Funny-looking chrono from the 70s
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  1. #1
    Member MisterV's Avatar
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    Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    Non-functional 70s piece off a local auction website. Might pick up if the price stays low. What would be your evaluation of provenance/repairability (esp. see mechanism)?

    The smiley-face bicompax day date arrangements seem rather interesting, and practical as well.

    No idea, however, whether this is someone's Frankenstein attempt at making his own chronograph, the thing seems like it's been disassembled before.
    Radial brushing on the case looks untouched, the dial is rather clean and has a nicely matching sunburst effect.

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    According to my limited reasearch skills, Arola/Arole chronographs are from Alfred Rochat & Fils, but I've only found other Valjoux 7733 watches from them, and currently they produce stuff based on the more ubiquitous movements.

    I'm rather bad at the Ranfft search and couldn't find anything, don't want to make any stupid assumptions, - but I find it strange to see a circular rotor on a chronograph, and that it's marked Baylor Watch Co. Pretty lost here, maybe missing something obvious.
    Last edited by MisterV; March 19th, 2018 at 15:57.
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    Member morningtundra's Avatar
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    Re: Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    How can you not smile back at that cheerful dial

    If it runs, it would be a nice conversation piece.


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    Re: Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterV View Post
    Arola/Arole chronographs are from Alfred Rochat & Fils
    But then on the movement it says Baylor Watch so whats the connection?
    And on the dial there's mention of automatique but all I see is that great big fixed "cogwheel" that somehow seems to interconnect with the small pinion.
    With a better pic we could at least read/decipher the sign under the balancewheel.

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    Re: Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    The dial and movement don't match. Someone was good enough to 'build' a working watch out of parts, I suspect. A lot of watch companies assemble from generic movements. They buy dials, cases, and movements on the open market. Sometimes they even outsource the assembly. Such watches are easy to keep running since everything is generic. I suspect this dates from the 50s. Nice if it's running.
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    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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    Re: Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    I would say that this is almost certainly a franken. The movement is a Venus 188 or Valjoux 7730 or some-such. Nothing "automatique" about it. Perhaps the "big fixed cog-wheel" and the small pinion would be related to an inner rotating bezel, which doesn't exist on this watch.
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    Re: Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    I cant dismiss it as a franken just yet. The Baylor name was for Zale's jewelers out of Texas. The ring rotor was used by Citizen and a few other companies and I see the cog intteracts with seems to engage a wheel underneath the chrono works. I suspect the code on the balance bridge is ZOA Which is Baylor. So you would need 2 major parts replaced that were both marked Baylor or the movement has always been completely Baylor. Seeing how Baylor was not a watch brand but rather a trade name of Zales, The movement could have been surplus that they cancelled the order for.

    Could someone have bought the surplus movements and modified them to be automatic? If we could know the cal number under the balance it would help.
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    Re: Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by badbackdan View Post
    I would say that this is almost certainly a franken. The movement is a Venus 188 or Valjoux 7730 or some-such. Nothing "automatique" about it. Perhaps the "big fixed cog-wheel" and the small pinion would be related to an inner rotating bezel, which doesn't exist on this watch.
    Well I've no idea if I can identify the parts correctly even, but the thing that struck me as funny is that it resembles the circular rotor on my Citizen Jet AutoDater, so I had a small secret hope that it would be a working rotor.

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    The watch does not run according to the seller's notice, - if it did run as an automatic, it would be a pretty impressive franken! - so perhaps it's not worth even 50 bucks. Pity, such a charming watch face. Now I'm : (
    "My complication had a little complication." (c)

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    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    Could be you're right. Maybe this is a modification to add autowinding capability to the Valjoux 7730.
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    Re: Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by thoth View Post
    I cant dismiss it as a franken just yet. The Baylor name was for Zale's jewelers out of Texas. The ring rotor was used by Citizen and a few other companies and I see the cog intteracts with seems to engage a wheel underneath the chrono works. I suspect the code on the balance bridge is ZOA Which is Baylor. So you would need 2 major parts replaced that were both marked Baylor or the movement has always been completely Baylor. Seeing how Baylor was not a watch brand but rather a trade name of Zales, The movement could have been surplus that they cancelled the order for.

    Could someone have bought the surplus movements and modified them to be automatic? If we could know the cal number under the balance it would help.
    Oh this is getting fun.

    Yeah, it looks like on the balance bridge you have ZOA.

    I can ask him for a calibre number under the balance, but no guarantee of a reply.
    "My complication had a little complication." (c)

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    Re: Funny-looking chrono from the 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterV View Post
    The watch does not run according to the seller's notice, - if it did run as an automatic, it would be a pretty impressive franken! - so perhaps it's not worth even 50 bucks. Pity, such a charming watch face. Now I'm : (
    Not running.....well it all depends on why it is not running. Bad balance staff would be of no big issue. But a bad mainspring.....you have to get through all of the chrono works then whatever is happening below them to the potential odd ball automatic works. Then a full strip down of 3/4 of the watch below..... Or it could need a basic clean and oil. Honestly....figure $300-500 on the top end if no parts are needed and it is just a clean and oil. But weigh that against possibly having one of the few auto 7730's that could be out there...maybe a 1 off done by a creative watchmaker. My opinion....if I had the money to burn....I would go for it just for the oddness.

    Usually large cog wheels that deal with a inner rotating bezel inside the case would not be attached to a pinion that goes into the movement and into the works. It would be a case part, not a movement part usually.
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