Pre-Owned Highlights: Rolex, Omega, IWC, And Audemars Piguet
Good day, everyone. Mike is in the saddle today and here with your pre-owned highlights. With me at the helm, there’s a strong chance of vintage in the forecast and likely occurrence of gold drizzle. Shall we begin?
Pre-Owned Highlights: Rolex Datejust 1600 “Ghost Dial”
Our first pre-owned pick comes to us courtesy of Chrono24 and the Los Angeles-based sellers Oliver & Clarke. What we have here is a Rolex Datejust 1600. If you were guessing that a 36mm Datejust would find its way into this article because of my recent obsession, you scored! However, this isn’t just any old Datejust. This is a smooth-bezel model in steel and gold. More than that, though, it contains a gray dial. Combinations like this aren’t common, and that’s what grabbed my attention.
This 1600 sports a lovely dial with all of its necessary lume pips. The seller maintains that the case is sharp and that the Jubilee (a folded Jubilee is one of man’s greatest inventions, trust me) is relatively tight for its age. I’d ask for some additional pictures of the case markings to see the model number and reference. Check the movement, inside of the case back, and those lug holes. Finally, ensure that the bracelet stretch is within your limits. If everything passes muster, fork over just shy of €5,400, clean that bracelet, and rock the living h*ll out of this stunner. Move fast, though, or you might have to duke it out with me!
Omega Seamaster Professional 300M
The ‘90s is a bit of a wasteland for Omega. Plus, it was a weird time when watch companies were making small watches and still seemed to be treading carefully around mechanical movements. As such, Omega wasn’t doing much on its own while relying on ETA for its automatics. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these movements, but the watches somehow lack the prestige of current Omegas in the eyes of most. Still, the Seamaster lineup during this period consisted of some really nice-looking watches. Plus, they’re thin and seriously wearable.
As a person who came of age during this decade, I distinctly remember these watches. Today’s two-tone Seamaster Professional 300m reference 236.22.0000 is a nice 41mm example on Catawiki. It has a lovely gold dive bezel and a white dial, and it even sports a solid steel bracelet (perhaps that was added later, as it should be two-tone). I don’t know where this will end, but for somewhere around €2,000 or less, this would be a sweet daily piece to rock with just about anything. Get an inexpensive service (it is an ETA, after all) and picture yourself ordering multiple Mai Tais at your poolside getaway this summer.
IWC Ingenieur 3521
Well, well, well… The IWC Ingenieur from the ‘90s is really starting to take off. Despite its diminutive 34mm size, the “Genta” design is hot. I’ve always felt that IWC watches from this period are beautifully made, and this piece is no exception. My father has a black-dialed model and it’s really a beauty in person. It wasn’t so long ago when these were struggling to crack €4K. Those days are over, so if you’re secure enough to rock a 34mm watch with a lovely integrated bracelet, give one of these a try. For good measure, there’s a JLC automatic caliber inside. This white-dialed reference 3521 is on sale for €6,990 on Chrono24 from the seller FS Luxusuhren and is a complete set. That strikes me as a top-of-the-market price for this pre-owned gem, but for how long?
Audemars Piguet John Shaeffer
Here’s a pre-owned watch that you might not know. It’s another small watch from the 1990s in a lovely, albeit different case shape. The Audemars Piguet John Shaeffer is a 34mm watch named after the American industrialist. He had a watch built in the 1920s using his full name as the hour indices (here’s a nice article on Hodinkee about the original). Audemars Piguet brought the watch back in a number of variants such as a perpetual calendar, but I happen to like this three-hand piece.
I still remember my dad telling me about this watch. There was a Neiman Marcus in Fort Lauderdale, and the store had quite a watch selection. This one stared back at him for a number of visits until someone finally took it home — it wasn’t my dad! For €8,130, this is a neat piece on Chrono24 from sellers World of Luxury that doesn’t come around very often.
Omega Speedmaster “Chocolate Dial”
These days, there are few “unexplored” territories when it comes to the Omega Speedmaster. I may have remembered one, though. Back in the early 2010s, I was fortunate enough to make regular trips to Japan. Within the country’s lovely camera shops, watches are also sold. For whatever reason, these shops are the home of unloved/surplus watches. On one such visit, no matter where I went, I ran into this odd Speedy with a brown dial. The so-called “Chocolate Dial” Speedmaster Professional was made from 2007 to 2013 and offered on a bracelet or a strap. It was a “sandwich” model, which meant a sapphire crystal and exhibition case back with the hand-wound 1863 caliber.
For some unknown reason, these watches were incredibly un-popular. They sat and sat. Sapphire-crystal Speedies are an acquired taste, but more and more people seem to be coming around to them. As such, reference 3126.96.36.199.13.001 and its strapped relative seem to be appreciating. For €6,013, this strapped pre-owned example on Chrono24 from seller Kinetic Miami comes with a full kit. I’m definitely not making comparisons, but the other watch that stared back at me relentlessly in Japan was the TinTin. And we all know what happened with that watch…
Thanks for taking a look at some pre-owned highlights. What do you think? Too small, too gold, or just right? Let us know in the comments below!