About 5 years ago, I came across the best Rolex GMT reference 6542 I had ever seen. I purchased it from the son of a gentleman who sued Rolex in the 1960s. He claimed he got cancer from the radium on the dial. It ended up being a frivolous law suit and he lost. The watch sat in a safety deposit box after that lawsuit until I purchased it. Since then, I have not seen any examples of the reference 6542 that come even close in condition to that famous GMT, until now. It has taken 5 years to find another incredible example of the Rolex GMT reference 6542 and it is featured here
The 6542 is the very first GMT produced in the mid 1950s from a request by PAM-AM airlines to develop a watch with two time zones for their pilots. The very first GMT Ref 6542 was made with no crown guards, a gilt dial and of course the bakelite bezel. It is very hard to find a mint example of this watch as most of the bakelite bezels have been broken and replaced with metal or replacement bezel inserts. Also, the dials are usually in bad condition due to radium burn or moisture.
This particular example of the Rolex GMT reference 6542 is in mint condition with a flawless bakelite bezel, perfect gilt shiny dial and an unpolished case with beautiful pronounced bevels on the lugs. It also comes on a period Rolex Jubilee band with large logo on the clasp. It is very difficult to find such a mint example. Check it out
This is an extremely rare Omega Speedmaster reference 145.012 from 1968 known as the 'Racing Model'. This Racing Model Speedmaster has a very exotic dial and set of hands compared to a normal Speedmaster. The Racing Speedy has red hands in addition to red and white baton markers with a checkerboard outer scale. This particular model also has chronograph registers that are smaller than on the normal Speedy in order to make room for the racing outer track. There have only been approximately 12 red Racing Models identified on the market which makes this an extremely rare and collectible watch. All the authentic Omega Speedmaster Racing Models that have surfaced have been delivered to Switzerland and almost all delivered in 1968. This particular watch comes with an Omega Museum Archive that confirms the Swiss delivery in 1968. This exact watch is pictured on page 489 of the Authoritative Speedmaster book "Moonwatch Only" 60 years of Omega Speedmaster. This example is in excellent condition with all original parts and Omega band. The dial is a 9 out of 10 and the case was probably polished gently one time. Check it out.
This is an incredible Rolex Submariner reference 5513 circa 1964 with the extremely rare gilt 369 explorer dial. Typically, this model comes with the normal Submariner dial with baton and triangular luminescent markers. To find an explorer style dial for a reference 5513 is very limited. This highly attractive gilt dial has a beautiful shine and some natural crazing which is typical for this dial…continue reading.
We're so excited to do our first pop up in LA at Melet Mercantile. We'll be featuring selected pieces from our collection of Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Breitling, Heuer, and Omega with a focus on scuba, aviation, racing & military time pieces. Let us know if you will be joining us!
Once again the good folks at Hodinkee visited our Miami watch studio for a follow up to a wonderful photo report they published back in 2013. In this revived article, Hodinkee offers a look inside our studio with their unique perspective on our collection of beautiful vintage watches.
Check out the latest photo report Watch Shopping in Miami (Redux) and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
The Patek Philippe reference 3970 is one of the most iconic and affordable complicated models on the market. This model was developed in the mid 1980s right after the famous 2499 series was discontinued.
The Patek Philippe ref. 3970 has the same case lines as the 2499 (but slightly smaller), and of course, the same perpetual chronograph moonphase functions. In today's market, a nice yellow gold 2499 model is a $500K investment–at a minimum, whereas the collector can find a 3970 model in yellow gold for under $100k.
This particular example which we have for sale is in pristine condition with the original certificate of origin and extra case back. The collectible watch is unpolished and has all its original lines with beautiful patina on the case from sitting in the bank vault for many years. View photos and details
This barn find is the Universal Geneve exotic model reference 885107 which is considered the Paul Newman of this series. While all the hype is on the Nina Rindt Compax Panda, the blue exotic model is a lot more interesting in my opinion. Check out this rare barn find
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Milspec is an elusive and incredibly rare watch. This Milspec came from the original owner who received it directly from the Navy in our home state of Florida. What could be better than a find like this? Check out this incredible piece of history
Last week, Matt gave a talk to a select group for Citi Private Banking and watch collectors from the Miami area. The talk focused on how watch collecting has changed over time. The guests were guided through a brief history of watch collecting and an analysis on how fashion and style have lead to different trends in collecting. Join us for a quick photo tour of the event.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus has always been a very popular model, but today it is the hottest it has ever been. The Patek Philippe reference 3700, which is the original model, was launched in 1976 and designed by Gerald Genta. Learn why Patek Philippe Nautilus watch prices continue to climb and view five we have for sale.
