Jeremy, a visitor here, recently asked for my observations about a watch he was looking to buy. I was happy to help, especially when it turned out that the watch in question is a rare thing. It’s a Leopard Highness, and that name already indicates a high end watch of some rarity. However, this is one of the rarest versions of that line – and having now acquired it, Jeremy has kindly agreed that I can share it here, with all credit to him of course for all but the last photo in this post. Let’s have a look at it 🙂 :
Quite something, I think you’ll agree. The wide, highly polished case frames a very nice cream dial, and fairly unusually for a Leopard Highness, it is signed ‘Super Beat 10’ rather than the more typical ‘36000’. But what really grabbed my attention was the case back:
The first thing I saw was this special back, a snap on type rather than a screw down one I would normally expect to see. But then I also saw the case material code – Ti – and the ‘scratchproof’ description. Note as well that the underside of the upper case is not polished, rather it’s a matt grey colour. So what we have here is a rare model indeed – a Leopard Highness in a Titanium Carbide case. I have seen very few of these, and as far as I know this is the only case shape used for this model, and I suspect it had a very short production run, probably only a year or two in late 1970 and 1971. Fortunately I had saved images from one other I’d seen of this particular model with this dial and back, so I could verify it’s authenticity for Jeremy.
It seems that the ‘Ti’ code was used only briefly, and was replaced by ‘UHA’ – Ultra Hard Alloy, possibly because it is a more descriptive term for the material.
The case construction is interesting – this is how Jeremy described it to me: The case is made up of 2 parts. An inner steel component where the hard alloy part sits over and are attached together by some kind of clear epoxy resin. The hard alloy part is polished on top and at the sides, I didn’t weigh it but it feels light unlike tungsten which I was expecting the hard alloy to be
The crystal fits flush to the top of the upper case, and the crown is signed as you’d expect:
Here’s the 28 jewel high beat 7230 movement, looking pretty good too:
Another look at the beautiful dial:
I have seen other dial designs with a more 1970s vibe, but I personally prefer the elegance of Jeremy’s example. Here’s an ad and a catalogue image from 1971 of these – note the price – these were a lot of money then, and the catalogue scan on the right shows the ‘UHA’ material code (apologies for the fold in the paper and subsequent distortion on the left!). From one or two examples I’ve seen for sale, these also had a screw down back rather than the sculpted type on Jeremy’s. This pic also shows the original bracelet for these:
I must thank Jeremy again for allowing me to feature his watch. It’s the first one I’ve seen in detail, so a very worthy piece to show you here.