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Posts for Product Reviews

Vintage Breitling Duo - Part I

by Jason on 11 February, 2013

Sometimes you have odd moments of serendipity, even working in this weird industry that is watches. We deal with a lot of preowned and vintage timepieces, but can have lulls of long periods where we may not have any leads or offers to trade in new pieces. Then, suddenly, you will have a rush of items come in within a span of several weeks. Such was the case where we ended up with two exceptional vintage Breitlings. Both came from completely different sources, but ended up in our store in the same week. Both are exceptional, hard to find, and well preserved – and both have interesting histories behind them.

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Vacheron Constantin 247 Retrograde

by Jason on 16 January, 2013

The watch we have here today is one of the rarest modern Vacherons this side of a minute repeater – the very rare and seldom seen 247, which is a Patrimony retrograde model produced in platinum in 2002 to mark the (you guessed it) 247th anniversary of the company. As you would expect, 247 individually numbered watches were produced - and sold out within a short period. As a result finding information about the 247 is sometimes difficult, and examples for sale are extremely rare. Collectors speak of the 247 in reverent tones as a difficult-to-obtain holy grail that is seldom offered for sale outside of major auction houses (at a rate of about one per year by my research). It’s a rare bird and we are fortunate to have one of the only examples in Canada in stock at Matt Baily’s.

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Blancpain Villeret Dual Time

by Jason on 31 October, 2012

Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in the Swiss town of Villeret, Blancpain has become one of the top haute-horlogerie brands on the market today. They produce a number of styles ranging from restrained elegance to bold sport, and a limitless selection of complications. Unfortunately it is often overshadowed by the “better known” players in the high-end Swiss watch market – Blancpain often plays second fiddle to sister brand Breguet, and has less recognition than the powerhouse manufactures of Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, and Jaeger le Coultre. Thus Blancpains are often under appreciated, which is a shame as some of their timepieces - like the Villeret Dual Time we have here - are quite stunning and can offer impressive value on the used market.

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Bell & Ross WW1 Monopoussoir

by Jason on 3 October, 2012

The WW1 series has been garnering a lot of accolades for Bell & Ross. A break from their “traditional” Instruments, the WW1 collection has a unique style that ends up being a very distinctive dress watch. Styled to resemble pocket watches converted into wristwatches (complete with add-on strap lugs) the WW1s are quite unique in the market – the closest comparison I can think of would be the Panerai Radiomir with its wire lugs and cushion case. This year BR expanded the collection by adding several new versions, including the 42mm Argentium and Jump Hour models, and the 45mm Monopusher (officially called the Monopoussoir). These models mark a significant step upmarket for Bell & Ross.

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Hamilton Intra Matic

by Jason on 14 September, 2012

2012 has been a year of vintage re-editions and retro designs. After several years of massive sport watches dominating the market, we are seeing a gradual increase in demand for timeless designs that just so happen to equate to the clean and simple appearance of models from the 1950s and 60s. Hamilton has been at the fore of this trend for the past several years, introducing several models that plumb the rich heritage of the (formerly) American brand. Last year we had the Thin-o-matic, this year we have the Intra-Matic, hot on the heels of the retro-sport Pan Europ chronograph.

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Bell & Ross Turn Coordinator

by Jason on 10 August, 2012

Another year, and another series of Bell & Ross Instrument limited editions are out. It’s been a tradition for the company to release a new series of variations on the BR01 theme each season to renew interest in the ever-popular collection and give something for collectors to drool over. This year we had three new versions to look forward to, all paying homage to genuine aircraft instruments – the Horizon, the Altimeter, and the Turn Coordinator. The Horizon and Altimeter are forthcoming; in the meantime we have received the Turn Coordinator, a model that takes the disc-based time display of the Compass and Radar models and updates it for 2012.

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New Alpina Heritage Pilot

by Jason on 26 July, 2012

Alpina has been on a roll lately, introducing the hit Startimer and Sailing models last year. This year they updated the Extreme Diver with a new version, similar to the Sailing but with a ceramic bezel, and now they have introduced the highly anticipated Heritage Pilot. With a massive 50mm case and a design heavily inspired by 1930s pilot watches, the Heritage is a very interesting timepiece from a brand that has been making waves in the entry-level/midrange Swiss market as of late.

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New Bell & Ross WW2 Bomber Regulateur

by Jason on 16 July, 2012

Bell & Ross has been releasing many new and distinctive watches lately, departing from their tried-and-true Instrument series to offer some more unique timepieces. Last year we saw the release of the WW1 series, inspired by early wristwatches adapted from pocket watches often used during the First World War. This year they continue the vintage military theme with the introduction of the WW2 Bomber Regulateur, a rather strange watch designed to emulate a particular style of timing instrument used during the Second World War.

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New Hamilton Pan Europ Chronographs

by Jason on 2 July, 2012

Last year, Hamilton released the Pan Europ as a limited edition recreation of an iconic design from the 1970s. Produced in a run of 1971 examples with a blue dial, blue bezel and brown rallye strap, the model sold out in short order. It was one of the hottest Hamilton models of recent memory, and for good reason – it looked amazing, was priced really well, and had a distinctive style that set it apart from typical automatic chronographs. This year Hamilton is following up on the success of the initial run by producing two “unlimited” (regular production) versions of the Pan Europ. Available with either black and silver dials, these new Pan Europs are just as stunning as the original.

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New Bell & Ross BR02 Divers

by Jason on 15 June, 2012

Bell & Ross is best known for it’s Instrument series of watches, but they produce a number of interesting designs. It’s the price of their fame – the massive popularity of the Instrument has overshadowed a lot of their other offerings, which is a shame as Bell & Ross produces some very interesting watches - that aren’t square. One of my favourites outside of the Instrument collection is the BR02 Diver, a massive 44mm tonneau-shaped tool watch that stands out in a sea of ho-hum dive watch designs.

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