Always"watching"

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Always"watching" last won the day on September 15 2016

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About Always"watching"

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  • Birthday 01/01/55

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    Newhaven in Sussex
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    I have many interests, but being disabled, I follow them from home or from not more than three or four miles away. I have many interests ranging from watches (of course) to many other forms of antique and art.

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  1. Interesting thread and thanks for showing those Midos. I must add that name to my list of "collecting material for an article" folder.
  2. Thanks Avo, and thanks everyone for the likes and comments.I did manage to obtain a (rather poor) translation of the text in the Cauny website, and I also used some Spanish forum material. Some of the translations were so laughable that I nearly posted one or two in the Open forum session. Also forum posts tended to give rather vague and insufficient material about the hstory of Cauny, with a tendency to focus on the merits, etc, of each other's and one's own Caunys. I did not want to enter the world of current Cauny products in this historical topic, because the history of the Cauny brand since the early 1970s is not easy to work out. I therefore stuck with the more collectible mechanical models in my illustrations, and I was surprised at just how many nice Cauny mechanical chronographs from the 1950-1975 period are shown online. I wouldn't mind a pre-owned example, like yours AVO, in my collection. Finally, if ever there was an advert for Cauny, that beautiful chrono of yours futuristfan would be a top contender.
  3. No information on this one, but what a beauty. A late 1950s Cauny Prima Swiss-made chronograph/calendar/moonphase wristwatch (pic from s3.amasonaws.com): Almost as soon as you start looking into the Caundy story, you realize that this brand had strong connections with with the Iberian Peninsular. Many extant pre-owned Cauny watches hail from Spanish and Portuguese sellers and I have attempted to look into this connection while researching the Swiss side of the Cauny brand and company. In fact, Caundy has a long history, with the company commencing production, in Switzerland, in the late 1920s. The brand exists today and is now essentially a Spanish operation, but there was a short but important gap between the end of Swiss Cauny and the beginning of Cauny as it survives today. Cauny was founded in 1927, at La Chaux de Fonds, in Switzerland, by a Spanish wholesaler of watches, and from the beginning of production in 1928, the Cauny branded watches were intended mainly for the Spanish market. Interestingly, the Cauny name seems to have been taken from an eponymous village in France. The company went through a number of title changes and we can follow those changes as they occurred from 1950. In 1951, the company is listed as, "M. Grebler" and a second firm, Redia Watch Company, is listed at the same address. At the registration of the Cauny Prima watch, on 13 January 1953, Cauny is listed as "Cauny Watch, Mireille Grebler," in La Chaux de Fonds, and by 1966, shortly before the demise of the firm, we find "Mireille Grebler, Cauny watch Company." While disappearing from the scene in the late 1960s, perhaps as a victim of the quartz crisis, the Cauny brand reappeared in Spain at the start of the 1970s. The trademark registered in 1966 by Danzinelli Tatiana of La Chaux de Fonds was owned by United Time SL at Carraterio del Plantia in Madrid in 1971, and listed with Andre Laager, Brugg in 1973. I am not sure of the details of the current proprietors of Cauny but the firm is evidently Spanish with Cauny watches being designated as Swiss made A rather lovely late 1950s Cauny Prima de Luxe gold-plated wristwatch with 38mm case and 15J hand-wind movement (pics from assets.catawiki.nl): I have tried to pursue information on Cauny from Spanish collectors of the brand, but there are problems with translation of the material and paucity of useful information. Nevertheless, one can make some important observations taking all the available evidence into account. Cauny was a Swiss-based company that made middle-range mechanical watches right up to its first demise in about 1969. In addition to hand-wind and automatic watches, mechanical chronographs were produced. The watches were primarily made to supply the Spanish market, but it was not long before the watches became popular in Portugal and South America. It has been said that the history of first period Cauny watches in the Spanish market mirrors that of Benrus in the United