Thread: Vintage Helbros Question

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  1. #1
    Member Craig M's Avatar
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    Vintage Helbros Question

    Hello All,

    Recently my father gave me a vintage Helbros watch that needs to be cleaned/serviced/regulated. I have been looking for quite some time online for some information about this watch, or something close to it with little luck.

    It's a 3 hand 17 jewel automatic. I opened the back and found it stated "seventeen jewel swiss made" & "Bidynator" on the rotor, from what I could gather online the movement was made by a company caled "Felsa". I have posted a pic below...my apologies for the poor picture, neither my camera or my lighting situation, are ideal for watch photography.

    I would apperciate any more information I could get on the original Helbros company, and Felsa movements.

    Thanks in advance!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Cheers!
    Craig M.
    Somerville, MA
    The Escapement Watch Blog
    The Escapement on Twitter

    If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker. - Albert Einstein



    Watches:
    Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph . Rolex Rebberg Trench Watch . Tag Heuer F1 Chrono . Tissot T-Touch . Tissot T-Race . Million Smart Flying Tourbillon . Zodiac Dragon Wing . Invicta Skeleton 3379 . Invicta Pro Diver 8926 . Scooby-Doo Chrono [A7750] . Alpha "Sea" . Alpha Jump Hour . Vostok CK-1 Orange . Poljot 2614.2H Movement . Gruen Quartz 'Soviet' . G-Shock GW300A-1V / G9000-8V 'Stormtrooper' . Timex Perpetual Calender . Vintage Helbros [Felsa 690 Mvt] ....Among others

    Go Yankees!

  2. #2
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: Vintage Helbros Question

    Theres not much information available in Helbros Watch Co. In WW 2
    Helbros belonged to the suppliers of the German Army, to know Arsa, Bueren, Helvetia, Helios, Helbros, Grana, Longines Moeris, Minerva, Mimo, Recta, Record, Stabila, Titus, und Zenith.
    Some watches were equipped with inhouse movements, most with supplied movements. A very well known movement at that time was the AS 1130, [AS = Anton Schild) known as the "Wehrmachtskaliber".
    The issued watches had been signed with D. H. (=Dienstuhr Heer).
    Id rate your watch to be made in the late 40ties, early 50ties. Why ? Because of the Bidynator. The Felsa Bidynator movement was the first one winding up the movement in both directions. Its known as the "promotor" of the modern selfwindig wristwatch. If I am right the first Felsa Bidynator was launched in 1942.

    The Bidynator family:

    690 :Basic movement 3 hands
    692, 694: three hands + date
    692N: date, 24h hand
    693: calandar



    695: small second
    697: day/date indication
    699: power reserve

    Felsa 690:

    pic by Christoph Lorenz

    Felsa 692:


    pic borrowed from stetefeld-design.de

  3. #3
    Member Craig M's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Helbros Question

    Thanks Mike!

    That's a great amount of information. It's appreciated.
    Cheers!
    Craig M.
    Somerville, MA
    The Escapement Watch Blog
    The Escapement on Twitter

    If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker. - Albert Einstein



    Watches:
    Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph . Rolex Rebberg Trench Watch . Tag Heuer F1 Chrono . Tissot T-Touch . Tissot T-Race . Million Smart Flying Tourbillon . Zodiac Dragon Wing . Invicta Skeleton 3379 . Invicta Pro Diver 8926 . Scooby-Doo Chrono [A7750] . Alpha "Sea" . Alpha Jump Hour . Vostok CK-1 Orange . Poljot 2614.2H Movement . Gruen Quartz 'Soviet' . G-Shock GW300A-1V / G9000-8V 'Stormtrooper' . Timex Perpetual Calender . Vintage Helbros [Felsa 690 Mvt] ....Among others

    Go Yankees!

  4. #4
    Vintage/PilMil/MKII Moderator JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Helbros Question

    Hi -

    Mike is, of course, correct on the Bidynator. From the design I'd tend to put the watch solidly in the 1950s. Looks to be in decent shape cosmeticaly, how is it otherwise? Been worked on lately or do you know the work history?

    JohnF
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  5. #5
    Member Craig M's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Helbros Question

    Hi John,

    I would actually be surprised if it had ANY work history at all. I know that my grandparents gave it to my father on his high school graduation, and he wore it daily for a while. I have a feeling after a couple of years and a new watch was aquired it just sat in a drawer. He recently gave it to me because of my interest in watches. I ultimately plan to have it refurbished and give it back to him in near as original condition I can get it in.

    The picture I posted is pretty bad but it is in really nice condition..some scratches on the case, and crystal...plus it looks like the dial could use a careful cleaning.

