A Franco Swiss American - Vitova
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  1. #1
    Member john87300's Avatar
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    A Franco Swiss American - Vitova

    After a three week delay in delivery from 200 km away in France my Vitova finally arrived this morning, so it's not had a wash and brush up yet, but has some interesting identifying details.

    Andreas at Mikrolisk lists Vitova as one of the two brands of V.J. Tovatt Co. of Los Angeles, California. The inside of the screw back is marked "TKC" which I guess could perhaps be the casemaker, as well as "Made in France". It runs on an AS 1194 which is marked as "Canoe Watch Co", and the movement is also marked "CZA", which is the American import code for the Canoe Watch Co. It came on a two tone Spiedel which, if not original, is contemporary with the watch, which, so far, I haven't changed.

    I've not been able to trace TKC, nor the Canoe Watch Co, in fact I've only found only one other reference to Canoe, marked on the movement of a Super Sea-King

    I would have thought if it had been assembled in Switzerland the Swiss movement etc would have enabled it to have been marked as "Swiss Made" even if the case was French, and presumably the CZA code indicates that the US authorities regarded the maker to be Canoe, so was Canoe French?

    I was going to add "answers on a postcard please", but with the likely paucity of information, the back of a stamp will do

    Vitova




    Super Sea-King
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    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

  2. #2
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: A Franco Swiss American - Vitova

    I like the Vitova dial very much! p
    Courtesy of ULF.

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    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: A Franco Swiss American - Vitova

    ....presumably the CZA code indicates that the US authorities regarded the maker to be Canoe, so was Canoe French?

    That's not my understanding of how it worked. These codes identified the IMPORTER not the exporter or the manufacturer. Many of them were US companies; some were the US arms of Swiss companies. We've discussed these codes before, and no-one seems to know exactly when they were required. Dr Ranfft gives Ranfft Watches, US Import Codes as US Import codes, whereas I have a list in Shugart (2007) headed Swiss Code Initials.

    I think Canoe was American - but odd that so few results come up. Anyway, its a nice and interesting acquisition.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

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  5. #4
    Member john87300's Avatar
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    Re: A Franco Swiss American - Vitova

    Quote Originally Posted by Marrick View Post
    ....presumably the CZA code indicates that the US authorities regarded the maker to be Canoe, so was Canoe French?

    That's not my understanding of how it worked. These codes identified the IMPORTER not the exporter or the manufacturer. Many of them were US companies; some were the US arms of Swiss companies. We've discussed these codes before, and no-one seems to know exactly when they were required. Dr Ranfft gives Ranfft Watches, US Import Codes as US Import codes, whereas I have a list in Shugart (2007) headed Swiss Code Initials.

    I think Canoe was American - but odd that so few results come up. Anyway, its a nice and interesting acquisition.
    Thanks Marrick, yet again you've given me more food for thought and avenues to research!

    I got the code using the link you posted back in 09. Do you know whether these codes were for complete watches or major parts such as the ébauche as well? If Canoe was American I wonder whether it was assembled in the US or imported complete, maybe some of our American friends can cast a little light on how the system worked?
    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

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    Re: A Franco Swiss American - Vitova

    I have a Canoe watch which bears strikingly similarities to the Super Sea-King shown in the original post. The case back reads: "WATERRESISTANT-SHOCKPROTECTED-ANTIMAGNETIC-ALL STAINLESS STEEL" around a circle with "AUTOMATIC" inside the circle.

    Attachment 1000376
    Last edited by aj78; March 10th, 2013 at 01:58.

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    Re: A Franco Swiss American - Vitova

    The movement in my Canoe watch is an AS1361N. The case was made in Hong Kong by the Swiss Watch Case Corp.

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