States, and Cauny certainly produced a good range of middle-brow models in the 1950s and 1960s. Quartz watches were introduced during the second phase of Cauny production, under new ownership headquartered in Spain, and extant quartz examples show that there were quartz Cauny watches available from the mid 1970s. Although we can define the first period of Cauny, judging exactly when the new period of ownership took off, sometime in the early 1970s, is not easy. Did first period Cauny watches continue for a while, after 1970, under Spanish ownership and headquarters, or did the major break in production actually occur just before 1970, with the Spanish phase of Cauny marking the beginning of second period production? Whatever the case, the most collectible Cauny watches are the mechanical models produced up to the 1970s. One of the problem timepieces is this mechanical hand-wind dive chronograph by Cauny which bears the naturalistic fleur-de-lys but appears to be a model from the early to mid 1970s (pics from ranfft.de). It uses a Valjoux 7733 17J Incabloc chronograph movement and has a chromed case with screw-down stainless steel back. WR is 210 metres. Most Cauny watches from the long first period of production - 1928-c.1969 - that survive today date from 1950-1969, and it is clear that the company did not manufacture its own movements. In fact, a surprising number of different mechanical movements are found in Cauny watches, especially ebauches from FHF, Landeron and Valjoux. First period sub-brands from Cauny include the well-known Cauny Prima watches and the Calendario. The second period of Cauny watches, beginning in about 1970, also saw the production of mechanical watches, and dating a mechanical watch to either the first or second period of production can be tricky. For example, I have seen examples of the Cauny Submarine Atmos 210 dive watch that could be from either period of production. Just how far Cauny went in terms of manufacture and assembly is not clear and it has been mooted that the firm used seconds or unwanted parts from Omega and Tissot watches. Cauny may have designed their watches and put them out to other firms to manufacture, but I think that Cauny watches were at least assembled by the Cauny company, at least prior to the modern period. When it comes to marks, we are fortunate in that Cauny used a fleur-de-lys mark on its watches, and there was at least one significant change in the drawing of that mark. The mark on first period watches up to the end of the 1960s shows a fairly "naturalistic" depiction of the fleur-de-lys, but subsequently, in the Spanish phase of the company's location, the fleur-de-lys became more stylized to the extent that one would not necessarily associate the logo with the fleur-de-lys immediately. The logo generally appears on the caseback. Be aware that modern Cauny watches also use the fleur-de-lys emblem as a logo but the firm has reverted to a more naturalistic version, which appears on the dial of the watches. The caption accompanying this rose gold plated Cauny alarm watch dates it to the year 1962 but as you will see, it bears the stylized fleur-de-lys mark on dial and caseback, and I would have dated it to the end of the 1960s (pics from darlorwatch.com): Cauny watches are certainly collectible. In brand quality, the watches are the equal of Benrus, with the Cauny Prima representing the top of the range. Cauny produced some rather nice hand-wind chronographs, using Landeron and Valjoux movements, and these are particularly sought after, as are the alarm watches. I am loth to say that Cauny is a brand waiting to receive glory in the world of watch collecting. Cauny mechanical watches have been collected for some time in Southern Europe and over the Atlantic in Latin America, and they don't seem to be particularly common in this country (the UK). Cauny was never a luxury brand, but it served its purpose in providing the considerable Spanish and Portugese-speaking markets with decent quality Swiss-made watches - and in serving that purpose, Cauny has left a sizeable legacy of collectible yet affordable vintage watches. Another lovely Cauny hand-wind chronograph from the 1950s (pic from cloudfront.net) NOTE: This topic has been difficult to compile and write and I feel that a better job awaits. The tidbits of information come from all over the place and it is therefore hard to compile a cohesive and wholly accurate article, especially with regard to the company's dates and timeline. I just hope that readers will forgive this and look forward to a more comprehensive history of Cauny being written.
  4. Thanks for the responses - having one's own section of the Forum gives rise to the worry that no-one will bother to look on it for the latest topic or one that they might be interested in.
