We continue this week with the sixth instalment of our market finds “5 Cool Finds”, in collaboration with auctioneer Catawiki. Once again, the story is simple. Instead of focusing exclusively on vintage watches, we prefer to look at what we, here at Monochrome-Watches love and know, and we think will be the coming trend: Youngtimers. Here is our expert Ilias’ selection of 5 wristwatches, including two racing inspired chronographs from Chopard and Frederique Constant, a traveler’s watch and a gracious chronograph from Girard Perregaux, and last but not least, a re-edition of a space chronograph by Sinn.
Girard Perregaux Traveler II
If you look for the perfect travelers watch, look no further, because this Girard Perregaux is perhaps the perfect example. It has an automatic movement that features a date and a GMT complication in addition to the very useful and slightly rare alarm function. This GP is 38 mm in diameter but looks bigger on the wrist, it wears more like a 40 mm watch – so that’s modern size. Its thickness is 14mm, which is another big plus considering the number of complications this fine piece of Swiss micro engineering incorporates. Lug space is 22mm. The two features of this watch, which are the reason it takes a position in this week’s cool finds, are the alarm and the second time zone indicator.
It is so rare these days to find mechanical alarms and it definitely adds a unique quality to the watch, especially considering the price that it is offered. The crown at 4 winds and sets the alarm. Leaving the crown pulled out activates the alarm, while the quarter-hour indicators on the alarm register are well oriented to allow fairly fine control over the alarm time. The alarm register is highlighted by red Arabic numerals at 3, 6 and 9. The alarm has a surprisingly loud buzz, which along with vibration let’s its user know when it’s gone off even in noisy situations.
The second thing we love is the time-zone indicator that sits between 11 and 1, balancing the date window at 6 o ‘clock. This function is controlled by pulling the crown placed at 2, which also allows you to set the date (clockwise rotation) or second time zone (counterclockwise rotation). Setting the second time zone is easy and the area of the dial which is placed intersperses even numerals with red stars for odd hours.
All in all, what we have here is a supreme travelers watch from a great Swiss company. It wears great, and it is well built having superb functionality, which makes it a pleasure to use. So if you are a keen traveler, who likes a highly functional watch, this is the one for you. You can have a closer look at it here.
Girard Perregaux Classic Elegance
The second GP we present today has no GMT and alarm complications but it is a chronograph. Some might say, what is the point. This is just another chrono. Surely, this is another chrono, however the reason we picked this up for our list is its beauty. Its an extremely well made and in our view a very pretty and gracious watch. This Classique Elegance timepiece is all about sex appeal. First and foremost, it is a limited edition of 1000 pieces and has reference number 2498. Its case size is 38mm while its case thickness is 14mm. It has a scratch resistant domed sapphire crystal with luminescent hands on a white dial, while it comes with a leather band – not original GP. Its water resistance is 30 meters (100 feet).
The cushion-shape case is the most prominent feature of this watch and to me, this makes it really stand out from the crowd. GP has done an excellent job in case design here. It has just the right balance of brushed versus polished areas, while the domed crystal adds to its overall appeal. The beautiful dial also emphasizes the perfectly executed case. GP has done a superb job with this as well. Finish is perfect. We also find very nice applied hour markers and an applied “12” at the top of the hour in silver which creates a truly stunning result. The hour and minute hands are also silver with quite some lume. This chronograph with Ref 2498 is a 3 register one with central seconds counter for the chronograph, small seconds at 3, a 30min register at 9 o’ clock and a 12 hour register at 6 o’clock.
The overall condition of this wristwatch is superb, and there are no scratches on the case and the crystal. It comes with black leather thick band with steel buckle in very good condition, 22mm wide. It keeps accurate time and was serviced by a professional watchmaker. For me this GP chronograph is exactly what its name implies. It’s a classic and very elegant watch offered at a very nice price especially considering its rarity and its condition. A must have for elegant chronograph lovers, listed here.
Frederique Constant Peking to Paris Race limited
Frederique Constant is a manufacture of luxury wristwatches based in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva. The company was established in 1988 by Dutch entrepreneur Peter Stas and his wife Aletta Bax, and is involved in all the stages of watch production, from initial design to final assembly. Its name is derived from the names of the great-grandparents of each founder – specifically Frederique Schreiner (1881–1969) and Constant Stas (1880–1967), the latter of which founded a company producing watch dials in 1904. Frederique Constant has grown into one of the larger Swiss watch manufacturers for affordable luxury.
Since 2004, Frederique Constant has sponsored several classic car rallies worldwide, and they developed limited-edition watches for each of these events. These have included Healey Challenges, Peking to Paris, and the Carrera Panamericana. The Peking to Paris motor race was an automobile race, originally held in 1907, between Peking (now Beijing), then Qing China and Paris, France, a distance of 9,317 miles or 14,994km. It was a great adventure for the participants that tested themselves and the cars as well. The race stopped after the creation of the USSR in 1917, however re-enactments started again after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The chronograph we present here was produced in 1888 pieces and it pays a tribute to this epic four-wheel adventure. It has a polished stainless steel casing with a 43 mm diameter without the crown while its height is at 14,5 mm. The silver/black panda dial with stainless steel indices and hands creates a very classic and pleasing result reminiscent of other very famous – and more expensive – racing chronographs. The chronograph also has a sapphire scratchproof glass, and a crown with a manufacturers logo. The stainless steel screwed back is engraved and we also find sapphire glass viewing window from which we can marvel the decorated-with the Peking to Paris logo-rotor. Last but not least this specific chronograph has the calibre FC-392, an automatic and reliable chronograph movement.
