No 94 - Rado Original Diver

I got to give it up to Rado. There are no watches looking like theirs. They are really doing their own thing. Either you love them or hate them. They got their own trademarked design and are probably most known for their classic oval shaped DiaStar watches with the high-tech scratch proof ceramic coating. Rado have plenty of cool things going on when it comes to new technology for materials and features like that gets me going.

I found the Original Diver by a coincidence when I was browsing through a commercial market site for used stuff back in August 2011. Suddenly it was there among old winter tires, golf clubs and broken lawn mowers. I don’t remember if it was full set or not but I don’t think it was. It was in great condition though and came on its original bracelet. It was too cool and interesting to ignore that I just couldn’t do anything else but to buy it. I knew I wasn’t going to keep it but it was cheap and I reasoned that if I was going to let it go for the same price on a watch forum I should get rid of it pretty fast.

#94 - The Rado Original Diver.
The red spinning anchor on the dial was a fun touch.

Like a big polished and scratch proof cushion.
Engraved Rado logo on the side.
The crown at 2 o'clock was for turning the inner bezel.
A cute seahorse couple engraved on the case back.
Pocket shot.

So what about the watch? It was cool. Solid. Well built. No scratches. Kept good time. The lume sucked though. Did I like it? Sure, it was nice. It would definitely have added some uniqueness to my character. Did I love it? Yes, because there is nothing quite like it. Did I love it so much that it was enough to keep and wear it? No, not really. Did I hate it? No, can’t say I did. So am I saying that you actually don’t have to love or hate Rado? I guess I do. This particular model might not be one of Rado’s most extreme designs. They do have models with more daring looks.

It turned out that the Rado wasn’t as attractive among the enthusiasts on the watch forums as I had hoped. It ended up leaving me in a trade with my friend Björn (who also is a fan of giving the odd birds a chance) against a MKII Sea Fighter but that’s another story.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 93 - IWC Aquatimer 3538

I’ve been in love with the IWC Aquatimer ever since I had the 3548 and one day in August 2011 when a full set 3538 showed up in the for-sale section (which is the place where I usually hang around) at my favorite watch forum I just decided to get it because there was nothing else more fun available at the time. The 3538 and the 3548 looks pretty much the same except for the color scheme but the two biggest differences are that the 3538 is in titanium instead of steel and also has a thicker case back since it is rated to a 2000m instead of 1000m. 

The watch was located in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was sold by the well-known watch profile Kristian Haagen. When I received it I discovered Kristian had sent me the wrong certificate. The serial number didn’t match. It was for another IWC watch. I told him this and a couple of days later the correct certificate showed up and everything was fine. The watch was in nice condition but it had some signs of wear. Titanium isn’t the most forgiving material and it really is easily scratched and doesn’t age nicely.

#93 - The IWC Aquatimer 3538.

I wore it for a while but still couldn’t stop thinking about the blue and orange IWC 3548 Cousteau edition. That was the one I really wanted. Looking back, I really should have gotten my hands on a Cousteau back in 2011 instead of the 3538. The price on the Cousteau edition has pretty much gone up with 100% since then which sucks. I still want one but I ain’t going to pay $5000 for a used one. If I have to choose between the 3538 and the 3548 and say which one of them I like the most I would say the 3548. I prefer steel rather than titanium and I think it wears a little better due to the thinner case back. 

Blurry picture taken by my wife with an old cellphone but you can still identify the Aquatimer.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 92 - Stowa Seatime

I’ve always had a thing for Stowa but the Seatime is the only Stowa I’ve ever owned so far. I’ve actually been looking mostly at their Flieger series and not their dive watches. I don’t remember how I came across this one but it probably was one of those catch and release-moments were something funny pops up and I just purchase it with the intention just to try it out for fun for a few days and then flip it. My overall impression was good. Nice quality and design to a reasonable price but it didn’t leave me any long lasting memories. The bracelet was too thick and solid which made it very heavy. Might have been working nicely on an Isofrane rubber? The Seatime has a depth rating of 300m. The Stowa Prodiver is rated to a 1000m and has an appearance that I find much better. If I would stumble upon a reasonably priced Prodiver I wouldn’t hesitate to give that one a chance. Hopefully I’ll find a used Classic Fliger with logo and date before because that’s a Stowa that I really would love to try in a near future.

