WatchBeast

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Lady Peanut Gets A Hamilton Ventura.

A few weeks ago we were at Bicester Village and we saw a Hamilton Ventura S with a white strap and Mother of Pearl face. P tried it on and although the price was right and it looked great on she was not to be tempted.

Today we returned and that exact model had gone. Instead they had the same one but with 9 diamonds in lieu of the batons. It was more money but this time she was smitten and O now has a black faced Ventura on a stainless bracelet and this white faced version on a white strap.


This is a very stylish and unusual Art Deco looking watch which really stands out from the crowd and suits Peanut perfectly.

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Watch Collection No 26 – Bell and Ross Desert Type BR03-92

I have wanted a Bell & Ross in my collection for as long as I can remember. I like the Vintage 123 in a Khaki strap. It was a round face and fitted my wrist well. I thought the square faced watches would be too big for my wrist. Back then they did a lot of versions in the 46mm size!


Back in January I noticed this new version the Desert Type. I thought the 39mm Quartz version would be the one for me. However, on a recent holiday I tried one on in St Tropez and the 42mm BR03 suited me better. The price though wasn’t right – maybe it was the exchange rate.


Then we spotted the Blue faced Diamond Eagle model with a constellation made from diamonds. It is a beautiful watch and we thought it migh work for Mrs P. We tracked a shop down in Hanley which had the Desert Type in BRS and BR03 versions and the Diamond Eagle model. 


Alas the Diamond Eagle was still just too big for Peanut. My Desert Type BR-03 though was perfect. Bizarrely the shop also had the Hamilton Ventura Elvis 80. I had loved this watch from its launch but not seen one in the flesh. Again I assumed this would be too big. However, the case is curved and the fit was perfect. I got both of these and poor P walked out empty handed. It was a fateful day though as round the corner we spotted a Skagen constellation watch. A perfect fit!

The shop by the way was Beaverbrooks in Hanley and I have to say it was a lovely watch buying experience. A nice cup of tea was very welcome after our hour and a half drive to get there and they were just lovely to deal with. I remember a while back helping the Elf to buy a Volkswagen Golf GTI and we were in there for hours and never got a cup of tea! I think they dehydrated the Elf so much that she signed on the dotted line just to escape and get water!

Anyway, this is to my eyes a lovely edition to the collection.



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Watch Collection No 25 – Hamilton Ventura Elvis 80


I wrote about this watch way back in March 2015, not long after it was announced And commented on how much I liked it. Well today I got to try it and I just loved the rubber strap version on the wrist.

The case curves around your wrist  making it wear smaller than its size and also making it a very comfortable wear. I’m feeling very happy about this wrist treat!


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Autodromo Stradale – Watch Collection No 24

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Back in August of last year I mentioned my hankering for this watch and I wrote;

“I am torn between the blue strapped grey dial or the brown strapped cream dial. What I do know though is that I want one. As a car lover I feel I should give this brand a go and also I do not have any watches powered by this Japanese movement and I rather like the idea of having one in my collection. So there you are not the most rational of reasons / excuses for getting one but let’s be honest is any watch purchase in this world of smart phones especially rational? Of course not let’s talk honestly we buy watches because we want to and there is nothing wrong with that. By the way lest you have not guessed, I want this watch!”

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I am also a mug for some sexy spiel about a watch and Autodromo certainly do that as you can see below. They talk of the watch “evoking a road trip in Northern Italy” and the “era of Gran Turismo” and of course this is literally spoon feeding me a desire for the watch. We have our own GT – the Opel GT – and this has already done several Italian road trips, notably one to Florence in 2012 and last year an epic Italian road trip taking in Venice, Brescia for the Mille Miglia and the Dolomites with 10 other Opel GTs. This September it is pencilled in for yet another Italian Road Trip  as we explore Tuscany and then recuperate in Venice. Put simply, when Autodromo build a watch with styling that I adore, then tell me that it is the perfect watch for an Italian road trip then I am 80% ready to place the order. An evil watch demon on my shoulders says, “You haven’t got a Japanese automatic movement, wouldn’t it be fun to put one of those in your collection?” and I am 90% ready to place an order. I see that the UK supplier for Autodromo is Page and Cooper and that watches for them are a passion as much as a business and their ethos is perfect for them to partner Autodromo. At this point I am 95% sold on the watch. I e-mail Page and Cooper with a few routine questions and Jonathan (MD no less) e-mails back within the hour and says, “Perhaps we can speak on the phone and we can chat this through?” 100% there and the deal is done! And now it is on my wrist and I love it!

