1907 Waltham

This is a very rare wristwatch. The numbers date production to 1907. That is five years BEFORE the Titanic hit an iceberg and the year that great ocean liner was conceived. Wristwatches this early are very rare indeed and even rarer in this condition. In one years time, this wristwatch will be One Hundred Years old and it will be one of the few wristwatches that can genuinely be described as an antique. The Yellow Gold filled hinged back case is in exceptional condition for a piece this old. It has none of the dents and damage normally found on early watches,  a perfect and never repaired hinge and only light wear.

1907 Waltham

It features the most unusual Barbell style lugs, another extremely rare feature which makes the watch a very desirable piece indeed. The inner case back, which hinges perfectly, is signed  EMPRESS
with the Crown logo and A. W. C. Co. It carries the serial number 9506**. The  Gilt Waltham movement is again in really nice condition, just serviced and running fine.  It is signed A. W. W. Co, Waltham, Mass. and carries the serial number 15819***.

It has an engraved balance cock. There are only Four service marks. The White Porcelain dial  carries bold Arabic Hour markers in Black Enamel with a Black outer Minutes register. The subsidiary Seconds are again marked in Black at One Second intervals with markers and a Ten Second intervals with Arabic numerals. There is a small hairline from between the 2/3 Hour markers to the edge of the subsidiary Seconds dial which is only noticeable with a loupe.

The watch has Blued Steel Hour, Minute and Second hands. The crystal is a modern plastic replacement not in keeping with the piece and I will try to source the correct glass if I am able. For the moment, the watch is offered ‘as is’ with regard to this.

Dimensions are 33mm without the crown, 36mm with the crown, 41mm lug to lug and 12mm thick.

So there we have it, a very nice, extremely rare, near One Hundred Year old, vintage Waltham wristwatch with highly desirable and unusual lugs and all in really super condition. This is a watch I have never seen before and probably never will again. It is a unique opportunity to own such a piece.

Breitling Cosmonaute

An exceptional and absolutely as new NOS Breitling Cosmonaute in Yellow Gold 20 Micron Plaque. This watch is perfect, as the Day it left the factory in 1967. It has never been on a wrist. The
original Breitling label is still attached to the snap on Stainless Steel case back. The 24 Hour dial is as crisp as a brand new Breitling, but even nicer. The Luminous has not even discoloured but it has lost its ability to glow in the dark. This watch has been in storage for nearly Forty Years and will, therefore, need a full service if it is to be used. If the purchaser puts it in a collection, it is better left as it is.

Breitling Cosmonaute

The back has never been opened since it was closed at the Breitling factory all those Years ago… The watch is fitted with a none Breitling strap and buckle as it was the head only that was put in storage from new. A genuine Breitling strap and buckle could be obtained, by or for a new owner, if required.Breitling made the Cosmonaute for travel in space where Day and Night mean nothing. The 24 Hour dial is a real eye catcher. The watches are wonderful to wear, rarer than their Navitimer brethren, and they just do not come any better than this.To put in in to perspective, this Breitling Cosmonaute was made

TWO YEARS before the first men landed on the Moon, over FORTY YEARS ago, but is in the same condition as if it was made yesterday. Why buy a modern Breitling Cosmonaute when you can have a real one? A true collectors dream. Have it serviced, wear it and  all your friends will be very complimentary. Alternatively, put it in your collection and admire it whilst it increases in value. A large and impressive vintage chronograph with a very unusual and appealing 24 hour dial in absolutely as new factory condition.

Diameter is c 41mm without the crown, 44mm with the crown, 48mm lug to lug and 13mm thick .
High grade manual wind  Breitling modified Venus 178 movement.
correctly signed Breitling Watch Ltd, Seventeen Jewels, Unadjusted and WOG.

Cases, Lugs and Dials

Classic and vintage wristwatches can be found in a very wide range of styles. If you cannot actually handle and inspect a potential purchase, any description can only give you a general idea about the piece. The number of variations in classic wristwatches means many high quality images are needed to appreciate the fine subtleties of design. Words alone are insufficient.

Watch case designs varied with the period of production, often reflecting the fashion of the time.

Initially, wristwatch movements were cased in circular housings. These tended to have a generally rounded appearance with no angles and faces. They were really a follow on of the design of the pocket watch that they evolved from. Cases were commonly made using Steel, Chromed Brass, Silver, Gold and Gold Fill (Rolled Gold, where a layer of Gold is fused to the base metal eg: read  Invicta watches review forInvicta Men’s 8928OB ). Attempts were made to waterproof the cases in order to protect the movement.

