When a beer and a curry…

Lead to something altogether different!

Anyone who I’ve spoken to about my former collection of old Heuers will know that the one I missed the most was the Montreal. I wrote a long incoming post about them when I bought my first and was always surprised at how one of the least vaunted of all the old Heuers had captivated me as it did. Things are changing now, in fact, and the Montreal is considered to be one of the better investment pieces, as well as being an absolute delight to wear.

Anyway, last night I had a very enjoyable evening with a friend and his lovely (expectant) wife. During the course of the evening – and I don’t mean the curry – I was happy to relieve him of his rather lovely 110.53 NC to take the place of my former love. This one has patina to die for, and has been fully services by Abel Court (who at the same time relumed the hands to match the original tobacco hour plots on the dial). It really is bloody fantastic, and what with “the other Heuer” also arriving this week it’s been one to remember. It’s nice to be firmly back in the Heuer camp again, too!

What goes around…

A couple of years ago, my watches were much more geared towards vintage – I suppose a slight change of lifestyle and work pattern led me down the newer and dressier path. I’m very happy with what I have, hence the lack of buying and/or selling activity over the last few months; however, I do kind of miss a few of my older pieces, and one that I really did like a lot was the Heuer Autavia 11630 GMT. It really is a wonderful watch, and I was lucky to have what was effectively a NOS example that passed through the hands – and workshop – of the Belgian Magician. This is the one, now happily gracing a friends wrist…

These screw-back Autavias are beautiful watches, but I found the large cushion case and fairly high bezel a bit impractical; in fact, what I really wanted was the earlier compression-cased version (the 2446c). Now, that one is appreciably smaller at 40mm, so very wearable; it also has “regular” lugs, and so sits under a shirt a little more easily (and avoids door-frames with alacrity, I should add). I did pester a couple of people regarding the examples they owned, but sadly they weren’t going anywhere. Good ones are also pretty hard to find.

I effectively put the search on the back-burner, but by sheer luck happened across a photo on Instragram recently, from the account of a seller in the US who’s pretty well known; it seemed to be a remarkable example, actually, and after a few emails back and forth we’d agreed a deal. The transfer of funds, bank holiday and overseas shipping all took their toll in terms of waiting time, but the package finally arrived yesterday.

The 2446C GMT was first released in 1969, and the original/1st Execution had small subdials, plain steel hands and plain pushers. Later iterations had a variety of changes including red-tipped and partially red-filled hands, fluted pushers and some subtle script differences, and whilst they’re a little difficult to tell apart this is a 4th Execution example, dating from the mid-70’s. It would probably have been sold on a beads of rice bracelet, but it’s come to me on a Corfam-style rally strap, which looks pretty good.

Condition is remarkable, really (which isn’t that surprising, considering that the seller bought it from the original owner who was a retired Heuer watchmaker). The dial is near perfect, and the bezel is virtually unmarked; the case seems to have it’s original sharply-polished finish, and there are just some very faint hairlines to signify that it’s been worn at all. There’s a minor issue with regard to the 24-hour hand, but with a bit of luck I’ll get that sorted over the next week or two. I’m really happy with it, and intend keeping this for the long term, along with my other two remaining vintage watches (the 5513 and Tuna).

Those I miss…

For one reason or another – actually, for very personal reasons if truth be told – I was thinking about those few watches (of the many that I’ve sold) that I genuinely miss. Some have been replaced with like for like so don’t figure in this post, but the others of that ilk still leave me feeling like something of a fool for letting them go… because you just don’t see them often; they were superb examples and would therefore be very hard to replace; or because to replace them would cost me a whole lot more than I received for mine. (Or any combination thereof!)

Anyway, here they are, in no particular order…

Edit: this has now been replaced, so it can be moved to the No Longer Missed list 🙂

End of year SOTC

Well, it’s that time again… coming up to Christmas, the festive spirit is mostly in the fridge right now and a quick look back over the year is appropriate.

I posted a an SOTC this time last year, at which time I had 13 watches with an emphasis on vintage Rolex (and there were some beauties!). This year I tried to get the numbers down a bit, and I succeeded for a while… I seem to have gone back up to 12 again, though, which is yet further evidence of my non-existent will-power. Anyway, as I did last year I still have vintage Rolex and Autavia GMTs; a nice old 5513; a fugly Tuna; a dressy and complicated JLC and GO; and a variety of other things to give me plenty of options. Too many options really, but I may as well just enjoy them all while I can and stop worrying about it.

I’ll take the opportunity to wish everyone well over the holidays too. It’ll be a quiet one for me as my other half is away with her family, but at least I can watch all the horror movies I want to watch for a couple of weeks 🙂



Neglected

It’s funny, but since acquiring this old boy from the mid-seventies I’ve hardly given it a second glance. It’s indicative, I suppose, of the cycles we go through with watches – not that many months ago I was very much focussed on old Heuers, but now I’m down to just the one and it seems to be struggling for air.

I think I’ll make a point of giving it some wrist time over the Christmas holidays and at the same time resist the urge to show fabouritism to one or two others in the box that are partcilularly alluring right now.

Not another one?

Actually, my third Autavia GMT 16630. Well, I let that amazing NOS example go because I couldn’t bring myself to wear it, but I do love these watches and knew at some point I’d buy another. Yesterday I met up with a few guys from TZ, and took the opportunity to complete a trade with my old mucker Simon for this lovely thing. It looks more vintage than my previous examples but the dial is unmarked and Abel Court has given the case a light refinish. Aside from that it’s had a movement service from TAG so it really is in lovely nick.

Aside from a new watch (and some new – very expensive – boots) it was nice to hook up with everyone, ogle some watches, have a very good lunch and enjoy a beer or two.