22560 Universal Genève A. Cairelli Split Seconds

Universal-Genève-A-Cairelli-Split-Seconds-22560

Universal Genève are coming back. For true vintage lovers, they never left our thoughts. And throughout all these 70 years, one reference has always remained the apex. Elusive and extremely scarce, this is the 22560 A. Cairelli Split Seconds. This 44mm oversized chronograph is wafer thin, made for the Italian Air Force/MoD, and a classic…

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Royal Navy Clearance Diver 116660 Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

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At this point, you might be asking why Hairspring is talking about a modern Deepsea. Well, flip it over, and you’ll find this is not like any other modern Rolex you’re likely to have handled. Milsubs don’t really exist today in the traditional, issued sense. Today, Tudor will make what we now call ‘Unit Watches’…

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FAP 6263 Rolex Daytona

FAP-6263-Rolex-Daytona

This is one of those exceptions we love here where the caseback holds more interest than the dial. Say what you will about the Peruvian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea del Perú or FAP), their military had style. FAP military engravings on provenance cover basically all the best professional 60s offerings. Where the UK military made…

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UAE Ministry of Defence 1675 Rolex GMT-Master

UAE-Rolex-GMT-Master-1675-Gold

Middle Eastern signatures are one thing, but when you see a polychromatic painting of a Quraysh Hawk in enamel, it’s always an occasion. Made for the emir of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, examples are far less in number than say an Oman Khanjar dial. More importantly, for us Rolex lovers, they’re also more…

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Royal Navy Issued Precista RN82 Automatic

Precista-Royal-Navy-Automatic-Mil-Sub

The British MOD realized Submariners were getting far too expensive way before the rest of us. In 1979, the MOD and Royal Navy stopped using Rolex and put out a call for British watchmakers to answer, a criteria defining what would be the Milsub’s replacement. CWC won the contract. However, CWC lost the contract only…

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Bundeswehr 3501 IWC Porsche Design Ocean 2000

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We now live in a world where a good Milsub is a 500K proposition in USD. So how does it make any sense at all that Bundeswehr-issued Ocean 2000 is still just over 20K? This is a combat diver issued, under-hyped, comparatively economic (I suppose anything is when contrasted against a milsub), materially innovative, 1980s…

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US Navy Tornek Rayville TR-900

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This is about as special as a Fifty Fathoms gets, mostly because it technically isn’t one. Tornek Rayville was (is?) a company created in the imaginative American spirit of creatively avoiding laws, to get around the US Navy’s ‘Buy America Act’ in 1933. That put Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms well out of consideration for the US…

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‘3H Bund’ Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

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Veblen goods are those for which demand increases as price increases, breaking traditional economic models. If this does not compute, ask a guy named Philippe Dufour to explain it to you. But I’d like to suggest there’s a similar but distinct phenomena in military watches. Usually, collectors uniformly aim for golden tritium, perfect razor cases,…

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Mk1 Enicar Sherpa Jet GMT

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A small but vocal section of the vintage watch collecting community has for years tried to make the case that Enicar’s sport watches from the 1960s and 1970s measure up to their counterparts from Rolex and Omega. This Sherpa Jet can and should be Exhibit A in their case. This reference 126/002, circa 1964, was…

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FAP 6263 Rolex Daytona

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You should always read the caseback, but also know what you’re looking at. There’s the famous story where Dr Jim Norton, driver of the Porsche Cayman team which won the GX Class at the 2013 24 Hours of Daytona, brought his Daytona to a Tampa jeweler to be told it was ‘likely’ a fake because…

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