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  1. eugeneandresson 'I used a hammer, a chisel, and my fingers' May 23, 2021

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    Some time last year I was absentmindedly browsing Chrono 24, and the following watch caught my attention...

    Capture.PNG

    This was the best of the 3 pictures that were there. Whats wrong with it you may ask? Well, firstly, just wot-the-'ell is that bracelet :eek: ?! Secondly (and most off-putting) ... it had been photographed on (and thus had lots of contact with) that old urine-trap toilet mat ::puke:: It appeared to be beaten half to death, however, the hour and minute hands are the less common 'exotic racing' variants found on the stupidly expensive exotic racing speedmasters, the lume appears clean (but its hard to tell much from these low res blurry pics), there appear to be no chipped/destroyed paint near the stems of any of the hands...and the fade of the hands is very appealing. It was a private seller in Norway, and he was asking about half of the going rate. Up until that date, I had never bought a watch on C24, but this one was promising, and whilst not cheap, much cheaper than anything I had seen. Thus for the princely sum of 1800USD (1615CHF), it became mine.

    This is what arrived.

    IMG_6597.jpg

    Don't worry, I tossed the bracelet as soon as I arrived home (full of nasty cheese it was too ::puke::) and went for a shower. The case has all factory finishes present, but has clearly had a good life. But the prize is this...

    IMG_6601.jpg

    Absolutely fabulous.

    It was nice to wear the MarkII for a day or two...and the 'funky' case suited my wrist well...it will, however, never be a desirable watch with this case in this condition, and even a new crystal would have still leave a beat case behind. Still, a great value proposition with a bracelet. Now I hear you thinking 'refinish that case'...but for some reason that goes against my grain. I tried hunting a homogeneous bracelet to match the case...these are not easy to find, and I still have a WTB here...

    Some time later the optimal solution presented itself on eBay...

    s-l16002.jpg
    s-l16004.jpg s-l16007.jpg
    It was advertised as a 145.022-69 case (with crystal, pushers, caseback)...but I did my due diligence on the case, and to me it looks more like a 145.012 case, with factory finishes present, in a nice and acceptable (to my standards) vintage condition (i.e. what I would expect from a 60's watch, no polishing). Super useful parts to have in the right circumstance...and another 1800USD later it became mine.

    My parts bin already had a good DON and a mint (but built up by me) 1039/516 which still awaits a coherent SM300 from 1967/8, both from some years ago, and long story short, my MarkII is finally 'fixed' to the watch I (and every one who has a soft-spot for a Speedy) secretly lust after, but will never spend 50+k on ... for the princely sum of 2x1800USD, a dust-cap and movement-holder and a service (thanks to Romain for doing a great job again), and some valuable parts that were just languishing (I mean, that bezel is worth almost as much as the rest of the head)...

    IMG_7620.jpg

    I am absolutely thrilled with this. Bang for buck ratio is up there imho. It looks like my dream watch...with an 'uber-rare and elusive double-signed exotic dial' from the long gone super-trendy fashion-funk-house 'Mark Zwei' ('MarkII' for short and in English) that was on the Bahnhofstrasse of all Switzerlands major cities in the 60's, but alas that disappeared like many in the preceding years ...:whistling:... no harm in dreaming right?

    I don't include the value of the bezel and bracelet into this project, as they were not part of the project acquisitions and I already had them, and I may at some point install a cheaper bezel and use these parts on more 'worthy' watches, but for now they give immense pleasure being part of what is essentially a (relatively) very cheap and aesthetically coherent 60's exotic racing Speedy (project) with all-60s/early-70s parts (bar the movement holder and dust cap). And excuse my french, but zero-craps given about the 'double-signed' dial...emperors new clothes :whistling:

    Some more pics for viewing pleasure:

    The case

    IMG_7623.jpg
    Caseback is well worn, but hippocampus present. Looks like perhaps someone got frisky with a cape-cod.

    IMG_7627.jpg
    IMG_7628.jpg IMG_7629.jpg

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    Those who have studied Speedmaster cases will recognize the slightly off-plane very-fine factory brushing from the 60s/70s. Lots of micro dings...

    IMG_7631.jpg
    Dial/hands/fade/lume are just great. Patina is a match, some lume cracking on the hour...that I doesn’t bother me and I keep it as is for a bit more authenticity (its been stabilized at service).

    IMG_7626.jpg IMG_7630.jpg
    I love the way the light plays with the orange and grey between shadow and direct light, and different times of the day...

    IMG_7617.jpg
    IMG_7607.jpg
    IMG_7601.jpg

    IMG_7624.jpg


    All that aside : I'd still love a top-condition MarkII racing ... haven't seen a nice set for sale for many years, and I was about 30s too late (was #2 on the list of responders to the last on I saw FS) ... that was in about 2018.

    Anyone else care to share their racing project?

    Thanks OF for this space.
     
    Edited May 26, 2021
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  2. kov Trüffelschwein. May 23, 2021

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    Dibs.
     
