The usual year end SOTC

Well, I don’t really want to break with tradition, so here it is… the collection as it stands at the end of 2014. I won’t bore everyone with a long commentary, as my infamous incoming posts will suffice for that. Just a few words, though, to go with the pictures…

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400: I spent months thinking about this one, and in the end it took precedence over the Aquanaut I’d been planning to buy. I still don’t know whether that was the right decision, but I do know it’s a lovely watch; RO’s need to be handled to appreciate just how well they’re put together, and there’s a good reason why they’re considered by many to be the archetypal sports watch.

Moser Mayu: Quite simply, the nicest watch I’ve ever owned; I’ll go further and say that there isn’t a manufacture that produces watches with a more perfect finish. This one is white gold, and every time I put it on I’m completely gobsmacked.

Christian Van Der Klaauw Ceres 1974: CVDK has won the European Watch of The Year award 3 times in the last 5 years. There’s a good reason for this, and some of the astronomical (by which I mean cosmos-related, as opposed to expensive, although some are very expensive) complications the company produces are awe-inspiring. This is a bit left field for me, which is why I like it.

Dornblueth Kal 04.0: A more wearable size (for me, at least) than the better known models, the 04.0 was limited to just 75 pieces (50 in stainless steel, and 25 in rose gold) and all were produced in 2006. Dirk Dornblueth kindly wrote to me a while ago, clarifying that “the Kal. 04.0 movement includes 50% parts of an old GUB movement and 50% of the ebauche movement AS 1560 from the 1950’s”. Nice!

Glashutte Original Senator Perpetual Calendar: just a wonderfully simple, and wonderfully finished PC that for me ticks all the boxes when it comes to an affordable higher complication. The cleanness of the dial typifies Germanic watch design, and the movement is a wonder to behold.

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Calendar: I’ve had a few JLC’s, but seem to have settled on what – for me – is the archetypal reference. This is the current model, which (like the earlier Master Moon) has dispensed with the power reserve and has the logo back where it belongs. Once again, a very wearable size at 39mm.

Rolex Daytona: I was bloody nuts to sell the white gold Daytona I’d owned previously, but couldn’t find another at the right price and in the right condition. I do enjoy wearing this newer model, though, and find that it’s an ideal watch for pretty much all occasions. In fact, I usually reach for this when I’m not sure what I want to wear.

Panerai PAM337: It would be impossible to overstate how much I like this watch. It’s one of the 42mm models, and being a Radiomir is so wearable on a smaller wrist that it’s easy to forget that it’s actually the size that it is. I can dress it up with an alligator strap, or dress is down as it is in the photo below (on an Assolutemante)… it always looks fantastic and it always flies under the radar.

CWC Royal Navy Diver: This is a great weekend watch, and whilst I didn’t lust after them in a general sense I certainly did lust ofter this specific watch with it’s heat-treated insert. I nagged a chap from TZUK for about 18 months before I got it… but I got it!

Rolex 5513: This is a Mark IV Maxi from 1981, and quite simply it’s the nicest that I’ve seen with an immaculate dial and lovely thick case too. It went to a watchmaker friend for a new crystal to be fitted followed by the usual seal and pressure test, and he reckoned it was the nicest he’d seen too. On the wrist it’s just sublime.

Seiko 7549-7010: I’d had a lovely example of these vintage Tunas previously, and stupidly let it go. When the chance arose to acquire another beauty – this one again from 1978 – I didn’t waste the opportunity. This is another watch that received the highest praise from my watchmaker when he popped a NOS Hardlex crystal on it, and on the shark mesh it’s nothing short of perfect.

Seiko 6309-7040: I’ve had loads of 6309s and never manage to hang onto them for long; then, when I sell them, I always seem to buy another! This one dates from 1984; it has it’s original non-Suwa dial and hands, but is fitted with a Yobokies double domed crystal with internal AR (hence the reflections!). It also has an aftermarket large dot insert on at the moment, but I do have an original insert on a spare bezel too.

Right then – that’s it… far too many watches, really, but I rather like them all and am not planning on flipping anything. I’ve got a nice mix of dressy, sporty, old and new and reckon I’m pretty lucky!

Oh, the irony…

A few months ago, I wrote an incoming post about an IWC Portuguese that I’d recently acquired. You can read it here if you feel inclined, but to cut a long story short I spent a while explaining the connection between IWC and a company that, back then, had taken the Russian watch market by storm. That company was Moser, and had I been able to fast forward to this week I’d have had to laugh. The IWC went because it was simply too big for me at 42mm (and all dial); and the most unexpected of incomings proved to be a Moser Mayu Marrone. (The Mayu collection is, interestingly, a tribute to Heinrich Moser’s first wife, Charlotte Mayu.)

This is a September 2014 watch that’s been worn just a handful of times, and it’s not the LE model that we’ve seen on the forum a few times of late. This one – the “standard” Mayu Marrone – has a solid brown dial and arabic numerals at 12; I think the numerals actually give the dial much more balance, with the sub-seconds at 6 providing a very elegant symmetry. The case, measuring 38.8mm without the crown and 9.3mm high, is white gold and whilst the difference from stainless steel is subtle it’s still very noticeable in terms of the hue and the effect of light as it hits from different angles; of course, it’s also a fair bit heavier. The wonder of this case, though, is in the contrast of flat and curved, brushed and polished… it’s multi-faceted and really is quite beautiful.

The finish on the movement is absolutely breathtaking, and it’s such a good fit for the case that Moser were able to dispense with a retaining ring and use every millimetre of the dial (as you can see, in fact, from the placement of the sub-dial); a really nice change, this, from the more usual small movement/large case approach that has predominated watch design in recent years. It’s an in-house Moser Cal. HMC321.503 hand-wound movement with 80 hour power reserve, modular escapement and PR indicator, all visible through a display back. I’ve actually had a really good look at it through a 10x loupe, and the finish is nothing short of perfect.

In fact, the entire watch is perfect, and it’s probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever had on my wrist.