Yesterday, we held an in-person event in Central London. Attending events in person is a great way to learn more about watches. You get to see a huge variety of watches, and talk to passionate, interesting people. We also do a few educational talks during the evening. We’ll be holding in-person events every month as we start to build the club. To ensure that you don’t miss out, sign up to our mailing list here. You can also see all our upcoming events here. If you can’t join us in person you can attend our monthly virtual events. We have one this Sunday, 13th February. The link to sign-up is here. Read on to see some of the amazing watches that our members brought along.
Great Design is Timeless
Watch designs don’t change much over time. You can see that here, with two Rolex watches, built 70 years apart. One is the new Rolex Explorer, with a steel and gold case and bracelet. The Explorer was one of the watches that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay took to the top of Everest. When this model was released in 2021, it met with mixed reviews; however, in person the watch is stunning. Interestingly, it’s the only Rolex time-only tool watch that they make with a precious metal.
The watch it’s compared to is a Rolex Oyster Royal. The Oyster Royal was released in 1933, and Rolex marketed it heavily towards doctors. Unlike the other Rolex Oyster models, the Oyster Royal has the seconds-hand centrally-located, rather than on a sub-dial. Rolex thought it would be easier for Doctor’s to read the seconds this way. Despite being very different looking watches, of different sizes, you can see just how similar the case design is on both.
Rolex Oyster Royal
Explorer and Oyster Royal Side-by-side
It’s Not All About Rolex
Rolex is the most famous watch company in the world; however, they are not the only brand that makes great watches. Our in-person events are a great way to see watches with amazing stories from a wide variety of different brands. I wanted to highlight two in particular. The first is a vintage Zenith El Primero Chronograph from 1969. This watch has a fascinating story, which you can read about in detail over here. The tools to make the movement for this watch were hidden in the attic of Zenith during the quartz crisis, and were rediscovered during the 1980’s. I’ve never seen one of these in person. This particular model is in perfect condition, and I was surprised at how comfortable it was to wear.
Original Vintage Zenith El Primero from 1969
The second watch is a Oris Big Crown Pointer Date. However, this is quite a special version of the standard watch. Oris have been running a “Change for the better” campaign, to find more sustainable materials for watch making. They’ve made watch dials from recycled plastic from the ocean, and have been donating some of their profits to protect coral reefs. This model is a collaboration with Cervo Volante, a Swiss company focused on creating sustainable materials. For this watch, they have provided a sustainably sourced deer-hide strap, which offsets the unique blue dial perfectly. Whilst the model is not a limited edition, due to manufacturing constraints, we think this might be the only version of this watch in the UK at the moment.
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date x Cervo Volante
Something a Bit Bonkers
The craziest watch we saw was this Orient multi-year calendar. Despite having lots of watch lovers in the room, no one could work out what this watch actually does. Luckily, I found a blog this morning that explains it. A multi-year calendar allows you to work out, using a variety of moveable disks, what day of the week any date of the year will fall on for any year. For example, if you want to know what day of the week your birthday is in 2024, the watch can work it out. Amazing, particularly considering the watch costs less than £200
Orient Multi-Year Calendar
We are excited to be able to hold more regular events and are looking forward to meeting more of you in person over the coming months. Make sure to sign-up to our weekly email, which not only provides a short educational blog exploring an aspect of the watch world, but also flags any upcoming events.
Finally, we are building a community for all watch lovers. Please send this email on to your friends and family and help us make this the place to come and learn about watches.