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Courtesy of Autodromo

In the era of Gran Turismo, each journey was a unique adventure on winding roads and narrow mountain passes, accompanied by the sound of a mighty engine up front and a whiff of petrol and leather. Stradale, meaning “road going” in Italian, conjures memories of that special time when the gentleman driver blurred the distinction between a road car and a race car.

The Autodromo Stradale draws inspiration from dashboard instruments from Italian sports berlinettas of the late 1950s and early 1960s, featuring a fascinating multi-layered dial. Beneath the domed sapphire crystal, the hour indexes are applied to a transparent glass ring, which floats over the colored dial below for a 3-dimensional effect. The custom designed leather strap makes reference to the luxurious and colorful interiors of the time.  This timepiece is powered by a 24 jewel Japan-Made automatic movement, beautifully finished and displayed behind a sapphire exhibition caseback. As with all of Autodromo watches, the Stradale arrives in beautifully conceived packaging evoking a road trip in Northern Italy circa 1960, complete with vintage-inspired map hand stamped with your purchase date.

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Available in 3 colors:

Black dial with burgundy strap

Cream dial with brown strap

Gray dial with blue strap

Specifications

  • Miyota 9015 automatic 24 jewel mechanical movement
  • Calendar complication and hacking
  • Sapphire crystals, front and rear
  • Stainless steel case
  • Water resistant to 50 Meters (5 ATM)
  • Genuine leather strap
  • Case diameter 40mm
  • Case thickness 10.8mm
  • Strap width 18mm at lugs
  • Internal K1 glass ring with number indexes

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Chronology of My Watches

Just for fun I wanted to create a timeline for the watches in my watch collection.

  1. 1966 MarchTimex Donald Duck
  2. 1978 Month unknown, year is approxWatex Revue
  3. 1981 Month unknownVertex
  4. 1986 JulyThomas Russell
  5. 1992 Month unknown, year is approxCasio
  6. 2004 Month unknownMINI Watch
  7. 2006 MarchStorm
  8. 2007 OctoberBreitling Navitimer
  9. 2008 MarchHamilton Ventura
  10. 2008 MayChristopher Ward C6 Kingfisher
  11. 2008 August – Christopher Ward C5 Malvern Aviator MkI
  12. 2009 FebruaryChopard Mille Miglia XL GT Power Control
  13. 2011 JanuaryChristopher Ward C70 DBR1
  14. 2011 August – Christopher Ward C70 IT Rosso Corsa
  15. 2012 March – Christopher Ward C60 Trident Forum Ltd Edition
  16. 2012 April – Timex Intelligent Quartz Fly-Back Chronograph T2N700
  17. 2012 July – Christopher Ward C70 MC Monte-Carlo
  18. 2012 August – Hamilton Khaki Air Race Mk I
  19. 2012 October – Vintage Rolex Precision
  20. 2012 December – Christopher Ward C70 US Cunningham
  21. 2012 October – Vintage Omega
  22. 2014 August – Christopher Ward C3 MKII Chronograph
  23. 2014 September – Christopher Ward C70 D-Type
  24. 2015 April – Autodromo Stradale


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Christopher Ward C70 D Type – Watch Collection No 23

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When Christopher Ward first launched his C70 range it was quite an ambitious project for them. At the time they launched it they were a smaller company and it was a set of 6 watches all limited to 500 of each version and all commemorating the first Grand Prix circuit from the six countries in the set.

C70 Brooklands – UK

C70 Ascari – Belgium

C70 Silver Arrows – Germany

C70 Cunningham – USA

C70 Grand Epreuve – France and last but not least

C70 Rosso Corsa – Italy

In truth they took a wee while to sell, they were if memory serves about £275, which many found a lot of money for a quartz watch. Some were even heavily discounted towards the end as they wanted to move on to other models. From this set I managed to get a C70 Rosso Corsa and a C70 Cunningham. All these models now trade on the second hand market for far more than their original selling price. Like many others I would like to have the whole set but they always command such a high price on the second hand market, nonethe less I keep plugging away.

Meanwhile, Christopher Ward  has added more C70s to the original six but this time around he commemorates specific famous cars, apart from the Monte carlo which celebrates the ramous rally So far in this range he has done the following:

C70 DBR (Aston Martin DBR1 1959 Le Mans Winner) offered as a 500 piece limited edition and a 100 limited edition COSC Chronometer version

C70 Monte Carlo

C70 Vanwall (Vanwall VW4 Aintree 1957 Winner) an unlimited COSC chronometer version.