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  3. Just Livin May 23, 2021

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    It looks terrible.
    Dibs 2 to help you out of your predicament. ::shy::
    ........all that said, congrats. Wow!!!
     
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  4. Lurk41 May 23, 2021

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    Prototype Mk II :D

    Seriously, it is gorgeous::love::
     
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  5. haddemall May 23, 2021

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    BRAVO, you did VERY well. What a wonderful story. Wear that beauty in good health.
     
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  6. Nathan1967 May 23, 2021

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    I think it looks great! What a fantastic build!! Such a lot of fun, which is what it’s all about, right!?

    Congrats Eugene.
     
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  7. eugeneandresson 'I used a hammer, a chisel, and my fingers' May 24, 2021

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    I almost choked on my beverage when I read the ‘prototype mk ii’ :D But alas I come from a part of Europe that frowns upon such practice. I am still thrilled with this project...probably the last project I will attempt.

    Any more out there? Please post...
     
  8. Eve May 24, 2021

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    Nobody dares... to be frowned upone.. :D

    I like your endresult though :thumbsup:
     
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  9. Passover May 24, 2021

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    Late to the party but also DIBS ;)
     
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  10. Paedipod May 24, 2021

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    Wonderful watch and story Eugene. Enjoy!


    This one is certainly “lesser”…..one of several “project” watches that I have in the box, inspired by the BMLE from @Barking mad and no disrespect to @Spacefruit but I had not seen his post on the topic E8EFB943-8DAA-44F3-8129-2094B680A6E8.jpeg DA36198D-F77B-4793-BD5C-CF4FA5810CBB.jpeg

    Not nearly as much of a story though…..service case that I had found to try and resurrect a rusted out 3594.50 from a very reputable :mad: seller here in Canada. Dial and hands arrived in a liquidation sale from Australia and I think the movement off of US ebay. 5687CBFB-84C8-408B-ADC8-8182C0B2D707.jpeg

    And here wearing a bezel from @watchcollect
    5CBE0D4C-72D7-47C2-AF97-06BD59EB035A.jpeg

    Valuable only to me and not for use on public roads…..
     
    3B9CB9FC-759A-4349-A2E2-F676A6C62AFB.jpeg
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  11. eugeneandresson 'I used a hammer, a chisel, and my fingers' May 24, 2021

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    Thanks for sharing @Paedipod ... if it brings pleasure, it’s purpose is served :thumbsup: PS: it appears you drive a ‘real racing’...so all good in my books!
     
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  12. pdxleaf ... May 24, 2021

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    Collecting is a lot of things but above all it should bring you joy. What could be more fun than the journey you just took, putting these pieces together to make a beautiful watch.

    I like it on the light brown strap. The bracelet is great of course, but the straps seem to bring out the warmth of the dial. Plus, you need a strap watch.

    I saw one of these Mark IIs in the NAWCC museum in Pennsylvania recently. I actually said to myself, I wonder if they'll sell it to me? Seemed a shame to see it in a glass case.

    Wear it in good health. And now, to find a Mark II racing donor...
     
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  13. zenaj May 26, 2021

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    Awesome watch! Actually i want to do just the same for quite some time now but due to other important things in life and especially my self-set limit to the costs for this kind of project it just didn´t happen yet :( .
     
    Edited May 26, 2021
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  14. Spacefruit Prolific Speedmaster Hoarder May 26, 2021

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    Here is mine. Thrown together with parts, that today I might not use - but it does add to the charm....the case is a 105.012-66CB but it’s been polished and has service pushers.

    I should put a dab of paint on the end of the hour hand.

    the original MKII was an eBay gamble from middle Europe, wrapped in so much packaging it took at least 20 minutes to open. The sapphire Crystal was so scratched I couldn’t read the dial text.

    For me, part of modifying this watch was the old Hot Rod adage - you can’t start with a good bike. Take something at the end of its normal life, and breathe magic in.

    That is not to criticise specials for using new parts - they can be fun too.

    E7072D77-D379-41F8-A069-DA06C9CB4333.jpeg
     
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  15. eugeneandresson 'I used a hammer, a chisel, and my fingers' May 26, 2021

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    Definitely looks homogeneous and pleasure-giving high on the bang-for-buck scale :thumbsup: Thanks for sharing...and bingo.
     
  16. zenaj May 26, 2021

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    Such an awesome piece ::love::
     
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  17. watchlovr May 26, 2021

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    2AD36935-A884-46D2-A8AF-035C6F72BE4C.jpeg 97196ADF-67A1-4512-9451-1E43CF8C1082.jpeg Mine is pretty rough, but that’s half the charm.
    Still to change the mk2 hands.

    AE885666-4056-41C2-831A-8B6BFBB260BF.jpeg
     
    Edited Jul 29, 2022
  18. zenaj May 27, 2021

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    Looks great nevertheless :) What did it cost you if i may ask?
     
  19. DanT May 28, 2021

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    This thread is pretty mind blowing...
     
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  20. watchlovr May 28, 2021

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    Mine?
    I’m actually not sure, I did mot keep count.
     
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