Sunday, January 31, 2016

Omega Constellation, the ledgendary Watch in the 60s.

Omega has produced one of the best watch ever in the 50 and 60… One of them is Constellation

This is one purchased by one collector…to share with you

Omega Constellation:
- Purchased in July 2011 on Bbay from Texas, USA
- Year of manufacture ----- 1966-1967
- Case ref. number ----- CD168.004

- Calibre 561, in-house chronometer grade movement, automatic winding, 24 jewels, 19,800 beats/hour, "goose-neck" timing regulator with adjustment screw, INCABLOC shock protection system.

- Movement serial number ----- 24 million
- Case diameter ----- 35.6mm without the crown
- Width between lugs ----- 18mm; 16mm gold plated Omega tang buckle
- Power reserve ----- 50 hours
- Hour, minute, second hands with non-quickset date function
- Solid gold 14k bezel; gold-capped case and lugs on stainless steel

- Original, unrestored, champagne colour, 12-sided "pie pan" dial with cross-hair.
- Dauphine hour and minute hands; hands and hour markers with black onyx inserts.
- Stainless steel case back with 14k solid gold observatory medallion.

A Flawless dial

35.6MM is big watch at the 60s


I was looking at another Constellation on eBay, a ref.168.005 (a more popular model), and ready to bid on it. 

That watch seems to have a missing hour marker at 3 o'clock, or some sort of minor flaw.  There was 3 to 4 minutes left before the end of that auction so I decided to just quickly browse what other Constellations were available for sale and come back to bid on the 168.005 at the last 15 seconds or so. 

That's when I found a ref.168.004 that caught my eye, which I ended up buying instead.  There was something unique about the 168.004 that I didn't quite appreciate at first, but I'm glad that I bought it instead of the 168.005 (or other similar variations).

What's special about my Constellation compared to other case references such as a 168.005:

- Larger size; 35.6 mm wide instead of the usual smaller 34 mm.  That's almost as big as the 36 mm Rolex Datejust.

- Larger area of gold-capping.  In addition to the lugs, the perimeter of the case is also gold-capped, making the watch look as if it is made entirely of solid gold unless you flip the watch over to reveal the stainless steel case back.  The other reference variations don't gold-cap the case perimeter, making them look rather cheap by comparison.

- Hidden crown; the crown is recessed and almost flush with the case, giving the watch a rounder, smoother, crown-less appearance.  However, this makes the watch unable to be wound manually; you must wear it to keep it running.

- Shorter and more slender lugs, makes the watch appear bigger. 

The unique features found on the 168.004 is an attempt by Omega to make the Constellation more contemporary looking, in keeping with the design trends of that era.

Omega did a lot of gold-capped watches, similar to what Rolex did on a smaller scale, which Rolex called theirs, the "Golden Egg".  A sheet of gold is moulded under pressure onto a stainless steel case, forming a physical bond, resulting in a durable, hard-wearing gold surface.   

Gold-capping is not the same as gold-plating, an electrochemical reaction for depositing gold particles onto a base metal surface.  The thickness of gold on a typical modern gold-plated watch is roughly 20 micrometres or less, which might easily wear through to reveal the base metal underneath after a few short years.   

The gold layer on a gold-capped Constellation (and Rolex's "Golden Egg") in contrast is at least 200 micrometres (1/5 of a millimetre).  The thickness is more than 2 sheets of quality photocopying paper, which explains why many vintage Connies, like mine are still wearing well even after more than 50 years.

Also, the movement inside my Constellation (serial #24,43x,xxx)  is also a bit special in terms of Omega movement history. 

Back in the 1950s and 60s, Omega produced most of the chronometer watch movements in Switzerland that were tested and certified by the COSC, much more so than Rolex or any other watch company.  Not only did Omega produce the most chronometers, sometimes the watch movements would be sent in large batches to be tested and COSC certified to demonstrate the high standard and consistent quality of the company's work. 
There were 3 such milestones when Omega sent in consecutively numbered movements by the tens of thousands all at once to be tested and passed the chronometer certification in flying colours.

Gooseneck adjustment
Shown more clearly the goose-eck adjustment in Black
Beautiful and shinning parts after 5 decades

The first such production run was between June 27th and Sept.22nd, 1949 when a series of 1000 calibre 352 "bumper" automatic movements with serial #s between 11,418,001 and 11,419,000 were submitted, and all passed with "particularly good results".

The second time occurred during the period Jan.22, 1959 and July 4, 1960 when 20,000 mid 500 series movements with #s between 17,000,000 and 17,019,099 were submited, and all passed with "particularly good results".


The third time was from Oct.5, 1964 to Feb.10, 1966 with a consecutive series of 100,000 calibres 551 and 561 movements of serial #s from 24,410,000 to 24,509,999.  Needless to say, every single one of those movements passed with "resultats particulierement bons" appellation.

