Vintage Watch: Record Watch Co. Datofix Tripledate with MoonphaseWritten by Melissa Kong
They don’t make them like this anymore. Literally.
You’re probably not too familiar with Record Watch Company or, if you are, you really know your vintage watches. Founded circa 1903, the company later banded with a few other watchmakers to form Record Dreadnought Watch Co. In 1961, Longines bought a majority share of Record and used some of their movements in their own timepieces as well. Unfortunately, Record fell victim to the quartz crisis and never fully recovered. It eventually ceased production in 1991, so if you come across a Record watch, it’s certainly a vintage piece worth considering.
This particular 35mm Datofix Tripledate with Moonphase was made in 1948 and sits at Heirloom Gallery where owner Shawn Tan acquired it from a local collector he previously sold it to. “He started giving up his collection so I took it back from him,” Shawn explains. When asked why the collector gave it up, Shawn’s theory is simple: “Now you may like certain things but after five, 10 years, your tastes may change. This is probably what happened with him.” Featuring a triple-date display, the watch is “ideal for collectors who like to tell the day and date of the month the classic way with a moon indication.”
MOVEMENT AND DESIGN
Powering the watch is the in-house manual-winding Calibre 106 with quickset pushers to set the day, date, month and moonphase indications. Traditionally, moonphase complications on vintage watches are found at six o’clock but this one is located at 12 o’clock. According to Shawn, not many brands do this, with the exception of one or two pieces from Patek Philippe.
There are also two interesting Arabic insignias at two o’clock and 10 o’clock. While Shawn is unclear of their origins, he reveals that in the past, the Arabs used to ask brands like Rolex to affix insignias on their dials. “It was just the Arabs who did it,” Shawn discloses. “You don’t see the Chinese doing it. So these watches with insignias are all very collectible,” he says. It’s also quite a find because there aren’t many of these in 18K rose gold.
PRICE AND CARE
The watch retails for S$4,200 and is easy to maintain. The only consideration to take note of is not to change the triple date and moonphase indications when the hands are between 10 o’clock and two o’clock. Shawn advises adjusting the indications with a toothpick rather than a metal tool which might scratch the case. “Toothpicks are best for this,” he admits, “but of course with all the perpetual calendars now, you get a special tool that comes along with it. However, you could just as easily get the job done with a simple toothpick.”
Heirloom Gallery is at The Riverwalk, Upper Circular Road, #01-37, Singapore 058416
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".