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The Red 12

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1The Red 12 Empty The Red 12 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:38 pm

I ran across this unusual piece recently: it is an early 99.1 belonging to a German collector named "detlef" (also responsible for the photos):

The Red 12 Vdpod4

The Red 12 33otfm0

Interesting eh? Opinions?


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2The Red 12 Empty Red 12 on Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:03 am

I like it, of course! It's similar to the Anniversary Langematik and the MOLE. I wonder what the origin is, or if there's any significance beyond just calling attention to the 12?

This 99.1 looks sporty, but less distinguished than the standard. I wouldn't choose it for my first or only Dornblüth.

Thanks Tom, for digging it up and sharing it with us.

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3The Red 12 Empty Re: The Red 12 on Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:16 am

Hi DB,

I believe it's a relatively early iteration of the 99.1 (serial number in the 30's), and if I remember the original German post on the watch, the owner simply asked Dirk for a custom dial to be printed. I imagine this wouldn't be too hard if the dials are made with the pad-printing method.

While striking, it's not particularly to my taste. It certainly is reminiscent of the Stowa MOLE (a highly fetishized watch), as well as the Anniversary Langematik, the LE Vacheron Constantin Chronometre Royal, and the Chronoswiss Orea. These draw their inspiration from dials made in the 1910s to 1930s that occasionally featured red or blue 12's.

I don't think it fits with the marine chronometer styling, the popularity of red 12's notwithstanding. As an owner of an MOLE once commented, "I can't decide whether the design is inspired, or a pastiche." Very astute, and my current thinking tends toward the latter. I think a red 12 needs an enamel dial, or at the least a white gloss lacquer dial to look right. I also think it fits better with an earlier, trench-watch styling (the VC) rather than marine chronometer or deck watch look.

Okay, my obsession over small details is suspended for the time being.

Merry Christmas everyone.


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4The Red 12 Empty Re: The Red 12 on Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Interesting find, Tom, thanks for sharing it.

While it's certainly different, it just doesn't look quite right to my eyes and I'm not sure that I'd like it any better on an enamel dial.

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