The "particularly good results" rating was the highest level of chronometer certification achievable at the testing agency at that time.  So I own one of those 100,000 calibre 561 movements certified during that 3rd milestone achievement, present in my Constellation. 

The servicing history of the watch was unknown when I first picked it up.  Even though the seller had stated that the movement was serviced recently by his watchmaker, the watch ran slow by almost 1.5 minutes a day.  A trip to my watchmaker revealed that the oil and lubricant had gummed up, meaning the movement hadn't been properly maintained for quite a long time.  After the overhaul, it kept time at roughly +3 to +5 seconds a day.  For the past year however, it has been slowing down quite noticeably, so perhaps it's time for another overhaul this summer.

With purchasing watches online, it is often easy to fall victim to encountering fakes, frankenwatches, and repainted dials.  So researching the watch you're interested in beforehand is essential. 


I don't know about Rolex, but It is rather surprising that a number of Omega models, including the Constellation seem to have features built into them that actually help against counterfeiting (if you know what details to look for, that is).  Things such as the printing on the dial, their fonts and alignment of letters, case reference numbers, movement serial numbers, movement calibre, variation in the shapes of the lugs and the crown, and even minute detail differences in the case back observatory medallion all help to determine the authenticity of the particular watch at hand.  The Constellation dial, in particular is a complex array of letters, logos, symbols, fonts, serifs, cross-hair, etc. which is not easily reproducible in its entirety during redialing.  A repainted dial is often identifiable, again, if you've done your homework and know what to look for.

 Vancouver, Canada

 A knowledgeable gentleman, a watch guru, he is so humble to say he does not know Rolex….

HK Snob

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1. Sharing of article, information, technical discussion on Watches. Rolex, AP, PP, Omega..etc.

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5. Information on up coming show, exhibition, and watch gathering in the region.

Welcome comment and pen for article. We offer certain amount of tea money for each article. HKD$300 (USD$38) in cash, subject to final approval of the article from our blog members. Interesting experience on buying, using, investing Rolex...

HK Snob
HK Watch Fever.

Preowned Rolex Daytona Black and SeaDweller on Sale

Daytona Ref 116520 V series
SeaDweller D-series

 A Good deal if you are keeping these watch using on your wrist, in superb condition full set.
The first one is Daytona Ref 116520 Now HKD$74,500
The second one is Sea Dweller Ref 16600 HKD$41,500
Cash only

We can hand carry to Philippines

HK Snob
HK Watch Fever

PS Daytona on hold by one gentleman at 0030 3 Feb
... leaving only the SeaDweller.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi Ref 16710

Rolex GMT Master is one of the best Seller Daytona, Submariner and GMT Maser.

There is numerous supporters  on  GMT Master and the Black Blue is likely one if your best choice amongst all Rolex Entire collection.

There has been a launch of GMT Master “Pepsi” with a White Gold Version in 2014

(Ref 116719BLRO).  Since the launch of this White Gold version, the stainless Pepsi had gained the notice of many people and their price was up in these two years. It might be a good choice for you if you can find a excellent condition GMT master II such as Ref 16170. 

Rolex 16170

Production Period: 1989-2007

Model  Name: Rolex GMT Master II

Caliber: 3185 (late models with 3186), 28800A/h, hacking, quickset (24-hour-hand)

Pressure proof to 100m/330ft

Bracelet: Oyster 78360 and 78790 (Oysterlock), Jubilé 62510

Glass: Sapphire crystal

Bezel: Anodized aluminum, 120 clicks


Tritium (until 1997): T<25 dial

Luminova (1998/99): Swiss dial

Superluminova (2000-2007): Swiss made dial

 The Ref. 16710 replaced 1989 the Ref. 16760 featuring a new, but identical functioning caliber and a slimmer design.

 Variant: Luminova on a T<25 dial (1998)


1997/2000: Tritium -> Luminova -> Superluminova

 2000: Solid end link bracelet introduced (SEL).

 2003: Laser crown introduced.

 2003: No holes case starting (late Y-series).

 2007: New certificate (plastic/credit card size) introduced (Z-series).

Late 2007: Caliber 3186 instead of 3185 (late Z-series and the M-series). 