#92 - The Stowa Seatime.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 89 - Tag Heuer Aquaracer 500 automatic

Isn’t it ironic? One day I sell a Tag Heuer and decide it was going to be my last and the next day I go and buy another. It’s at time like these I start to question myself. “What the hell is wrong with me?” My drive knows no limits and at this particular moment in July 2011, this almost brand new full set automatic Tag Heuer Aquaracer 500 shows up for about $1200, and I just had to try it. When I get a little too enthusiastic I sometimes lose my sense of rational thinking and forget about any possible consequences. I didn’t do any research regarding the watch or the unknown seller. It just felt like a good price for a newly purchased Tag Heuer so I sent a PM saying “I’ll take it”. It was like I completely had forgot about the promise I made to myself the day before about not getting another Tag Heuer and I pursuaded myself by repeating over and over that this was a new Tag Heuer and not a vintage one available with the Heuer logo and therefore could be seen as an exception.

As soon as the money was transferred, that was when I got time to think. Could something be fishy? Did the certificate have the stamp from the AD? Could I have missed some important information in the ad saying it was running bad? Could it be fake? Hell, could it have been stolen? Had the price been as good as I thought it was or was I mistaken? Could I flip it without making a big loss? But perhaps I was going to keep it… For real? Get a grip man! It was a Tag Heuer. Of course I was going to flip it!

Finally the package showed up. Was there even going to be a watch inside or was I about to unwrap a brick? Of course! I had been scammed. The Aquaracer 500 was a brand new model. How could I have been so blind?

It turned out that the package contained a full set Tag Heuer Aquaracer 500 in perfect condition. It actually blew me away a little bit. It was much better than I could ever have imagined. The overall finish of the details were really nice. I loved the tapestry dial and the rubberized bezel (even though I didn’t like the action of the bezel). The bracelet felt a little sharp and could have been more comfortable. It had a see through case back were the new Calibre 5 movement was visible (but from what I understand it is pretty much a basic ETA 2824-2 with an engraved rotor and some minor modifications).

#89 - The Tag Heuer Aquaracer 500 ref. WAJ2110.

From the left. Helium escape valve at 10 o'clock.

From the right.

See through case back. Calibre 5 movement.

I think the ref. WAJ2110 with the bracelet had a MSRP just below $3000 and paying $1200 for an almost brand new one back in 2011 must have been a really good deal. There was no problem flipping it when I decided we were done and I got my money back. I’m really glad I took the chance to give this one a try and it really was much better than I had expected.

Wrist shot.

A pocket shot.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 88 - Tag Heuer 1000m Professional

What a great watch! I didn’t study the history of this model very much before I bought it and really don’t know much about it but I know it has been produced with both the Heuer-dial and the newer Tag Heuer-dial. This one had the Tag Heuer-dial but the crown had the Heuer-logo only so perhaps it was a transitional model? It was cool anyhow. It takes a lot for me to go vintage but this watch case, as you should know by now, really gets me going and also it was a quartz, which I love, so I was hoping it was going to be good to go from the start and wasn’t going to need an overhaul right away. I received it on the original jubilee bracelet and the clasp had the Tag-logo if I remember it correct. It was really great to wear and the tritium actually lit up unexpectedly well. A killer watch!

#88 - The Tag Heuer Professional 1000m Quartz.

The Heuer crown visible.

Ref. 980.023 L

So why did I sell this one you might wonder? Well, since there was a Heuer-version available it bothered me that I had the slightly less cooler Tag-version. I had a hard time seeing the Tag-logo on something that to me looked like a vintage watch. I was still associating Tag Heuer with Formula 1 and modern chronographs and not vintage dive watches. But I’m not even sure if this one could be classified as vintage just yet since it possibly could be from the early 90’s. Anyway, if I’m going to own this model again one day it has to be the Heuer-version. That one with the quartz movement is just perfection. 

Wrist shot.

Bottle shot. Timefactors rubber.

UPDATE - December 12th 2016 

A while ago (in late September to be more specific) this one unexpectedly returned to me in a trade. It was a dear reunion because I had really missed it. It looked just as beautiful as when it left me August 2011. Unfortunately it was only for a short stay because I had other deals going on and goods simply had to move. But I still got to wear it for a few days which was really nice.

Wrist shot at work.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.