We're not going to mince words. The "Nina Rindt" Chronograph by Universal Geneve is the single most in-demand timepiece we have ever had pleasure to deal with. These spectacular chronographs are exceptionally rare (one for every 100 Paul Newman Daytonas is probably a reasonable guess) and the few that have come to market in the recent past are well known. Having received dozens of inquiries and requests to locate in the past year, we knew that interest in this particular example would be at an all time high. For that reason, we have decided to offer it in the fairest way we could think of - by putting it on offer publicly for several weeks, and letting everyone who might be interested take a shot at getting it.
To that end, we are putting this exceptional piece up on offer through October 31st. Between now and then we will be fielding inquiries and taking offers, and can arrange to show it privately in New York to any interested parties. At the end of the day on Halloween, one lucky bidder will be getting a real treat!
In the interest of full disclosure: YES, this is the very same watch featured earlier this year on Hodinkee, HERE. It has changed hands privately since that article was published and we are now incredibly fortunate to have it on offer directly. In all likelihood it won't be coming up again anytime soon.
Now, on to the watch!
When it comes to vintage chronographs, "Panda Dials" are a whole different kind of awesome that have been getting lots of attention on the collector market as of late. The nickname refers to a white dial with black subsidiary registers, and is a simple aesthetic choice which has become extremely sought after in the collector community, with Panda Dial variants often commanding many multiples of their "standard" dial brethren (think "Siffert" Heuer Autavias, and "Paul Newman" Rolex Daytonas). Of course, a timepiece need not have an association with a famous historical figure to have the same great looks, but when they do it makes the story all the sweeter.
This particular watch, originally known simply by its Reference number (885103/03), is now only referred to as the "Nina Rindt" amongst collectors. Already a stunning vintage sports watch, this model was catapulted into collector fame by being worn by the famous model Nina Rindt, nee' Nina Lincoln, who was married to the legendary Formula One driver Joachim Rindt in 1967. Although he died in a crash during a practice run for the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Italy in 1970, Joachim Rindt went on to win the Formula One World Driver's Championship posthumously, which has never happened before or since.
His wife, Nina, was unquestionably the better looking of the pair, and one look at period photographs of her wearing the watch makes most men go weak in the knees...whether the cause was her honey-colored hair and high cheekbones or the chronograph strapped to her wrist on a wide leather strap is indeterminate...
Dating from the 1960s, this steel chronograph is sized between 36-37mm, far more wearable than you might think, and wears similarly to early references of the Daytona. And the comparisons to Rolex's iconic motorsports chronograph don't end there. Like the most popular versions of the Daytona, the Universal Geneve features an absolutely lovely Panda Dial with triple subsidiary register layout, featuring registers for 30-minute and 12-hour counters along with sweeping subsidiary seconds. This particular example shows an incredible tropical fading, in which the once black sub dials and markers have lightened to a rich brown. The white dial is surrounded by a black outer tachometer ring, nearly identical to those found on the Omega Speedmaster, but smaller in size.
Like the early Daytonas, the power for this gorgeous timepiece comes from the legendary Calibre 72 manually-winding chronograph movement by Valjoux, a movement renowned for its robust and accurate performance. Only a handful of these special chronographs were made to begin with, and even fewer remain in existence today, and none that we've seen have the tremendous tropical patina exhibited by this truly beautiful example.
As mentioned above, this is a truly rare opportunity to get your hands on one of the most desirable chronographs from the golden age of sporting timers. Don't hesitate to contact us for any additional information or to arrange a time to view it in person by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may have noticed that we have a passion for timepieces with tradition, style and value. When these elements combine, an icon is formed - and it is hard to get more iconic than the brand with the big crown.
When you think of Rolex, your first thoughts may be to their GMT Master with its unforgettable two-tone "Pepsi" bezel, the aviator's timepiece designed at the dawn of transatlantic jet travel. Or it might go to the form-follows-function Explorer I, the watch designed for mountaineers and tested under the most extreme conditions on earth. But it probably goes to the Submariner, the legendary diver by which all others are measured.
There's no denying that a Rolex Submariner is one of the most revered watches of the last 60 years, but the same can easily be said about its siblings in the Oyster series. Designed for everyday wear, these timepieces were made as high grade affordable gentleman's watches in an era when owning a Swiss watch from any brand - never mind a Rolex - was a privilege far fewer could attain than today.
With perfect proportions, robust movements, and timeless styling, the Oyster series might just be the most versatile and wearable watches ever designed. This particular model, an Oysterdate Precision Reference 6694, dates from approximately 1978 and features a classic 35mm steel Oyster case, silver sunburst dial and a smooth steel bezel. Fitted with matching luminescent steel hands and hour markers, this piece checks all the right boxes for both the beginner enthusiast and experience collector alike.
This is vintage Rolex perfection in its purest form, don't miss it!
There are a lot of words to describe this wristwatch, but the best one to sum it all up would probably be "WOW".