I flew down to Santiago Chile to find this one. It is a Rolex GMT reference 1675 from 1968 which features the long E dial. The reason why I am calling this an ultimate example is due to the combination of mint condition and the completeness of the set with box and papers. This is one of the most attractive and complete GMT's I have ever owned.
The market for vintage steel chronographs is through the roof. Here we take a look at several steel chronograph watches that are not yet cult classics but have all the guts to be truly collectable timepieces. We just listed them for sale so check them out before they're sold.
For years, Paul Newman dials have been the craze of vintage Rolex collecting. We got to see the actual watch that belonged to the man it was named after and witness first-hand this record setting sale at the Phillip's auction in New York City on October 26th, 2017. Join us for a review of this historic watch sale and get the inside scoop on how the watch market is reacting to the result.
We were invited along with three other influential watch dealers (pictured below) to share our opinions about why vintage is resonating with collectors and the trends that will dominate the market in coming years.
Check out the article! The Virtues of Vintage Watches
We are featuring this watch since it is so difficult and rare to find a 1970s Rolex Submariner in such mint condition as these were tool watches and typically have a lot of wear and tear. View watch details
This is a 14k gold Rolex reference 6238 chronograph from the early 1960s, known as the pre-Daytona. The pre-Daytona came out in about 1960/1961 about the same time as the Rolex Daytona reference 6239 and was only produced for a short period of time. The pre-Daytona is considered the least produced water resistant chronograph made between 1960 until to today. Over the years I have seen…Read more
This is one of the most complicated chronographs made by Rolex in the 1950's and considered to be a grail amongst Rolex aficionados. This particular Rolex watch is in excellent condition with an original dial with beautiful patina. Thewatch was purchased from the estate of the original owner, has never been in auction and is fresh to market.…Read more
In early to mid 1970s, Great Britain used the Rolex Submariner reference 5513 as a source for its military watch. There were only a few hundred issued making them quite rare and highly collectible. In a sense, it is limited edition watch which is an unusual item for Rolex to produce. This particular military submariner is an incredible example with all the correct features including Bexley paperwork and Rolex service papers.…Read more
There were a total of 281 Patek Philippe reference 1518 models produced between 1941 and 1952. The one pictured here is a later version from the 1950s in mint condition with the Patek Philippe only signature on the dial. The Patek Philippe reference 1518 is one of my favorite perpetual calendars produced due to the simplicity of the case, the complication and beauty of the dial.…Read more
Considered one of the rarest reference Daytona models ever produced, the Rolex Daytona ref. 6264 was a transitional model made for only one year, 1969. The watch on the left is the "Lemon Paul Newman" and on the right is an extremely rare variation known as the "Cherry Logo" (an example is described in Pucci Papaleo's 'Ultimate Rolex Daytona' book on page 300.)…Read more
This an incredible example of a 1950's Panerai Marina Miltare ref 6152-1 which was produced for the Italian Royal Navy. This Panerai watch is extremely rare and approximately only 100 are known to the market. The case and the movement are signed by Rolex as Panerai contracted Rolex to make these watches. The case features the crown protecter and the rare military markings…Read more
This is an exceptional example of a Patek Philippe reference 2499 from the 1980s which is considered the last or fourth series of the 2499 model. The 2499 is one of the most desired and iconic models ever produced by Patek Philippe. The fourth series 2499 was the least produced model among the other three series. Collectors are highly attracted to this model due to…Read more
This extremely rare Universal Geneve split second chronograph is one of the most coveted Universal Geneve watches ever produced. Only a few of these models have ever showed up for sale. Sold by the Rome retailer, A. Cairelli, this chronograph features a 24 hour dial…Read more
This is a rare variation of the Rolex "Paul Newman" Daytona from 1971. It is the reference 6262 which was the successor of the common reference 6239 Paul Newman. What makes this Rolex Paul Newman a grail watch is…Read more
This week we were lucky enough to find the elusive Rolex Submariner reference 6536, an extremely rare James Bond variation. It is said approximately 100 pieces were produced and only for 1 year, 1955. What makes this watch unique is…Read more
