It’s funny, especially when you get really into specific models, references, or even eras of brands, certain collectors standout to almost celebrity like status, with stunning example after mint unicorn on Instagram and the forums. When those collectors, known for having great watches decide to sell, it’s good to listen. Sometimes that may mean paying a premium if they’re really leveraging their reputation, since they will reach a bigger audience, but at the same time, if they’re known to be discerning about condition, originality, and sharp cases, this kind of adds some credibility to the description and condition report (assuming it is honest and transparent or the appropriate questions are asked). Within the vintage Heuer community, specifically in the Vintage Heuer Carrera community, Carlo is one of those collectors. Just showing the watches he has recently listed would be a good roundup on it’s own, here are a few that particularly stood out to me.
I put “Carrera” in quotes, since this isn’t actually a Carrera, per the dial, but shares the same case, and Valjoux 7733 movement with the last of the manually wound straight lugged cases. These are rare to begin with, and even more rare to find in such good condition, with such an attractive dial. The abundance of lume has aged to an ideal to me shade of deep khaki, and the dial is gorgeous. It’s quite common for these to be missing lume from the large lume filled hands and/or have the, less attractive to me, greenish lume that some had. This one was apparently civilian issued, reducing some of the provenance, but I don’t really doubt its credibility, and I’m sure the seller would be honest when asked. Manual wind 1960’s Carreras in great condition are particularly abundant to begin with, and you don’t see more than a few of these come up for sale a year. Rarity aside, it’s downright gorgeous, and available for $10,000 USD or best offer on ChronoTrader here. As a bonus, he’s also offering a double grain Gay Freres Beads of Rice bracelet for half price if optioned with the watch. These bracelets can easily fetch $4,500 - $5K on their own, and here you can get one that provides a dressier option for just an additional $2,500.
This one doesn’t have any particular provenance, rarity, or exceptional condition other than being quite charming. The 36mm case has a decent amount of surface wear commensurate with the age, but all of the lug facets are extremely sharp, and you have to love the drilled lugs. The dial is complete with some age spots, warmth from the patina, some nice pops of color, and the wonderful font used on the Kelbert text and those great Arabic numerals. Oh, and did I mention blued steel hands and a Valjoux 72 movement? This is pure 1950’s - 1960’s sports watch at a fraction of the price of the bigger names. $2,400 asking price on ChronoTrader here.
Last, but not least from Carlo’s recent string of FS postings, is this really fun and quite attractive skin diver from Lip. Neither the dial configuration or the skin diver’s case are particularly unique in this era, with many manufacturers sharing both, but you don’t often see them from in a white dial configuration. The funky hand configuration, signed automatic movement, and countdown bezel set it apart from the otherwise common kit of parts. The case looks like it may have been lightly polished at some point, but retains its original bevels and sharp appearance overall, and I dig the funky caseback, characteristic of the little pops of design Lip was known for. There’s not a ton to really talk up here other than it’s a really cool 38mm vintage dive watch that is sure to be unique at your next meetup for $1,000 on ChronoTrader here.
Giving Carlo’s always impressive collection a break, and bringing things full circle in the most uncommon way with another Vintage Kelbert Chronograph. This time in a two register variant that boasts an interesting value proposition. That seems odd to say given the lack of a bigger name on the dial or a more desirable column wheel chronograph movement, but here you still have a really attractive and charming vintage chronograph with a wonderfully faceted case tying in the Belgium AF Carrera from above as well. The syringe hands have lost their lume, but everything is super charming and clean otherwise. So why is this a relative value? Well, there are a ton of mediocre vintage chronographs in worse shape, with less desirable case shapes, or plated cases for the same money or more. Here you’re getting a nice stainless steel case and a lovely dial at a price assumed to be less than the $599 asking, since the seller is accepting offers as well. Find it on eBay and get the conversation started here.
Those of you the follow along on here or Instagram are seeing this for the second time. I withdrew it late last year, deciding to keep it due to a lot of interest but no serious buyers at the time. I am deciding to rip the band-aid off this time and have relisted it for sale at a slightly lower price of $2,500 USD net to me, including insured overnight shipping within the US. I strongly feel that it is truly priced fairly and accurately in the market, certainly well below recent comps, even when considering the “Hodinkee Bump” or premium of similar watches in lesser condition and/or without a bracelet: 1964 Sherpa Jet - $2,700, 1960’s Enicar Sherpa Super Dive $4,400, 1960’s Enicar Sherpa Guide 600 - $3,200, and others on eBay and watchrecon, just have a look.
Pricing aside, this watch is all about the details, of which there are plenty throughout from the fonts, to the case bevels and angles, to the hands, and the uniqueness of an EPSA SuperCompressor to begin with. This watch represents a lot of what vintage watches are all about, and I’m truly looking forward to seeing someone else enjoy it. Full details and listing can be found on OmegaForums here, or please feel free to contact me for more info.