Invicta men’s 8928OB

Borgel cases dispensed with the removable or hinged back to stop leakage, other designs were tried. None were successful, the None were successful, the weak point being the crown, where water could seep in. Rolex succeeded, a screw back with a seal ring solved the case back weak point, but it was the screw down crown that really solved the problem. They made the First truly waterproof wristwatch, a design which still lives on Today, and has since been copied by many others. Within a few Years of watches worn on the wrist becoming generally accepted, the manufacturers began to experiment with case styles. Rectangular, Tank and even Octagonal cased designs appeared. Cartier produced their famous Tank case in 1917. Engraving of the cases became popular, sometimes combined with Engraving of the cases became popular, sometimes combined with Enamelling of the engraving, especially on some of the American designs. The search for something different had started and it never really stopped until the rise of the Quartz watch in the Seventies and early Eighties.

The First period where fashion really had an influence on watch cases was the Art Deco. This was the late Twenties and Thirties. Cases mirrored the popularity of the  geometric patterns that were a part of the decorative arts period. Tank watches where the lugs were extensions of the sides of the rectangular case, imitating the plan view of a tank. Tonneau pieces were also popular. Because of the archaeological discoveries being made around this time in Egypt,  there were stepped cases which hinted at the  Pyramids, hooded lugs were also popular, as were other geometric designs. With the

With the rise in the popularity of the motor car, specialist drivers watches evolved. They sat
on the side of the wrist to permit the time to be read without the need for the driver to remove his hand from the steering wheel. The Second World War halted a change in fashion. Production for the Military, who wanted simple, rugged and reliable watches, took precedence, The market for elegant
pieces was reduced and we had to wait until the Fifties to see the next change. By

By this time, what are now termed ‘Classic wristwatches’ were again mostly circular. The cases had altered in design despite of this. Flat faces and angular lines had replaced  the early rounded appearance. This was the era of popularity of the Calendar complication, Triple Date and Moonphase watches were offered for sale by most manufacturers. We don’t have much need to know the current phase of the Moon nowadays, but in the post war period, it was associated with all sorts of effects. However, it is still a desirable design and having a complicated wristwatch to wear, a nice

However, it is still a desirable design and having a complicated wristwatch to wear, a nice
example of the watchmakers art from another era, is very satisfying.  Chronographs, which had been manufactured since the First wristwatch, also became very popular at this time. Backs were mostly the snap on type although some of the higher quality pieces used the screw back.

The Sixties and Seven ties was a period when case design changed little, but some adventurous designs evolved alongside the more traditional ones. Rectangular watches with an exaggerated ‘Tonneau’ shape were offered, as were oval and TV screen shaped cases. There were even weird asymmetric, futuristic designs which never really became popular, although now some of these are now very collectable. The big change in this period was with the image of the watch. There
were watches for divers, watches for pilots, chronographs became sports watches. Some
became the watches the Astronauts wore. Image was important.

The Quartz revolution virtually stopped the demand for mechanical pieces overnight. This new ‘space age’ technology was eagerly accepted for a while. When people started to realise that a wristwatch is so much more than a metal or plastic super accurate time machine, when the novelty of the new technology wore off, the mechanical watch once again became popular. Designs did not change much from the pre Quartz era. Some makers even produced modern imitations of the great pieces from earlier periods. Some produced Calendar complications, the IWC Da Vinci is an example (and a very desirable one).

Breitling produced versions of the Navitimer and Cosmonaute alongside their modern designs. Rolex produced updated versions of the Submariner and continued production of the Oyster Perpetual. Omega had modern versions of the Seamaster, Constellation and Speedmaster. Most of these are still available from a dealer Today. The fact that collectors prefer to pay as much or more for an earlier version says everything about these modern imitations. Cases generally became bigger. 40mm plus
diameter is now common, a size that would have seemed ridiculous for the majority of wristwatches even 20 Years ago.

The early wristwatch dials, much like the cases they were fitted in, were the ones used in pocket watches. They were Porcelain or Stove Enamelled. The range of colours was limited and they usually cracked in time. Cathedral hands were very popular, often filled with lots of Luminous material. Blued Steel was also often used for the Hands. Numerals were also often Luminous, sometimes with a border of Enamel. Painted dials began to be used and this allowed a wider range of colours. White, Ivory, Coral, Salmon and other colours were popular, as were Two tone dials. Silvered and Gilded can be found, as can Guilloche finishes. Numerals were usually Black and could be in Arabic, Roman, Markers or a combination of all Three (The ‘California’ dial is an example of the latter). On many quality pieces, Hour markers made of precious metals were applied to the dial, as were the makers logos. Hands would usually match the Hour markers in Material. Many different  designs of hands were used. The ‘Breguet’ style, with circular ‘Moons’ towards the end, usually Blued or Black. Pencil hands, Spade ended, Dagger  hands, the list is endless.

Case lugs come in many varieties. Early pieces used wire lugs attached permanently to the case. An open ended strap had to be used. Lugs slowly became part of the case and spring bars  were used between the lugs. Occasionally a long screw was used instead. This meant straps could be finished and the spring bar pushed through the loop at the end of the strap. It made changing the strap a much simpler operation. Wristwatches with fancy lugs are highly sought after by some collectors. They are
usually applied to dress watches. A sporty Chronograph would look silly with some of the lug designs available.

IWC classic wristwatch in 18k Pink Gold.

An exquisite, full size (36mm) gentleman’s vintage IWC in a superbly designed classic case. This 1950’s classic is totally original except for the new quality leather strap and is in what I would describe as pristine antique condition (in other words superb for its age with no major issues whatsoever) The gorgeous Pink or Rose Gold IWC signed and Swiss hallmarked case is immaculate and benefits from hugely attractive flared, tapered and bowed lugs which measure an
amazing 10mm long!

The unrestored, deep Gold dial is in lovely condition with no major marks or blemishes. The original Hesalite crystal is in mint condition. The signed IWC cal. 89 manual wind movement is superb as can be seen in pictures below. Featuring ‘Cotes de Geneve’ decoration to the bridges, this legendary movement is of a standard only found in the highest quality watches today.
It is a movement renowned for accurate timekeeping, and this example is no exception.

This extremely desirable IWC wristwatch measures 36mm in diameter not including crown or lugs, 37mm wide including crown, 9mm thick and 44mm high from lug tip to tip. The watch features a beautiful Gold colour dial with Pink Gold applied markers and slim and subtle matching Pink Gold Hour, Minute and centre sweep Seconds hands. It is correctly signed International Watch Co, Schaffhausen.

The entire piece oozes that understated class that only top quality wristwatches from this period can.A really beautiful example of one of the highest quality vintage watches available. Vintage wristwatches from the International Watch Company are amongst the VERY FINEST available. Every part of the watch was designed and built in house, including the famous IWC movements. Because of this, vintage

IWC wristwatches are somewhat undervalued against makes of comparable quality at the moment. If the dial on this read Vacheron Constantin, it would be £3500-00, if Patek Philippe £5000-00+, yet this piece is comparable. This Rose Gold cased vintage IWC will prove a wise investment, an excellent addition to any quality collection and a joy to wear. An extract from the IWC archives will be supplied with this watch

Information about awesome gems

Hello and thank you for visiting this site. I hope your time spent here is interesting and rewarding.I am Nick Whiting, proprietor of awesomgems.info. My aim is to ensure my clients receive the highest
standard of service possible. It is my intention to supply classic and vintage collector watches of the highest quality whatever the price. To this end, I personally select all my watches with the utmost care and attention, describe them honestly and accurately and only use raw, unedited images in the website.I reject far more watches than I buy to make sure my pieces are the very best I can find. I never buy a piece purely on the basis of selling it. It has to have a special appeal for me.

Every piece I buy and list here is a watch I have seen and wanted to wear. While I own them, they are all part of my collection. I have a passion for vintage wrist and pocket watches and every one I buy is a personal favourite at the time. Whenever I sell one, I find it hard to part with, but it does allow me the chance to track down yet another beautiful example. I know I may never find another the same,
but I will find something else as special. Watches are like cars, you can drive several examples of the same model and no two will be the alike. I hope you enjoy looking through the different examples as much as I did finding them.I am happy to answer any questions and guarantee that all my pieces are exactly as described.


A really nice and very rare Borgel Trench watch from the First World war. The movement is screwed in to the back case complete with the bezel / crystal assembly. This was an early attempt at water proofing, there being no snap back to leak. The crown is spring loaded so that it can be pulled away from the movement to allow removal. The time is pin set by pushing a pin on the side and turning the crown. The Gold filled case is marked Plaque Or, 10 Years and signed FB with a Key motif. The bezel and Onion crown have lovely milling which makes this watch very appealing.
Rothen Borgel

It has a glass crystal which is correct. Case number 26200. It features a striking White Enamel dial with Luminous Arabic numerals edged in Black that have patinated to a lovely Orange/Brown and a Black outer Minutes track. The 12 Hour marker is in Red. Fitted Blued Steel Luminous Cathedral Hour and Minute hands and Blued Steel subsidiary Seconds hand. The watch measures 35mm diameter without the crown, 40mm with the large onion crown, 40mm lug to lug and 11mm thick.

The highly decorated movement is wonderful example of the Watch Makers art. Fitted dark Tan Leather strap in keeping with the period. Supplied in a vintage box signed by a famous London Jeweller of the period. Everyone will notice this on your Wrist. There are Borgels offered for sale from time to time but they are rarely this good. They do not come any better than this.A brand new, hand made, ‘Bund’ style military strap can be supplied with this or any wire lug watch in Black, Brown or Chocolate and in a choice of two styles. These straps really enhance the watch sat on them when worn.