Waltham was one of the greatest all time watchmakers. Starting in the mid 1800’s in th USA until going bankrupt in 1949, Waltham dominated the market especially with their pocket watches during the first 60 years or so. After 1949, Watham continued to be marketed but using quality Swiss Ebauche movements. Here is an example from the early 60’s.
This is a very nice dress watch with a fine gold plated case, simple fine hour markers, non luminous polished hands with sub second hand and a very impressive Eagle emblem.
The Peseux 330 movement is found in some of the best dress watches including Girard Peregaux.
During this period of time, dress watches told the time and little else. This watch is typical with no shock proof system and no seals for the case.
One the great watchmakers, Zenith produced this no nonsense top quality watch in the early sixties. All this watch does is tell the time and it would have done that reliably and accurately for decades. It was built tough in every way and it went the distance. Apart from the aged (discoloured) dial; this watch is in immaculate condition.
When this watch was produced, in 1938, not much had progressed in the previous 20 years and, with the war imminent, not much progress was going to be made for the next 20 years either. I qualify that by saying that the automatic wind had already been introduced (Harwood in 1928) and the incabloc shock protection system was invented in 1934 but neither of these innovations where commercial at the time.
I also don’t think that Omega was yet the stand out name that it was destined to become.
So how would you promote a watch such as this?
Like all watches of its time it was so fragile it had to be removed from the wrist when doing just about anything, kept a mile away from dust, not to mention moisture and the styling is very ordinary.
On the positive side, it has very nicely shaped hands and it has state of the art radium numbers and hands, meaning it is luminous and so radio active that the wearer will glow in the dark as well!
This is my oldest Omega and was given to me by a colleague when he heard that I was a collector.
Ask a watchmaker what’s his favorite watch and the likely answer will be Certina. I had also heard watch aficionados say that Certinas are underrated.
There’s no doubt that the quality of Certinas from the 50’s to the 70’s were up with Omega and Longines but I think that the reason that watchmakers liked them was that the movements were quite conventional in design and the finish on all parts, not just plates and screw heads, was first class. This made them quite pleasant to repair.
I include here a picture of the mainplate with the dial removed to show how far Certina took their finish. Not many, if any manufacturers went to this extent. This is purely for the watchmaker because he is the only one who would get to see this and then only when completely dismanteling the watch for an overhaul.
This is a typical Certina of the 60’s, very simple design, made from quality materials, superior finish, tough and practical in every way.
A great watch.
Here we have a watch with a fluted bezel, screw down crown and date bubble and it’s not a Rolex! No where near it as far as quality goes, but a good watch nevertheless.
I wasn’t able to date this watch but I estimate that it is from the early 70’s. Comparing it to Rolexs of the period it is one feature ahead of it’s much more famous look alike…it has a crystal glass whereas the Rolex used Perspex.
This watch is all original and is in exceptional condition, it looks like it hasn’t been worn. Well constructed with the legendary ETA 2842 movement clamped to the case and signed five times, this is a strong, good looking, wear anywhere watch.
A great find
Even by the standards of the seventies this watch was bulky.
Nicknamed “helmet”, I wore one of these for a brief period in the seventies and I did have a couple of adverse comments about it. I clearly remember a friend saying “I’m used to seeing all sorts of weird stuff on your wrist but that piece of scrap metal takes the cake.”
Despite its chunkiness, it won favour with the bloke who wanted to impress his mates at the pub. It came with two dials, white and black as shown here. Both dials are pleasant to the eye with good contrast. Apart from the colour, these two models, I believe the only two variations of the “helmet” case, are identical. Both feature a tachometer ring. Despite its extremely heavy case, the shape fits nicely on the average, or slightly larger than average, male wrist. It is now well sought after by collectors.
I don’t know when this model was introduced, the white dial version is a 1976 example and the black dial 1977 and probably one of the last; styles did start to slim down at about this time.
The movement is the legendary Seiko 6139B.
Wyler is a little known brand but for me it holds a special place in my collection. My father sold this brand in his small shop during the sixties.
It had a unique shock protection system where the balance wheel spokes where in the shape of a spiral in effect making the whole balance wheel a shock absorber. Wyler called their system incaflex.
This watch from the late 60’s has a stainless steel monocoque case with a gold plated bezel. It uses the very good gold plated ETA 2777 movement. This watch is signed five times including a watermark “w” in the centre of the glass.
A very nice watch.
This one was a trade in before I realised that too many classics where passing me by unrecognised. And it was this watch’s beauty that made me stop and think. To me this is a beautiful style from 1970, just before watches became ridiculously bulky. This, caliber 613, must be one of the last manual men’s movements that Omega produced and has that typical superb gold plated finish that makes me an Omega fan.
An almost unknown brand, I believe Italian with a Swiss UT6325 movement, was popular in the former Yugoslavia for a short time. I estimate the date of this one to be early 70’s.
There’s nothing really special about it but I liked this watch as soon as I saw it. It’s signed on the dial, movement, back and crown. The back has a rather impressive logo.
Unlike its contemparies, this watch has a sub second hand rather than a sweep hand. The movement is large, tough and not usually found in wristwatches but more comon in small pocket watches.
Even though not water resistant, it is shock resistant and quite robust. I believe it would have won the favor of East Europeans who where less technologically advanced than the West.