to the fact of radioactive material in the lume paint.
Most examples of this watch, and what collectors & dealers call them, is a 1000m rated dive watch. We know this is not true now due to the evidence and experts I spoke with. In terms of age, Art Deco numerals that makes this watch so famous, and clearly a cult watch, would be unusual for the 50s or 60s which almost every dealer lists them as. The Art Deco era started to end in the late 1930s and ended completely in the 1940s; before WW1. That tells me that this watch was likely produced in the 1940s instead of the evolved iterations which were made in the 50s and 60s and the company deciding to keep the popular numerals the way they were. Although I have to say, some of the examples I've seen sold, the dial looks way too busy for my taste. I've been through the process of examining most sales that happened and only one of these versions sold that I can find anywhere. I also noted that a substantial number of comparable other versions, many sales were refinished dials; or at the very least the lume was removed and replaced. To summarize, I believe we've done a great job procuring the rarest Nivada "pacman" available and likely the very first run of the model with little surviving pieces or very low production with the icing on the cake being the extraordinary condition and original dial. Good examples of any version (or Croton) of this watch are way undervalued. I predict mid double digit percent growth in value over the next several years; although I cannot promise. I will also note that the dials that say "1000m" may be the only version that is actually rated to this depth even though it is widely believed all of these watches are. In fact, any listings found highlight it in almost every sale I've examined. Quickly back to Croton, they became a distributor for Nivada in 1940. The case of our watch was made by Croton and signed as such which suggests that at some point, Croton supplied the case or even more likely, always had. Don't forget, Croton, although not a respected brand now, was one of the most respected watchmakers and casemakers known for old handicraftsmen watchmaking methods which led to their demise during the quartz crisis. I hope you enjoyed this blog piece, please pass it along for others. Also, a lot of my blogging now is done on YouTube so you actually can see who I am. I would recommend subscribing so that you are alerted to new blogs. Click here to fo to our YouTube channel: AdamVintage
Here is a link to our pre-sale listing: Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster Pacman
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Okay Ladies and Gents, I understand that you may not be a watch collector, or know really anything about watches, their history, mechanics, brands etc. Most people I talk with never heard of a Vacheron or Patek or Piaget... The only thing people heard of is Rolex....in general. So, I get it - your "watch stupid" but you do like watches; and that's okay...I think battleships are cool but I know nothing about them. What prompted me to make this blog is that I was doing some updating SEO for my site. I started googling different vintage items of interest and alas, almost the entire first page of google (which are mostly paid ads) are retailers of "cool men's products." So I started looking at them. I search, "Vintage Military Watches" and a lot of ads come up from companies I never heard of; and they are selling watches that they are calling vintage military watches (they even include dates like "1960's") and they are brand new watches made in China or somewhere foreign. The rest of the page had a lot more of this. I don't even want to describe the carnage I saw when I searched for Rolex. Now, these fake watchmakers have been getting smart and calling their watches that are duplicates of other real more expensive watches by another brand names. These "brands" you never heard of usually aren't real. That keeps things under the radar and prevents lawsuits in some cases.
To give you the readers digest version, I get it. You like the style, you don't know about watches, it's hard to invest in things you don't know about, you hear horror stories from people that had bad experiences... - so you get something a tenth of the price that's new and looks the same. Here lies the problem. Most (not all) of these so called companies are not companies at all. They are selling you watches made by people with ties to terrorist organizations and most of the profit is used to kill innocent people like you and I. In fact, the entire industry of rip off fake luxury goods is one of the top revenue sources for these people and the terrorist organizations they represent. Go ahead and google it if you don't believe me. All the major legitimate publications have written about the proof that exists at some point over the past 10 years.
Please educate yourself on these things. England just yesterday had a major terror attack...Europe is littered with terrorists waiting to strike and it will be on our shores if it's not already. These people need money. Where do you think it comes from? They aren't working on farms. As consumers and citizens, if you are one, we live in a Republic not a democracy. It is our job to pay attention to these things. It is our job to hold congress accountable for the lack of regulations on imports or smuggling. But at the very least, please remember this post. If all you can afford to buy is a Fossil or Timex, than by all means just do that or save money for the watch you want that is real. And shop at a reputable dealer if vintage and an authorized retailer if new. I take the time to write this because, yes I need to make a living, but more important I love our country and we must protect it. Our founding fathers knew that; and they knew we would forget one day, which is why it is in the largest possible font on our constitution "We the People". God bless America and our allies. Aside from working in the vintage watch business, I also do work for National Write Your Congressman. A truly great organization that gives you the tools to use your influence in congress.. Yes, you actually have influence. You can learn more about it on my personal site adamdubilo.com . I hope everyone has a wonderful day! I'm mostly video blogging now so please subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep updated on new inventory and anything else I want to rant about.
Hi everyone. I hope you watch freaks out there like me have been having a good time and living life to its fullest; while being punctual of course. So over the past week there's been a lot of changes to AdamVintage. We've added about 30% more to our in-stock vintage watch inventory, Invested in a new category of pocket watches, brought on a gift jewelry dealership Andrew Gordon Jewelry, launched apps for Google Play and Apple Store and did some redesigns to help navigate the site better. And, oh yeah, I've been making videos on YouTube. God help us all.
