2019 Christmas Show/Sale and Other Events

You may be familiar with my watch collection on Instagram (@inatimewatches) and that I part with a watch from time to time. I have found over the last number of years a growing interest from followers to have an opportunity to see these spectacular pieces in person. Not everyone is obsessed with watch collecting like me and may not necessarily know what they are looking at online, so seeing our vintage timepieces up close is important, especially if they are ready to buy one.

My wife and I ready for the crowds.

There are few venues for people to shop for vintage time pieces in person as there are very few retailers having substantive inventories of watches to choose from (although great places like Wanna Buy a Watch? in California exist); antique and vintage stores don't necessarily carry lots of watches to select from; and my experience with flea market finds is hit and miss and buyer beware. On top of that, someone looking for their first and perhaps only piece, can get overwhelmed with online hucksters or not know what to look for or be able to spot a fake watch (and sadly, there's lots out there). 

Let's not forget, its really about the watches!

Merchandising is half the fun!

I will even sell the watch off my own wrist!

We bring dozens of restored watches from the 1920s through the 1970s for both men and women with us to these shows. Our restoration includes a full servicing of the mechanical movement by an expert watchmaker, ultrasonic cleaning of the case (not polishing, 'cause we like original cases), new crystals as needed and perhaps a new watch strap (or an ultrasonically cleaned original bracelet). They are ready to wear and we will even warranty them!

If I'm at a show, I'm smiling!

So join us on November 17, 2019 for the Christmas Vintage, Retro & Collectible Show/Sale at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney, B.C. by the sea. Say hello, try on some watches and head home with a piece of history.

Remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@inatimewatches) and keep up with our latest finds and restorations. And great news, we now restore and sell vintage fountain pens (we're bring some to the show) and you can see our sister Instagram site @inatimepens.

Double Trouble

Two peas in a pod, a bicycle built for two, two timing, the daily double, the terrible twos, double trouble. They seem to come it two's (or is it threes, yikes?).

I've noticed an interesting thing with collectors. Twos. Not two watches because lets face it, a collection of watches is not just two. No, the interesting observation is watch collectors seem to have a penchant for one other thing. Watches and model trains; watches and clocks; wrist watches and pocket watches; watches and PENS. Fountain pens! Yes, I've started collecting fountain pens.

Vintage Rolex and Sheaffer
c1940s Benrus watch and Eversharp "Skyline" fountain pen set
I believe I have rationalized the whole new collecting thing to the fact that generally speaking, at least for the fountain pens I am collecting, they seem a lot cheaper than wristwatches. And in addition, restoring and repairing a fountain pen seems so far a lot simpler and easier (and less costly). There are, just like wristwatches, the "luxury" brands but like most of my watch collection, my fountain pen foray is very humble.

c.1930 Illinois "Guardsman" and c.1940 Eversharp Skyline

Seems the first few fountain pens that I have been drawn to are the 1940s Eversharp "Skyline" line. A cool industrial design by Henry Dryfuss, a 14k gold semi-flexible nib, couldn't ask for much more. But then all of the celluloid striated Sheaffer and Parker pens are pretty cool too.

Henry Dryfuss also designed this, see the resemblance to the Skyline?

The anatomy of an Eversharp Skyline sans ink bladder (aka sac)
c.1930 Sheaffer's "Admiral" fountain pen set and Elgin "Avigo" wristwatch
My second collection, really not the terrible twos but I suspect my better half might think it as double trouble.

Thanks for letting me share. Make sure you're checking out our Instagram feed @inatimewatches and now, @inatimepens; and on Facebook and Pinterest @inatimewatches.

Watches, Vintage, Beer, Donuts and a Couple of Nuggets

Another summer, and another opportunity to share passions about watches and get out on the road and meet amazing people. A trip about people, craft beer, some OK donuts, interesting eats, beautiful scenery, history and a few nuggets along the way. A trip along the Washington and Oregon coasts with stops in Portland, Cannon Beach and Tokeland.

July meant a trip to America's largest vintage and collectible show (their billing, not mine, but it was BIG) the Portland Expo Antique and Collectible Show where we had a booth, and travels along the Oregon and Washington coasts.

