This Panerai Luminor Submersible ref PAM 243 came in recently for a service and I thought it would make a good subject to post about simply due to the fact that it uses the calibre OP III movement which is based on the venerable Valjoux 7750 chronograph.
This Rolex Sea Dweller ref 16600 came in recently for a service and I thought I’d feature it as I love these particular watches, I’ve had one for many years and they are my favourite Rolex sports watch. I’ve had them, sold them, tried vintage Rolex (5513 & 16800) but have always returned to the ref 16600 – there’s just something about them! The one featured is an F from 2004, meaning the serial number starts with the letter F. The various letters denote years of manufacture and this is a handy way of dating your Rolex if your not sure how old it is, however Rolex now uses random serial numbers which just isn’t cricket 🙂
This quartz Heuer came in recently for a movement service. I see quite a few variants of these across the bench but rarely with a full glow dial, and rarely one in such cracking condition as this example. The rotating bezels on these usually are a lot more worn than this one is and dials can so easily become damaged by dead battery cells that have burst inside the watch. This one really is a rare survivor in such great condition! The dial is actually phosphorescent as opposed to lume and the advertising of the time marketed them as “Night diver” watches. The dial will glow for 10 minutes after a 10 second “charge” under a strong light. This model also came in a black case (980.031) and a ladies sized black case (980.030). Powered by the ESA 536.121 quartz movement, it makes it a rock solid reliable performer.
Hands up all you vintage Seiko dive watch enthusiasts who remember this one? I certainly do, when it appeared on ebay last year I was inundated with requests for information for the duration of the auction! Some people were a bit coy and showed me a few photographs saying they “had the chance of purchasing a 6159 diver that was in pieces”, others were more candid and said “this 6159’s on ebay, what do you think?” Looking at the picture below it actually looks quite reasonable, probably in need of a relume you may think.
I thought I’d feature this 6105-8110 as it’s an example that actually worked for a living as opposed to being taken for an occasional swim or snorkel! It was bought in the 1970’s by the current owners father who was a professional deep sea diver back in those days. He wore it throughout his diving career and when he’d finished the watch dropped off the radar only to reappear in 2015 when his son was clearing out the garage. He contacted me to see if it could be resurrected as a reminder of his late dad. As you can see it’s had a hard life, the insert has faded to a lovely grey colour but that’s about the only positive I could see! The lume was grotty, the hands were ominously stained with rust and the seconds hand was floating about under the crystal. The movement couldn’t be turned by the crown, everything was locked up.
This classic 6159-7001 came in recently for a movement service, a new crystal, a relume of the dial and hands and investigation of the non clicking bezel. I’ve written about these beautiful watches a few times before, they were actually Seikos first ‘Professional’ series divers watch (a line which continues to today) developed in conjunction with real divers who listed the features they’d find most useful in a dive watch. When released they were more expensive than many of the Swiss brands (including Rolex) and as such tended to be bought and used by professional divers for their intended purpose as a hard working tool watch. Remember these were the days before big chunky watches became fashionable, the average dress watches at the time were 35mm and a lot slimmer 🙂
As can be seen on this one the lume on the minute and seconds hand had dropped out and had been replaced with a non matching compound, the remaining original lume was quite grubby but the gilt frames had survived remarkably well.
An interesting refurbishment that came in near the end of last year was this Heuer 980.023 quartz powered 1,000m divers watch. The owner remembers buying it sometime in the early eighties and did many dives with it, he also said it holds a special place in his life story and as such he would like it running again. The watch has been used hard for its intended purpose and the owner didn’t want to take any of it’s history away by reluming or replacing the dial, he wanted it to be the watch he remembered wearing on his dives. Similarly we decided to replace the crystal but apart from a thorough clean of the case not to do anything further.