Chuck Maddox’s Watch Blog

This page is a journal of my journey in the field of Horology, which is timekeeping. In other words, watch collecting. Which in my case is the collecting of chronograph watches. To contact me, email me at: .

Location: Chicagoland, United States

The Extremely wordy version of my Resumé is located here:

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

“Dad's watch, reborn...”

Right around Thanksgiving, I (and Matthias, my co-laborator on the Heuer Carrera article) received an email from Brian Mott of California... Here is Brian's email:

From: "Brian Mott"
To: cmaddox3,
Subject: Carrera Chronographs article...

Dear Matthias, Chuck,

I recently became interested in Carrera watches when my dad gave me his old one from when he was in Vietnam. Looking at your article it seems that it is a Calibre 12, but it looks like it's a little different, mainly the color of the second hand.

Hiya Brian,

I'd suspect that the original color of the Second hand (probably Orange) has faded to white, but it looks otherwise original.

Unfortunately my dads watch isn't in the best condition. I was curious if you two had any suggestions on restoring it and the costs associated with it.

Pro-Time (LVMH's facility for watch repair in the US) can probably repair your watch:

Here is the address and phone number, I am not aware of any website...

Pro Time Service
966 South Springfield Avenue
Springfield, New Jersey 07081-3556

Tel: ++1.973.467.1890

Give them a call and see what they say. I know that they sometimes "farm out" older Heuer's to a semi-retired watchmaker who founded Pro-Time (for the old Heuer) back in the 1960's. But it's best to go through Pro-Time first.

Best of fortune on your repair/restoration!

It seems to keep time fine, and the casing is immaculate, only the crystal is at all scratched, and the head fell off the tach on the right.

I believe those items can be remedied.

Attached is a pic of the watch.

[posted above]

I believe it would either need to have the face buffed or replaced, the insides cleaned out???, and tach head replaced.

Chronograph Minute hand, yes, that'd likely need replacement, crystal replaced and a cleaning and lube.

It would also need a new band. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I want to keep it as authentic as possible.

Pro-Time would be the best place to start, after that, if they can't help you, you'll probably have to do what the rest of us do... Search eBay and watch trading forums on the web for parts. Give Pro-Time a call and see what they suggest.

Thanks -Brian Mott

I hope this helps, let us know what you find out.


Well, I'm happy to report that I just received an email from Brian:
From: "Brian Mott"
To: cmaddox3,
Subject: Carrera Chronographs article...

Thank you for your suggestion of using LVMH. I just got my watch back today, It looks beautiful. Feel free to use the pic on your site if you wish.



The Carrera looks GREAT! Somewhere I'm sure your dad would love to see it in the condition it's in currently. I'd be careful! He might want it back!

It looks wonderful, I'm happy that I could be of some small service in helping breathe new life into such a stalwart performer.


-- Chuck

Finally... A reason to start smoking... A free Rolex...

Finally... A reason to start smoking... A free Rolex... reports: “It seems hard to believe, but Italians are taking the new no-smoking law seriously -- so seriously that a jeweler is out a watch (A Rolex) valued at 29,000 euro ($37,000).

Read the rest of the story: Thief in Italy snags Rolex thanks to smoking ban.

Of course, I don't recommend or advocate smoking or starting to smoke, or trying this yourself. But what an amazing unexpected result of a new restrictive law...

-- Chuck

Monday, January 31, 2005

Spanish/Portuguese c.1045's: What's your theory?

Hello, I have written to you before about this and I am going to be stubborn here,

Hello again Xxxxxx

Why should you be any different... =)

you mention that the reason the Speedmaster Day Date with a 24 Hour hand with Spanish day was sold in more quantities in Spanish speaking countries is because the Spanish expatriates checked the time at home in those watches,

No, that is NOT what I said. Here is exactly what I said:
"From what I have been able to puzzle out Omega sold a lot of these models in Latin American market as this is where the bracelets seem to be coming from... I've talked to dealers who have said that Omega sold a lot of these models to european ex-patriot's living in Latin America. Among the big selling points are that the 24-Hour dial would allow them to figure out what time it was at "home" by adding the time difference with their home country, and that Omega is a widely known and respected watchmaker around the world."

well, the Spanish expatriates flew Spain in 1936, at the time Franco reached power, those watches were made between 1970 and 1975 approximately, lets figure this persons had at the time at least 20 years old, maybe 30, this 30 years old person at Franco's death was 69 years old AND after 39 years of exile still had to have a watch to tell him what time it was in Spain?