The watch comes with original Frederique Constant box and documentation from 12/2012. It is never worn and it includes a watch certificate and 1000 days guarantee. Overall, we have a very cool, well-constructed and well-designed sports chronograph with a very friendly price tag. A good opportunity that you can find here.
Chopard Mille Miglia Titan Automatic Chronograph
What we have here is another automotive inspired chronograph from Chopard. This company produces high-end timepieces and it is extremely well known from its Mille Miglia inspired models. After all, Chopard is corporate partner of the Mille Miglia car rally since 1988. The Mille Miglia was an open-road endurance race, which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957. Like the older Targa Florio and later the Carrera Panamericana, this particular race made Gran Turismo sports cars famous. From 1953 until 1957, the Mille Miglia was also a round of the World Sports Car Championship. Since 1977, the “Mille Miglia” has been reborn as a regularity race for classic and vintage cars. Participation is limited to cars, produced no later than 1957, which had attended (or were registered) to the original race. The route (Brescia-Rome round trip) is similar to that of the original race, maintaining the point of departure / arrival in Viale Venezia in Brescia.
This chronograph is therefore exactly what someone expects to see on the wrist of either a driver or a navigator of a classic car participating in the race. First and foremost, it is entirely made out of titanium. Its properties are a combination of high strength, stiffness, toughness, low density, and good corrosion resistance. Titanium is strong but 45% lighter than steel. Pure titanium is difficult and expensive to produce, and it is also harder to work with than steel, thus adding to the overall cost in a watch. But that’s a fair investment.
The case diameter is 40 mm without the crown. The caseback is screwed to the case by eight screws and has a sapphire crystal glass. The watch comes with a characteristic black rubber strap with tyre pattern while the clasp is also made of titanium. The racing red dial has white Arabic numerals. The automatic chronograph calibre is based on the ETA 2894-2 and is a 3 register chronograph with central seconds counter for the chronograph, and small seconds at 3. A date aperture with quick set is located between 4 and 5.
Due to its material the watch is extremely light. Including the strap, it weights just 74 g. This racing chronograph from Chopard is a limited edition of 500 pieces and comes with a 1000-day guarantee while a complete external maintenance conducted in June 2016. It includes the original Chopard travel passport and papers while it is important to state that this timepiece was kept in a safe, from the original buyer, therefore it is almost never worn. And that’s of course very nice. The watch is waiting for you here.
SINN 140A Space Chronograph
Sinn Spezialuhren GmbH is a manufacturer of mechanical wristwatches based in Frankfurt am Main. Flight instructor and pilot Helmut Sinn founded the company under the name ‘Helmut Sinn Spezialuhren’ in 1961. From its inception, the firm always produced tool watches and aviation clocks for small airplanes. Mr. Sinn was a lover of old and vintage chronographs so what he did were to adopt their design elements in his models. As the company progressed, it started to produce watches with excellent technological solutions, especially regarding the case materials. A fact which made them very popular among divers, firefighters and last but not least, among special forces such as the German GSG9.
However a big landmark for the company was the usage of its models by German Astronauts. German physicist and astronaut Reinhardt Furrer wore a Sinn 140S model on his wrist during the Spacelab D1 mission in 1985. During the Mir ’92 mission in 1992, astronaut Klaus-Dietrich Flade flew into space with a 142S from Sinn on his wrist. In 1993, it was the 142 from Sinn that was on board the Columbia on Mission D2.
This specific watch we present is very important for the company and in my opinion is one of the, if not THE, most interesting timepiece produced recently by Sinn. First and foremost, it pays tribute to a space watch. Secondly it features the SZ-01 movement, which developed by the company for over seven years. Many of Sinn’s earlier 140 and 142 chronographs used the legendary Lemania 5100 as the base caliber. This movement proved to be quite popular, especially through militaries, who adopted it primarily because of its use of a large centrally mounted hand to show elapsed minutes. Since that movement was discontinued, and other chronograph movements did not support these displays, Sinn announced many years ago that one of their goals was to create a number of in-house modifications to replicate the functions of the Lemania 5100.
The 140A shows the elapsed minutes through a centrally mounted hand with a distinctive airplane pointer. The watch also features a centrally mounted elapsed second hand as well as an additional constant seconds register at 9. We find the date aperture with quick set at 3. Besides this the watch features TEGIMENT and also AR-Dehumidifying technology, a nickel-free case back while it is low pressure resistant and pressure tested to 100m; it also has ample magnetic field protection. Case diameter is 44 mm without crown while the case height is at 15.1mm. The case is big and bold with polished and satin areas. The matte black dial with silver register sub dials and the orange central hands create a highly legible but also vintage looking effect.
This Sinn 140A is a great choice for someone who wants vintage looks with extreme technology and functionality of a modern timepiece. It comes with a black leather strap with light decorative stitching. It is number 091/500 and comes with original box and documentation. External maintenance was conducted in June 2016 and the watch comes with a 1000-day guarantee. The timepiece was kept in a safe, almost never worn. It comes from the original collector and can be yours here.