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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The Road Not Taken - the one most (less) travelled

Happy New Year everyone!

I've always thought that the watches I collect have great appeal, amazing design, great movements and don't break the bank. My watch collection includes watches from Hamilton, Elgin, Waltham, Gruen, Illinois and Bulova and generally vintages from the 1920s through 1930s.

I recently took what I believe is the road most traveled (or aspired to) when it comes to watch collecting for many. The road to a "luxury" brand. I say most traveled as some might see buying a luxury brand is the thing you do when it comes to watch collecting.

1949 Rolex Precision Reference 4560
This is an interesting segment of vintage watches. I have not pursued this segment and have owned only one other vintage watch perhaps from this segment - an Omega which I sold this past year. I frequently visit websites dedicated to "luxury" watches as it is a fascinating segment and just as fascinating to read about things like the Paul Newman Rolex selling at auction for over the crazy sum of $17 million (!). Check out Hodinkee's article on the auction if you want to read about watches that sell for ridiculous prices.

I digress. A chance encounter, a needle in the haystack, an owner that no longer wished to care for it and a price I could live with, I found this 1949 Rolex Precision. When I came upon this particular watch it seemed unpretentious, it had the coolest lugs referred to as "tear drop", "claw" or "horn" and the bank wasn't completely broken. The road to watch maker Rolex.

Inside the Rolex with its simple 17 jewel movement

Arguably some might say I took the road less traveled as many can't afford to buy a watch in this segment or simply don't subscribe to the prices you have to pay (usually) to enter it. But what was Robert Frost really talking about - acting independently and blazing a road for others to travel or perhaps the purchase of a Rolex is just a bad analogy to Frost's poem. Whatever the pursuit, it is a great watch and a great addition to my collection.

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Dive Right In Part 2

A new year, a new decade. Happy New Year all. With another year, for me, that means another watch (or two or three) and another segment...