2008 Rolex GMT-Master II

Not many watches can claim the same level of popularity and provenance as Rolex’s GMT-Master - even within the four walls of the Geneva giant. Almost everyone with an interest in this hobby is familiar Rolex's travel watch. It's true to say that some references get more attention than others, and a large proportion of that is directed towards the steel models, in particular, the 'Pepsi'. But what about those that have come and gone while everyone's gaze is fixed on the latest and greatest? It’s worth doing a little history lesson on this reference 116718LN to remind ourselves of its importance in the GMT-Master legacy.

Rolex launched this watch in 2005 as a 50th anniversary tribute to its iconic pilot’s watch. Given how much collectors love an anniversary, especially a major milestone, you could say that this alone makes it a highly revered reference. However, it’s also a pioneering release from Rolex, being the first time it incorporated a ceramic ‘Cerachrom’ bezel and a ‘maxi’ case - two design cues that have gone on to define modern Rolex design. To top it all off, this trailblazing release was blessed with a lacquered green dial which, when paired with the yellow gold case and bracelet, makes for one of the most visually impressive watches we’ve seen from The Crown. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £25,250.


1950 Vacheron Constantin Triple Date

The phrase ‘vintage inspired’ has come to define the past decade in the watch realm. Brands have capitalised on extensive back catalogues and centuries of history to create new watches packed full of nostalgia. But what about the originals? The OGs? Shouldn’t we be honouring their legacy by seeking out and collecting vintage pieces? Well, if you’re looking for somewhere to start, might I suggest this Vacheron Constantin Triple Date in yellow gold?

If the dial looks familiar, it’s because this model was used by Vacheron in recent times to create two contemporary triple calendar models, and it’s easy to see why. This handsome piece is characterised by its stepped bezel, triple calendar movement and pointer date. The lugless case is complemented by an intricate multi-link bracelet from the esteemed manufacturer Gay Frères who in the 1940s and '50s supplied Vacheron Constantin and Patek Phillippe, amongst others, with high quality bracelets. This appealing reference offers plenty of vintage charm that new watches couldn’t hope to match. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £12,720.


1970's Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse

If that killer Vacheron had you pondering vintage watch options, it’s also worth considering something for another ‘Holy Trinity’ brand. The Ellipse from Patek Philippe features an unconventional, but undeniably elegant case that conforms to the ‘Golden Ratio’ - an ancient mathematical formula for shapes which is widely believed to be universally pleasing to the eye.

This vintage example from the 70s is finished in luxurious yellow gold and is complemented by a sunburst blue dial. Its clean layout features slender hands and markers which perfectly suit the watch’s pared back aesthetic. Another gem from the past that's packed full of personality. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £6,400.


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