Today I found the best Rolex GMT reference 6542 I have ever seen. The reference 6542 is the first GMT Master ever produced. It featured a Bakelite bezel which is very fragile and rarely survived. I purchased the watch from the the son of the original owner who kept it in a lead case since 1960 because he was scared of the radioactivity of the watch…Read more
The Patek Philippe reference 2526, first manufactured in 1953, is one of the most iconic time only Patek Philippe watches ever produced. The 2526 reference is one of the very first automatic watches made by the company and is powered by Patek's caliber 12-600. The 2526 is also highly sought after by collectors for its porcelain dial …Read more
This is a grail Rolex Daytona Paul Newman reference 6263 from the early 1970s. The 6263 model Paul Newman with the screw down pushers is a very rare model especially compared to a Paul Newman with pump pushers like the references 6239 and 6241. This Rolex watch is known as the "Panda" due to the black and white color of the dial and is highly sought after by Daytona collectors…Read more
This is the first Perpetual Chronograph by Patek Philippe, reference 1518. Introduced in the 1940s, this is an early version with the Patek, Philippe and Co signature on the dial which is highly desirable. The Patek Philippe reference 1518 is one of my favorite perpetual calendars produced due to the simplicity of the case, the complication, and beauty of the dial…Read more
This is an incredible example of a 1950s Rolex Submariner reference 6538 known as the big crown "James Bond." This James Bond Submariner is in mint condition with a very sharp case, beautiful original glossy dial, original bezel insert, and a very tight original Rolex oyster band. What makes this reference 6538 even more special is…Read more
This is the reference 2915-1 which is the the very first Omega Speedmaster produced from 1957. The 2915-1 is one of the most difficult speed masters models to find especially in such complete and nice condition. The bezel of the 2915-1 is made of a thin metal material and typically they are destroyed or not even on the watch…Read more
This is my favorite Perpetual Calendar Moon Phase ever produced by Patek Philippe due to its large size 37mm and the simplicity of the case design. This is Patek Philippe's reference 3450 in 18k yellow gold from the 1980's. There were approximately 240 of these watches produced between 1981 and 1985. The 3450 is the successor of the reference 3448 with the added leap year function at 4:00 and an improved movement featuring the caliber 27.460qb. The reference 3450 is one of the last classic vintage designs produced…Read more
This is a second series rose gold Patek Philippe reference 2499 from 1950s which is extremely rare and considered to be the best design of all four series for this reference which was produced up to the 1980s. Until today, there are only five of these models known and maybe several more that have not surfaced. The Patek Philippe reference 2499 features a perpetual calendar moon phase and chronograph and is the most highly sought-after reference by Patek Philippe collectors all over the world. What stands out on the second series 2499, which the other series don't have, is…Read more
This is the highly complicated Patek Philippe reference 5004 in platinum from 2010 which has now been discontinued and highly collectible. The reference 5004 was introduced in 1996 and there was an estimated 12 pieces made each year until the Patek Philippe reference 5204 was introduced in 2012. What is amazing about this watch…Read more
Here is a comparison of the last series Patek Philippe reference 2499 from the early 1980s to the first series reference 3970 from the late 1980s. Both models are from the same family and feature a perpetual moonphase chronograph…Read more
October 4th, 2013 - The good folks at Hodinkee recently stopped by our South Beach studio. Today they described what they found with this "mega photo report". Check it out and be sure to leave a comment! View article
| Patek Philippe
| Patek Philippe
| Audemars Piguet
| Audemars Piguet
| Audemars Piguet
| Audemars Piguet
Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
Rolex GMT Master
MINT Ref. 6542
Rolex Paul Newman Daytona
Rare 6241 'Paul Newman'Daytona
Rolex GMT Master
"Root Beer" Ref. 1675
Rolex GMT Master
'Root Beer' Ref. 16753
Geneva's auction season is the pinnacle of watch collecting. They say that the true pulse of the vintage watch market is measured on weekends like this one. With five highly anticipated auctions, the stage was set for quite a show. Follow us through a tour of the auction experience… Read more
Join us for a journey through the spring auction season in Geneva. We'll provide you with insight on how to capitalize on the preview experience, discuss current market trends, and explore the auction process. We'll also introduce to you some of the most important dealers in the international watch community… Read more