Our booth ID

I guess at over 1,000 vendors, it might very well be the largest show in America. Two years ago the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors joined this show as part of the associations northwest chapter gathering; this was repeated again this year. A sub-set of the vintage and collectible vendors, the public had access to amazing vintage watches and clocks (including In a Time Watches of course).

One of the many halls at the expo  filled with vendors (notice the Bulova display?)
Some wise friends that have traveled to the Portland vintage and collectible show for years (they call it their Christmas in July) told us to bring totes and packing material for the things we would find at the show. That was a good idea. We packed up the station wagon and roof box with lots of paper, bubble wrap and some frog boxes. While we didn't fill all of the totes, we did try hard and much of the things we did find included well-packing vintage fountain pens.

The only watch I bought at the expo but some of the pens I found
Well a trip to Portland has to include food from a truck, at a pub, at a restaurant and on the go. Do be careful though and be cautious when a hipster bartender at an upscale hotel tells you to try Russian food and drink the horseradish vodka. That can only mean Kachinka. Now the jerky and vodka, well were interesting, the dumplings delicious, and what could be described as the ploughman's, just hitting the spot.

The horseradish vodka did come with a beer chaser after all!

Let's not forget the beer. Just too many awesome places to mention. Not that Deschutes was the highlight of the craft beer experience, and it was delicious (including the Fresh Haze IPA), I just take lots of pictures of neon for my Pinterest feed (check out my neon board @inatmewatches) and thought their sign was killer.

Deschutes Portland Public House neon
Yes, lots of donuts to try. Some good, some not so good and one place that reminded me of the scene from the movie Elf where Buddy praises the accomplishments of a cafe's coffee.

I think Buddy the Elf's girlfriend Jovie might have a similar reaction to Annies
Portland, amazing; and their diverse neighbourhoods, unique as Portland is as a whole. Our trip also took us to the Oregon coast and along Washington's Olympic National Park and Peninsula and what to some might seem to be the off-the-beaten-track, Tokeland Washington.

You can't not take a selfie at Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach
Tokeland Washington, the latest census putting the population bubbling over at 150, is the place to unwind, kickback and relax and all at the Tokeland Hotel. Now, be mindful that this historic hotel was built in 1885 so it's amenities are not the Ritz. That being said, we had an amazing room that looked out at the bay, an extremely comfortable bed and we were surrounded by incredible antiques. Free Electra bikes (to ride), a resident dog who loves people, and the restaurant at the hotel, well, lets just say the hotel was one of the nuggets of our trip.

Looking back to the Tokeland Hotel from the meadow at the foot of the ocean.

You can read about the history of the property and the hotel on their website but the meandering grass meadow on the ocean side of the hotel where mowed trails leads to the ocean, deserves mention. The meadow was once the golf course for the well-to-do visitors of the hotel. 

Did I mention? Gus the Bus, the resident dog at the Tokeland Hotel, likes walks with strangers.
OK, the restaurant at the Tokeland Hotel - simply superb. The husband and wife hotel owner team (Zac and Heather) have transformed the main floor, just like their rooms, into a cool, funky vintage oasis with the dining room, looking out to the bay, being the highlight. And Heather's kitchen, the product of her talents honed at her successful Seattle restaurant The Wondering Goose was beyond amazing. Fresh is on the menu all the time (my wife had the fresh salmon one evening dinner) along with staples like the cranberry pot roast (which I had; and the jus and gravy, well, to die for) and don't get me started about her desserts.

My 1956 Omega Seasmaster accompanied by cuatro leches cake and tea at the Tokeland Hotel Restaurant
Our travels included Oregon State highways 26 and 101 and Washington State highways 101 and 105 along with the Black Ball ferry Coho traveling between Victoria, B.C. and Port Angeles, Washington. Heather has a cookbook out called Big Food Big Love (available here on Amazon) and we can't wait for her follow-up which will include her cranberry pot roast. Some other must sees: stops at Powell's Books, exploring the Olympic National Forest and Peninsula, and visiting Sirens Pub and Barhop Brewing & Artisan Pizza in the seaside towns of Port Townsend and Port Angeles.  

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Japan Bound

As I continue to explore different segments of watch collecting, to which there are many many paths, I find myself looking at the Japanese offerings of Seiko and Citizen of late. And in particular, chronographs of the 1960s and 1970s.

