A Watch-finding Service

hodinkeeThanks to SL for the alert. The wristwatch fanatics at Hodinkee offer a watch-finding service. After answering a few simple questions, they wrote back within a few days with four watches that matched my search criteria.

Their questions and my answers follow:

Are you looking for something vintage or new? Vintage.

Sporty or Dressy? Sporty.

Leather Strap or Metal? Leather.

Chronograph? Yes.

Moonphase? No.

Any particular brands you’re interested in? I have loved the Max Bill for quite some time.

Any particular brands you know you AREN’T interested in? No.

Maximum price? The least expensive watch you can find.

As suspected, they disregarded the last question. That said, the watches selected were tailor-made to eventually, one day, when money is of no concern, be mine.

space-watchThose who know me well know of my deep-seated fondness for the Fisher Space Pen, and what better watch to go with a pen designed for space than the Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute, as worn by Commander Scott Carpenter in May of 1962 during his five hour orbit. This was the second watch ever worn in space. Retails for $5,850.00.german-ad-1963-cosmonauteThe second watch selected by the honchos at Hodinkee, a chrono version of the Omega Seamaster nearly brought a tear to my eye.

vintageseamasterIn my junior year of college, I read about the Speedmaster’s storied past, and began researching the history of Omega watches. I learned that as Bond, Pierce Brosnan wore a Seamaster. Of course, at an estate sale that spring, I stumbled across a rusty old Seamaster in dire need of repair. I offered the seller $50 for it, and was off! A week later, the building where I lived caught fire, and in the hectic move that followed, I misplaced the watch – among other things. The one pictured retailed for more than $2500. The five and the oh I mentioned before. Yeah, they still sting.angelusWith its rose gold pointers and sweep seconds hand, the chrono from Angelus, now defunct Swiss watchmaker best known for their Chronodato model, looks the every bit the part of an antique. It’s a watch awaiting a sepia-toned photograph. I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself at Steve Kivel’s shop buying an ostrich grain strap sometime soon.

The thing I love most about the watches selected by Team Hodinkee, each seems to evoke a story, if not of its own making then one I conjure up examining the thing. The 60s-era Breguet XX Flyback Chronograph provides both. breguetI love this watch, the look, the function, the apparent heft, the cutout 3 & 4, everything. A favorite of Napoleon and Marie Antoinette, Breguet’s history is as illustrious as its wares. “Louis Breguet, the great-great grandson of original Breguet (the watch brand’s namesake), was considered the most innovative engineer of his day, creating the infamous Breguet XIX plane, which made history in 1922 as the first plane to make it non-stop from Paris to New York.  In 1907, he designed and built a gyroplane with flexible wings that was capable of vertical flight, and is considered the forerunner to the helicopter.  He later went on to form a little airline called Air France.” Nuff said. It was apparently priced to move, but the fellows at Hodinkee tell me, it’s very expensive.

My only gripe, obviously, is I don’t make enough money to invest in a wristwatch of this stature. One day, when I’m able to, I will look back on this post and laugh at my youthful, plebeian taste.

Next, I’ll post some nice-looking watches we commoners can afford.

Until then, I’m all plaidout.

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1 Comment

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One response to “A Watch-finding Service

  1. componentsofenthusiasm

    Excellent post on vintage watches, especially the Speedmaster. Such a shame to have misplaced a find like that. I fell in love with that watch earlier last year and recently I was compelled to write a post on its history. Be sure to check it out.

    http://componentsofenthusiasm.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/omega-speedmaster-professional-chronograph-35735000/

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