Getting ready for an auction trip to Geneva where there are 5 major auctions this weekend including a Phillips theme sale of 88 epic stainless steel chronographs. Check out some of my favorite lots in the upcoming sales.… Read more
This month I was invited along with Eric Wind and Caitlin Donovan of Christies to give a lecture at the Boca Museum of Art in Boca Raton, Florida in front of their professional advisory board. My lecture focused on how technology and fashion has affected the value of vintage watches. Check out pictures from this wonderful event…Read more
The Miami Beach Antique Show is always a great venue for buying and selling watches. That's why I've been exhibiting there since 1991. Check out these photos for a glimpse at what was going down during the 2016 Miami Beach Antique Show…Read more
Check out this photo essay documenting Matthew's experience preparing for and attending a Christie's auction commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster…Read more
When vintage Patek Philippe collecting started to become popular in the 1980s collectors favored precious metal watches such as 18k and platinum. What they did not realize at the time was that stainless steel watches were a lot more rare than precious metal watches, and the collectors started seeking steel Patek Philippe…Read more
This is mint and rare example of a Universal Geneve Aero Compax chronograph from the 1960s with a 24 hour dial and rotating bezel. The Aero Compax model rarely shows up for sale especially in such mint condition…Read more
In 1954 Waltham stopped manufacturing watches in the USA and partnered with Blancpain. This watch is one of those partnered watches. This is a very rare dive watch made by Blancpain but signed and retailed by Waltham in the US.…Read more
This is a limited edition set of Omega Speedmaster “Missions” numbered 24/40 released in 1997. The set comes with 23 watches made to commemorate NASA space missions from the years 1965- 1973 …Read more
The IWC Ingenieur was developed by IWC in the 1950s as an antimagnetic and automatic watch for engineers and scientist that worked around heavy magnetic and electrical activity. Typically the Ingenieur comes with a silver dial and to find black original dials is very difficult and extremely rare. …Read more
Feb 7th, 2015 - The BBC World Service's Mike Williams interviewed Matthew Bain several times for a 18 minute segment on the The Why Factor which explores why watches are enduring status symbols. You can hear Matthew beginning at the 14 minute mark and a few more times until the 15:30 mark. »» Listen to the radio show
This is an extremely rare time only Breguet from the 1940s in 18k yellow gold. Typically the early Breguet wristwatches are quite small and this is a 36mm version which is impossible to find…Read more
Matthew Bain is a world-renowned watch collector, dealer and authority on fine vintage and modern watches. Here are his top picks which he believes are cool, unique, and have potential to increase in value.
I have had both the 1965 and 1968 version of the Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris several times but have never seen or had access to the 1963 prototype which is pictured above. The Polaris was developed in 1962 and the first 50 pieces were produced in 1963 as the prototype. They were never offered for sale to the general public. These pieces were given to the employees of Jaeger LeCoultre. The Polaris was later produced between 1965 and 1970 with a total production of 1714 pieces. Jaeger gave a code name to the Polaris of E859…Read more
In early to mid 1970's Great Britain used the Rolex Submariner reference 5513 as a source for its military watch. There were only a few hundred of those watches issued which makes them quite rare and highly collectible. In a sense it is limited edition watch which is an unusual item for Rolex to produce. Below are the differences between the civilian and military model…Read more
The two watches pictured above are the older R-series manual wind Daytona reference 6265 and its successor reference 16520. In 1987 the manual wind, Valijoux based Rolex Daytona was on its way to retirement to make room for the newer highly anticipated Zenith automatic version. The last of the 6265's and the first of the 16520's share a serial number "R"…Read more
Gerald Genta was one of the most important watch designers of the 20th century. He was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1931 and started his career at the age of 20 working with Universal Geneve. Most of the watch designers were never known in the old days but that was not the case with Genta. Gerald Genta was one of the first watch designers behind the scenes that was well known, and he eventually made his own watches and created his own brand…Read more
Perhaps no single jewelry or watch brand evokes more glamour, design innovation and noble ties than Cartier. Founded in Paris in 1847, the firm immediately set a high standard for style and luxury creating magnificent jewelry for some of the world's most high-profile clients…Read more