Available with three different bezels:  

Red/Black aka Coke (Bezel 315-16760-7)

BLRO, Blue/Red aka Pepsi (bleu/rouge), (Bezel 315-16700-6)

LN, Black (lunette noire), (Bezel 315-16700-1)

Other variants:

Ref. 16713 steel/yellow gold aka Tigerauge (Eye of the Tiger) (Bezel: 315-16713-5 or 315-16718-1); Oysterbracelet 78363 and 78793 (Oysterlock), Jubilébracelet 62523

Ref. 16718 yellow gold (Bezel 315-16718-3); Oysterbracelet 7206/8 and 78798 (Oysterlock), Jubilébracelet 8386/8

Currently a Full Set Mint Condition  Red Blue Pepsi Ref 16710 is about HKD$120,000 to HKD$150,000

HK Snob
HK Watch Fever
PS Three Apollo in HK

Patek Philippe Ref 3989 Ellipse With White Porcelain Dial on Sale

On my Wrist

Cal. 215

This is a Patek Philippe, looks simple, Just a Gold Ellipse dress watch, manual winding, 5 positions.
Leather strap... but this is also a real classic, small second hand, thin and slim, very elegant wearing on mid size to small wrist.
Good for daily uses...
That is not the key,
The key is  Blanc porcelaine, means White Porcelain to make the dial. This is super rare and collectible.
It is On sale, Full Set, Excellent Plus Plus condition.

HK Snob
HK Watch Fever

PS Watch Sold on 1 Feb 2016

HK Watch Fever Club Gathering 30 Jan 2016

These are watches shown in our gathering today, from Top to bottom:-

IWC Big Pilot Split second
Rolex Limited 300 Pieces Turn-O-Graph,
Daytona Ref 116520 (On sales)
Rolex DeepSea D-blue
Patek Philippe Ref 3898 White Porcelain Dial, Rare Dress Watch
Rolex Day Date White Gold Ref 18039 (HK Snob's)
AP Chronometer

Nice to meet friends especially a new joined member DJ from Korea, Welcome to HKWF Club

HK Snob
HK Watch Fever

What do you see at SIHH!?

I am not an expert horology, just experience over the past years of watch collection and trade and learn to understand a bit about watch trend, values and hints on investment.

The following comment is only personal idea and does not intend to make any impeachable criticism on any watches… as what Chinese says, you don't like does not mean everyone doesn’t like…You don't like Stinky Dou foo!
Well, to someone that is likely the best delicacy for pleasing the tongue…hmm..


Starting with IWC and Jaeger-Lecoultre first,  Both watches have released pieces that adhere to their tradition. 
But not in the same way.

IWC has released some new pilot watches, which are as new as they can be. IWC is running out of new concepts and ideas. The pilot watches they have released are old wine in a new bottle. The novelties they have offered make us feel that the brand is running to an dead end, lost in the Bermuda Triangle.

For Jaeger-Lecoultre, an understated brand we have always admired, it has released a few new Reverso watches to celebrate its 85th anniversary. The one I like best is the Rose-Gold-Only Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Calendar for the 85th anniversary. It has a nicely grained white dial which is very striking and it is adorned by a grained moonphase disc. The Reverso is a true classic. This complete calendar watch is another iteration of the spirit of the Reverso.


The other watch I would like to see it in the metal is the Master Ultra Thin Date with a champagne sunray dial in steel. It has a champagne dial. I have been searching for such a combination for a while and finally here it is. The ultra-thin case is beautifully hand-finished. The curves and the thin case just look perfect on the wrist. I view this watch as an affordable version of a watch with a champagne dial offered by a big brand other than Patek Philippe. Why Patek Philippe? Because I like their honey-gold dials. Honey-gold is a bit similar to the champagne dial JLC is offering.


Of course I have to mention the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar with a black dial. With its $20000 USD price tag, it is hard to beat.


I must mention Montblanc after talking about JLC. Mr Jerome Lambert, former CEO of JLC, is now CEO of Montblanc. He seems to be always able to have the Midas touch. Montblanc is offering its Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Annual Calendar Chronograph this year at the price at $10,450 USD. Of course one may argue that the movement finishing may not be top-notch.


However, Montblanc is doing a good job by offering affordable complications in steel but not only in white gold, rose gold or platinum. Imagine such complications offered by Patek Philippe or A Lange, they would cost you a big fortune. While I do like PP and Lange watches a lot, it is hard to convince myself to buy their watches at such price points. People with a similar mentality may become Montblanc’s potential customers.


I do not think the perpetual calendar watch offered earlier looks very handsome. However, Montblanc has definitely improved on this annual calendar chronograph. The dial looks more balanced and the moonphase display at three o’ clock gives you a sense of sincerity.


It gives you a feeling that Montblanc has devoted time and experience in designing and contemplating how the watch should look like. These things do not happen on watches that simply convert an ETA module movement and put a lot of complications on the dial.


In the annual calendar chronograph, Montblanc is also offering an affordable worldtimer, which will be a competitor of the also new Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time which has a jumping second hand instead of a sweeping second hand. It offers a gold rotor and a well-decorated movement.


Audemars Piguet is offering the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. The watch comes in four colors, namely blue, yellow, green and orange. The blue version is the most appealing to me. The other colors are sharp but the blue one looks more promising and classy. It will look very nice when paired with a light blue hornback alligator strap. 


