£10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

Thread: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

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  1. #1
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    Evening Chaps.

    Only bidder on this £10 Fleebay find... for good reason?

    Not heard of the make before, but from the one blury(ish) pic, I thought it did not seem bad for £10.

    Described as

    FOR SALE IS A RARE MENS STAINLESS STEEL AUTOWIND 17 JEWELED HALGREEN WRISTWATCH IN WORKING CONDITION AND KEEPING EXCELLENT TIME.

    Not sure of the age, but guessing 50s? The Movement is a Auto AS 1424. The Rotor spins freely but does not seem to wind the watch... Handwindind/settinf all works fine and is keeping good time.

    As for the Rotor... why Gigantic S.A. Is this original? The case back seems a perfect fit and is signed inside W.M.R. watch case co. (which I think is US?)

    The Halgreen dial is signed Swiss at the bottom.


    Some pics:












    Any thoughts on the origins/originality of the watch would be greatfully received...

    Thanks in advance
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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  2. #2
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    Re: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    Looks like a standard late 1940s to late 1950s good quality Swiss watch to me.

    No reason to think ill of it.

    I've seen the Gigantic name on other movements .. must be a company name.

    I don't remember seeing the Halgreen name before, but there are always new names popping up that have disappeared over time.

    I'd be happy with that watch.
    My new sig -----

    Over the years I've collected all sorts of movements and "project" watches ... mainly inexpensive vintage pieces.

    These days I've widened my gaze to include modern pieces (including quartz with analog or analog + digital displays) but with those I'm generally looking for models in solid steel cases.

  3. #3
    Member Fantasyvoyager's Avatar
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    Re: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    Hi there looks to be :
    AS 1424

    Features
    automatic
    sweep second

    Data
    11.25''', Dn= 25.38mm
    H= 5.7mm
    17 jewels
    f = 18000 A/h
    power reserve 36h
    Name:  AS_1361.jpg
Views: 844
Size:  22.0 KB
    Name:  AS_1361-1.jpg
Views: 819
Size:  19.6 KB

    The watch look ok, not a Franken, It's a 50's "Jobber". (Movement bought from one company, hands and dial from another with custom print, case from somewhere else, put together at companies watch plant or secondary plant)
    Last edited by Fantasyvoyager; April 28th, 2011 at 21:39.

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  5. #4
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    Re: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    Looks fine to me.
    "Civilization gets what it wants, is willing to pay for, and ultimately deserves".

  6. #5
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    The "Halgreen" trademark was registered in the US in 1945 to (oddly enough) Halgreen Inc, NYC". They registered a couple of other names in 1949. Gigantic SA (with that exact font) was registered in 1949 to "Gigantic. SA, Geneva Switzerland". They'd previously registered "Gigantic" in 1948, claiming use since 1945.

    So the timelines all seem to line up.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  7. #6
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    The "Halgreen" trademark was registered in the US in 1945 to (oddly enough) Halgreen Inc, NYC". They registered a couple of other names in 1949. Gigantic SA (with that exact font) was registered in 1949 to "Gigantic. SA, Geneva Switzerland". They'd previously registered "Gigantic" in 1948, claiming use since 1945.

    So the timelines all seem to line up.
    Thanks for the info Rob... My initial guess of 50s seems about right!
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Twitter: quickpicmarc

  8. #7
    Member mike184's Avatar
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    Re: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    Hi!

    These cases have been produced in large quantities in Switzerland during WWII and have been sold (with black dials) to soldiers of the allied forces. I own two Rados with manual winded AS 1287 movements, which had been sold to GIs in PX-shops under private label names(Bullock´s, Lancair, Hudson on the dial and Rado on back and movement). Small and very robust SS-cases with adequate movements, ideal for military use:



    After WWII, there still had been large quantities of those cases - they got black,silver or white dials and where sold with various movements by many Swiss watch companies to anyone. I´ve seen lots of them with different company brandings.Here are two examples by Rado:



    Probably the Gigantic Watch SA started with this type of watches after WWII and delivered to a reseller using Halgreen as trademark(or used it by themselves). Your watch looks absolutely authentic and seems to be in good condition, nice catch for 10 GBP:
    Last edited by mike184; April 29th, 2011 at 16:46.
    Best regards, Mike

  9. #8
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    Your first picture showing the Rado caseback make me take a second look at the OP's watch, and the case (or at least the caseback) might be a swap. The design (the triangle) along with the words "Water resistant" tend to make me think later 60's, early 70's; they usually used "Waterproof" before the trade commission made them stop.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  10. #9
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    Your first picture showing the Rado caseback make me take a second look at the OP's watch, and the case (or at least the caseback) might be a swap. The design (the triangle) along with the words "Water resistant" tend to make me think later 60's, early 70's; they usually used "Waterproof" before the trade commission made them stop.
    I also had the same thought about the case back... I did a search for 50s watches with water resistant... There were more than I thought there would be!

    Thanks for the info mike184... Very informative!
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Twitter: quickpicmarc

  11. #10
    Member igorRIJEKA's Avatar
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    Re: £10 "Vintage" swiss 17J auto... Franken?

    not bad for 10 pounds even if it's not "real"

    love the hands

    igorfiume

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