C70 D type (Jaguar  D-Type 1957 Le Mans Winner) 500 limited edition run

C70 3275 GT (Ferrari 250 GTO) a limited edition  100 piece run COSC chronometer with a piece of a Ferrari GTO on the back £2150!

From these additional models I have managed to bag a C70 DBR1, a C70 Monte Carlo and now the C70 D-Type.

The Christopher Ward C70 D-Type

This is by far the most expensive C70 I have purchased. My Cunningham was a reasonably priced second hand purchase. My DBR was a bargain price nearly new from Christopher Ward and my Rosso Corsa and Monte Carlo were heavily discounted end of line purchases from Christopher Ward. Now though the brand reaches a much wider following and I suspect this latest limited edition of 500 D-types will sell out quickly and without discount. Luckily I had a loyalty voucher from Christopher Ward and that coupled with the free postage current offer meant I grabbed this latest one for £500 on a steel bracelet. All my other C70 watches are on the very attractive leather straps that Christopher Ward offer the watches on but this time I went for the steel strap, probably to differentiate it from the others as it was more than double the price of any of my previous ones!

Bottom Line

I love this watch. Frankly in the flesh and on the wrist it looks stunning. The blue is a beautiful vibrant colour, the car instrument styling of the inner dials is a delight and the steel strap is very colourful and to my eye elevates the look and feel of the watch even more. Definitely one for me to treasure, so back to trawling the net for bargain second hand versions of ones I have missed in the series.

Here is the Christopher Ward blurb on the watch. PS and yes I have bought a model of the car this watch celebrates!

Sir William Lyons of the Jaguar Car Company designed the sleek and finely streamlined D-Type entirely with Le Mans in mind, and from 1955 to 1957 he was rewarded with an historic hat-trick of victories there.

It was under the illustrious Flag Metallic Blue livery of Scotland’s Ecurie Ecosse team, however, that secured the most famous victory for the car when, driven by Britons Ron Flockhart and Ivor Bueb, chassis number XKD 606 stormed the race, ahead of another four D-Types in the top six places.

The C70 D-Type chronograph, powered by an ETA 251.272, 22 jewel quartz movement and dressed resplendently in the Ecurie Escosse team’s colours, carries the winning car’s chassis number in the tachymeter and the car’s registration on the side of the case. However, it is the attention to detail of the dial, where the D-Type’s various instruments are captured in the chrono eyes and the radiator grille has been faithfully reproduced, that best capture the spirit of this most famous of Jaguar’s racing cars. Until you look at the reverse of the case that is, where the car’s signature centre-lock spinner has been faithfully reproduced in our own signature three-dimensional deep stamped execution. Limited to only 500 pieces worldwide, this tour de force of a watch celebrates Sir William’s masterpiece in style and is certain to become the latest collector’s item in our celebrated C70 Motorsport Series.


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Christopher Ward C3 MKII Chronograph – Watch Collection No 22

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When designing this watch Christopher Ward were inspired by the dashboards of vintage Aston Martin dashboards which they saw at the Gaydon Heritage Museum. The salient features of the Mk11 version which I have added to my watch collection, are a slightly bigger 39mm case and a single piece optic white dial, resulting in a wonderfully uncluttered and simple  chronograph dial. This has been on my wish list for way too long, so when a nearly new one came on sale on the Christopher Ward web site for a bargain £150 I could not resist. In fact only the week before I bidded for one on Ebay which actually went for £190! I am delighted to have this beautiful, elegant quintessentially British watch in my collection.

Features
  1. Swiss made
  2. Quartz chronograph movement
  3. 1/10th second split timing function
  4. Surgical grade stainless steel case
  5. Unique engraved serial number
  6. Screw-in crown and back plate
  7. Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  8. SuperLuminova hands and indexes
  9. Galvanic sun-ray effect one-piece dial
  10. Embossed alligator pattern Italian leather strap with CW motif clasp
Technical
  1. Diameter: 39mm
  2. Height: 10.2mm
  3. Calibre: Ronda 5040.D
  4. Case:316L stainless steel
  5. Water Resistance: 5 ATM / 50 metres
  6. Strap: 18mm black leather
  7. Dial Colour: Optic white