Brummell Magazine: Period pieces, vintage watches
From Brummell Magazine 6 SEP 2017 by Jenna Wilson
Manager and watchmaker, Somlo Antiques
Tell us a bit about Somlo and the type of vintage watches you specialise in.
We deal with several high-end watch brands including Patek Philippe, Cartier and Vacheron Constantin, as well as antique pocket watches from some of the biggest names in horological history, spanning more than 500 years. We also represent Omega as the only official vintage Omega boutique in the world.
Which Omega models are particularly covetable for collectors at the moment?
There are followings for many of the various vintage Omega lines but the clear winner is the Speedmaster. This timepiece was the first watch worn on the moon and bears a design inspired by the dashboard of Italian sports cars. Interestingly enough, it is the references that pre-date the moon landings that have the biggest appeal.
What are your standout models?
Our stock covers hundreds of years of horological innovation, but standout pieces would include an incredibly early English pocket watch by John Snow dated around 1630; a wonderful Patek Philippe minute-repeater perpetual calendar; and a very rare, platinum, skeletonized Omega De Ville wristwatch (one of only 10 produced).
Do vintage watches usually require any special maintenance once they’ve been bought?
The watch should be serviced every three to five years depending on its use, as with most modern watches. Additionally one should never risk taking a vintage watch anywhere near water, even with diving watches.
What’s the most memorable or interesting piece to pass through your boutique and why?
We currently have a magnificent piece of English horological history by the famous company S Smith & Sons. Made in 1904, it’s a large, open-faced gold pocket watch with an incredibly rare English lever tourbillon. This watch achieved outstanding results from the Kew Observatory trials and is rated Class ‘A’ for its accuracy.