One of the most enjoyable aspects of the vintage watch collecting scene is the opportunity to meet up with like minded enthusiasts and share our passion. The most famous get together for vintage Rolex and Tudor collectors is the annual Rolex Passion Meeting, established by B&S Founder Bernhard Bulang and Philipp Stahl. The opportunity to enjoy incredible watches, wonderful food, delicious wines and special friendships is a highlight for all attendees. This month witnessed another important meeting – the second in the ‘Issued’ series of gtgs, founded by issued Rolex experts Mike Wood and Jed McCormack. We thought the first was good; the second was even better…
The main event started at the Gherkin building in London, on one of the upper floors in a private members’ club. The views over London were spectacular, as were the watches, food and drinks! No matter how often we get together, its always a thrill to see all the watches set out on the tables and amazing how much trust there amongst everybody to share their treasured pieces and exchange stories.
The overarching theme of the event was issued watches, the primary focus being Rolex, but all special and interesting watches were welcome. The two most well known issued Rolex watches are the Submariners issued to the British Armed Forces and the Subs and Seadwellers utilized by Comex – the French pioneering deep water operations company. ‘Issued 2’ had both types aplenty – with some of the rarest and most desirable example of each having been brought along to share by the assembled passionate collectors.
A whole load of amazing MilSubs – full range including Big Crowns, 5512, 5513, 5513/7 & 5517
Maybe the most important Military Rolex Submariner ever? Ref A6538 HS10 Unique MilSub, with German Silver bezel. See the transitional shape of the case and bezel towards the later Rolex 5512 with crownguards.
Original crystal is so good! Notice the unique bezel to accommodate the large size winding crown.
Full complement of Comex too – including a rare prototype Omega Proplof
Mr P loves his pins!
It wasn’t just Rolex Submariners that were represented – there were some lovely Tudor Military Submariners too. We had representations from The French Navy (Marine Nationale), the South African Navy and the Jamaican Defence Force. Fans of the GMT Master weren’t left out either and it was brilliant to see beautiful examples with logo dials from the Middle East.
Extreme rare Omani GMT
The chronograph theme was stong over the weekend, as one of the activities at Issued 2 was a preview of the Phillips Watches May sales, the most anticipated of which is the chrono-themed sale ‘Start Stop Reset’. But it wasn’t just the Phillips event that showcased beautiful and rare chronos, there were some amazing pieces in the collections shown at the Gherkin. And when I say rare – how about a black dialed Tudor Homeplate chrono…and a Paul Newman RCO Daytona ‘Oyster Sotto’…and an Omega Speedmaster that was actually worn on five space walks and was presented on the cosmonaut’s actual flight glove…
Amazing rare Omega Speedmaster worn in Space
Not Just MilSubs
There really were too many watches to take pictures of and list, but it is safe to say that it was probably the most interesting and important massed collections of vintage watches to come together in London ever…seriously!
Fine Watches, Wine & Dining
The evening event, following the Phillips preview, was hosted at an exclusive private members club in Mayfair. The watch talk continued and we enjoyed an incredible four-course supper, with matched wines and coffee into the small hours. It really was a fantastic day and the passion for beautiful vintage watches that was shared by all was special and will be remembered for many weeks and months ahead…until we do it all over again!