  5. If imitation is really the sincerest form of flattery then the classic Panerai case and dial design must have an enormous following, given the huge number of homages, clones and outright fakes on the market. Now, Panerai have launched a new watch in the Luminor 1950 series, that goes even further in new technology than the 2015 Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech of 2015 whilst still keeping the classic Panerai design intact The full title of the new watch, "Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days - 49mm," is something of a mouthful even if the watch lives up to the expectations implied by such a name. Introduced briefly, by Marcel Bernado on Watch Time in February, the watch "combines a Carbotech case with a deep black, light-absorbing dial and a lubrication-free mechanical movement." However, as Bernado's reviwew shows, putting things this briefly just doesn't do justice to this timepiece, and the various technical innovations need to be discussed in more detail. The new Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days - 49mm wristwatch (pic cdn1.hautetime.com): The new watch hails from Panerai's laboratory for ideas fusing horology with modern technology and it is a limited edition of just 50 pieces. The case measures 49mm and is made from Carbotech - a composition created by compressing thin layers of carbon fibre together with the polymer, Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK), giving the material an interesting texture or appearance. Because the appearance changes subtly depending on the angle of each layer of fibre and how the material is cut - reminding me visually of Damascus steel - each watch case is effectively unique. I should just add here that even the characteristic Panerai crown protector is in Carbotech. Carbotech has been used by Panerai previously, but when it comes to the dial of the new LAB-ID Carbotec Luminor 1950 3 Days 49mm, new technology has been applied specifically to absorb light and reduce light reflection and make the dial as black as possible. Although the dial still retains the classic Panerai sandwich construction, with blue SuperLuminova lume showing through the number and marker cutouts, the upper element of the sandwich has been coated with carbon nanotubes - the first time this has been used on watch dials. The only problem with this coating is that no stamping or printing can be done on top of the nanotubes, and Panerai has had to place the brand and watch title directly on to the sapphire crystal having given it two anti-reflective layers. The use of SuperLuminova extends to the hands and the small seconds hand. Face-on views of the back and front of the watch showing the technically advanced and aesthetically pleasing mechanical movement (pic from watch-news.com): The LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 days is also an interesting watch by virtue of new technology used in its power source. Ironically, the watch is elementally a timekeeper in its simplest sense - minute and hour hands and a seconds register powered by a mechanical hand-wind movement. However, this simplicity belies a technical tour de force on the part of Panerai when it comes to the movement. The new watch uses a new, partially skeletonized caliber P.3001/C movement that is guaranteed for no less than 50 years. One might frown with disbelieve at this guarantee and the fact that the movement only contains four jewels, but hold fast and read on because Panerai have seen to it that their use of modern carbon technology extends to the movement of the watch, meaning that it is self-lubricating and uses only dry lubricants. I can best outline the new technology within the movement by quoting from Bilal Khan's 16 January review of the watch in "A Blog to Watch" where he lists the three main innovations within the caliber: "The first of these innovations is the use of dry-lubricated barrels, in which the two mainspring barrels have a multi-layer coating with a final layer of DLC. The, there is the silicon escapement which is predominantly made of silicon and also has an uppermost coating of DLC. Thirdly, the main bridges and plate are done using a low-friction composite material that integrates Tantalum-based ceramic and removes the need for additional lubrication. This reduces the need for jewels and their requisite lubrication because pivot friction is already minimized due to the composite's high carbon percentage." A wrist shot of the Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days 49mm watch (pic from cdn1.hautetime.com): Interestingly, the watch uses the Incabloc system of shock resistance, and all four jewels in the watch have been DLC coated. In operation, the movement operates at 21,600vps and has a seconds reset function that stops the balance and, when time is been set, returns to the zero position. The movement also provides a power reserve of - you've guessed it - three days. I also cannot resist reflecting on the aesthetics of the movement, which being partly skeletonized, reveals itself in all its wonderful "nakedness" behind the rear crystal. In this connection, I do like the power reserve indicator, placed at the back of the movement and visible through the rear crystal. The watch as a whole is an awesome thing, with a display back enabling one to marvel at the technical prowess of Panerai's "Liboratorio Di Idee division. With a case size of 49mm the watch is large and I certainly wouldn't call it "pretty." In fact it is aesthetically saved by the retention of the classic case and overall face design including the wonderful deep-black sandwich dial, all so closely associated with Panerai. These seemingly eternal features do this timepiece proud, and enable what is essentially an big black watch watch more livable with and handsome. I must admit that I have a sinking feeling that the colour of new watch technology is going to be black, and we might want to avoid the fate of colours other than black that occurred during the period that Queen Victoria was in mourning for Albert. Oh, and as a final note, you will be able to get the watch wet as it has a WR of 100 metres, but if any of the 50 limited edition pieces are left to purchase, you will have to pay just under £42,000 or about 50,000 euros for one of these incredible timepieces. Side view of the watch showing the "woodgrain" effect of the Carbotech material (pic from ablogtowatch.com):
  6. Our general level of spending tends to be low, and we do take pains to ensure that we keep it that way. However, I do agree with Roger that one really needs to be a bit philosophical and avoid the nightmare of comparing different forms of spending directly. Although watches do take up quite a bit of my waking life in terms of mental energy, they are but a small part of the overall picture that is life and relationships, so a bit of a splurge here and there on things that might appear to be a waste of money is actually good sense.
  7. FANTASTIC THREAD: The more like this thread the better.
  8. What an amazing bit of kit - I have grown to like the really rugged look and that watch is the business.
  9. I am embarrassed to say this but I have bought plenty of watches for a pound or so from boot sales and charity shops over the years, and not long ago had a major binge on getting rid of an equivalent number of watches to charity shops. Oh well, they come and go, but I don't resent having spent the money on watches I have donated to charity because the act of collecting is an important accompaniment to my research and writing about watches. Indeed, it has been the case that a battered pound watch has stimulated research into a company that proves to be interesting and worthy of research. When it comes to new watches, I also have purchased some very cheap examples - both quartz and mechanical - and even these have sometimes sparked a topic in my head. Yes, it's a sort of madness, but it's my madness, and as long as Kristina is OK with it then I shall probably carry on with it, though at a much slower rate of purchasing.
