it started with this killer pic from tick-talk on feb 2009
sports watches especially pilot-themed watches always trigger my interest and tick-talk's watch rekindled my diminished childhood dream of being a pilot , being bespectacled at the age of 13. so, u can empathised why i also have this ....
however the ref 6782 is not inspired by the GMT 1675, which was issued to commercial PAM AM pilots. it is inspired another Rolex nicknamed "thunderbird" , which is the Rolex datejust with a rotational bezel, which was given to the USAF Thunderbirds aerobatics team for their participation flying F-84 Thunderjets since 1953. there are also various generations of it and the line is still continued under the name of "turn-o-graph".
here is a Rolex thunderbird ref 1625 which my watch bears strong resemblance to and born around the same time (late sixties to seventies):
i feel that the ref 6782 has to be the first mass produced sports/dress watch for VC, which unfortunatley was discontinued. in my opinion, it could be the precursor to the overseas line of sport/dress watches as overseas 222.
the ref 6782, known also as the "thunderbird" exist in various iterations, but the distinctive bi-directional turning bezel gives it an unique look in the VC collection of dress watches. 300 pcs of these were made during its production time and that made it a rare bird to catch. here are some of its variations, courtesy of antiquorum and other collectors:
courtesy of suitbert W of the purists.com
courtesy of dutchclock, this one a reburbished dial from VC
not only has it a distinctive look, it has also a highly regarded automatic geneva-sealed movement caliber K1072/1 featuring a gyromax wheel balance, powered by a 18ct gold rimmed beryllium rotor nad 4 ruby roller bearings. i will not dwell on the movement as they are detailed here :
pictorial article :
as with many of my acquistions, friends are involved in my decision-making especially for tricky vintages, which i have little knowledge whatsoever, they shared invaluable knowldege not to be found in written literature explicitly, unless we are able read into the lines. the major credit of this acquistion goes to Dean (tick-talk) for the various emails he wrote me and our dear moderator ,Alex, who is ever so helpful.
mine is not the best example of the ref 6782, and here are the pics with little illustrations :
my watch features a tepestry-like satin champagne dial, unlike dean's sunburst pattern. the bezel is similarly fluted and coin-edged, however, all the indicators on the bezel are black lacquered (of which the 3,6,9,12 should be red-enameled in the original). time is told by the yellow gold hour and minute hands with black inlay, along with yellow gold baton indices with black inlay. it has a framed date aperture, and doesn't feature the cyclob as the date window on the plexi, which the original should also have.
it has the same silhouette as the Rolex ref 1625, strong but slim compared with new watches. do note that my example
has an over-polished lugs, which the previous owner left behind, it should have been brushed, like the other examples above.
despite at 35.5mm, this watch has a strong presence because it has lugs 20mm apart and can wear a relatively large strap.
the side profile shows the curvy nature of its aerodynamic flight, which i really adore when worn.
the downlight of my watch is possibly the crown, which is worn and used.
this 3 piece cased watch is fastened by a screw-down case back for water resistance. mine with the case number engraved on its case back.
a minute "swiss" at under the 6 o'clock baton index is a must for the original dial (aside to dean :)
a owner's joy on a 6.5" wrist. a modern classic in my opinion, hopefully to be re-issued to benefit more collectors.
a fine moment in my watch-collecting hobby, hopefully more on its way, that will give me some much joy in the research process and the ownership pride.
so much of the excitement for now , as the watch is on its way to the VC spa, after one day of owenership.
thank u for reading.