Image courtesy of Music vs. The World
Image courtesy of Pitchfork
I believe Seiko and Citizen use some of the best systems (nomenclature) for referencing their watches and the common names associated with certain references are derived in many ways. For instance, the Seiko "Pogue" is named after Colonel William Pogue, a pilot and astronaut. The Seiko panda, well, it looks like a panda bear's white face with black around its eyes. 

A series of numbers generally reference the movement in the watch and the case style. For instance Colonel Pogue's Seiko below is referenced 6139-6002. 6139 referring to the movement, 6002 referring to the model or case style.

Colonel Pogue's Seiko ref. 6139-600x (image courtesy Heritage Auctions)

The Seiko Panda, ref. 6138-8020 (image courtesy of Hodinkee)

OK, so to my first chronographs of the era. I'm featuring two Seiko and one Citizen. The two Seiko watches share the same workhorse movement the 6139. 

The Seiko ref. 6139-7080 below couldn't have a more obvious reference name the "hexagon".

Seiko ref. 6139-7080 "hexagon"
While my Seiko ref. 6139-6012 below doesn't have its correct bracelet in this picture, it is a sharp example. It appears that this particular model (6012) has not received a nickname.

Seiko ref. 6139-6012

Finally, my Citizen "Bullhead" ref. 67-9011 below is a nice example even though someone has done some polishing to the otherwise brushed metal case (some base alloy) factory finish. Perhaps it's obvious but the name "bullhead" comes from the position of the two chronograph pushers you see at the "top" of the watch versus the pushers in the Seiko examples above located on the side in roughly the two and four positions.

Citizen ref. 67-9011 "Bullhead"
Examples of my watches remain priced well for the collector between $250-400US. The Seiko Pogue will set you back a little more at about $350-600US; and the Seiko Panda $500-700US. Beware though, like any popular vintage watch, there are lots of fakes.

I'm enjoying this segment of the watch collecting world and will no doubt add that perfect Pogue and Panda to my collection.

BTW, if you like what you're reading, leave me a comment. Make sure you're also following me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @inatimewatches.

Finding Time

One of the great things about about watch collecting is meeting people and talking about the watch they received on a special occasion or chatting about the watches their parents, grandparents and even great grandparents had. The expression and emotion they show when they tell a story about a family watch can't help but make me smile. While their stories always make me feel good, I couldn't help but be a little jealous.  Until recently, I thought such watches in our family didn't exist.

I was chatting with one of my brothers recently on the phone and he described going through a box he had of things from our grandmother; the box had been sitting unopened for a some time. Inside he found two of our grandfather's watches!

I'm not sure our grandfather would have bought the watches himself so I suspect that they could have been gifts.  In the bottom picture below (my grandparents with us grandchildren; I'm the one on my grandmother's lap) my grandfather is wearing a watch, although you can't make out if it was one of these two (I'm just gonna say he's wearing one of them). The top photo I had to include as it's such a great photo of my grandparents and mother. 

Like the stories I hear from others about their families and their watches, my brother recalled, and I too remember, my grandfather and his Air Lord watch. Our grandfather had the Air Lord on a metal bracelet that was never attached on one end so he kept it in his pocket.  I recall sitting on his lap as he drove a tractor plowing a field and he'd occasionally pull the watch out to check the time. I love that memory.

The Lusina was surely his "town" watch. Likely worn when he went into town for supplies; during a social occasion; perhaps for a community gathering; or the rare time when he traveled to visit the grand-kids like in the photo above.

Both watches are humble, just like my grandfather was. A man dedicated to his family and generous to his friends. He was funny, he loved us grand-kids and boy did we love summers on the farm with him!

My brother even found the original watch box for the Air Lord; an added bonus.

My brother sent the watches out to me and I intend to service them and cherish them. I'm smiling.

Vacation Time

And what do you do on your vacation? If you're me, you scour second hand stores, vintage shops, pawn shops, jewelers, flea markets, swap meets and anywhere else you can think of where you might find a vintage watch while my wife searches for all things baking (while patiently waiting for me to finish).

