2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!
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  1. #1
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    2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    Hey,

    At the moment I have the opportunity to buy 2 chronograph suisse. But since my knowledge is insufficient I would really like your experience and
    knowledge about the condition, authenticity and of course if I will pay a good price for it!!

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    If needed, i've got more pictures.

    The Chronograph with black dial is 35 diameter and 32,8 - 32,9 grams
    The Chronograph Orator is 37 diameter and 39,3

    Both are in good working condition.

    Thank you very much in advance!!

  2. #2
    Member Tomcat1960's Avatar
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    Re: 2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    Hi, and welcome on f11 - it was a wise move to come here and ask before you buy

    To begin with, both watches look genuine to me. The first one is a classical 1940s' 'bicompax' chronograph with beautiful, even patina on the dial. The movement inside is a Landeron 48, the landmark chronograph calibre of the 1940s and 1950s. (The movement familiy - 48 through 248) sold more than 3 million times, making it the most successful of all chronograph calibres in the history of watchmaking. One of these belongs into any serious vintage collection.)

    The second one is younger - I'd put it into the 1950s. It has a column-wheel operated Venus 170, another classic calibre worth collecting. The watch you show lacks its chronograph second hand but a good watchmaker should be able to source one fitting the other hands.

    Both watches are in gold cases, but don't get taken away by that thought. At the time they were built - during or shortly after the war - few people could actually afford massive gold cases (and gold trade was tightly controlled by most governments anyway.) So in order to make gold watches feasible for a greater market, manufacturers rolled it very, very thin. So thin, in fact, that it took inner cases of base metal and steel inner back lids to prevent the case from warping and damaging the movement. On some examples even the lugs were hollow - given away by pins on which "female" spring bars rested. (Look at the lugs on your images and you'll see what I mean.)

    Whether you pay a fair price? Since I don't know what the dealer asks I cannot tell you. But keep in mind that both watches are in dire need of a cleaning and oiling. For a chronograph you should calculate this effort to be at least somewhere between 150 and 200 €.

    Again - the watches you show are beautiful, genuine and complete (imho, apart from that missing second hand) and worthy to collect. If you use the search function you'll find plenty of information on "Chronographe Suisse" here.

    Enjoy reading, and good luck!

    Best
    Tomcat
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    Member gatorcpa's Avatar
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    Re: 2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    Two things you need to be aware of regarding these watches:

    1. It doesn't look like you have any springbars attached to the lugs. That would be a "must" for these types of watches. You need what is known as the "female" version which is open at both ends. Should look something like this:

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    2. If solid gold, these watches should both have an inner dust cover. Having this piece is critical, as the gold is so thin, they sometimes literally collapse in on the movement. The cover provides stability to the entire assembly.

    If you have these parts, the you should be good to go after the cleaning and replacement of the seconds hand on the Venus.

    Hope this helps,
    gatorcpa

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    Re: 2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    Thank you very much for this nice welcome and your information!

    To complete the information, the seller want's to have EUR 600,- in total for both watches. In case this is a good deal I cannot let it go right?

    Next step..finding a good watchmaker in Amsterdam to clean an oil the movements!! ;)

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    Member Tomcat1960's Avatar
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    Re: 2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    You're welcome

    600 € for both is at the limit, but still okay. They are gold watches, after all, with solid movements, and they are genuine and complete. Go for them!

    Here are some Dutch members who maybe can tell you good watchmakers. If you wish I can hook you up with my watchmaker (if you don't mind mailing your watch.)

    Best
    Tomcat
    After all's been said and done, there's a lot more said than done...

    Patina: little pieces of history put on old watches and forgotten there by the maker of time

    "Miracles?", he asked. "Forget about miracles. Those who walk on water just know where the stepstones are."

    "Luxury watches - you acquire the right to take care of them, but they remain the property of their manufacturers."
    (Roland Ranfft)

    Now available for your Kindle or Kindle Reader:

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    Re: 2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    for 600 euros I would wait for ONE watch that's not collapsable and in better condition :)
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  8. #7
    Member Tomcat1960's Avatar
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    Re: 2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    Not sure if I wrote it here already: a Landeron 48 in a thin golden case is the epitome of the classical mass market chronograph and no serious vintage collection is complete without one, collapsible or not

    By the way - my dad's watch doesn't have the inner dust cover, but the back never collapsed into the movement . (Note that my dad was into horseback riding.)

    Best
    Tomcat
    After all's been said and done, there's a lot more said than done...

    Patina: little pieces of history put on old watches and forgotten there by the maker of time

    "Miracles?", he asked. "Forget about miracles. Those who walk on water just know where the stepstones are."

    "Luxury watches - you acquire the right to take care of them, but they remain the property of their manufacturers."
    (Roland Ranfft)

    Now available for your Kindle or Kindle Reader:

    Tracks in a Blizzard - A (German) Christmas Ghost Story

    Check me out on Facebook! / Visit us on Facebook! / Visit us in our living room!

  9. #8
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    Re: 2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomcat1960 View Post
    Not sure if I wrote it here already: a Landeron 48 in a thin golden case is the epitome of the classical mass market chronograph and no serious vintage collection is complete without one, collapsible or not

    By the way - my dad's watch doesn't have the inner dust cover, but the back never collapsed into the movement . (Note that my dad was into horseback riding.)

    Best
    Tomcat
    I could give a completely different perspective to these thin gold case watches fitted with the
    cheap and cheerful Landeron movement.

    You say they are rugged enough to go horseriding and without the inner caseback too. Plus no 'Serious'
    vintage collection is 'complete' without one.

    I say wear these with great care as the gold cases are flimsy and very easily damaged.
    Don't think I have a Landeron 48 unless there is one in a junk box somewhere. I'm not particularly
    concerned about that and am not actively looking for one.

    Sorry, just MY perspective, too many wire springs for my liking.

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    Re: 2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    I placed a bod of EUR 550,- for both watches. In case the seller doesn't want to sell the watches for this price I have to let them go!

    Thank you all for the advices. I'll keep you posted if I will have the watches or not of course..

    GR,

  11. #10
    Member Sdasurrey's Avatar
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    2X Chronographe Suisse - In need of Advice before buying!

    I think having the base metal dust cover is pretty important as the gold case back is 'flimsy' at best (as I agree w Radger) I picked up this CS watch recently that's similar to your first one with a landeron 48 movement and the watch has a good dust cover but the back is thin enough you can push it in (bend it) with your finger tip !

    They are nice watches generally and personally I have a weakness for 40s/50s chronos....good luck ! Scott

    Last edited by Sdasurrey; August 6th, 2014 at 11:16.
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