Judex-a convoluted early history.
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  1. #1
    Member john87300's Avatar
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    Judex-a convoluted early history.

    Our Deputy Mayoress runs the local Depot Ventes, and she keeps an eye out for old watches for me. For the last year all she has shown me have been "junk" non functioning quartz duds but today she came up trumps. She dropped in this morning on her way to open up and showed me her latest watch, "It doesn't work, it probably needs a new battery" she said. After a bit of haggling we settled on 7€, and this is it, before any cleaning up.





    Nice clean back too





    Inside is this, which you probably won't recognise



    Its a Judex 120, also known as a 1938, from it's date of manufacture



    the 120 was made for around three years, so that pretty much dates it to the 1938-1941 period

    It works periodically at the moment, but as it's been kept in a box for around 40 years that's hardly a surprise, hopefully it won't take too much to get it running sweetly, as judging by the overall condition of the little beastie it hasn't had too much wear.

    Luckily I've been doing more research into my Nicea Judex, and a nice tangled web it is too.


    Judex was named after the lead character of a 1913/1914 silent movie series about the exploits of a masked righter of wrongs, a kind of precursor of Zorro and Batman! The series, and the successive serials and books of the fims were highly popular in France for decades. So much so that an active Resistance group in France in 1942-1943 was led by an ex French soldier code named Judex, and his group was known as the Judex Battalion. Here's the original Judex story, in French
    JUDEX



    The history of Judex watches revolves round the Anguenot family from Villers-le-Lac, which drags Herma into the story as well.

    I've so far found four specific references to the family's watch making activities:

    ANGUENOT Frères (fabrique), Villers-le-Lac. Montres Herma
    ANGUENOT Marius (manufacture), Nice (Alpes-Maritimes).MontresJudex
    ANGUENOT Marius (manufacture), Villers-le-Lac
    ANGUENOT Ulysse (Ets), Annecy (Haute-Savoie). MontresHerma

    It appears that Marius was one of the Anguenot brothers, the sons of Ulysse, and Maurice was the son of Marius.


    The ever impressive Mikrolisk shows
    Anguenot frères and Herma SARL at Villers-le-Lac and misses out the earlier Ulysse at Annency

    For Judex, Andreas shows, "Marius Anguenot/Montres Judex/SEFEA-Judex, Villers-le-Lac (1914-c. 1949), Nice (1949-1952) and Annemasse, France; founded in 1915, bankruptcy 1953". This does not show the 3 sites in use concurrently, whereas this shows something completely different:



    I
    know that Judex had an Atelier in Nice up until 1952, although the Bailiff's Office in Besançon have records of ongoing disputes regarding the bankruptcy of Judex up to 1965. They also record correspondance with Maurice Anguenot in Nice, with regard to Horologerie, the registration of his children's nanny and property purchase and sales, from the early 1930's. Judex were active as a watch company in Nice during the 1920's and 30's, to the extent that they sponsored the Coupe-Judex for diving in the 30's, this photo is from 1938:



    Also, according to Bailiff's Office records, at a later time Herma and Judex were part of SARL du groupe Anguenot of Villers-le-Lac.

    On the bankruptcy of Judex in 1954 various of the Judex movements were taken into the SEFEA combine, and for a short period Judex-Sefea watches were produced. Judex watches were produced (by someone), through the 1950's and into the 1960's




    You may recall the earlier post of my Nicea lic. Judex,



    well it seems that the Nicea-Judex connection goes back a little further than I thought. In the local archives of Nice a certain Raimbaud de Nicia, also known as Judex was noted as a well known philanthropist and preacher in 1149. Nicia or Nicea is the local (Provençal) Occitan for Nice, from the original Niça. Nicea would seem to be a brand name used by Judex for sales locally.

    All that's left to do is to get the movement to run for more than 5 minutes at a time, and then I'm laughing










    Mirius, howards4th, redcow and 1 others like this.
    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

  2. #2
    Member howards4th's Avatar
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    Re: Judex-a convoluted early history.

    I'm sure once you get the battery in, it will run like a champ!

    Very Nice John, Cool History . Nice work as always!
    Last edited by howards4th; June 12th, 2012 at 20:41.

  3. #3
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: Judex-a convoluted early history.

    Great write as always... really interesting to read!

    Really like the watch.... certain lack of 'crud' for my liking though

    Congrats on a very clean looking watch!
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

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  5. #4
    Member john87300's Avatar
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    Re: Judex-a convoluted early history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparcster View Post
    Great write as always... really interesting to read!

    .... certain lack of 'crud' for my liking though
    Sorry Mark,

    It was so clean I didn't recognise it was a watch at all to begin with, I'm not used to it, a clean watch? What's that? i've heard of them, but they generally belong to someone else

    I'll try and do better with the next one!
    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

  6. #5
    Member bubba48's Avatar
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    Re: Judex-a convoluted early history.

    Nice watch and very interesting history. Congrats

  7. #6
    Member john87300's Avatar
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    Re: Judex-a convoluted early history.

    Quote Originally Posted by bubba48 View Post
    Nice watch and very interesting history. Congrats
    Thank you,

    I think you, like I do, enjoy finding out what's behind the watch, some history gives it a context, and it then becomes more of a personal item, rather than just an object
    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

  8. #7
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Judex-a convoluted early history.

    Once again, a nice watch and a great write up. Cheers John.
    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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