  10. As a moderator of the forum, I must repeat the rule that members should please refrain from asking for a valuation. It is impossible to value a watch accurately without examining it in person, and the idea of the Watch Forum becoming embroiled in questions of value takes us down a dangerous route that needs to be blocked before it begins.
  11. I have always wanted a hand-wind chronograph watch with a display back as these watches can as look as good from the back as from the front. Yes, the new Baltic watches look nice but the term "neo-vintage" used by Baltic to describe their products says it all and puts me off. I am just dying to see some of these new companies or producers move us on from repetitions of vintage-inspired retro watches. I have just posted about the revival of the Vertex name, which has commenced with yet another near reproduction of an old model, and I am becoming tired of all this rehashing of the past. For heaven's sake, can't we get beyond that into a truly modern and dynamic world of watch design.
  12. I believe that ordering a watch from the States can run into tax problems if the value of the watch is more than a certain amount. Sometimes the parcels are intercepted and tax charged on them from the final customer, and sometimes the carrier will charge the tax to you. I'm sure there will be members here who have experience of dealing with the USA.
  13. Just to help Andy1978, I will go where angels fear to read and answer you query with regard to that particular Omega. The first way you can tell that the watch in question is a fake relies on experience of handling many vintage watches, and is easier to summarise rather than detail all the individual factors that go into that general conclusion. On looking at that watch, certain danger signs immediately spring out. Firstly that dial markers look cheap and nasty, and secondly, the use of the word "ANTIMAGNETIC" on the dial with no other legend pronouncing the quality of the watch usually denotes a watch that is trying to be more expensive than it actually is, and is often a sign of a cheap mechanical timepiece. Even the maker's name and logo are poorly executed and the back of the lugs show file marks and poor casting. It also looks as if the gold plating has worn off the face of the crown. As to the movement, I am surprised that the faker has managed to stamp "OMEGA" on it - presumably, the movement has nothing to do with Omega, but I am not an expert on the technicalities of calibers in Omega watches. If I was examining the watch myself, I would have by now concluded that this is a nasty fake, and I would be looking at the legality of the hallmarks. In my opinion this is a cynical fake and needs to be destroyed or kept in a darkened safe never to be sold again.
  14. thanks to you both. I feel I can relax now and in the future grease those gaskets that might be subject to shearing. Given the fact that most of my watches are in the category of my collection rather than daily wearers, I am now not worried about having failed to grease snap-on casebacks. I will certainly grease the screw back caseback gaskets and have now ordered a watch greaser that has two sponges impregnated with silicon grease such that the greasing can be done without mess.
  15. Not long ago, I made the "horrifying" discovery that I should have been greasing the replacement rubber gaskets I was putting into my watches. Not really liking the idea of someone as clumsy as myself being involved in the use of silicon grease where watches are concerned, I looked into the matter to see if the practice of greasing rubber watch gaskets was entirely necessary. As is always the case with me, I researched the subject until I was blue in the face, with the result that I am now in a pickle as to which watch gaskets to grease and which to leave naked, so to speak. I have read that Citizen official servicers do not generally grease replacement gaskets but make sure that a battery change in a quartz watch is accompanied by replacement of the old gasket. Greasing is only done when necessary. In addition to this, it would appear that the use of grease should only be executed on gaskets that are pressed between two flat surfaces, such as sometimes found in dive watches. Other rubber watch gaskets, which are placed in a groove, should be greased. This idea stems from movement of the gasket, since a gasket pressured between two flat surfaces will not move and doesn't require additional sealing. What I am not quite sure about is how the writer of that advice deals with gaskets on screw-down watch cases. Since not greasing my watches, I am still worried that before I learnt about the use of silicon grease, I may have "caught" the rubber gasket as the case was turned to close it, perhaps tearing the gasket inside the watch. It may sound daft to ask if there is a greasing expert among our membership but I really would like some advice. It is now physically impossible for me to go through all my swatches and check the gaskets, greasing and replacing them where necessary. Finally, what about the gaskets found under the crown of the watch and any side buttons? Oh dear oh dear, panic mode is beginning. Any advice from the wise would be most welcome.