As an aside, I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't address the different state of the market than in past installments of the column. In addition to its more profound impact, coronavirus is wreaking havoc on world economies. With this in mind, I'd like to be of service should you need assistance with selling a watch. Feel free to reach out by sliding into my DM's on Instagram @isaacwingold, and I'll do my best to direct some attention towards your outstanding watches in the weeks to come.
Should you be so lucky to find yourself with a bit of downtime and also have an old car tucked away in the garage, might I suggest making a little project for yourself? Fake Watches With a treasure trove of online guides, now's the time to get wrenching and see the fruits of your labor in action. If you're not daring enough to start replacing injectors or fitting a set of coilovers, maybe adding a little horological flair to your ride is the move. What better way to do it than with a new-old-stock, third-execution Auto Rallye from Heuer?
Known as the Auto Rallye "Decimal," this variant of the Heuer-produced timer is fitted with a more complex dial, capable of measuring fifths of seconds, and hundredths of minutes. In an age where a seldom-used app on your iPhone can relay more information with greater precision, this might not sound all that significant, but when attempting to shave fractions of seconds off point-to-point times in the '50s, this tracing detail made all the difference. Moreover, the decision to apply luminous compound on the dial and hands also proved useful to hublot replica drivers, allowing them to make use of the instrument with ease.
Included with the never-mounted dash timer are its original papers, suggesting that this example was originally delivered to the American market way back when. These papers are also intriguing in that they refer to the timer as an "Auto Rally" as opposed to "Auto Rallye," reminding us how the times of watch marketing have indeed changed. Such an inconsistency would not fly in the year 2020, but back then, the spelling of terms could be adapted however you so pleased. Its original yellow box is present, as well, complete with the original sticker listing the model and variant.
This Heuer is being sold by Jonathan Krovitz, who's got it up for grabs for a reasonable $2,900. Information and contact details can be found on his Instagram page,
Part of what makes Rolex such a compelling watchmaker is the scope of their countless offerings, ranging from the run-of-the-mill to the next level of indulgent extravagance. Of the bunch, silver-dial, 36mm Oysters are about as plain as they come (in a good way), earning them the same sort of universal appeal as a trusty pair of denim. But sometimes, they're simultaneously plain and anything but. Not only is this pick one of the most seldom seen references from the Wilsdorf brand, but it's also one of the most stealthy showstoppers, bound to leave only those who really know their stuff in awe.
The Tru-Beat was first introduced by Rolex as a doctor's watch. While it might not have a chronograph traced by a pulsations scale, Rolex equipped it with a Cal. 1040 movement to aid with the measuring of heart rates. Unlike the more common Cal. 1030, the 1040 featured dead beat seconds similar to the motion of a quartz timepiece, affording increased accuracy and precision in medical applications. The rub with this movement is just how short a production run it had and how few parts were available for it in the following years. This resulted in many Tru-Beat movements being swapped for more conventional counterparts, making examples with the original movement fitted, like this one, considerably more desirable than the rest.
What attracted me to this particular example — other than the fact that it's one of maybe two available on the market as a whole right now — was its crosshair-emblazoned dial. I've only ever seen such a uniquely configured dial once before, which you'll notice is missing the usual two-line accuracy-touting spiel that most bona fide watch nerds can recite by heart at will. Instead of having "SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED" below the hand stack, this dial reads "SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER BY OFFICIAL TEST," spread across three separate lines. Ultimately, these two applications of text mean the exact same thing, but to find one that deviates from what's usually seen is quite exciting. It's the little variances that keep vintage Rolex collecting entertaining, and this is an interesting one if I do say so myself.