This lovely gents Rolex came in recently for a movement service, it was losing time, had very little power reserve and kept stopping. Powered by the calibre 3035 which is the predecessor to the current calibre 3135, it was the first high-beat (28,800bph) movement made by Rolex. The 3035 was a development of the venerable 15xx series and has a free-sprung balance with Breguet overcoil, contains Rolex’s patent Microstella regulating system and has an instantaneous date changeover mechanism.
I had an unusual request recently, to paint the seconds hand of a watch from red to pink! I asked why the owner wanted this done and he explained the watch was his wifes and that she (and he) had just bought a pink highlighted NATO strap each that were being sold by a guy who’s raising money for breast cancer research. This particular chap and his wife had their world turned upside down 8 weeks after the birth of their first son when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Out of a feeling of hopelessness that there was little he could do to help his wife he decided to get some NATO straps manufactured and see if he could raise some funds to battle the disease. The story is here along with details of how to order your own strap, and there’s a link to Mikes instagram account here.
Here’s how the watch started….
I’ve featured a few Omega Seamasters before but never a calibre 284 so I thought this one worthy of inclusion! It arrived for a movement service and to have a caseback seal fitted as there wasn’t one present.
This beautiful gents Rolex oyster perpetual date came in recently for a service. It has a gorgeous engineers bezel and the loveliest deep blue dial I’ve ever seen on one of these.
This veteran 9k gold cased gents watch came in for a bit of tlc recently. The name Bravingtons Renown as far as I can establish was taken from Bravingtons the London jewellers who had a shop in Pentonville Road, and Renown was the name they gave to their wristwatches. Renown was actually registered by Bravingtons as a trademark in 1955 but they were using the name long before then.
Sekonda is a British distributor of watches that these days are imported from Asia, but up until 1993 it sourced it’s watches from Russian manufacturers, the majority being rebranded Raketa or Poljots. Unusually the subject of this article is a Sekonda branded Slava. Slava watches were produced in Russia at the Second Moscow Watch Factory for USSRs civilian population and the word Slava when translated into English means ‘Glory’. The 2427 movement is an interesting one due to its twin winding barrels. This example came in for a service as it was running poorly.
Back in 1968 during the last of the Chronometre competitions that were known as the “Accuracy Observatory Trials” at Neuchatel in Switzerland, the watches from Seiko were judged to have the most accurate mechanical calibres beating all entries from other manufactures. As well as entering competitions Seiko manufactured some astonishingly accurate watches for general sale during those days under their Grand Seiko and King Seiko lines, these were labelled (depending on the line) as Very Fine Adjusted (VFA), Superior Chronometer or just Chronometer. As accurate as these were even their “plain” (if such a term can be used) calibers were remarkable timekeepers. One of the big drivers behind all this increasing accuracy was that Seiko had two manufacturing plants, Suwa and Daini, that were set up in competition with each other to try and push the boundaries of technical and manufacturing development. The example featured in this article is a King Seiko 4402-8000 manufactured in May 1968, right at the time Seiko was winning the Chronometre competitions and striving to make the most accurate watches they could. The watch is powered by the calibre 4402a which is a hand wind, hacking, 25 jewel, 18,000bph movement. It’s a fabulous example which appears to be on it’s original stainless steel bracelet, again which is in fabulous condition.