So, the short story is, we've been expanding and growing thanks to awesome clients like you; especially clients that come back all the time. We love you all! Below is a taste of some new items and some of the ridiculous YouTube videos I've done. Actually I have a lot of fun with them except I need way more people subscribing to my channel and watching a film or two. Some of these you really might enjoy; and subscribing just give you a heads up on when there's a new film.
Thank you all for helping create a good start to the year with new whimsical items and newer ways to interact with me. I usually put out an official report of the projection of the vintage watch market in the first quarter of each year. I did this last year and man was I right. This year, the vintage market will continue to expand while the new mid-market Swiss watch market will contract. We'll see once undervalued vintage watches become cultish and going up triple digit percentage in some cases; while the more common collectable watches will grow slightly. These are my observations for the past five months and there is a lot of momentum behind it. Next blog piece, I will be highlighting some watches from the 80's and 90's that will become hot vintage pieces in the near future. I think you'll be surprised at what I predict. Stay tooned.
Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know I'm still working hard to bring you informative fun content. I've just been focusing on video lately. Here are some recent watch reviews... and a slide show of my most recent artistic pictures. So...first slide show and then three of my videos below...you don't even have to go to the movies tonight! Please subscribe to my YouTube channel - I'll be writing soon.
So, I hope by now, you've learned enough that you can never make a new first impression. To make things even more difficult, people size you up and make judgements in the matter of seconds. Everyone does it; it's build into our DNA as a defense mechanism. But nowadays, this amazing Human skill is used more to determine possible relationships, business dealings and possible friendships. Okay, so what do men look at when they size up other men. Now, there is the obvious: body language, confidence, clothing, cufflinks, car, position of power... The list goes long, and it all happens in seconds.
If you're a Woman reading this, you may wonder..., why are guys sizing each other up anyway? Men want to know what they're up against. Can I trust this person? May a friendship develope? Can I see myself doing business with him? Do I even want to listen to him? Is this dude cool?
Over the course of several years, I've noticed two things that almost all men look for other than the obvious. Either the shoes he is wearing, his watch, or both. They do say you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes. And I've heard many men say you can tell a lot about a man by his watch - Robert Downey, Jr. has noted to say this many times publicly. But who cares about him.
Guys, before you go out and buy some new shoe at the local discount shoe store for $50, think twice. I know not everyone can afford this, but the reality is, good dress shoes for men start at around $200. If you're paying less but have the money, stop what you're doing. And if you don't have the money - save for it or take a zero interest deal or something. If a cobbler cannot resole the shoe it's likely junk. Look for shoes made in the USA or in Europe. Good shoes should be real leather both inside and out. Shoes are a big deal. And in business, many studies suggest that shoes can make the second most important impression after body language, while watches usually come in third. What we say is toward the bottom of the list believe it or not.
It's a competitive world out there gentleman. I find I win everytime when I'm not afraid to be myself when choosing these items. Sometimes conservative and classic, while other times eccentric and interesting. When you be yourself and not try to be another person; you're confident in yourself. When you can get to the point where your style is your own, that is when you can stop worrying about these things or even worst, ask advice from a friend or spouse. Not that their opinion doesn't matter, but it shouldn't make the decision. It's your world guys, make the best of it and design it yourself; remember you're the architect. Peace out.
For anyone that’s been paying attention to the market, auctions, dealer’s inventory, and such; you’ll notice something peculiar. Pocket watches that were once shunned by vintage watch collectors are some, now, becoming the crown jewel of a gentlemen's collection. For me, it’ no surprise really; my first fascination with watches started with pocket watches from the early 20th century. Many of these watches seduce with their beautiful and plentiful variety of cases and more importantly what lies inside. Pocket watches from the 20th century; both Swiss and American were in heavy competition for market share during times of peace. Therefore, no expense was spared to create some of the highest quality calibers with no shortage of ruby jewels, adjustments, Cotes de Genève, stippling, engraving, fire blued screws and hands, porcelain dials, gold set screwed in jewels, innovative hairsprings and high grade plating. I guess I could go on, but I think you get my point. At the core of these watches, was the apogee of the highest grade watches using antiquated, mostly by hand, watchmaking techniques that took much time and the highest level of craftsmanship. Please pardon my bias; however, it’s my opinion that American manufacturers such as Hamilton, Illinois and Howard did this best – not the Swiss. In fact, many of these watches, especially those made for utility such as railroad and military use, were of better finish and chronometer grade when compared to some of today’s most expensive wrist watches. Nearly every railroad watch I own is between 120-70 years old and still keeps chronometer spec time and probably always will. Sadly, many pocket watches where disassembled and scrapped for their gold value when wristwatches became the norm and at various times in history when gold was of high value.