The Breitling Reference 806 Navitimer is easily the most iconic model the brand ever produced, and remains near the top of virtually every vintage watch collector's wish list. Initially developed in the early 1950s, the Navitimer was designed from the ground up to be a function-first tool watch, offering a slide-rule navigation computer function operated by an internally-rotatable bezel. This incredible feature allows pilots to perform essential calculations on their wrist, long before mobile electronics were available. While the true functionality of the Navitimer is lost on most of us, there is no question that serious pilots (and astronauts) depended on their Navitimers as serious navigation tool. It has been said that the 806 spawned an entirely new category of timepieces - wrist instruments - and it would be hard to deny that.
While they were produced in large quantities since the early 1950s, the vast majority of 806s on the market today are in a sad state of affairs. Seeing as many were put to use on the job, the majority of them show some pretty serious wear, or worse - have poorly-refinished dials. One look at the complexity of the layout says it all - this is not an easy watch to refinish well. Finding a quality example is a real challenge, and in all of our time in this business, we have only come across a few worthy examples.
Fortunately you needn't worry about desirability when it comes to this spectacular example, which dates from approximately 1959. Featuring all-original printing and no signs of water damage or heavy discoloration, this particular model also features the desirable AOPA logo on the dial, signifying that it was likely sold through the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association at the end of the 50s. It also features the early "beaded" thin bezel design, later replaced by a taller, less ornate version. It is clad in a fully steel case - whereas a large number from the same era were delivered in gold plate.
This highly sought-after timepiece is powered by a high-grade Venus 178 Manual Winding chronograph movement which has just undergone an extensive mechanical restoration. In excellent condition inside an out, with particularly incredible original lume, crisp dial, and a sharp case, this is easily the nicest example we have ever encountered.
We admit that 806s aren't necessarily an uncommon find - but try and find another that looks anything like this one!
For a look at this history of this important chronograph, check out this great article by our friend Ed Estlow over at Gear Patrol, HERE.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: If you're looking for a watch that sums up the true essence of the golden age of sportscar racing, the Heuer Autavia is IT.
Launched at the very end of the 1960s, the 1163 Series Autavia featured one of the world's first automatic chronograph movements, changing sports timing forever. The beefy 1163 has come to symbolize the badassery that was international motorsports at that time...
Think Bell, Elford, McQueen.
Think Porsche 917s and no traction control.
Think 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Rolex has its Submariner, Breitling its Navitimer. Blancpain has its Fifty Fathoms and Audemars Piguet its Royal Oak. You could be forgiven for thinking that the Monaco is the icon of Heuer's line of motorsports chronographs, but we'd argue that these great 70s cushion-cased watches take that title. This was the watch designed by Heuer for the real race car driver. If you haven't ever worn one, you are truly missing out. Pair a beefy steel case with a rotating bezel, twin subsidiary registers and a date function, and power it with the an automatic winding chronograph movement, and you have yourself a sporting timepiece for the ages.
Autavias from this era were offered in a multitude of dial configurations, but the 1163 "Siffert" is far and away the crowd favorite. The "Siffert" Autavia was named after the legendary Swiss Formula I driver Jo Siffert, who wore the iconic Panda Dial variant constantly before his death at Brands Hatch in 1971. Siffert, who was a steadfast enthusiast (and pit-lane dealer) of Heuer in the late 60s and early 70s, is generally regarded one the of the greatest racing drivers of all time, and shared his skill on the track - and his affection for Heuer - with friend and fellow driver Steve McQueen.
While Autavias are relatively plentiful on the market, finding quality examples that have been serviced and maintained properly is becoming difficult. We are constantly on the lookout for survivors and are very pleased to present this tremendous example of the most desirable version. Just back from a full spa treatment by Heuer guru Abel Court, it is ready to wear to your next track day!
On a personal note, a few years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mr. Jack Heuer - Honorary Chairman of TAG Heuer and former President of the Heuer brand during the 1960s and 70s. During that memorable encounter, I happened to be wearing my own "Siffert" Autavia, and Jack noticed immediately, commenting on how great a driver Jo had been. If that doesn't speak volumes about the iconic nature of this special timepiece, I don't know what does.
For the full story on the history of the Jo Siffert Autavia, check out a great article over at Hodinkee, HERE.
And for a comparison of early Autavia models, check out this great reference HERE at OnTheDash!
We are a couple of guys based in New York City with a passion for bespoke style, substance, and authenticity. Admittedly, we appreciate ALL well-crafted and precious things, from fine single-malts to handmade cordovan bluchers, but we have a special and earnest love for the world of vintage goods, in particular, the world of vintage and luxury timepieces. We love the stories and histories vintage watches contain and the unparalleled craftsmanship with which they were made, often harkening back to an era when raw value was respected and a firm handshake was unflappable. Most importantly, we enjoy them for the works of wearable art that they are. We've had it with digital...we are 100% analog.
Our goal is to find and bring to market a small collection of exceptional vintage and contemporary timepieces. All of our items are hand-picked by our team, representing horologically interesting, important and desirable pieces. Essentially, we scour the market for the best available wristwatches, authenticate them and present them to you in an honest and straightforward manner.
We are here to help you buy a watch — not sell you one.