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Marathon Maple Leaf SAR

Marathon maple leaf ASAR

Marathon Maple Leaf Automatic SAR (ASAR).

A new variant of the well-regarded Marathon SAR (Search and Rescue) series of watches has reached the collector market, available exclusively through retailer CountyComm.

Though a Canadian company, Marathon also produces watches for the US and Canadian militaries as well as NASA divers at the National Buoyancy Lab, where astronauts train underwater for low-gravity environments.

Although the watch has arrived in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games currently being held in Vancouver, this particular Canadian Maple Leaf badged watch is actually not an Olympic commemorative watch.  It was actually a special run commissioned by a special branch of the Canadian military.  According to CountyComm, only 500 were produced and it’s not expected that any more will be made.

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Posted in Military Watches.

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Omega Vancouver Olympics 2010 Wallpapers

Omega Olympic Vancouver 2010 Winter Games

Omega Ad featuring the Vancouver Olympics Special Edition Seamaster with red bezel

As the 2010 Winter Olympic Games get ready to start this morning in Vancouver, I thought I’d point out that Omega now has some pretty cool high-resolution wallpaper images available for download on the Omega website.  The images celebrate the spirit of the games as long as Omega’s longstanding service as the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games.

The wallpaper images are available in customized national colors for many countries, though I have to say I like the “official” generic version (at the bottom of the page) as it’s the most colorful.

Enjoy.

Omega Vancouver Olympics 2010 Ad

Another Omega Vancouver Olympics 2010 Ad

Link: Omega Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Wallpaper Images

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Posted in Omega Watches.

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Unusual Israeli Maccabiah Games Seamaster Limited Edition

Oddest Seamaster I’ve Seen in a While

Omega Seamaster Professional 18th Maccabiah Games Limited Edition with custom caseback. eBay seller's photo.

This is one you certainly don’t see every day.  In fact, I had never seen it before at all. A special Limited Edition Seamaster series of 118 made for last year’s 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Much like previous limited edition Speedmasters and the custom military Seamasters made by Omega in recent years, these feature a custom caseback design acieved by priting the custom design on the inside of the sapphire caseback.

It also comes to mind that Omega is perhaps lacking in restraint with the special and limited editions, churning out another one of these custom sapphire caseback designs at the slightest provocation and creating and environment where the limited and special editions are effectively becoming much less special.  At this point a collector would be challenged to even collect all of the special editions.

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Posted in Omega Watches.

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Vintage Bulova Accutron Commercials

“A strange feeling of certainty seems to come over Accutron owners…”

It’s easy to take for granted now but the Bulova Accutron technology with its humming tuning fork once represented the state of the art in watch technology for a short while before the era of widespread inexpensive quartz watches. Continued…

Posted in Vintage Watches.

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Vintage Longines Zeppelin Ad

It was a different sort of time, when airships and dirigibles represented the state of the art in air travel. Longines later became famous for its aviation, pilot’s and navigation watches like the Weems and the Hour Angle designed in consultation with Charles Lindbergh.

In that sense it comes as no surprise that Longines (imported and distributed in the US by Wittnauer at the time) was one of many sponsors of the zeppelin project to feature the Graf Zeppelin (LZ 127) of Germany in its advertising during the interwar years.

Vintages Longines Ad from the 1920s featuring the famous Graf Zeppelin of Germany

Graf Zeppelin

Graf Zeppelin, LZ 127 ca. 1920s.

Posted in Vintage Watches.

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Vintage Omega Olympic Rattrapante Timer on eBay

With the Winter Olympics coming up in Vancouver it’s probably only fitting to find a Omega Olympic Rattrapante on eBay this week.

This was one of a series of specially-made Rattrapante (“split seconds”) timers Omega made especially for use at the Olympics, beginning with the Summer Games in Mexico City in 1966. The red outer case is designed simply to protect the watch and features a push-through pusher that allows for operation even when the watch is inside the case.

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Posted in Omega Watches, Vintage Watches.

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The Bitter, Ignominious End of Divestraps.com?

Customers of Duncan “Outstretchedhands” McMorrin Haven’t Received Anything Since Sept. 2009

divestraps.com duncan mcmorrin outstretchedhandsAbout a year ago there was a minor fracas on the net surrounding the claims and activities of Duncan McMorrin, owner of Divestraps.com who also traded and posted under the name “Outstretchedhands” in watch collector communities.

The allegations against McMorrin were almost too bizarre to be believed.  Criticisms included everything from attacks on McMorrin’s claims about the supposed Kevlar® content of his straps to admissions that at least some of the custom colors offered had been achieved using felt pens to color white stitching.

Further allegations surfaced about a spurious charitable website McMorrin formerly ran at Aviationmission.org and previous shady dealings in the Minox camera collecting community dating back as early as 2002.  All the while McMorrin cited his supposed piety and “charitable” work and continued.

For reasons that perplex me, Duncan McMorrin and Divestraps continued  successfully selling straps through his website even after the problems were exposed.  Some seemed content to buy into the “premium” (overpriced) marketing but the problem not longer merely a question of cost comparison.  The most recent and pertinent development seems to indicate that recent customers paid the exaggerated price but received nothing at all.  A quick survey of some internet forums shows posters who sent payment as early as September 2009 but still have not received anything. Continued…

Posted in Straps.

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CX Swiss Military 20,000ft Dive Watch: What Were They Thinking?

Has the Big and Bigger Watch Fad Finally Gotten Well and Truly Out of Hand?

Montres Charmex CX "Swiss Military" 20,000 ft diver side profile. €2,998.- (US$4300) will buy a big hunk of stupid.

You know how when you see pictures of ’70s fashions with 12-inch bellbottoms, enormous hairdos, platform shoes, and polyester leisure suits and all you can think (even if you lived through it) is, “Holy S#@t!  What were they thinking!?  Look at those pants for crying out loud!”

Take a good look here, because I’m betting we’ve now hit that point in the Big Watch™ fad that has been developing these past few years, in which watches containing the movements of the same size as previous years have been packaged in increasingly larger cases, with no clear practical benefit.

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Posted in Modern Watches.

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