This is our Vacation Time

Some of the finds from Arizona

The happy couple outside our home base in Mesa, Arizona
(I'm sporting an Illinois Marquis)
Our time in Arizona allowed us to relax around the pool, explore some great areas between Phoenix and Tucson searching for wild horses and javelinas, taking in a concert, attending a hockey game, eating great food and of course, taking LOTS OF TIME looking for watches. Our friends and my wife deserve a lot of thanks for being so patient with me when I kept saying "just a few more minutes" as I raced up and down aisles of stores.

A fraction of the stuff representing our recent Vacation Time
What better way to start a vacation (at least for me) with tables and tables of watches. This was the two-day Sunshine Regional Meet of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  

Appreciation and many thanks to Artdecowristwatches and Hamiltonwatches for allowing me to shimmy up to them at their table and sell some of my watches (I sold more watches than I found as it turned out).

Next up, Zac Brown Band concert and an Arizona Coyotes hockey game (with searching through a couple of stores along the way like the Brass Armadillo in Goodyear).

Zac Brown Band at the AK-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix
I went to an Arizona Coyotes hockey game
and all I got was this hat
We hit all of the recommended stores (and then some), took in a few flea markets and swap meets but brought back only a few watches. Alas, the hunt was fun and everything else we did was awesome.

1930 Elgin from the Seniors Series found in Arizona
Interestingly, I didn't buy from a table at the watch meet in Fountain Hills but over a week later we came upon their store front Eternal Timepieces in Mesa and picked up a great Hamilton railroad grade pocket watch that has a Canadian dial - welcome back to Canada.

1952 Hamilton Railroad grade watch with the 24 hour dial made for the Canadian railway market
Interspersed with searching through shops like Call it New Call it Antique, Main Street Antique Mall, Midtown Mercantile Merchants, Patterns of the Past Antique Mall and many, many, many, many more, we stopped at our favorite foodie places along the way.

To die for coconut cream pie at the Cup Cafe in the Hotel Congress in Tucson
There is so much to do in Arizona. From the Grand Canyon and nearby Sedona to Tombstone to the Saguaro National Park, we know why we keep going back. And when I find a few watches along the way, bonus!

The sun setting on our Vacation Time in Arizona
Oh, while we had a home base, we did stay over in Tucson and we recommend the cutest Airbnb. While the location is an "up and coming neighborhood" you get the entire 1930s bungalow that is decorated in the coolest and hippest antiques; is hosted by the most awesome owner; and it is central to everything. Call Shannon next time you're there.

Our Airbnb in Tucson
Until next time Arizona.

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Dive Right In

Like my last foray down a road less traveled and the subject of my last blog, I found myself acquiring a watch from yet another segment of watch collecting - a "diver".  Yes, those rather large watches that were designed for underwater adventures, surviving depths of 100s of meters.

Like many of my "acquisitions", this recent purchase was probably more spontaneous and impulsive rather than strategic (can buying a watch be strategic anyway?). A European marketed Bulova, a "Snorkel 666 feet" from 1970.

My 1970 Bulova Snorkel

These watches, also referred to as "devil divers", were rated for deep dives. As I have found out, printing the depth rating of 666 feet was unique for Bulova as most producers of dive watches printed the rating in meters (200).

My particular watch is equipped with Bulova's Accutron tuning fork movement. My blog "Another Diversion" talks about this type of movement. This particular watch was marketed in Italy as the day window displays the days of the week in Italian.

Close up of the two crowns

The picture above shows the watch's two crowns. The lower crown sets the day, date and time and the other rotates the inner bezel. The rotating inner bezel allows you to mark and determine the elapsed time for your dive. This particular watch has a smooth, fully functioning inner bezel and retains much of it's bright orange paint.

The macro lens on my DSLR is not very forgiving, as this particular example is in great shape.

A Bulova ad featuring the Italian version of the Snorkel

If I'm not mistaken, "Chi l'ha detto Che il Bulova e Caro?" translates to "Who said that Bulova is expensive" (or at least that's what an internet translator said).

North American version of the Snorkel. Notice the hands are slightly different?

I'm not to sure that I will be diving into any oceans with this vintage piece any time soon.  I always warn people not to take ANY vintage watch ANYWHERE near water, let alone 666 feet below the surface even if the watch says its water proof; chances are it most certainly is not now.

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