As we introduced you to our Catawiki Favorites (Editor’s Choice) two weeks ago already (click here), this time we show you three different watches of our choice. A tough one, as we could choose from a nice variety of watches (and brands). However, this week we picked a Yema, Omega and Heuer.
We have partnered with Catawiki to bring you a selection of interesting watches they’ve auctioned. Different from the other auctioneers in the market, Catawiki started originally in 2008 as a website where collectors could manage and keep track of their collections (comics for example). Then, because of growing popularity of the website, Catawiki started to host weekly auctions for collectible objects, including comics, art, antiques, classic cars, books and… watches.
A selection of three watches this week, three vintage watches! As we wrote last time, buying a vintage watch can be quite a hassle. Luckily, for a number of brands – mainly the big ones – there’s quite a but of information out there. It is always important to do you homework. This week’s picks also include the lesser known brand Yema. Luckily, we wrote a couple of articles on this brand (click here) but not specifically about this Sous Marine “Big Eye” chronograph.
Without further ado, here are our three picks:
Yema Sous Marine “Big Eye” Chrono
If you are a regular reader of Fratello, and especially of the Throwback Thursday section where Michael Stockton covers a wide variety of vintage watches, you will know about Yema. This Sous Marine “Big Eye” chronograph, with hand-wound Valjoux 7733 caliber was auctioned on Catawiki and sold for €2200 excluding 9% premium. A 39mm chronograph from the 1970s with funky color scheme from that period. Yema is especially famous (relatively) for their Rallye chronographs, that was available under many different brand names (for different markets). Like this Wesley’s Rallye that was worn by Mario Andretti. This Sous Marine chronograph has a chromed case. Be aware that the chrome can wear off and if you look at the case back of this particular watch, you can see that it some times chips off leaving ugly marks. So keep an eye out for this type of damage when you’re in the market for one.
Anyway, this 39mm vintage Yema Sous Marine “Big Eye” chrono looks nice and especially if you pick a nicely matching strap, it is a great wearer. The combination of red and orange looks very nice and the 5 minute pattern on the minute counter gives it an interesting touch. The Valjoux 7733 movement should be easy to maintain, and always calculate a service overhaul when you purchase a watch like this, or at least make sure that it had one recently.
Heuer Carrera Dato 45
The Heuer Carrera dates back to 1963. Not all Carreras are chronographs as you know, and this Carrera Dato 45 with manual-wound Landeron 189 movement is one of those cool non-chronos. The black dial with white sub dial at 3 o’clock and a date aperture (white) are 9 o’clock are giving a great contrast and boost its readability. Dato 45 refers to the 45-minute counter at 3 o’clock.
The watch has been overhauled in October 2016 and sold for €7600 excluding the 9% premium. Other than with the Yema above, this was has been serviced so it should save you a couple of bucks. Always make sure to ask for proof of service. These type of service overhauls probably don’t come cheap, so people tend to keep their invoices with the watch. Heuer’s Carrera Dato 45 reference 3147 measures 35mm in diameter and approximately 12mm in height. The description of the lot mentions an Omega signed crown and clasp, but we’re pretty sure this seller must have been confused as the pictures clearly indicate everything is correctly signed ‘Heuer’. The case appears to be nice and sharp and the case back is very clean. The hands are nice and original and the hour markers with luminous dots look good.
Comparing this particular Heuer Carrera Dato 45 with others out there, it seems that the date disc has been replaced at some point, based on the thickness of the printing of the numerals. Keep an eye out for all these nitty gritty details.
Omega Seamaster 120
Going up in price these days are the Omega Seamaster models from the 1960s and 1970s, there’s especially a demand for the somewhat more bulky models (the Big Blue Chronograph being a perfect example). This Omega Seamaster 120 is nice and bulky, making it a perfect vintage wearer for today. The Omega caliber 565 movement is a beautiful copper colored movement and known to be reliable, even today (as long as they’ve been serviced). There are a couple of variations of this reference 166.073, some have an engraved case back and some have a clean case back with only the Seahorse medallion in bas relief, like this particular one. It was sold for €3205, excluding the 9% premium. This model is also referred to as ‘Deep Blue’, due to its – almost black – color blue of dial and bezel. Omega’s Seamaster 120 reference 166.073 dates back to 1970 and has been produced towards the end of the 1970s.
As you can see, this watch is in worn but nice condition. The hands and dial look fresh, the case shows a few signs of wear, especially on the case band. The movement is correct for this reference, but the serial number (starting with 24xxx, the rest has been blanked by the seller) seems a bit too early (1966-1968). However, this doesn’t always have to indicate the watch has been tempered with, in those years, Omega watchmakers used what was available so if this movement was in stock for a while, it can perfectly be so that this watch left the factory in Bienne with an older movement. Requesting a full serial number and a check with the Omega archives department in Bienne will give certainty a movement belongs to a specific type of watch.
These were our picks of the sold lots of last few weeks. The Omega Seamaster 120 ‘Deep Blue’ is an interesting watch that will probably increase even more in value in the near future. Perfectly suitable for daily wear and easy to have serviced. Which brings us to the Yema, a very nice watch with a relatively common movement (Valjoux 7733). The difficulty is sourcing original parts like hands, dial, etc. in case something is wrong with them. The Heuer Dato 45 is the most expensive watch of the lot, a beautiful collector’s item with a stunning contrasting dial. Three totally different watches, each with their own fan base. As always, do your homework before you start bidding on a watch. Check for the nitty gritty details by comparing images, ensure the watch has been serviced (or can be serviced!) or at least budget a service before setting your maximum bid.
Set-up a free account with Catawiki today and start browsing and searching yourself. You will easily loose track of time while doing so, don’t tell us we didn’t warn you.
*These bi-weekly series are a partnership with Catawiki. The writing and selection is done by Fratello Watches.
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