No 189 - Tutima Military Chronograph

I had been starting to look more and more for cool chronographs and wasn’t as focused on dive watches as I used to be. I used to hate chronos but when I saw this bead-blasted Tutima military chronograph, a.k.a. the NATO chronograph, that had a screw down crown and was water resistant to 200m, I had to look into it. It had the legendary Lemania 5100 automatic movement that I had heard and read so much about but I had never owned a watch housing it. The shape of the case, its hidden pushers and the president-like bracelet really spoke to me designwise. The list price was quite hefty so I kept looking for a used one. I had also decided that I wanted the destro ("lefty") version with the crown at nine o’clock and mirrored dial. It just looked so tactical and it really felt like the design had a purpose for military use. 

#189 - The Tutima Military Chronograph, ref. 760-22.

I found this one on WUS. It had just been completely overhauled. It was delivered to me on the bracelet, no box or papers, just the service document. I’m not sure from which year it was but it was the steel version with the old block font and not the newer one made out of titanium and with the script logo. I loved this watch. It was badass. I remember wearing it quite much. But absolutely no one knew what it was. Everyone was like “What the hell is Tutima?” Even in watch societies people were asking me about what it was. And I loved that. It was great having a watch that no one knew nothing about and hadn’t seen before. 

On the balcony.

My favorite dish: Janssons frestelse. Potatoes, onions, cream and anchovies. Amazing! Usually a traditional Swedish dish for Christmas but I eat it all year round.

It was really hard selling this watch on a Swedish watch forum. No enthusiasm at all for this type of watches. Christ! It took forever. The good thing about that though was that when I finally sold it it ended up with someone who actually knew what he was buying, knew the Tutima brand and who was aware of its cool history. That felt really good.

Captured at an unforgetable and legendary crayfish party. (borrowed with permission from its owner)

Out having dinner with my wife at Le Pot in Stockholm, August 2013.

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


No 188 - MKII Vantage

You know I like the MKII’s but the Vantage was never actually on my list of watches to buy. But when I found one for sale, a fullset from 2010, to a price that was reasonable, I figured I might just give it shot. The MKII’s are known for being easy to sell without taking the risk of losing money so it was a safe deal.

#188 - The MKII Vantage from Bill Yao.

The outer condition was far from mint. It was quite worn with a lot of swirls. I must say, even though I like 36mm watches, that this homage to the original Rolex Explorer I, worked pretty good being a little beefier with 39mm. But overall it was just as I had expected it; pretty boring. The case should have had much sharper lines. It felt round which I didn’t like. This was one of MKII’s first homage models and they are rarely seen for sale any longer. I saw one listing for $1300 a couple of months ago. Come on, seriously? Get real! They’re not THAT good.

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


No 187 - Tudor Chronograph 79273P

Received this one in a trade for my Ball Skindiver back in August 2013. I’d really start to love the Tudor chronographs after owning the 79270. Such great watches! So when I got the opportunity to try out the same chrono but in a twotone version it was a no-brainer. I actually thought it looked awful when I first saw it with the white dial and its red details but I knew it had potential to become something else. I think I received the watch on a black leather strap, not sure, but I had it replaced with a 22mm croc strap that I managed to squeeze in without having it look too terrible. A watch colleague helped me to source a black dial with gold indexes for it which turned out to be a perfect match. Looked fantastic!  And when I had had the new dial installed I changed the strap to a brown crocodile leather which made the watch look even more awesome. Some thought that a black leather strap would have been a better match but seriously, there are few things that look uglier than black leather straps. I had plans trying to find a working twotone bracelet for it but never found one. That would have been so cool. 

#187 - The Tudor Chronograph ref. 79273P.

Having a beer in our old kitchen.

I honestly don’t know why I sold this one. It was even complete with box and certificate. It looked freakin’ fantastic! I probably needed cash for something else or just got bored as usual. Stupid. But damn, looking back on the pictures I really feel that I could go another round with this one. It’s crazy how the prices for these 90’s Tudor chronographs completely have gone through the roof. I even lost about $350 when selling this one because of the dial change. God that hurts. 

With the white dial it came with. Not a big fan.

