Pre-Owned Picks – A Jaeger-LeCoultre, Ebel, Omega, and Panerai
This week, we have three wristwatches from Ebel, Panerai, and Omega for you, and one Atmos clock from Jaeger-LeCoultre. We also had included a Rolex GMT-Master II 16710, but that one got sold before we could publish this article. Is it safe to assume the hype for Rolex is still ongoing in 2020?
Happy New Year! In 2020 we continue our Pre-Owned Picks series in collaboration with the largest watch market platform in the world. Chrono24, based in Karlsruhe, Berlin, New York, and Hong Kong. The weekly picks are from our editorial team, Chrono24 ensures we receive images from the mentioned offers in a good resolution and without their watermark(s).
Pre-Owned Picks Of Week 1
This week is kinda special. I decided to include something different than a watch. Instead, I searched for something cool on the mantle or desk. An Atmos clock, made by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Although on the mantle in my house you’ll find a Seiko World Time clock (also in brass), an Atmos clock has been on my horological bucket list for at least a decade (and a half). I love these. Other pre-owned picks of this week are watches from Panerai, Ebel, and Omega. As written above, I also selected a Rolex GMT-Master II 16710. This because I had one of these references between 2006 and 2010 but sold it to finance something else (an Audemars Piguet). Already the moment I handed over the watch and received the money (4000 Euro at the time), I regretted selling that watch. Although the Royal Oak that I bought in the week after was a superb watch as well, the Rolex was more special to me. In recent years I’ve been looking for a replacement 16710, but today’s prices are out of this world. I already had this feeling when they were offered a few years ago for 6500 Euro, but with today’s prices, it got entirely out of hand. The force isn’t strong enough anyway to spend that kind of money on a watch like that. Anyway, I included a very nice example in this week’s overview for nostalgic reasons.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Classique (€2399)
My Seiko world timer clock reminds me of an Atmos, especially the shape and color (brass). Inside the Seiko is this plastic quartz powered movement, of course, instead of a movement that works on temperature changes. Meaning that this clock doesn’t have to be wound by hand, but runs on temperature and atmospheric pressure changes in the environment. The sealed cylindrical bellows contain ethyl chloride. This is a gas that is very reactive to variations in temperature and expands and contracts constantly, even with the slightest change. The bellows expands, and contracts based on these temperature changes and on its turn winds the mainspring of the movement. A temperature change of one degree (between 15 and 30 degrees celsius) is already sufficient for two days of operation. It can run for a very long time (years) without manual intervention. The version of the Atmos clock I selected is the ‘Classique’ which is basically the simplest version out there if you can speak of simple, that is. You have rhodium plated ones as well if the gold color is not your thing. Also, you can find Atmos clocks with complications such as a moonphases indicator. Jaeger-LeCoultre also teamed up with Hermes and Marc Newson (Apple) for various designs of the Atmos. The reason I didn’t purchase one yet, is not the price tag on these clocks, but the fact that you need quite a stable platform. My current house is old, and there’s not really a perfect spot for a delicate clock like this. Once I am moving (and that will be in 2020), an Atmos clock like this is on my shortlist. Click here for the offer on this JLC Atmos Classique.
Ebel 1911 Reference 1134901 (€1595)
Some people would call this a guilty pleasure, but I see it just as a pleasure. The Ebel 1911 is powered by the 50 year old El Primero chronograph movement. At some point, they stopped the collaboration, and Ebel started to do their own caliber 137 movement, partly based on some Lemania caliber (1340?) for their chronographs, including the later BTR. The El Primero movement used by Ebel is dubbed caliber 134. However, it is not only the high-beat movement that makes this Ebel 1911 ref. 1134901 interesting to me, but also the design of the case. It has this fluid design with its round edges and the fully brushed finish. The bracelet is awesome as well, with the typical wave pattern. It is thin and very comfortable, the only downside is how it was connected to the case, with two screws going through the lugs into the end link. It’s a bit fragile, and I’ve seen quite a few that didn’t survive. Anyway, since you’re a watch enthusiast, you know how to treat these watches. Another cool thing about this watch is that Don Johnson wore it in Miami Vice in his role as Sonny Crockett. You don’t need a white Testarossa or a mullet to be like him, this Ebel 1911 will do. I wrote about this Ebel 1911 with El Primero movement exactly 10 years ago as well, in this article. I just noticed that the price didn’t do anything in the last decade, it is still a €1500 watch (almost). A safe buy, in other words. Click here for the offer on this Ebel 1911 with El Primero movement.
Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 3290.50 (€1914)
We covered the Speedmaster X-33 many times here, so I won’t recap all of that. Instead, just read this and this article. It is an ugly watch at first sight, but once you know its history and how it was developed (and still being used by astronauts today), you slowly gain respect and interest for this little quartz-powered titanium watch. I had a few of them, and at some point, I realized one doesn’t need three of the exact same references, so I kept only one. One that belonged to an astronaut that was my childhood hero, he received it in 1998 when the X-33 was introduced by Omega after many years of development. Omega received the help of pilots and of NASA astronaut General Thomas P. Stafford for designing this watch (and its features). If you’re a Speedmaster collector, you need an X-33, despite the ugliness or the fact that it is a quartz watch. Not many of these have been made, and it is hugely undervalued and under-appreciated. They’ve become a bit more expensive in the past 5 years, but you can still find them under €2000, like this one right here. Omega still services these watches, has spare parts for them and takes this watch very seriously. I wear mine regularly and my fellow team members Bert and Jorg wear theirs very often actually. In fact, if you bump into one of them, chances are quite big they are wearing their X-33 watches. It is light-weight, easy to use (once you get the concept of the digital menu and the functions), and the alarm is useful (and loud). The X-33 also has a 2nd and 3rd generation, where the 2nd generation has some small cosmetic changes (mainly finishing) and an updated movement. If your X-33 of the 1st generation has been serviced, or you will get it serviced, it will get the upgrade as well, I think (at least I got it). The 3rd generation of the X-33 is quite different, with different functions (co-developed with ESA astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy), and it looks quite different too. Click here for the offer on this X-33 3290.50.
Panerai Luminor Submersible PAM00024 (€4685)
When I had my Panerai crush (didn’t we all?), I loved the Luminor and Luminor Marina that I had, but the Submersible was something I kinda ignored. It was huge and looked very ‘made up’ for people who just loved big watches. Fast forward 15 years, and this is actually the Panerai I would purchase today. How taste can change, or develop. I am sure it has to do with the fact that almost all watches became bigger. Heck, even Patek increased their Calatravas with a few millimeters in the past decade. It is not only that, as I also started to appreciate the design and functionality a bit more. No in-house movement, but powered by their self-winding OP III caliber, which is based on the ETA/Valjoux 7750. A movement that any watchmaker can service or repair, which is something often overlooked when purchasing a pre-owned watch. You don’t want to run into unpleasant surprises, and if you do, it is a comforting thought that it can be fixed (within a reasonable price bracket). This watch is 15 years old but comes with all the goodies. Box, papers, screw-driver, etc., including three additional straps. This 44mm Submersible PAM00024 is water-resistant to 300 meters, but make sure you get it checked before you take it into the pool, sea, or ocean, as it is 15 years old. Click here for the offer on this Panerai Submersible PAM24.
As always, with pre-owned watches, make sure to do your (own) homework. Also, feel free to make an offer on these watches (remember: these are asking prices) and discuss the warranty the seller can provide. Chrono24 offers its Trusted Checkout system, so you have proper buyer protection (more here). That said, always do your homework nevertheless. It can prevent you from a lot of frustration and ‘stuff’ you don’t want to have to deal with.