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Posts in Watches

Patek Philippe Ref. 725 Perpetual Calendar Pocket Watch

by on July 22nd, 2011

Patek Philippe Ref. 725 Perpetual Calendar Astronomical Pocket Watch

While big timepieces are the style today, some watches capture the hearts of generation after generation of collectors.

Our Patek Philippe astronomical, perpetual calendar is a “best of best”: where you’ve surpassed the end of the scale to measure greatness. In a format this grand, all the months of the leap year cycle are bold; the enamel night sky and golden moon vivid.

In pristine condition from 1951, one of Patek’s best is ready to be engraved for the first time ever.

Seen at right: Patek Philippe perpetual calendar keyless, open-faced pocket watch (ref. 725), featuring a m. 17”’-170, rhodium-plated with “fausses-côtes” decoration, 18 jewels, straight line lever escapement, adjusted for heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions, blued steel Breguet balance spring with swan neck regulator; three-body, “variée carrure plate” with a concave bezel; silver dial with applied gold Arabic numerals and gold “feuille” hands; perpetual calendar complication with sub-dials for days-of-the-week, month with leap year indication, date and seconds with moon-phase display aperture; and 46mm, 18k yellow gold case with a polished gold case back.

Tom Brady & Betteridge Sell Watches for Charity

by on November 4th, 2010

Movado Tom Brady Limited Edition Chronograph, 18k Rose Gold, $17,500

Movado Tom Brady Limited Edition Chronograph, 18k Rose Gold, $17,500, comes with handwritten note from Tom about the watch

Over the last few years, it has been my privilege to get to know Tom Brady. He is an extraordinarily talented athlete for sure, but something many people may not know about him is just how wonderfully generous he is as well.

Best Buddies

A few days ago, Tom, an avid watch aficionado, asked me if I would help him sell two of his most treasured possessions to benefit one of his beloved charities:

Best Buddies is a non-profit organization “dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).”

All of Betteridge’s proceeds from these sales will go to this fine charity.

If you are interested in purchasing either of these spectacular timepieces, please call me at (203)869-0124, e-mail me at scott@betteridge.com, or come visit Betteridge at 117 Greenwich Avenue.

IWC Chronograph Rattrapante, Stainless Steel, $12,500, comes with handwritten note from Tom describing his experience with the watch

IWC Chronograph Rattrapante, Stainless Steel, $12,500, comes with handwritten note from Tom about the watch

Cold-Blooded Love: The Story of a Finely Made Wristwatch Strap

by on October 27th, 2010

Alligator Farm

There is a bad joke that has circulated for years that goes something like this…. “A frequent flier asks an airline check-in attendant for a three day ticket from New York to London to Chicago to Rio to Tokyo and back to New York. The attendant replies that she cannot accommodate his request on such short notice. The frequent flier answers, ‘Funny, you just did it with my bag.’”

In the world of high-end strap making, this type of frequent travel is the norm as many straps start out in the United States, traveling subsequently to Italy, Paris, Geneva, then back to the United States. For alligator straps, the story usually begins in the swamps of Lousiana.

Alligators are farmed for their skins and ‘harvested’ when 19 months old. The best hides are often sent to Italy for selection and tanning where the choice cuts are taken from the belly and top of the tail. This insures that the straps showcase the desirable large square scales that many of us love. Once prepared, the hides are shipped to Paris where master craftsmen stitch the straps to accommodate the specific requests of watch aficionados and designs of watchmaking companies. Finally, the completed straps are returned to Switzerland to be attached to a watch before being sent to a local retailer.

Straps are either hand-stitched (the expensive way), machine stitched (the inexpensive way), or glued (the cheapest way). High-end, hand-stitched straps are recognizable by their oblique or angled stitching pattern and often feature the words ‘Cousu Main’ (hand-stitched) stamped on the underside of the strap. Machine stitching is easily identifiable as the stitching sits in a perfectly straight line and uses a thinner thread.

In the world of high-end straps, one could easily spend $400 plus on a strap. Companies such as Camille Fournet are masters in the world of fine strap-making. But it’s probably worth it. A quality strap adds something to a watch that brings your timepiece to life and makes it more comfortable to wear.

You Won’t See These Tickers Anywhere Else

by on September 30th, 2010

A Pendant Watch fit for royalty. Queen Victoria bought a Patek Philippe similar in style to this watch in 1851. This blue enamel and diamond-set pendant watch is a functional objet that brings a little bit of the 19th century to the 21st century.

Shopping for a vintage or estate watch is much like treasure hunting: it involves a little bit of luck and lot of being at the right place at the right time. When you look inside the Betteridge Estate and Vintage Watch case, we make the job a little bit easier for you by putting all our favorite discoveries in one place for you to explore. You never know what you will find, and the value of buying a vintage or pre-owned watch cannot be matched.

