Japanese Auctions

I keep an eye on Yahoo Japan auctions, and this week two particularly interesting ones ended. I thought these warranted a post, since both feature rare models, but of very different types.

The first is a chronometer grade Cosmotron – you may think these are rare, but not that rare. But this one is rather special – firstly less than 2000 of this model were made, in 1970. Secondly, and more importantly, this was the first watch in the world to have a titanium case. A familiar enough material now, but 40+ years ago it was cutting edge, ‘space age’ technology. Selling for JPY45,000 originally it has a striking blue dial and pale blue second hand, set in a grey titanium case, this one (with original manual by the looks of it) sold for JPY163,000 – that’s USD1,987:

(Photo Credit: seller)

You may think that was expensive, but it was easily beaten by a hand winding Chronometer from 1962. According to the seller’s description (with due acknowledgement to on-line translation limitations) this was a limited edition of less than a hundred, made from solid 18k gold.  The back is a little different from the usual production models as are the hour markers – the 12, 3, 6 and 9 markers are plain and flat unlike the usual grooved markers:

(Photo Credit: seller)

And the price this one went for? An eye-watering JPY980,000 – that’s about USD11,950.

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