Hello, fellow watch freaks!
This is our top 3 for the Catawiki Vintage Watch auctions which end on February 16th and 17th at 8 pm (CET).
It’s always difficult to only highlight 3 watches but this week we picked a Jaeger-LeCoultre, a Universal Genève, and a Bulova.
Please remember to always do your own research. This is not an endorsement or advice in any way. You’re responsible for your own bidding.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deepsea Master Mariner
This week’s top 3 starts with this amazing piece. A very rare Jaeger-LeCoultre Deepsea Master Mariner from the late 1960s. An early Jaeger-LeCoultre dive watch with compressor case and inner turning bezel!
I have to admit, it’s a pricey piece and not something everybody can afford, but I think this one really deserves a place in this week’s article. As stated, it really is a rare piece, but most importantly, it’s also a source of inspiration for the design in some of their modern watches. Take a look at their Deepsea collection, where they clearly used some great ideas from the past.
This particular watch is in overall good condition. The dial is original and has a lovely patina, that you obviously want on a diver from the 1960s. The applied metal JL logo is a nice touch on the dial too!
The hands are original and nicely faded. The watch also has the compressor crowns.
The case is polished (mentioned in the description) but that is not a big problem, as it’s obviously done very well in this case.
I bet this watch will look awesome on a time correct Tropic dive strap.
Universal Genève Tri Compax
The second piece I chose is this amazing Universal Genève Tri Compax from ca. 1950.
The reason I chose this one, is because I actually own one myself. A full set, but in steel. I’ll write a full article about it for WahaWatches when it;s back from the watchmaker. I truly love this watch. You know what they say, it’s all about complications!
This example has the word ‘vintage’ written all over it. The classic golden case, the stunning dial with the lovely patina and a movement that is a work of art on its own.
If you compare this piece with the more sporty style of watches from that era (1950s-1960s), you have to admit that it’s a bit more classy.
The universal Genève Tri Compax has reached an iconic status among collectors worldwide and prices went up drastically during the last few years. I believe that they even will go up in price a lot more because there are only a few untouched pieces in good condition out there.
This particular specimen looks real honest to me. A very clean movement and a great dial with lots of character!
You have to be careful when buying one of these. The main issue is the redials you find. Sometimes they’re done quite good, sometimes not so good. In any case, it affects the value a lot.
The third and final piece for this week is this Bulova Accutron in full set from the 1970s.
It’s rare to find a full set from the space age, so that makes this one a bit more special than a ‘watch only’ auction.
The Bulova Accutron has earned its place in the history books. Bulova was the first brand to patent this technology and at the time it was seen as an evolution in the watch industry, so lots of other brands jumped on it and started working with Bulova (think of Omega with the Speedsonic and the F300Hz movements, for example).
It’s true that the quartz crisis destroyed many brands and it had a huge impact on watchmaking and insights in watchmaking at that time, but it’s surely a part of history that can’t be denied. And after all, Accutrons are still partly mechanical watches!
In general, they can still be picked up for a reasonable price, but they became a lot more expensive last few years, also because everybody is looking for a good one.
This particular one looks really good, it has a sharp case and it comes with the box and papers.
The problem with these watches it that they’re very fragile. Parts are very expensive and hard to come by. So when you’re buying one, make sure it works 100% and it was checked by a watchmaker (preferably with a full service). You don’t want to search for parts yourself because you’ll end up paying more than the watch’s value.
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Matthias is a vintage watch collector who’s very active on the watch market. He’s also an admin of “Horlogefreaks”, the largest watch-related FB group in the Benelux.