Vintage Heuer / TAG Heuer watches, and a few others. Plus Handmade straps..

Posts Tagged ‘Rolex

Rolex Submariner 1680

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Rolex Submariner 1680, Cal. 1575 COSC, Date with open numbers & flat 3.
1978 – 5.4mil Serial. (with Superdome crystal)

Normally I do a little write up on the history of a particular model, but this watch needs little introduction, and there is nothing I can add to the plethora of information out there. Here is a quote from VintageSubmariner.com..

“In 1965, Rolex introduced the caliber 1565, which was both C.O.S.C. certified and had a date display. In 1971, Rolex iterated the caliber to include hacking (meaning the seconds hand stops when the crown is pulled out for time setting). The 1565 caliber lead to a new model series, the 168X series. Reference 1680 was introduced in 1965 or 1966 and had the chronometer status and a date display. This also introduced the Cyclops date magnifier to the Submariner line.”

I bought my first Rolex a year or so back, a 16800 and I didn’t get on with it. I think it was because I had this huge expectation of something astonishing.. and it turned out to be ‘just a divers watch’. I was disappointed, so sold it on.

The itch didn’t go away, so I bought an ‘86 5513.. this I instantly liked. The acrylic non-cyclops crystal made such a difference, combined with no huge expectation. It grew on me quickly. Fast-forward 6 months and I sold it.. a combination of me trying to reduce the collection and the need for a new MacBook. C’est la vie.

Months later I regretted it, and started hunting a maxi dial 5513, but the 1665 Sea-Dweller caught my eye – the non-cyclops crystal with date greatly appealed. One problem, the price. I didn’t want to splash that much on a divers watch. During my hunt, I’d spotted a few 1680’s fitted with plain crystals, and that seemed like an ideal solution.  I know the purists may grimace at such a thing, but the idea didn’t bother me – Rolex deemed the Sea Dweller OK to not have it, so why not!

I read an article recently on ‘ablogtowatch’ about the history of the Sub.. and one fact that really stood out was that the founder , Wildorf, wanted to produce a good quality watch that could be worn by many. This really struck a chord with me.. it wasn’t a super high end watch, but was designed and built as a good quality tool watch – average cost about 2 weeks pay. This makes me love my Sub even more.. it’s not a status symbol, glittery or conspicuous, it’s a tool watch. It’s tough, will do a job, and it carries a certain history with it. It’s the perfect size, weight and supremely comfortable. I have to admit to storing the folded link bracelet.. if I’m honest – it sucks, and I didn’t want to tear it apart to size it. So, I’ve fitted an aftermarket bracelet (gasp!). I’m still not sold on the cyclops, but I have to admit, whilst I wore it before getting the crystal changed, it really grew on me.. but with a superdome crystal fitted.. for me, it’s bang on the money.

Written by Heuerville

July 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Non-Heuer

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Rolex Submariner 5513

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Rolex Submariner 5513

Rolex Submariner 5513, Gloss dial/WGS, 1986

Yes.. I’ve officially joined the ‘Dark Side’, as the Heueristas call it! Allow me to explain myself..
I’ve never really been a big Rolex fan, mainly because the things are so damn expensive. I’m not saying I don’t think they are superb watches.. but they are mighty pricey for a dive watch. I suppose I’ve been spoiled for choice being a Heuer nut.. not long ago you could pick up a Heuer diver for relatively little outlay – even an automatic variant.

For a while now I’ve fancied getting a Sub (or a Snowflake), something that was old school, but not too old, as I want something actually usable – that can take knocks and not worry about water tightness. A few months ago I snapped up a 16800 with a matt dial, as it was a decent price. I tried to bond with it.. but I’ll be honest.. I really didn’t get on with it. I would go as far to say, I hated it – maybe I expected more.. whatever reason it wasn’t for me. I moved it swiftly on to a friend who fancied it and I was glad to see the back of it. Then a fellow Heuer fan (Peter) posted a pic of his newly acquired gloss dial 5513 with white gold surrounds (WGS) on the hour plots, and I thought it looked great. So, a few beers and an internet hunt led me to well known Rolex good-guy Jacek at HQ Milton.. a few emails later and it was mine. a short delay followed while it was at serviced by HQ Miltons watchmaker and I’ll be honest.. I was having a serious case of buyers regret, but a deals a deal, so I paid up. Fast forward several weeks and freshly back from a full service, it arrived yesterday.

I was blown away when I freed it from it’s bubble wrap.. it is stunning, a world away from that 16800 I disliked so much. It really is sublime. I know the Rolex aficionados hanker after the non-WGS matt dial models.. not me.. I think this is one of the nicest – I’m not drawn in by the rarity factor of the sought after double reds etc – I think this one is just right for me.

It’s an ’86 model, serial 974xxxx with a 1520 hacking movement. The bracelet is a 93150 with 580 endlinks. The lume is just turning a light cream, the clean design of the no-date deep black gloss dial is stunning, and as much as I tried in the photos, there is the very faintest of a spider webbing when viewed at just the right angle.. it looks like a faint elevation map of a group of islands, 99.9% of the time it’s not visible. I love the way the whole dial and the WGS and hnds catch the light.. and that plexi – it is simply stunning. I tried it on a dark grey NATO.. and it looks great.. I also tried it on one of my Heuerville straps – I know, leather on a sub is ‘wrong’, but I like it!!!

So, here it is.. a 5513.. my perfect Sub.. that plexi, that clean no-date gloss dial.. I think it’s gonna hang around longer than the 16800.

Also, thanks to the boys over at HQ Milton for a smooth deal.

With some of it’s stable mates.. TAG Heuer Spirotechnique and  Heuer 844 Monnin..

Written by Heuerville

February 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Non-Heuer

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