Here on the 22mm croc strap.

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


No 186 - Suunto Elementum AQUA

Before the AQUA was release from Suunto’s Elementum series I had never considered Suunto as a brand I would ever buy I watch from. Pulse or GPS watches have never been something I have been very interested in but the AQUA didn’t just look cool it was also a serious dive watch. More of a dive computer really. It actually enters dive mode automatically when being submerged into water, showing both depth and water temperature, which is a pretty cool feature.

#186 - The Suunto Elementum AQUA, ref. SS014528000.

Here seen om my wrist right before the start of the annual Stockholm Midnight Run back in August 2013.

My Suunto diver never got to witness any water activity so I never got the chance to examine if its features worked properly. Instead I mostly used it for running (?!). But even though I never used the AQUA as it was intended to be used I still got the impression that it was a really well made watch and it felt like straight through quality. I remember selling it to a guy who actually was planning to use it for diving so that felt good.

Product image of the Suunto Elementum AQUA (borrowed from Suunto).

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


No 185 - Ball Skindiver

I had been looking at Ball Watches for so long and when they finally released the Skindiver I just couldn’t resist it. Their whole concept with filling up the whole dial with tritium tubes just felt so ridiculously cool. Today I’ve grown apart from the tritium tubes but back in the summer of 2013 I still thought they were an awesome feature.

Initially I had had my eyes on the Ball Engineer Master Diver II COSC version but the misalignment with the day and date window looked horrible. I was therefore considering the non-COSC version but quickly realized the green or red details on the inner bezel would be too much and start to annoy me. But then Ball announced the Skindiver. It had a great retro design, a lot of tritium tubes in different colors and it even had a lumed filled bezel. So I started scanning the for sale-pages for a used one and eventually found one in a really good condition from a seller in United States who agreed on shipping it overseas. Said and done, the Skindiver was on its way.

#185 - The Ball Skindiver.

A slightly domed crystal.

Great artwork on the case back.

I was really impressed by its finish and overall high quality. It looked stunning. And the case back, WOW! Ball must have one of the coolest line-up of case back engravings in history. I can’t say I liked the appearance of the bracelet very much but I must admit that it was very well engineered and was super comfortable to wear. It measured 40mm excl. crown and sizewise it felt like wearing a mix between a Rolex Submariner and a Marathon SAR. 

Why I started to get second thoughts about Ball, and all watches with tritium tubes in general for that matter, was because even though the tubes are supposed to be glowing for 25 years they actually start to fade quite quickly and just in a couple of years you can notice a huge difference in decreased glow capacity. I want a watch to age with dignity. Older watches actually tend to look better the more they age (to a certain extent of course) but newer watches just start to look like shit the more they are used and the older they get. Of course that statement doesn’t apply to all new watches but that’s just how I feel for a lot of newly produced models

How can you not fall in love with this product image? (borrowed from Ball Watches)

After owning the Skindiver I felt that I barely had scratched the surface of all cool Ball watches to discover but I actually haven’t had a single one since then. On Swedish watch forums they are rarely seen for sale so I really haven’t had any good opportunities either. I honestly can’t say that I’m sure I will own something from Ball ever again. At least that’s how I feel today.  

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


No 181 - Rolex Datejust 1601

Oh darn! Just opened up a can of bad memories. I rarely don’t do vintage watches and here’s yet another perfect example of why. Of course it’s all about doing your homework before buying anything and you should be fine. That rule is to be concerned even more when buying a vintage watch. But I got this 1968 Rolex Datejust from a friend and I felt pretty confident that everything with it was OK. It turned out that wasn't the case and sadly I found out about it later when I was selling it. The buyer, who obviously knew how to do his homework, wanted us to meet at a local Rolex AD to have it checked. Not to verify if it was genuine or not but to check the condition of the movement and if it needed a service. The watchmaker came out after a couple of minutes shaking his head while saying, with his German accent, “Uh uh, this watch is not good. It has a lot of pitting and the threads for the case back are very worn down. It also has signs of rust inside the case from taking in moisture." So the deal was therefore cancelled. The buyer probably walked home happy knowing he didn’t stepped on that mine, while I walked home being disappointed but also angry thinking about how my friend could have sold me something he obviously hadn’t controlled the condition of. I told him about what had happened and he wasn’t too happy to take it back. He finally agreed on it but it cost me $250. Expensive lesson! We haven't talked much since.

