Name: René Barton Regulateur Mechanique
Movement: H3612S 36 mm hand wind movement, 18 jewels, 21600 bph
Time display: main dial minutes, subdial 24 hour (24 on top), subdial seconds,
Date: no date
Case: all stainless steel with snap case back
Size: 42 mm diameter without crown, 46 mm with crown, 49 mm lug to lug
Height: 12 mm
Face: black dial with white minute markers, white hours subdial at 3, white seconds subdial at 9
Text on dial: [René Barton logo] René Barton Regulateur MECHANIQUE
Text on back: ALL STAINLESS STEEL [René Barton logo] René Barton 3 ATM WATER RESITANT
Hands and markers: silver main minutes hand, small blue hours and seconds hand in subdials
Water-resistance: 3 ATM water resistant
Crown: unsigned main crown at 3
Crystal: flat mineral crystal
Lug: 22 mm
Bracelet: genuine lizard leather strap with signed buckle
The 24h regulators are a noble company – Schaumburg, Chronoswiss, Maurice Lacroix. For up to 100 times cheaper is 24h regulator by Rene Barton. I got it about year ago from Germany for EUR 45, wooden box and shipping inclusive. Almost NOS, worn maybe 1-2 times.
Who is René Barton? Nobody knows. Germasian (Asian watches pretending to be European, preferably German ones) brand named René Barton was active about 10 years ago. (Web domain named renebarton.com existed 2004-2005.) Mostly I can see them in Germany. In Watchuseek the name Rene Barton appears only in black list of several Germasian watch brands not accepted for support by German watchmaker.
First I would like to rant that I got the black one, but there is also white much better version with nice guilloche dial ( [Erledigt] REGULATEUR - René Barton - UhrForum ):
The black dial is not so nice. The subdials have different diameters and they are positioned at different distances from the center. You notice it immediately on this panda version. Additionally, the main minutes hand is also much more visible with the white version.
The all stainless steel case is a cheap and simple copy of Chronoswiss design. Only 3 atm water resistance and snap case back (again, big watch with snap case back, probably I cannot close it without watchmaker’s help).
When opening case I was surprised. Even the shape of a movement is something I haven’t seen before. Kind of a linear layout movement construction. Should be a Chinese movement, but there are no numbers or marks stamped. I can see jewels, but no idea how many they are. Timing machine says that it is a 21,600 bph movement. The accuracy is between +2/-5 sec/day, outstanding!
After a long search I finally found this mysterious movement at Otto Frei – H3612S (Chinese Made Mechanical Watch Movements). This is 12h movement with two subdials – seconds and sun/moon. The sun/moon is replaced here with 24h hand and the main 12h hand is omitted.
Further investigation gave some interesting results more. This movement is sometimes called as 3612 or TY3100.
PTS Resources - Chinese Watch Industry Wiki :Very nicely decorated TY3100 you can see at: TY - 3100 (Louis-Bolle watch).This very unusual ‘linear’ movement has much in common with the Liaocheng open-hearts, however Tsinlien (Sea-Gull Hong Kong) list it as TY3100, so it may be presumed to be by Sea-Gull.
From this thread we also know, that this is the very first Chinese linear layout movement!
The watch came in a big red wooden box and is equipped with genuine lizard signed bracelet. These features are too much for a EUR 40 watch.
Very affordable 24h regulator watch. You can complaint about this and that, but for a EUR 40 watch it is not justified. You can easily use it as a daily beater, if the regulator-type of dial is ok for you.
For me with my weak eyesight this watch has no practical value. The hours subdial is just too small. But as a collector’s item it is ok. Compare Réne Barton next to purist old Gycine Airman:
The most interesting part of the watch is movement. When you open an unknown (even cheap) watch you never know what you’re gonna get.