New Watch Alert: A Pilot, Curious George, and JLC’s Geophysic

Don’t be ashamed to admit it. You fantasize about watches. Hey…we all do it…it’s perfectly normal. You’re definitely guilty of doing it during those drawn-out meetings at work. You probably even go to bed with watches on the brain – hoping to dream about your next #incoming

New Watch Alert is a new section of covering those very watches lusted-after, chased-down, and most importantly – recently obtained – by your fellow watch lovers… In true watch patina fashion, you’ll find out the story behind the purchase and get to know the proud new owner a little bit…


Justin’s got a thing for sporty, tool watches…I’m mean…can you blame him? He’s always on the hunt to enlist iconic models to be on the front line of his collection. And he likes for each of his watches to have a very particular skill set: “racing,” “diving,” … He’s got most of the bases covered – check out his Instagram @jablock to thoroughly assess what he’s working with. His one glaring weakness (until now) was a “pilot’s watch.”

Last month he recruited a ref. 3717 IWC Pilot’s Watch Chrono-Automatic for the job. This IWC classic was discontinued a few years ago, so Justin had to scout a pre-owned example. One piece of advice he received before commencing his search was to find one with a stainless-steel bracelet: It’s generally more expensive to source a bracelet separately. So besides a mint condition IWC Pilot’s Chrono with all its proper documentation, he had his heart set on one with a bracelet. He turned to his favorite dealer: Ebay. A quick search and filter turned up exactly what he wanted: A pristine, full-set, 2012 serial number. All that was left to do was a little price negotiation, check out using his Paypal account, and anxiously wait for the delivery man. However the seller wasn’t budging enough on the price for Justin…so the deal died.

But Justin was on a mission. He wasn’t about to retreat at the first sign of adversity. He found another ref. 3717 on Ebay. Another crisp 2012 example complete with box and paperwork. And this time, the package also included receipts from a recent IWC service. The one catch: This Pilot’s Chrono came on a standard-issue black crocodile leather strap. The silver lining though: It would cost less sans the bracelet – a price more on par with Justin’s valuation of the watch. And the more Justin thought about it, he was “fooling” himself thinking a bracelet was really that important: He owns a Tudor Heritage Ranger that came on a factory steel bracelet…which he’s never worn on the watch. He’s truly more of a “strap nerd,” always jonesing for the latest distressed leather or rugged canvas from talented strap artisans that seem to be popping up all over the place.

This Ebay deal was looking promising: The seller lived in the same state and agreed to do a face-to-face transaction at Justin’s watchmaker for inspection and authenticating. Needless to say, the watch passed with flying colors. Almost a month in, the IWC Pilot’s Chrono has found a permanent place alongside its band of brothers and on Justin’s wrist. The only hiccup to ownership has been finding straps to flushly-fit the oddball 21mm lug width of the watch. No big deal. That’s the perfect excuse to have a few custom straps made

Curious George

Written by Isaac Wingold – Follow @isaacwin on Instagram and read much more of his perspective on watches and watch collecting by visiting

Without a doubt, the GMT Master (the ref. 1675 more specifically) has always been one of my favourite Rolex sports models. There’s always been something about how the four hands trace the multi-coloured bezel that always seemed to captivate me. Upon first beginning to collect, I knew that one day I’d need to add one into my arsenal, and 2 weeks ago, that day came. I had just finished off my last exam of high school, and decided a trip to the local vintage watch shop was in order, which I now realize was a foolish and dangerous decision! Once I walked into the store, I immediately noticed a beautiful “Root Beer” 1675, which I have since endearingly dubbed the “Curious George”, for its chocolate brown and yellow colour scheme. It wasn’t exactly the GMT I pictured myself owning one day, but sometimes you just find a great looking piece, and everything clicks. Needless to say, a deal was struck and it came home with me that day.

Now, it’s worth noting that this example is not exactly all original, in that it’s currently mounted on a full steel, folded oyster link bracelet. Although it would make more sense to have it on the correct two tone bracelet, I’ve been enjoying it just as is, in that it wears a little more casually, and I’ve never been a fan of two tone watches to begin with. Two weeks in, and I’m still picking up on details and nuances that catch my eye – one of the many reasons why I enjoy a good vintage watch. I can confidently say that this was most definitely a wise purchase, and I look forward to watching this one age further, as the years pass.


@Ottsby’s had an on-again/off-again relationship with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Geophysic. Their first go-round ended with him selling it. About six months after their mutual parting of ways, he found himself seriously reconsidering giving it another go after handling his close friend Howard Parr’s personal Geophysic on a #drewstraps – Instagram @_howardparr. Unfortunately the JLC Geophysic was playing hard to get: The practically spot-on re-edition of the 1958 chronometre was – and still is – at the front of the pack when it comes to vintage-inspired watches – making it a very-scarce commodity in both authorized dealers and JLC boutiques…

On business in Amsterdam last month @ottsby had some time to kill before meeting colleagues for dinner and drinks. Just his luck, his hotel was conveniently located on the P.C. Hooftstraat – a famous Dutch shopping corridor with a murderers’ row of watch boutiques: IWC, Rolex, Swatch Group’s Tourbillon – heaven for a “horology nut.” @Ottsby found himself inside the JLC boutique talking shop with a salesperson about their historic models (e.g. The Reverso, Memovox Deep Sea Alarm). Naturally the newest darling of the manufacturer came up: The limited-edition, much acclaimed Geophysic. The salesperson let on that a client recently opted not to purchase a Geophysic that he special-ordered. And just like that, one was available. A WIS (Watch Idiot Savant) would go so far as to call this an act of fate: No matter how one looks at it, @ottsby found himself in the position of having a second chance to make a first impression.

With a strong U.S. dollar in his pocket and a green light for tax-free shopping, he jumped at the opportunity.

Look closely and you’ll see his latest Geophysic is still wrapped in plastic. Will he or won’t he peel it off? To officially join his stable of watches, it’ll need to perform in his professional world and hold up to the demands of his weekend life – spent doing all sorts of outdoor activities with his family. @Ottsby’s philosophy on watches boils down to: “Use it or lose it.” The second he becomes overprotective of a watch or finds he’s reserving it’s wrist time for special occasions-only, he won’t hesitate to cut ties and “flip” it. So far this Geophysic is safe: It’s @ottsby’s only white dial watch, and he digs how it’s outwardly pedestrian appearance disguises it’s sturdy, innovation-laden core. Whatever their future holds – one thing’s for sure – he’ll think long and hard about letting this Geophysic slip away (again)…

Did you get a new watch recently? Want to share your story? Email with a brief outline of your latest #incoming – and of course – your best picture. You’ll hear back within 24-hours about being featured in an upcoming New Watch Alert installment.

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One thought on “New Watch Alert: A Pilot, Curious George, and JLC’s Geophysic

  1. Pingback: Ciao Bella: Kevin’s Mare Nostrum | watch patina

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