If you look at the text I cut and pasted from my article, or look at the article itself, I do not mention ,,Spanish expatriates,, but rather "european ex-patriot's living in Latin America". There is a difference. I did not mention Spain or Franco by name. Nor did I say “Spanish speaking countries” in my article, I said ‘Latin American market’ which means all Latin American countries (South of the Rio Grandé) including Portuguese speaking countries/regions, among them Brazil.

It would seem logical that Omega wouldn't send German, French, Italian or English day wheel equipped models to Mexico or Brazil (for example) because a) most expatriates would have a working knowledge of the days of the week where they were living, and b) at the very least the market wouldn't be limited for the watches by having a foreign (to that country) day wheel installed on it. For example: a German living in Argentina is likely to have a working knowledge of the Spanish days of the week, but a Argentine is probably not very likely to buy a chronograph with a German day wheel. Dealers aren't stupid and they wouldn't specify foreign day wheels on products they ordered (except as a special order) because foreign day wheels would limit their marketability.

You mention watch dealers told you that, do you mean Spanish speaking and Latin American watch dealers? Watch dealers from Mexico and other so called Latin American countries?

No I mean dealers whom I talked to and I related the information I presented. The people I talked to, one was of Hebrew background (named Xxxxxxx), another had a Iberian sounding surname (Xxxxxxxx) and frankly since it's been five and a half years since I wrote this and I can't remember the names of the other people I talked to back back in the 1999 timeframe when I wrote that piece. This piece was written as a reply in a forum and predates any of my efforts to documenting what I've learned for the sake of documenting it.

Sorry but this is worth studying a little more,

Please feel free to!

I have asked in Guadalajara Home to 4 million Mexicans and Mexico's second largest city) to some at the time Omega Dealers about your explanation and they (2 of them, different stores) do remember the watches and also remember this watches being sold the great majority to Mexican Nationals not Spanish expatriates as you mention, please check again because I think your account is inaccurate,

I don't see any inaccuracies in my account at all.

I did speak to these people and they did relate the information I reported. There is nothing inaccurate about that, which is what I typed. Now those people's (whom I talked to) information may not be prove-able, or only a theory, or word of mouth legend, or be inaccurate or even incorrect... but in absence of any other theory as to why Omega would so lobsidedly concentrate their sales effort for the c.1045's to Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries those thoughts are as good of a theory as any.

Remember that at the time, these were the most sophicated chronographs Omega made at the time. The Valjoux 7750 movement was not used by Omega until the mid/late 1980's, and even then only in Date form (Omega Titane). In the 1970's only the Speedsonic chronographs had day-date complications, the c.1040's: Mark III's, Mark IV's, 125's and related Seamasters, didn't have day, and none of those models (except for the c.1040's) had a 24-hour indication. Of course there is no easy way to determine which markets the c.1040's were intended for because they are not equipped with Day wheels.

thanks for the attention to this letter.

Personally, I have no idea why so many c.1045 examples I've witnessed (easily over 85%) have Spanish and Portuguese Day wheels installed and so few have French, German, English and Italian ones. There seems to be no logic in this distribution other than there was either an actual perceived market for these watches in Spanish/Portuguese speaking countries more so than other European (the aforementioned French, German, English, Italian) and North American markets.

The information I related in my article is one possible explanation for this phenomenon and the only theory I have heard advanced.

Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxx

So what is your theory as to why Omega flooded the Central American markets with these watches and apparently sold so few in Europe?

I look forward to reading your theory.