Seeking to learn more about this old Aristo Chronograph

Thread: Seeking to learn more about this old Aristo Chronograph

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  1. #1
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    Seeking to learn more about this old Aristo Chronograph

    Hello,

    This is one of those sentimental journeys. This is the very watch that got me into watches. I remember playing with the chronograph frequently when I was a little kid (fortunately, my grandfather was very patient).

    My grandfather left me this Aristo, and after having read a little about the brand, I'm curious to learn how it ended up in his hands. He was a basketball coach and referee in the 40s, 50s and 60s in Ohio and Indiana. I know this watch was his "officiating watch" - he used it to time games and practices.

    What is interesting to me is how this Swiss, or German(?), brand ended up on the wrist of a small town coach in the midwest. I wonder if there were Aristo products in sporting goods catalogs in those days? I imagine it was affordable - he was frugal.

    A random coincidence I noticed once: The stopwatch on the opening of the television program "60 Minutes" happens to be an Aristo.

    The case is 34mm w/o crown. It is a manual wind watch. The lugs are 17mm. The face reads, "Aristo" and "Incabloc 17 Jewels". The watch works properly and I wear it occasionally.

    Specifically I'd like to know the following:

    1. What happened? How'd watches like this one morph into big-faced pilot-inspired watches I see today from Aristo? Is it a Swiss or German company?

    2. I don't see a year marked anywhere. Can anyone hazard a guess?

    3. Any guess as to movement?

    4. Is this watch likely to have any hazardous lume? You can see small dots at each number, such as 11, in the photograph. They appear to glow only when "charged". Oddly, the hands have no lume at all.

    Thanks, I really appreciate anything I can learn!

    Otosi

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  2. #2
    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking to learn more about this old Aristo Chronograph

    1) ths is probably a late 40s to 50s swiss chronograph generally grouped in the category of 'generic' swiss chronographs. There are many other names that used the same or similar movement in a similar style case. Offhand I can think of Fludo, Delbana,Haste, Genova, While not exactly small I am guessing this watch is about 36mm whicj puts it at about average fr a chrono of this type and age

    2)late 40s to mid 50s is my best guess. perhaps others could tell you more specifically. Your grandfather was probably aware, like many, that swiss watches at that time were the best made waches for the money in the world at that time. I would guess in the 50s a watch like this went for a fairly princely sum of $75-$100.

    3)It looks as if by the 'set' of the subdials its got a Landeron movmnt inside. Thes are commom but very competent chronograph movements used in many of these 'swiss chronos'. It could also be a venus but Im not really sure w/o pics.

    4)Its possible the lume on this watch was made from radium but I don't see evidence that there is a lot of it or that t would pose much of a problem. If your truly concerned you actually have to have the watch measured for radiation. . If it hasnt been serviced in a while the oils are probably dreis and a good clean and service will have it running very well I would imagine. good luck
    Last edited by DaBaeker; January 19th, 2011 at 11:42.
    :ROLEX OMEGA LONGiNES ♦ SEIKO Aquadive ♦ ELGIN ♦ hamilton O&W imexZodiac......

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    Re: Seeking to learn more about this old Aristo Chronograph

    DaBaeker,

    $75-$100 indeed would have been a princely sum for my grandfather on a teacher's salary. But it is a testament to the quality of the old piece that it still works to this day - despite the fumbling hands of me as a 8 year old (many years ago)! Buy something nice and you only have to buy it once, I suppose. I will take your advice at get it serviced. It hasn't been opened in at least 20 years.

    Late 40s seems about right to me - I also read about the popularity of the term "incabloc" and it seems to correspond with late 40s - early 50s.

    I wish now I'd asked my grandfather more about it when I had the chance - thanks for filling in some details, I appreciate it!

    Otosi

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  5. #4
    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking to learn more about this old Aristo Chronograph

    im not positive about incabloc but I think it refers to a shock-protection system that was pioneered by Eterna in the late 30s and became ubiquitous in the industry. Someone will clarify this I'm sure.
    :ROLEX OMEGA LONGiNES ♦ SEIKO Aquadive ♦ ELGIN ♦ hamilton O&W imexZodiac......

  6. #5
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking to learn more about this old Aristo Chronograph

    There is a German Aristo; but also a US import company that has been going since 1920. Aristo Imports, Inc.

    As your watch is clearly Swiss, its probably one of theirs.

    Google gives a few examples with Valjoux movements. e.g. 40′s Aristo Military Style Chronograph Cal. Valjoux 23 | Designer Watches Blog

    Very nice watch.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

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

  7. #6
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    Re: Seeking to learn more about this old Aristo Chronograph

    You know, Marrick, when I look at the Aristo Imports site - instead of the German site - it makes more sense... stopwatches, interval timers and so on. Maybe they circulated a catalog with these products to sport departments in school districts at the time.
    Thanks for the link - that indeed looks very much like this watch. Face and dials are very similar, but much different hands. Very interesting.
    I appreciate your input. Thanks Marrick!

    Otosi

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