Once you’ve made that first, fumbling and utterly fantastic jump from modern to vintage timepieces you eventually settle into a phase of information and contemplation. Yes, it would be almost Zen-like were it not for the hunger that devours your brain, your time and your wallet.
Hours on the internet are spent drilling into the maniac’s forums (read: virtual asylums) poring over hundreds of photos of delectable timepieces, asking, probing ever-deeper into the depths of watch minutiae. It’s the latter that really separate the experts from the digital cruisers. Guys (they usually are) who know the difference between a Zenith-movement Daytona with “hanging” and “non-hanging” dials. Guys who can spot a dodgy bezel or dial just by looking at posted photos, fer Chrissakes! In others words, The Guide’s kinda people.
And we joined them (though still newcomers) when we traded in our first vintage timepiece – an immaculate Rolex Oysterquartz 17000 (with box and papers, and our thanks to www.oysterquartz.net for the info) – for the physically robust and rare Rolex 1530. An almost identical watch but for the automatic movement and dial. See? Nuttyville indeed.
So, what exactly are we talking about? Well, the Rolex 1530 served as the case and integrated bracelet front-runner for the later Oysterquartz. And what a fabulous design it is, as well as being one of the most robust bracelet designs out there, with the first solid middle links to be found on a Rolex bracelet. But while the Oysterquartz was uncommon with only 25,000 made, the 1530 is significantly rarer still, with estimates of somewhere between 500 and 1,500 made.
And there’s more. You see, while our Oysterquartz had a lovely silver dial, it had no patina to speak of, apart from the aged hour and hand tritium fill (see the last pic on the post below). In fact, it looked like it had just come our of the showcase. And our developing purist eyes had an issue with that.
Meanwhile, the 1530 has a gorgeous, and soft, yellowing sheen to its dial, giving us that aged patina that we now insist every vintage piece in our collection must have. Lastly, the particularity of the two piece dial – the outer angled dial particularly – seduced us utterly, bestowing depth and terrific pull to the 1530 when you do things like, um, consulting for the actual time .
Yeah, you can probably guess that this wasn’t a straight trade, and our dealer is a couple of thousand euros richer after carting away our boxed Oysterquartz. But we’re left with a piece we will never trade in or sell. It’s special, rare and beautiful. And it’s the Rolex 1530, folks.
The Rolex 1530, a rare and special slice of vintage watch
Once you’ve made that first, fumbling and utterly fantastic jump from modern to vintage timepieces you eventually settle into a phase of information and contemplation. Yes, it would be almost Zen-like were it not for the hunger that devours your brain, your time and your wallet. Hours on the internet are spent drilling into the [...]
Eric (AKA Straight-Six) had a proper job as a journalist for Dow Jones before lowering himself gently into the warm, forgiving waters of The Guide. He’s our resident fanatic: he relished detailing his BMW M3 for two full days at a time before crashing it at Eau Rouge in the wet; he spends insane amounts on his home-cinema system and has thrown tens of thousands of euros at vintage Rolex sports watches. The little fool simply does not understand the concept of restraint or the meaning of excess. He also – following a legendary "heavy" lunch – once nibbled (yes, like little dogs do) a dear lady friend of ours.
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