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Amsterdam watch weekend

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  • Amsterdam watch weekend

    At the weekend, mrs bfltd0 and I went to Amsterdam, primarily to pick up a Kickstarter watch but with the added perk of a city break in a very nice city. We decided to take the train so the Eurostar whisked us to Brussels where we had time for a sandwich before swapping platforms to take a Thalys to Amsterdam. In total, just under 5 hours journey time but much more relaxed than flying. We stayed at the Ibis, as it is right next to the Centraal Station (in fact, we were in the annex building which is built directly above the train platforms - a great use of space, given the correct soundproofing). Having taken an evening train, we arrived at midnight, so the rather comfortable bed was calling,

    Saturday morning involved a leisurely breakfast before wandering out in the then sunshine to the Amsterdam Vintage Watch company. Located at 414 Singel, this is a delightful little shop. One of the things I enjoy in the vintage watch world is dealing with fellow enthusiasts and Dennis Griffioen, one of the assistants in this vintage emporium, was clearly that. He apparently had worked at Christies in a previous incarnation. Unfortunately, I only took the photo of the exterior of the shop - it wasn't the kind of place that one felt comfortable snapping away inside. There were some very nice pieces from a range of manufacturers - Rolex, IWC, Omega, JLC, Patek, VC etc. Talking to Dennis, the internet has been the cause of a rise in the number of watches being offered to the shop, whereas a few years ago, they had a smaller number of offers and they would typically but more of what they were offered. The values of vintage watches is more widely accessible now but that means that the shop can afford to be more picky in what they buy to maintain the quality.



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    Needless to say, there were some lovely pieces there. One I handled was a lovely cream dialled 16550. Another was a panda dialled 6239 (at a mere 54,000 euros with box and papers). A Red Sub was 13,500 euros. Apart from watches, there was some watch-related memorabilia there. You can see in the pic there is a Speedy Pro with a spaceman statue to the right of it. Watch-related books would have been fascinating reading (if somewhat expensive. On the walls were some very nice prints and originals of Rolex watches. Full sized portraits were 8000 euros. I got an early Christmas present in the form of a limited edition print (2/100) of a full-spec Milsub. A snip at a mere 365 euros.
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    We spent a good deal of time here and thoroughly enjoyed the place. Recommended. They are on the web too - Google is your friend.

    Next stop was to the Amsterdam Watch Company, located on Reestraat, just a couple of blocks up and a couple of bridges west of the Vintage Watch Company. Whereas the latter only does vintage, the former does have both a very good range of vintage, while selling a limited number of new watches from a limited number of manufacturers. Most intriguing were some pieces from several Dutch designers/manufacturers that I had not come across before - such as Mr Christiaan van der Klauw. Here is his planetarium watch. His very interesting range can be found at http://www.klaauw.com






    Amsterdam Watch Company had in particular a good range of Omega Speedies and a nice Ploprof. This was a lot busier shop but we had a great look around before chatting to Jacco Reversma. Again a real vintage enthusiast. One rumour I will spread quite happily is that Rolex bought the Paul Newman Paul Newman at the recent auction (no evidence but makes a good story). Again no pics from the interior but they are on the web. One very tempting model was the Dornbluth Regulator black dial in stainless for 7,000 euros.

    After a return to the hotel for a freshen up, we took a train to Jacobsz restaurant (http://www.jacobsz.amsterdam/en) to meet the creators of the Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date. In total, there were 11 backers sitting down with the creator, Tom. The wife and I were the only foreigners. The menu was a 5 course tasting menu and I broke my normal rule of not taking photos of food:

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    Starters. Pumpkin and raw steak (not on the same plate). Followed by mussels.
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    Main of pork cheek
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    Then cheese followed by a dessert.

  • #2
    The point of the dinner was of course the presentation of the Avantgarde, but I left it till I got home to do the full unboxing, although one adventurous soul changed his strap and adjusted it so he could wear it at the table. Interestingly, Tom had managed to procure another original Lebois chrono which he passed around:
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    But back to the modern version:

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    In the top layer of the box.

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    Close up of the dial. The even dates are red numbers.

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    Exhibition caseback with custom Lebois shield engraving on rotor. And limited edition serial number of 100.

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    Contents of box - watch (with butterfly clasp), spare black strap, spare pin and buckle, strap change tool, booklet and guarantee card.
    In addition, I had ordered a black lacquer Rollerball pen with Lebois shield engraved on top and a moleskin notebook.

    The other backers were all Dutch or living in Holland and I have to say that we didn't have any communications difficulties as everyone was absolutely fluent in English. Having arrived at 6pm to be greeted by an aperitif and with white and red wine to suit the courses, the five courses gave us all a chance to speak to everyone around the table, with a little judicious moving seats between courses. A very enjoyable time was had by all and we returned to our hotel room after midnight.

    With a gentle walk around the shops on the Sunday before taking the return train journey in the afternoon, this was an excellent weekend.

    For those that are interested in the Avantgarde date, drop me a PM as there are still one or two left of the blue dial and the white dial versions, as well as the black.
    Last edited by bfltd0; 7th November 2017, 04:37 PM.

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    • #3
      Do let me know if there are any problems seeing the photos, as I can see them all on my version!

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      • #4
        Sounds like a great weekend and pics are excellent.

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        • #5
          Very interesting, wear your new piece in good health and thank you for sharing.

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          • #6
            Apart from the food, that looks like great fun and a really nice way to get the watch.

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            • #7
              Sounds like It was a very enjoyable trip, nice watch and cool print.

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              • #8
                Very interesting report and thanks for the pics, all visible.

                Love the limited edition number you bagged, too

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                • #9
                  Great stuff.

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