Tropical ‘Swiss Only’ 7928 Tudor Sub
This one is about to get as nuanced as my posts come; which is to say I’m not really that educated on these matters. Nonetheless, we’re going to get down and dirty with Wilsdorf iterations again. The 7928 is one of my highlights in all vintage divers, for its working-class charm, often wild patina, and deep nuance. This 7928, though, offers just about as much unique patina and inter-reference geekery as is possible
The first four early gilt 7928s came in iterations delineated by their dials and cases, all signed as SWISS only at 6 (which is to say with the T SWISS T indicating tritium). There was the Mk1 with square crown guards, generally accepted that only about 100 examples exist. Then came Mk2 eagle beak guards, of which most think a few hundred exist. When the eagle beaks were shaved off, we arrived at this Mk3 PCG case with gilt dial, followed by a Mk4 with underline to signify the transition from radium to tritium safety. I like to live dangerously (insert Conan meme), and this radium job does it for me. Moreover, it comes on a Mexican jubilee which I find beyond reproach. I know people get bored of these Rolex details quite easily, I find myself unable to not get tied up in them once in awhile. I hope you’ll understand.
The dial is outright spectacular, signed correctly and an even chocolate tone. Tropical dials are simply not often this nice. Some may call this damage, I’d just have to call it the hallmark of a life well loved, as trite as that may be. Divers don’t age this way in a drawer and I think that’s a good thing.
This Mk3 example has a case with proud bevels and full lugs. Its bezel is missing the pearl and gone fully grey ghosted. The gilt handset is spectacular and still holding all lume. The Fleurier 390 looks the part, quite clean, and is said to be running well. It comes from a small, well-regarded German retailer.
Find this tropical 7928 here from Brevet for 22500 EUR.