In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer, along with five crew members set out on a journey from South America to Polynesia on a wooden raft. They set out to prove the possibility of contact between the civilizations of the two regions in ancient times.
The name of the raft was KonTiki.
Crew members of the KonTiki were supposedly equipped with Eterna watches. A reasonable choice, as for what it’s worth, Eterna was one of these few brands, that managed to get just about everything right, waterproof cases included.
Oddly enough, it’s not known if Heyerdahl himself was wearing an Eterna. The watch on museum display, labeled as the “expedition’s chronometer” (well, hardly a chronometer as such) is…a military issued Longines COSD “Tuna Can”. These were built by Longines for British paratroopers during World War II.
It’s unclear just what a British milwatch was doing on the wrist of a Norwegian explorer, however – in all likelihood – it could have been a military surplus purchase, as many milwatches were decommissioned and sold after the war.
Anyway, Longines didn’t make it into the history books as the brand of the watches worn by the KonTiki crew. Eterna, however, did.
This Omega Seamaster Cosmic was a tough call.
The dial, hands, and the front of the case are in good condition but the back looks like it was used as a block plane.
During the inspection, it was immediately clear that it needed a service because the movement was very dirty. I also noticed that the sweep second pinion friction spring needed to be replaced because it was badly distorted. The crystal also needed to be replaced.
Based on the condition, the initial verdict was that this watch wasn’t worth the time and money. The owner would sell it as is.
However, it pains me to see a non-runner. Especially when it’s a watch like an Omega that would be a good runner with some love and one tiny new part. I decided to ask around for a used spring in good condition.
Luckily, I was able to find one so here we go.
Another Buren Grand Prix on the workbench. I’ve had two close encounters with a Buren Grand Prix before. One of them even had the same movement, the Buren 1420.
This one is from the 1960s and in great condition. The case looks like new and it has the original signed crown. That’s the first time I’ve seen a signed crown on a Buren other than a micro-rotor one (Super Slender).
Sadly, it regularly stopped without an apparent reason and it didn’t keep accurate time. The amplitude was also much too low.
This article is about the Speedmaster Professional watches of the 1980s, a difficult period for Omega.
With the introduction of the Mark II in 1969, the Speedmaster collection went far beyond the watch we all think of when someone says “Speedmaster.”
The vintage watch market is very healthy. Prices for vintage watches have gone up (a lot) in general but it’s impossible to talk about every available watch.
Instead, I’ve selected the brands, models, and genres that have seen the largest jumps in price and I’ll also discuss what I believe the near future will bring, including some tips for watches that still have the potential for growth.