Panerai is another brand that is running out of ideas. While sticking to its heritage is not wrong, releasing novelties that look basically identical to their current models is not the right direction. Yes, there are improvements on the movements. However, there is nothing very significantly exciting nor new. I seem to be seeing this brand coming to its end very soon.


Penerai is releasing the Pam663 and Pam662 in this year. Both watches have brown dials that resemble the dials discolored because of the radiation in the powder of the lume on vintage Panerai. They look good. However, what more leverage does Panerai have? Which vintage models can their future releases resemble?

Will their future models resemble a recently released model that resembles a vintage model? The bubble has burst.


Jason L, HK Snob

HK Watch Fever





Thursday, January 28, 2016

Latest Tudor offer at AD

These are three selected model from HK AD for offering VIP at SURPRISE discount...

Whatspp me if you are interested in getting these watches...

Whatspp No. +639989811111

Limited Stock

HK Snob
HK Watch Fever

Europe has increased price on Rolex by 5% in last week

All European Watch has been confirmed increased by 5%
partly due to influence of exchange rate.

Well, see what the next impact would be. As all the gray dealer has put all watches stock on hold  as they will enjoy additional profit “ 5%” immediately…

Unless otherwise that good honest dealer will honour the promised OLD price to sell.

This is a worldwide economy change after the technically “depression” from the China, since 2014.

As there are so much supply from Europe but on the other hand the China and Hong Kong Rolex demand has  diminished by 50%...

European Manufacture on movement has slowed down by 50% already… see how big the influence on the Asian economy.

Rolex has to protect their brand name and profit, so price adjustment is needed… We need to watch the next step on Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong… Well, let see 1 Feb if there is price adjust in these area.

Hong Kong had increased 4 times on price in 2011, then 4 years no price adjustment till 2014 August on a few hot items such as GMT, Submariner, Daytona, Deep sea, Milgauss and Explorer.. then there is over 17 month no price adjustment…. I cannot forecast anymore as that is not predicable…

If this situation continues… that may help the HK Rolex AD to make a better sales.

Because if they can maintain an old price, their price gap with Gray dealer is narrow down by 5%.

Let’s wait till 1 Feb and see… 

HK Snob

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

PP Ref 5524 on sale

This is a new generation PP that give you a fresh breeze from the seashore.
Bigger, sportive, Dual time, small second.. that has all the critical factors that younger people is looking for.
Now there is very limited supply, Price HKD$356,500
HK Snob
PS This one is sold on 27 Jan 2016

Frustration on the DeepSea Bracelet.

I am having Haagen Dazs strawberry ice cream with all my windows closed as I recall today’s experience at RSC Hong Kong, where I met a rarely seen beautiful RSC lady staff when I took my one-month-old Deep Sea D-blue to check again whether the bracelet was too loose. Yes, again.


The first time I took it there, the watchmaker there claimed that the bracelet was absolutely normal. When I asked of why the bracelet was so loose, the answer was that they were making new bracelets looser as they had received complaints about bracelets being too tight. Super convincing.

So, today, I went there again in an attempt to see what other convincing reasons they had.

How loose was (is) my bracelet? Take a look at a Rolex bracelet with hollow links and you will understand. I will not describe the whole experience at RSC in detail. The end result was more than predictable. They insisted that the bracelet was in perfect condition. I requested to have the same 98210 bracelet next to mine for comparison and they did exactly that. The 98210 bracelet they gave me for comparison had a much tighter safety clasp and buckle. In other words, it felt much more solid. It felt very much like the bracelet on my black DS - IT FELT MUCH MORE ROLEX.

My bracelets on the 116710, 216570 and 116660 black share the same solid feeling – bracelets with solid links. The magical thing was that the staff there claimed that the bracelet for comparison and my D-blue bracelet felt the same. Great.


“Could you please understand that each of our bracelets is different. Some may be loose and some may be tight. Whether it is loose or tight is not our concern when inspecting it. The only thing we look at is whether it closes and opens smoothly.” 


The video I was watching when I awaited the inspection of my watch was about precision. ROLEX PRECISION. It was about how each Rolex is seriously tested, serviced and how each one conforms of a unified standard.


What can you do when today a company tells you that it has a standard and the next it tells you every bracelet is different? You can only look surprised.


But let’s get back to the beautiful lady I met there. The staff lady. Or the lady staff. She was the one whom I went to when I checked in my watch. I like her smile and her hairstyle. She was charming, sweet and must have been well-educated. In contrast, the lady staff who told me the bracelet was perfect looked like a witch.


Please pardon my shallowness and inexperience. Is Rolex letting go quality lady staff like they let go their quality? Are you satisfied with a loose bracelet on a 3900m diver?


“Your bracelet is all ok.” Once, twice, three times……till the end of the world.


Perfect customer service. As solid as a Rolex Deep Sea D-blue.


Jason L.

HKWF special Watch Columnist…