As I travel the world looking for the rarest and most exciting timepieces ever made, my goal is to share the same sense of discovery and excitement with you that I feel when finding a uniqye watch. But be warned: the more you learn about watches, the more addicted you will become to the idea of owning a collection yourself! Just take a look at the collectors hovering around our vintage and estate watch case the next time you are in the Greenwich store, and you will understand… When you look inside this wall case, you will be treated to a revolving museum of timepieces ranging from the 1850s to watches made in the 21st century. I emphasize ‘revolving’ because many pieces only sit in the case for a few hours before finding a new home!

Real Men Wear Rose: Patek Philippe Ref. 1579

by on September 30th, 2010

Patek Philippe Ref. 1579

Patek Philippe Ref. 1579, Circa 1946

This Patek Philippe Ref. 1579 was made in 1946 and features a rare rose gold dial in a rose gold case. At 64 years old, this watch is not only one of the best looking chronographs ever made, it is a mechanical work of art that keeps time as well as any modern mechanical wristwatch!

Mechanical Art

by on September 30th, 2010

Shark-like Perfection: Some watches are instant classics the day they are made. This Patek Philippe Ref. 5100J made in the year 2000 is coveted for its ten day movement, large size, and stylistic case shape inspired by the manta ray.

The benefits of buying vintage or estate watches are not just limited to value and the breadth of the collection. With a vintage watch, you are buying a piece of history, a mechanical work of art that will never be made again. Take a look at the case construction of a vintage watch and you will discover the look and feel of an era past. Much like the signature sweeping tail-fins of a vintage car from the 50s or 60s, there are components of vintage watch case design that will never be recreated in the same way. The dials of vintage watches also tell a story about time past – imagine a day when people needed to actually tell the time, and tell others something about themselves. The result was high-quality and high-fashion.

How to Become a Watch Expert

by on September 30th, 2010

Every part of a Betteridge Vintage and Estate timepiece is carefully inspected by our experts: they have so much fun doing it that they sometimes have to be reminded to remove their loupes from their eyes when going out in public.

Many people are nervous about buying something with which they are not very familiar. With diamonds, people trust that Betteridge will offer the finest expertise and best value in the industry. The same is true for vintage and estate watches. You have an open invitation to come in and talk watches with us. It is our pleasure!

We offer numerous special services for vintage and estate watches, including:

  • Betteridge Certified Pre-Owned Watch Warranty for all Vintage and Estate Watches.
  • Holiday and Personal Shopping: Betteridge can help you discover the right watch for the right occasion with a large inventory and a depth or expertise.
  • Curatorial Consultation: Assessment of your watch collection.
  • Valuation and Trade-In: How much is your timepiece worth?
  • Educational Opportunities: Ongoing seminars in the history of timekeeping, how to buy a vintage watch, and the proper care and maintenance of your watches.

My New Patek Philippe Reference Guide

by on September 30th, 2010

The Patek Philippe in America Reference Guide, by John Reardon

The Patek Philippe in America Reference Guide, by John Reardon

In 2008, my first book ‘Patek Philippe in America’ was published in a limited edition of 1500 copies. The 400 page historical tome explores the historical context of the Patek Philippe’s 19th and 20th century watches. Now, after two years of work, the follow-up book “The Patek Philippe in America Reference Guide” was just released. This book presents the spectrum of Patek Philippe’s production from 1935 to 1995. Together, these two books will make you an instant expert in all things Patek Philippe!

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ceramic: Our Favorite Summer Ladies’ Watch

by on July 31st, 2010

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ceramic with Diamonds, $1,700

This summer, our favorite new introduction is the Tag Heuer Formula 1 ceramic wristwatch.

It is just a great piece and on so many different levels! Sleek and elegant with the combination of either black or white ceramic with stainless steel it is sure to please even the most jaded of fashionistas! Truly pragmatic — water resistant AND by having a screw down crown — there is no need to worry about getting it wet. And the 37mm case size gives the watch just the perfect amount of chunkiness.

$1,200 for the plain, and did we mention the diamond version for $1,700?

Patek Philippe in the 60’s: It’s Hip to be Square

by on July 31st, 2010

Patek Philippe Ref. 2488

Patek Philippe Ref. 2488, $8,950

During the early 1960s, it was considered very fashionable and even a bit avant-garde to wear a bold, square wristwatch. Stylish men quickly abandoned the traditional, round wristwatch of the 1940’s and 1950’s, inspired by the new futuristic look.

A square watch makes a statement of confidence, style and distinctiveness best represented by the mid-20th century, square-faced Patek Philippe. Iconic watches such as this Ref. 2488, represent enduring value, snappy style and fine timekeeping; and it certainly serves as a great conversation starter at the office or your next cocktail party.