Time To Tell Chronographs for collectors

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The true story of Mido

jpynson |  20 May 2024

The true story of Mido

Joël Pynson. Mido is a typical example of a discreet Swiss brand, little known to the general public, but particularly appreciated by collectors. What collector doesn't dream of owning a Multicenterchrono chronograph, a Multifort from the 1950s, or even a more recent Ocean Star? Although the company is still active within...


The true story of Glycine

jpynson |  19 May 2024

The true story of Glycine

By Joël Pynson Fabrique d'Horlogerie La Glycine was one of the first Swiss factories to market automatic watches in the early 1930s, and some of its models, such as the Airman and Vacuum, are sought-after by collectors today. As is often the case, the company's history is difficult to reconstruct, and...


The true story of Zodiac

jpynson |  9 April 2024

The true story of Zodiac

By Joël Pynson Zodiac Watch Co. is one of those Swiss watchmaking companies that have changed hands several times and whose history is difficult to trace. Zodiac still exists, but the history available on the current company's website is rather fanciful1 . Most of the information currently available on the Internet...


The true story of Universal Genève, 3rd and final part: Polerouter, Le couturier de la montre, chronometers, etc.

jpynson |  4 February 2024

The true story of Universal Genève, 3rd and final part: Polerouter, Le couturier de la montre, chronometers, etc.

3.Polerouter: an iconic watch Universal Polarouter presented at Basel 1955 Universal's Polerouter is without doubt the best-known model from the Geneva-based brand, and the one that has been produced in the greatest number of versions. The design is by the famous creator Gérald Genta. The distinctive feature of this watch is...


The true story of Universal Genève, part 2: chronographs

jpynson |  26 January 2024

The true story of Universal Genève, part 2: chronographs

Universal is one of 8 Swiss manufacturers who, in the 1940s and 1950s, produced their own chronograph calibers. And some of these chronographs are legendary today...

Universal chronographs The first Universal pocket chronographs were usually fitted with Le Phare calibers, the famous Le Locle manufacturer that supplied many other companies. Gradually, Martel calibers came into use, particularly for wrist chronographs, but Jeanneret-Lémania calibers were also available. Universal chronograph, c. 1920, Martel calibre Universal chronograph, c. 1920, Jeanneret/Lémania...


The true story of Perret & Berthoud, manufacture des montres Universal. Part one: history

jpynson |  18 January 2024

The true story of Perret & Berthoud, manufacture des montres Universal. Part one: history

Most online information about Universal has no credible source, and false information is repeated from site to site. This article took several months to compile, and was based on one of the largest private historical databases on Swiss watchmaking. All historical sources used are referenced.

The true story of Perret & Berthoud, manufacture des montres Universal. Part one: history By Joel Pynson "We have to get to the point where customers demand not just a watch, but a Universal from their watchmaker.” Raoul Perret For many watch collectors, Universal is one of the finest Swiss brands....


The “third” Swiss dive watch: Cornavin P.810

jpynson |  8 September 2022

The “third” Swiss dive watch: Cornavin P.810

By Joël Pynson The standard of the diving wristwatch was defined in the early 1950s: a waterproof steel case, a black dial with luminescent numerals and indexes, and a rotating bezel to indicate the dive time and respect the decompression stops. There were of course many waterproof watches before this date,...


Minerva calibre 52

jpynson |  31 January 2022

Minerva calibre 52

  By Joël Pynson. Minerva is recognized by all vintage chronograph collectors for its aesthetic qualities and the superb finishing of its calibers. However, there is one Minerva chronograph that is an exception: the one equipped with the curious caliber 52. It is the only Minerva manufacture caliber that we do...


4 functions monopusher Lowenthal chronograph

jpynson |  7 November 2021

4 functions monopusher Lowenthal chronograph

By Joël Pynson and Sébastien Chaulmontet. One might think that this beautiful Lowenthal chronograph from the 1930's is a simple monopusher chronograph, as there were many in Switzerland at that time. However, a small detail on the pusher should draw your attention: there is a crenellation at the end, which actually...


The first big date chronographs

iernst |  17 November 2020

The first big date chronographs

By Joël Pynson & Sébastien Chaulmontet. The first watches with date windows began to be mass-produced in the 1930s, particularly at Mimo, with its Mimo-Meter model dating from 1930, and at Helvétia, a brand of the General Watch Co. in Biel, which in 1932 offered an attractive rectangular model with a...


The Hamilton Fontainebleau chronograph

jpynson |  1 October 2016

The Hamilton Fontainebleau chronograph

  Who still has the 1970s chronographs from Hamilton in mind? Set apart in the shadows by Breitling and Heuer watches, however Hamilton played a crucial role in the launch of the famous Chronomatic calibre. The brand’s flagship model at that time was the Fontainebleau – named after a famous French...


From Ebauches SA to ETA SA, Chapter 5. Fusion and rebirth

jpynson |  10 June 2016

From Ebauches SA to ETA SA, Chapter 5. Fusion and rebirth

The idea of a merger between the SSIH and ASUAG had been in the air since 1980 when the Swiss Federal Council had encouraged a partnership agreement between the two companies. Moreover, in 1981, SSIH sold their quartz division to ETA. Nicolas Hayek's strategy was based on a marketing structure that...

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