But before all this happened we still had a good time together. It was a cool watch. I wore it loose on the stretchy jubilee and felt like the stereotype of a tacky car salesman. Its gold linnen dial was very beautiful and glowed really nice in the sun.  

#181 - The Rolex Datejust 1601 from 1968.

Preparing some BBQ together with my dad.

I have had a couple of vintage watches since this incident. As I said, you always learn new things; what to look out for and what to be extra aware of. EVEN if you are purchasing from friends! And of course, the more you do it the the higher the chances are that you avoid falling into an unexpected pit of shit. 

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


No 180 - Squale 1553-020

Found this one for sale in July 2013. Figured it looked quite cool and it was about $100 so what the hell. It measured 40mm and housed a quartz movement. It was delivered on a nice Bonetto Cinturini rubber which suited it well. I really liked the gray matte dial and the crumbling tritium gave it a true vintage look. It still had the original case back sticker on it so I assume this must have been one of those NOS Squale’s that they started to sell a couple of years ago.

#180 - The Squale 1553-020.

Look at the little teeth! I hadn't noticed them before.

I hardly wore this watch but my wife took it out sailing a couple of times. Flipped it after it had been lying around for too long without being used.

My wife out sailing in July 2013.

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


No 179 - Squale 50atm PVD

This is another watch that I got a whole lot of history with. I had already decided that I had to buy a watch during our honeymoon in Rome. A Panerai would of course have been very cool, being in Italy and all, but I wanted something more “me” and in a lower price range. The obvious choice was of course Squale. I marked out a couple of Squale AD’s on our map and one day I headed down to Watch You Want; the store I felt was most promising. Inside I met Laura who was very nice and service minded. She made me a good deal on the PVD-version of the 50atm and threw in a couple of extra straps and some other Squale merchandise. I was a very satisfied customer when I walked out of that store. The Squale got to spend a lot of time on the wrist for the remaining part of 2013 and the first half of 2014. Here are just a few moments of where it got to accompany me during that time. 

Laura and I at the time of purchase. June 2013. Rome, Italy.

#179 - The Squale 50atm PVD. A wrist shot outside the store.

I remember taking this one while my wife was trying on dresses.

I thought I had ordered a big bowl of pasta and was a bit surprised when I found this long veal intestine lying curled up in the bottom of the bowl. Tasty stuff!

But like so many times before there were some moments were it got to lie still for too long in the drawer which freaked me out. It had to make room for something else. I think I first let it go as a part trade for an old 70’s two-tone Datejust. The Datejust turned out to look like shit inside (but that’s another story) so the deal went back and the Squale bounced back. I then later traded it for a Certina DS-3 re-issue and even though the guy who got the Squale sold it away I managed to keep track on it and it finally ended up bouncing back at me for a second time. I had strong sentimental feelings for it and I really didn’t want to let anyone else have it even though I wasn't using it. I bought a whole bunch of PVD nato straps for it trying to bring some new life to it but it wasn’t enough to make me start using it more. I can’t remember what it was this time that made me want to sell it but it ended up selling it in the middle of June 2014. After losing it this third time I lost track of it and it was gone forever.

Back home. On my way to work on an August morning.

Another wrist shot from the same morning as above. The AR coating on this watch was great. It sometimes felt like it had no crystal at all.

Brothers of the pike. Time for drin... fishing!

Dinner is served!

A well-deserved Gin and Tonic.

The bass pro.

A good haul of some fat perch.

I still have feelings for this watch and I hate to think about it. It just makes me sad. I try to console myself by thinking the older tritium version is better than the newer luminova version that I had with the ugly engraving on the side. Wait a minute! Perhaps that was it? The hideous engraving! Why the hell did they put that on the side of the case? It looks terrible. I should try to get a hold of the older version instead, that’s what I must do! 

The last pictures I took of it before it left me for the third time.

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