A Tale of Two Movements
Like Tree16Likes
  • 10 Post By Tick Talk
  • 1 Post By georges zaslavsky
  • 1 Post By VESPASIAN
  • 1 Post By Tony C.
  • 3 Post By Tick Talk

Thread: A Tale of Two Movements

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Member Tick Talk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Waaaay Up North - Canada
    Posts
    1,516

    A Tale of Two Movements

    Inspired by a recent thread dedicated to vintage movements, I was challenged to consider which in my collection were the most inspiring and two "brothers" immediately came to mind. They share the same movement but served entirely different purposes for their master, the house of Vacheron & Constantin.

    Name:  IMG_0931.jpg
Views: 143
Size:  214.8 KBName:  IMG_0923.jpg
Views: 141
Size:  178.8 KB

    The elder brother was introduced on WUS not too long ago, so I'll just briefly describe its significance when manufactured in 1910. V&C responded to competition from first Waltham, then Patek Philippe, to produce a robust timepiece for the South American market, which they did in 1907 with the launch of their Chronometre Royal family of 22-ligne gold-cased watches. No doubt for advertising purposes, a very few were actually submitted to Observatory trials after being given a horological hot-rodding with state-of-the-art nickel-steel and brass balances, carefully assembled and expertly adjusted. How few? Well, after a dozen years devoted to the brand I've only come across two! Stimulated, I like to think, by these few "halo" pieces, the Chronometre Royal line expanded into different sizes and metals, and went on to become the most popular in the Manufacture's history with over 10,000 pieces sold.

    Economics being what it is; in 1914 the South American distributor declared bankruptcy and suddenly V&C was left holding several hundred movements ordered but not paid for. Time passes and the factory's fortunes wax and wane along with world affairs. The Great Depression hit everyone hard, including those who made luxury goods for customers that ain't got the do ra mi, boys. With today's conglomerates and super-elites, its hard to imagine the state of affairs that a private company like V&C endured during the Depression. Hours were reduced to 10/week, factory lands were converted to community gardens, skilled horologists took on work repairing gas meters, and any scheme to offer attractively priced goods was considered.

    Name:  blued hands.jpg
Views: 113
Size:  199.6 KBName:  vacheron_image.3430273.jpg
Views: 111
Size:  280.4 KB

    Enter little brother, born in 1938. Within this modest desk watch beats the production version of the same Chronometre Royal 22-ligne movement as his elder sibling. V&C struck on the idea to offer a naval-inspired piece to use up the last 300 movements from South America and thus recover their investment plus stimulate some activity in the shops. According to the archives, they sold quickly. This series also signalled the end of Chronometre Royal production until the name reappeared on wrist watches some twenty years later. Different, but the same, they both did their jobs well
    Tick Talk says, "A watch in the hand is worth two on the wrist"

  2. #2
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Croissy sur Seine, France
    Posts
    12,771

    Re: A Tale of Two Movements

    Two very nice and superbly finished movements, thanks for sharing
    Tick Talk likes this.
    Omega the sign of Excellence since 1848. Jaeger Le Coultre Horlogerie de Luxe depuis 1833
    22 times Olympic games timekeeper, Nasa watch supplier and holder of several world records of precision, Omega has the world's trust
    Omega and Rolex for ever
    Eterna Nothing but Watchmaking since 1856
    Zenith Swiss Watchmaking and Chronometry champion since 1865

  3. #3
    Member VESPASIAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sub Antarctic
    Posts
    733

    Re: A Tale of Two Movements

    Very very nice... Love the saw-teeth.
    Tick Talk likes this.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    1,465

    Re: A Tale of Two Movements

    Great stuff, Dean. Thanks!
    Tick Talk likes this.

  6. #5
    Member Tick Talk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Waaaay Up North - Canada
    Posts
    1,516

    A most beautiful tool watch

    One version of the Chronometre Royal was their navigation chronometers for the Royal Navy in WWII. For a tool watch, its a real beauty.

    Name:  RN Watch 001.JPG
Views: 51
Size:  699.3 KBName:  RN Watch mvmt small.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  235.3 KB

    While we think of the finishes demonstrated here as luxury embellishments, they were originally very functional, intended to fight corrosion and improve running. We can't help but admire the integrity of a company to invest so much care and attention in an item that was destined for a very rough, and often short, life.

    The movement was rated by the Royal Navy as an HS2 navigation chronometer aka deck watch. The real exciting aspect is that service records still exist for many of these pieces!
    Tick Talk says, "A watch in the hand is worth two on the wrist"

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Replies: 18
      Last Post: September 15th, 2015, 03:29
    2. Replies: 6
      Last Post: September 3rd, 2015, 22:32
    3. Replies: 5
      Last Post: September 2nd, 2015, 06:32
    4. A Tale of Two Cities - Two Listings, One Watch
      By Tarquin in forum Russian watches
      Replies: 14
      Last Post: March 15th, 2012, 10:46
    5. A Tale of Two Cities....
      By O2AFAC67 in forum Breitling
      Replies: 9
      Last Post: March 31st, 2006, 03:15

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •