Vintage Longines (1949/50)

Flared lugs, 14k Gold filled and manual wind.  This Longines cuts quite a dash today with it’s black dial and gold numerals.  It has a subsidiary Seconds dial and elegant hour and minute hands and fully signed case, dial and movement.  Note this model has what are termed “fancy” lugs.

10K Gold Filled Longines Dress Gents - 1949/50 vintage.

10K Gold Filled Longines Dress Gents – 1949/50 vintage.

The movement is a Longines 17-jewel Cal. 10L, a decent workhorse of it’s day and has been around since 1949/50 and is in pretty good condition.

Longines 10L manual movement

Longines 10L manual movement

No bad case marks or crystal scratches to be seen and it keeps very good time with a decent Power Reserve.

Neat brushed gold finish with fancy lugs - classic.

Neat brushed gold finish with fancy lugs – classic.

The nicely brushed gold finish to the back shows the quality and the fancy lugs lifts it a little bit above the usual.  In short an elegant and subtly understated watch, which when worn today looks great, especially if you happen to be at a formal dress function.  An absolute must, sophisticated and smart.

Longines black dial, gold filled case - elegant and neat

Longines black dial, gold filled case – elegant and neat

The strap in this case is an after market affair, is good enough and compliments the watch generally and is a good fit.

Not much more to say other than this was an Auction find and for what it is would appear to be a bit of a bargain find and certainly worth the paltry bid I offered to secure it – OR IT SHOULD BE . . .

Understated elegance even for today's tastes.

Understated elegance even for today’s tastes.

Note the case, dial and movement are each signed Longines.  The watch overall is a nice size at 25mm x 28mm, but looks slightly larger on the wrist as it sits so well.  Note the fancy lugs are fixed and the strap fixing is standard, so very easy to change.

The Positives

This model’s case is what is called Gold Filled – as opposed to the more often seen Gold Plated.

Longines 10K Gold Filled L&K USA made case

Longines 10K Gold Filled L&K USA made case

Gold Filled is much superior to Gold plating, essentially as it is to a Standard.  Which says for example that a 14K GF must contain 5% of Gold by weight, unlike plating which may only have somewhere around 0.05%.  14K = 14/20 Gold Filled ratio.  Also as it is actually the application of one, two or even three layers of Gold, it is viewed as a true alternative to solid Gold.
The layer or layers are then pressure molded to the base metal of the watch, such as brass.  This particular process means that Gold Filled cases can last a lifetime and don’t easily rub off like Gold Plating often does.

So always worth it to check what Gold system has been applied on any vintage watch and with 10K or 14K Gold Filled (GF), you won’t go far wrong.

As to the which actual Longines Model this is, I have to confess I’m unsure, as there were so many over than period.  It looks similar to a “Buchanan” but has Roman numerals and Dot markers and a black face.  The Buchanan model had the dot markers but regular numbers and a white face and the lugs were not fancy as this one.  The watch date is pretty close as the serial number can be reasonable accurate as a guide.

But is there another reason why the model is not that easy to find?

The Negatives –

On closer examination (initially by a Watch Forum colleague after checking my close up photographs) this dial does not appear to be totally original.  It is what’s loosely called a “re-dial”, where perhaps because the original dial was in such poor condition as a result of damp or damage etc. it was at some point in it’s life – repainted.
The heavy black paint (unusual for a start with Longines) covers over the offending imperfection/s, the markers and numerals may be cleaned up or replaced, the hands re-painted or replaced and any printing re-applied.

The problem with any re-dial however is how well it is managed.  And in this particular case – it’s really not that good.

As my colleague informed me – check out the chronometer cross (the main crossed lines of the dial) – these are NOT straight.  The horizontal line does not go through the centre of the IX (9) or the III (3) at the other side.  One is slightly low, the other slightly high.  These would be absolutely straight on the original dial (this is careless work).
Also looking closely, the subsidiary Seconds dial perimeter is misaligned even within it’s dial depression – it’s low on the right, so this again was carelessly printed.  Also the hands have had some repainting too and though common on old watches is not very good here.

So all in all and I agree this is a re-dial and not the best, which is a shame as the rest of the watch, case and movement are perfectly right and in decent condition.  So a tale of caution when you are bidding on an Auction but not present at the Auction – REMOTE BUYER – BEWARE!  It is ALWAYS a risk buying from poor photographs.

NoteThe Auction House condition report noted the painted hands and suggestion of a re-dial at some stage of it’s life.  So as always with remote purchases, there is an element of risk in not having a detailed and close up examination.  As always – buyer beware!
And am I happy with my purchase?  Well I have to say yes – it wasn’t expensive and I like it and OK it’s not perfect, but it works perfectly . . . . and it looks good on the wrist.

D060 Windsurfer 89 vintage

It’s always nice to get another old Citizen, especially one that’s in great condition as this Gold Series D060 Windsurfer happens to be.  This one is from 1989, made in Japan, in solid stainless steel and in a neat size at 39 mm x 39 mm and just 10 mm depth.  Once again “windsurfer” in basic form it has to be said, even though it does feature an Auto-Chronograph and countdown function, has Timers and can read time groups such as 5 minutes, 3 minutes and so on with countdown function it’s not quite up there with the latest specialist watches today.

Citizen D060 Windsurfer - 1989 vintage

Citizen D060 Windsurfer – 1989 vintage

It doesn’t have such things as tide data, wave heights, swell or wind direction or indeed speeds.  Nor does it have water and air temperatures and so on.  This sort of data is reserved for models from the likes of Rip Curl, Nixon, Vestal, Freestyle, Casio and Electric to name a few.  But this was early days and an attempt to manage some of the timing requirements of a new developing sport.

P1030147

Great display, even after nearly 30 years.

Functions are – Time, Day and Date and Month, dial light, Alarm, Signal beep, Timer 1 (which is also the Auto-Chronograph) Timer 2 and Stopwatch with Split, Memo and Lap timing. The display sections basically can provide group timings as countdown visuals for various periods.  It also features a rotating 2 way bezel and a decent 100 m Water Resistance.   Once again it’s one of those multi dial display models that always impresses and shows how clever Citizen was in producing displays that managed to show intuitively and clearly.  The splitting up of display sections allows different timings to be read easily.  This model also has quite an involved Chrono-Countdown function which initially requires checking out the instructions – unfortunately I only have the Quick Set reference sheet and could benefit from a full instruction manual to fully understand the functions properly.
Note – As the D060 features a single line display – the Day, Date and Month are viewed by toggling the lower right push button – the Day features on the top right display (where the seconds are showing in the image) – whilst pressed the Date indicator under the Time shows.  (the D120 model shows the Date/Day and Month above the Time as it features a dual line display).

Other brands have tried, mostly unsuccessfully, with either Digital, Ana-Digi or Analog only, to multi-read various timing data easily and found it tricky to manage without making the dials cluttered and unreadable.  As a result only few analog and analog/digitals managed this feat as well as Citizen at the time.  And there’s no doubt that digital, handled properly, as in this D060 here is a really good example of this art.P1030145
I particularly like the way color is used within the displays to effectively highlight different timing data with good clarity.P1030149

Overall this is a really good looking watch and is sure to produce plenty of comment when worn on a sleeveless wrist (poser time!).

Mostly I guess because it’s that bit different from today’s models and specifically as this one scores highly being virtually New Old Stock condition, externally, internally and in functionality.

For me these old stainless steel bodies Citizens seem preferable to the resin bodied models that were really staring to flood the market in those days.  Each competing for top spot to the new customers who loved the idea of complication models covering all sorts of sports and pastimes.

Citizen however stayed mostly with steel cased models whereas their competitor Casio opted for the resin cases pushing the plastics technology to unprecedented levels, even to this day.  Though that said the last Post illustrates that Casio too could produce stunning stainless cased models too, like the Pentagraph – another personal favorite.

I attach the .pdf Instruction Manual for this model – CitizenD060Windsurfer

NOTE 1 – For all you true “Windsurfers” out there I have to say that the vintage “surfer” watch, like the above Citizen have to be regarded as – vintage watch collectors pieces.  And if you take the sport seriously (and I know a couple of guys who are obsessed and seem to travel the world for a decent wave!), then you’ll have to have the proper watch kit.

So for you I can only recommend you follow the link as the writers appear to have a good idea as to what is required.  My favorite is at the foot of this page however – but that’s just me . . . .

http://hubpages.com/style/5-Best-Mens-Tide-Watches-for-Surfing-Reviews

NOTE 2 – There are a few of these on offer on the Web, but beware of over-inflated prices.  I’ve seen these from £350 to £500! which is excessive.
Remember most are pre-owned and whilst some may indicate New Old Stock, the strap is rarely original and sometimes there are so called shop movement damage – I find this debatable especially if there are scratches. . . . .

So my advice – take care and don’t get carried away – expect to pay up to around £150 and look carefully at all images and check/ask questions to ensure module/display segments are all working properly.

As ever – Buyer beware! 

Just a final note – If you are really into Windsurfing and you feel the need for a Windsurfing watch, I would suggest a look at the Rip Curl Trestles Pro Tide model.  It seems to have everything you need and more and costs only around £150 – I link to a video showing the features – HERE

Just bear in mind the only surfing I do is on the Internet!  So what do I know!   😉

Addendum –

The D060 Windsurfer has a CR2016 battery, which is easy to change.  It basically sits in the center of the watch, held by a full spring catch cover.  I attach photos here.

CR2016 under sprung battery holder plate.

Battery cover un-catches from the lower – here shown with battery removed.

Stainless steel back (4 screws), rubber sealing ring and battery spring cover. (bottom twin bar is the spring release).