French Elgé watch

Thread: French Elgé watch

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  1. #1
    Member OhDark30's Avatar
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    French Elgé watch

    This arrived today from China, along with a Dongfeng ST5
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    I love the case shape, it reminds me of the 50s Eternas issued to the Czech Air Force

    I was thrilled to see the same watch posted by soviet in the old thread 'some nice vintage French watches'
    (sorry, v new here & not sure how to link to it).

    The thread has fascinating info about the historic links between China & France leading to a big market for French watches there from the 50s to the 70s

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    This one has an unremarkable back


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    and a Parrenin Z170 calibre (marked below the balance wheel)

    Elgé were based in Annecy in the French Haut-Savoie region, which has a strong watchmaking tradition (just over the Swiss border from Geneva)

    Can anyone add more info - I'd particularly be interested in a date, guessing 50s. Thanks!


    Sorry!
    Ive posted in the wrong forum - please could someone move to Vintage & Pocket Watches. I'll be back with pics of the Dongfeng soon
    Last edited by OhDark30; November 29th, 2012 at 00:00.
    DO NOT put sales verbiage in your signature.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: French Elgé watch

    Ohhhh, I know at least one member who is going to drool when he sees this!

    Thanks for posting!
    "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!

  3. #3
    Member john87300's Avatar
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    Re: French Elgé watch

    Elgé were produced by Ets Yola, in, as you say, the large (by Swiss & French standards) town of Annecy, 35km south of Geneva. Their other known brands were Yola, Elga and Elgé Geneve. They seem to have been in business from the mid 1940's until the early 1970's. I know of 4 other makers who were active in Annecy at the same time as Elgé, the most prominent being Ulysse Anguenot's Herma.

    The HP Z170 series was the 4th and final version of the HP60, and having a date function should be either a HP Z171 or Z172. The Z series ran from the very late 1960's into the early 1970's, The other dating give away is the inscription "Made in France". No small maker in France (and virtually none of the major makers either) put this on their watches until this period. Herma, for example, produced a range, the "de Lux" from the late 1950's onwards, and only from the late 1960's did any of this range bear that inscription. Even in the 1970's it was not common sight on French watches.

    I like your Elgé very much, it's not come across too often, even here in France, and it looks to be in lovely condition. Well found!
    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

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  5. #4
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    Re: French Elgé watch

    While not a Chinese movement; it does look like a nice, competent 17 jewel movement. It is nicely finished and uses one of the time tested configurations. It does resemble some Chinese calibres though.

    Looking forward to the Dong Feng photos

  6. #5
    Member john87300's Avatar
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    Re: French Elgé watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Pawl_Buster View Post
    While not a Chinese movement; it does look like a nice, competent 17 jewel movement. It is nicely finished and uses one of the time tested configurations.
    Actually this movement's antecedents date back to the late 1950's with the HP 60 and to quote Ranfft, it's a strange movement with train and hand gear driven seperately by the barrel, with space for a big balance. Parrenin were a long established French ébauche producer and their 87 & 90 series were very highly regarded.
    Last edited by Eeeb; November 29th, 2012 at 22:33. Reason: html correction
    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

  7. #6
    Member OhDark30's Avatar
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    French Elgé watch

    Thank you, John87300 for the info and Pawl_Buster for your thoughts and welcome.

    Now you mention it, I can see a second 1 inscribed on the movement, to the right of the regulator lever, confirming it as a 171 movement.

    As a newcomer to the hobby, I'd no idea that there were so many variations on the movement theme. Or much idea of countries other than Switzerland with a strong watchmaking heritage.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm
    DO NOT put sales verbiage in your signature.

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