    The movement looks to be in solid shape, I can get it to run with some coaxing, but have a feeling the lubricants and oils have all either dried or gummed up, as it stops after a few seconds of running. I haven't really messed with it since I'm not ready to take it apart yet.

    I am looking into watchmaking courses/classes...but considering the inherent value to me [it being my father's first watch] I think I would rather have a professional watchmaker do an overhaul on it. I found a local watchmaker who will completely disassemble the piece..clean, lubricate, and make minor in house repairs to the movement as needed for about $110.00. I havent asked him about buffing the case, or crystal yet. I figured that's a decent investment...and am just waiting for a few extra dollars to fall into my wallet.

    I just wish I had better pictures of it to share.

    I did just think of another question if you'll permit me...any guesses if this watch would have had a steel band, or a leather strap when originally purchased considering the time produced? I was originally thinking steel..but a nice brown strap would really go well with it's dial color. just trying to get as close to the original as possible

    Thanks for your interest!
    Cheers!
    Craig M.
    Somerville, MA
    The Escapement Watch Blog
    The Escapement on Twitter

    If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker. - Albert Einstein



    Watches:
    Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph . Rolex Rebberg Trench Watch . Tag Heuer F1 Chrono . Tissot T-Touch . Tissot T-Race . Million Smart Flying Tourbillon . Zodiac Dragon Wing . Invicta Skeleton 3379 . Invicta Pro Diver 8926 . Scooby-Doo Chrono [A7750] . Alpha "Sea" . Alpha Jump Hour . Vostok CK-1 Orange . Poljot 2614.2H Movement . Gruen Quartz 'Soviet' . G-Shock GW300A-1V / G9000-8V 'Stormtrooper' . Timex Perpetual Calender . Vintage Helbros [Felsa 690 Mvt] ....Among others

    Go Yankees!

  6. #6
    Vintage/PilMil/MKII Moderator JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Helbros Question

    Hii Craig -

    Get that watch to a qualified watchmaker! Please don't run it at all: gummed up lubricant acts as an abrasive and can really damage the jewels, etc!

    I would also not do the work on it myself. I dabble in taking watches apart, cleaning them and getting them back together in working order, and I only do that on watches I have purchased for that purpose, not collector items and/or watches I want to wear/have sentimental value.

    That price doesn't sound bad. But leave the dial alone unless it is severely dirty: there should be a nice patina on it, and that can't be removed at all (and shouldn't be: after all, it **is** an old watch!).

    I would put it on a leather strap, croc if you want to go whole hog. I have several of this kind on a pale brown - sort of the color of a brown paper bag - pigskin strap, straight (no taper) that works well with the patina. Alternatively, I use one of Eddie Pratt's Rallye Straps in brown (TimeZone in the UK), which are a very good, solid leather strap that works well with an older dress watch, makes it look "sportier".

    JohnF
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  7. #7
    Member Craig M's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Helbros Question

    Thanks for the kind suggestions John. I will definitely be bringing this to a pro. I agree that a nice brown strap would really set the watch apart, and give it a sportier look.
    Cheers!
    Craig M.
    Somerville, MA
    The Escapement Watch Blog
    The Escapement on Twitter

    If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker. - Albert Einstein



    Watches:
    Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph . Rolex Rebberg Trench Watch . Tag Heuer F1 Chrono . Tissot T-Touch . Tissot T-Race . Million Smart Flying Tourbillon . Zodiac Dragon Wing . Invicta Skeleton 3379 . Invicta Pro Diver 8926 . Scooby-Doo Chrono [A7750] . Alpha "Sea" . Alpha Jump Hour . Vostok CK-1 Orange . Poljot 2614.2H Movement . Gruen Quartz 'Soviet' . G-Shock GW300A-1V / G9000-8V 'Stormtrooper' . Timex Perpetual Calender . Vintage Helbros [Felsa 690 Mvt] ....Among others

    Go Yankees!

  8. #8
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    Cool Helbros question

    HELLO EVERYONE. My name is Tina and i just would like to ask you all if you would know anything about the value of a helbros vintage womens watch 17 gewels it says on the front, I am Trying to take a picture of it right now but If any of you could help me out that would be great. Im guessing its from the 40's 50's

  9. #9
    Moderator Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Helbros question

    Quote Originally Posted by Teena View Post
    HELLO EVERYONE. My name is Tina and i just would like to ask you all if you would know anything about the value of a helbros vintage womens watch 17 gewels it says on the front, I am Trying to take a picture of it right now but If any of you could help me out that would be great. Im guessing its from the 40's 50's
    Check ebay. We do not do valuations here but they are almost always worth less that people at first believe they are worth. Since most collectors are men, the ladies watches usually go for lower prices on ebay...

    Oh, welcome to WUS! Start a new thread when you get pics to post if you would pleeze. Thanks!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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