What seemed like an impossible task on the surface of it, I've somehow managed to whittle down so many watches down to just three from the evening...
Just as Ben and I had stepped back into WatchGecko HQ, it felt like we were right out the door again on our way back to London for July's monthly RedBar meet up. Based on our recent first RedBar experience and the insane watches we got our hands on there, we didn't want to miss the opportunity.
Fortunately, RedBar and the attending watch guys didn't disappoint. For this monthly regular meet, there were about 20-30 of us all together all chatting watches and the stories that come with them, exchanging Instagram handles for those classic on wrist shots and sharing a few beers together. Out of the many great watches I saw, I've somehow managed to pick three of my favourites from the evening.
Omega Speedy Tintin
This was actually the first watch I handled of the evening and I couldn't think of a more interesting start. The guy who owned this special Speedy went on to tell me he travelled to Budapest just for the watch as it was the last one in Europe. One of the fantastic features of all the 42mm Speedmaster's I've handled is their amazing ability to feel a lot smaller on the wrist than the stated case size. This feeling is made even more prominent because of the Tintin's double red and white checkered design around the dial.
When paired with the right strap (It just happened to be fitted to our Jonathan GP 298 Pro Perf) this dial configuration works so well. The Tintin's hands remain unchanged on this limited edition which I personally find the white printed hands work a lot better on this than the standard Professional model. I was also surprised how much I really liked the Tintin. I've seen many pictures of the model online and felt quite underwhelmed. In many images, the red and white checkered design always seemed to be really overpowering, but in person (again, on the right strap) it felt right at home.
The checkered design also brings the whole dial in making the watch wear even smaller to my wrist. I'm always blown away with not only the quality of the Speedmaster but also the iconic historical relevant and story attached to them. For the price, it's extremely hard to beat.
A Rolex Paul Newman anyone?
I mean, I could think of worse watches to follow a limited edition Speedy. Towards the end of the night, only a handful of us hardcore watch guys remained. As we all joined together on one table it was fairly clear these guys were leaving some of the good stuff till the end. One of the very friendly approachable guys lifted one jacket sleeve to reveal a stunning Patek Phillipe Chronograph (more on that in a moment)...not a bad start.
He then went on to show us his other wrist which (casually) had a Rolex Paul Newman on. The great thing about this and RedBar get-togethers as a whole is that the gentleman who owned them took both off his wrist and instantly started handing them out to everyone. Most of you reading this will probably know everything there is to know about the Paul Newman especially after Mr Newman's actual watch sold last year for nearly $18 million. However, there is one thing I would like to pick up on that isn't made clear in images, and that's the case size. Coming in at 37mm it's a considerably smaller piece when compared to modern-day 40mm sports Rolex models watches.
Much like the 6205 Datejust I mentioned in a previous RedBar article, the Paul Newman dial has so many little details that all mount up to a visually perfect watch. The off-white dial colour, the use of red for 'Daytona' and the multi-layers from the red second's track, the vanilla lume plots, the more stylistic and sinuous curves of the sub-dial font, I could probably go on and on, but you get the point. This is a special watch and the friendly welcoming attitude from the owner allowing us to handle the watch made the whole experience even more positive.
And last but not least...
So, about that Rose Gold Patek I teased earlier... the 5980R-001 was not only a stunning, incredibly quality piece of art, it also had a 'Tiffany & Co' signed dial. The most noticeable feature of this Patek was it's seriously impressive weight. Even on the stunning alligator leather integrated strap with deployment buckle, there was no denying it's superior quality.
The warm, rich, autumnal colours this watch has is such a desirable feature. I love both White and Rose Gold. but a Rose Gold piece like this 5980R on the leather strap gave the overall watch quite a subtle class. The execution of the design was, of course, the highest of quality with the vertical brushing on the bezel (visible in the picture) and the movement architecture being both simply stunning.
If you're interested in attending a watch get-together I would highly encourage you to go along to a Red Bar event. There always seems to be a great atmosphere and relaxed feeling to the evening. The best part of these meet-ups is that it really doesn't matter what you have, how many or how expensive the watches in your collection are, it's all about sharing the watches, sharing knowledge and arguably most importantly, telling the story behind each timepiece with like-minded individuals all over a couple of beers.
Price, rarity and your status don't segregate enthusiasts at RedBar events. It's all about the watches.