Vintage Illinois Bunn Railroad Size 16S 21 Jewel Rare 3-Hinge Highly Decorated Pocket Watch
Here comes the problem for most. Yes, these rare birds are beautiful; nonetheless, many collectors like to wear their collection from time to time. Wear you say? No problem. I laugh with anyone that says wearing / using a pocket watch is uncool. In fact, the trend is just the opposite. Vests and the three piece suits are also back in favor…problem solved. And if you’re not into dressing up, a pocket watch can be securely held in the pocket of any jeans and t-shirt ensemble. Furthermore, men are looking for ways to be perceived as more interesting and unique; pulling out a stunning pocket watch to check the reservation time on a first date can make a real impression that will be noted – and dare I say a great conversation starter. Just make sure you do it right. Pocket watches aren’t fanny packs or pagers, so keep them off your belt. You’ll need a nice chain or soft leather pouch to keep it in a vest or pant pocket; otherwise I recommend keeping them home on a first date.
Now that we’ve had a little fun, here are some fun historical facts about pocket watches. The History of pocket watches started in early late 1400s and early 1500s when mechanical engineering reached the state when simple spring devices could be made. By using the invention of mainspring, German inventor Peter Henlein was finally able to create watches that did not require falling weights as the source of their power. This invention gave birth to the first wave of small portable watches, which were in the beginning worn as a pendant on a chain around the neck. Marie Antoinette commissioned a gold Breguet pocket watch, ca. 1827. It took 44 years to complete after it was first commissioned in 1793. Marie Antoinette never saw the watch through to its completion, as she was sent to the guillotine 10 years before its completion. It is referred to as the Queen/Mona Lisa of watches. Inside Lincoln's watch, the Smithsonian Institute discovered inscriptions made by Dillon; the maker of the watch. The inscription reads: “Jonathan Dillon April 13-1861 Fort Sumpter [sic] was attacked by the rebels on the
Okay guys, this isn't your traditional blog piece from me. But I spent so much research on a particular Museum Watch I have for sale, that I just had to share. So Here you go, my official description of this watch. It's a fun historical watch fact to read.
11/14/2016 TBD - in research.
11/15/2016 100% original Movado Museum high beat manual wind in 14k Solid Yellow gold; with original crystal, crown, strap and buckle. This could be a very rare piece. Please stand by for more information as I gather it - or you may just purchase it. Thank you.
11/19/2016 - okay, after much research, and I will tell you I wish I took pictures of the movement before my watchmaker serviced it because it appears to be a top loader with a 1 piece case; and the research would have been so much easier. This watch appears to be one of the original unauthorised versions of the Museum Watch circa 50s. The case construction is suggestive of the 50s, along with several other elements of the watch like it's original acrylic crystal and the fact that it's a manual wind movement with a frequency of 21600; which puts it in the caliber 15-18 family, a suitable caliber for this watch, - which was produced in the 50s and before any Zenith collaborations. This would be considered high beat at the time because most Movado calibers only had a frequency of 18000. Further support for this evidence, is that the original dial is signed just movado...while 60s and 70s and maybe even some 80s pieces were co-branded Movado Zenith. So at this point you may be like, okay Adam why is this so important? Well, let's start with the sorted story of how this watch was conceived.
Designed in 1947 by Bauhaus-influenced artist Nathan George Horwitt, the watch dial has a very simple design dial defined by a solitary dot at 12, symbolizing the sun at high noon. This design created a crazy phenomenon for at least 40 years, starting in the 60s, and is now making a comeback. When the design was conceived, it was well received by the elite modern art designers at the time, but the general public just wasn't ready to wear anything like this...I mean just look at every design from the 40s-50s and you'll see nothing like this because people wouldn't buy it. So, Horwitt, well known for attempting to sell his wildly modern designs, approached Vacheron Constantin-Jaeger LeCoultre and they must have struck a deal to produce a few to test the market. This was very short lived and the partnership on this design must have crumbled quickly because production stopped and there are almost none of these watches found on the market - it is however in the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1960, the first watch dial ever awarded this distinction.
So how did Movado get involved? Well, it appears that the folks at Movado loved the design and saw a bright future for the watch. They literally copied the design without permission and started producing what now is known as the most recognized watch in modern history; and very few people know that this was actually an exact copy of the original design and not the original design itself. That said, it fairly went unnoticed in the 50s; but in the 60s and moving forward, this design took the watch world by storm - likely because it earned the distinction it did coining it the Museum Watch. Rightfully so, the actual Museum Watch in the Museum of Modern Art, was produced by Vacheron.
As you can imagine, Horwitt was not too happy that Movado, who he never officially sold the design to, was reaping all the benefits. Finally in 1975; Horwitt and Movado settled; making Movado the official owner of the design. Surprisingly, the settlement was for a small sum of $29,000.
Okay, now back to why this watch is so important. It represents this sorted story before the story really took form. It's one of the original Museum Watches in which the design was sort of stolen in a way by Movado. They are extremely hard to find because people still didn't accept them in the 50s, therefore very few were produced. This is an exciting piece to have in any vintage watch collection.
If you are interested in another perspective, Ariel Adams did a really nice write up about the Movado Museum Watch.
Adam J. Dubilo, founder of Adam Vintage
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