Vintage Croton Chronomaster

Thread: Vintage Croton Chronomaster

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  1. #1
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    Vintage Croton Chronomaster

    This is my first post here - it seems like you guys would be able to help me with something and this seemed like the most appropriate place to put this. If I'm mistaken, please move it to the appropriate location - as a complete watch newb, I'm sure this won't be the last mistake I make here...

    Anyway, among some of the personal items my father left me when he passed a couple of years ago is an old Croton Chronomaster. I know absolutely nothing about watches (other than how to tell time on them), so I wouldn't know the first thing about what to do with this watch - but it doesn't run and the knob on the side doesn't seem to turn correctly and can actually be screwed off of the watch.

    What would you guys recommend I do with the watch to get it repaired? Also, do you have any information on the watch - when it might have been made, what the specifications of it are, if there's any chance of finding a manual online?

    Thanks,

    Kevin


  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Croton Chronomaster

    The Vintage and Pocket Watch forum has a saved post (... in the Links and Articles sub-forum) which points to a site that can display local watchmakers. That would be a good start for finding a doctor for this baby

    It is probably a watch from the 1970's judging from the dial style. The top button starts and stops the timer. The bottom button resets it back to zero if it is stopped. When the watchmaker opens the watch up, get him to identify the movement type and maker and we can say more.

    Nice heirloom!!
    "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
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    Re: Vintage Croton Chronomaster

    I would definitely have it repaired and I would WEAR it! I've serviced or restored all our family watches. I love wearing and sharing them at family gatherings, "Guess what, I'm wearing Uncle George's ol' Timex..." It's a lovely way to remember someone.

    I should mention that it often costs more to service family watches than they are worth. $100 to $300 is what I've spent on watches similar to your Croton. The cost doesn't concern me in the slightest. Some day I will pass on a box of timepieces with a brief biography attached to each watch.

    Your Dad's Croton is very attractive. And it's a chrono!! I think you're lucky, because it's a watch you could happily wear every day. That's not always the case with old family watches. Some that I've inherited are fun at family outings, but pretty dismal aesthetically.

    Wear yours and remember your Dad in good health!

    piscator

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  5. #4
    Member JohnnyMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Croton Chronomaster

    Welcome to the forum

    That's a nice watch, and will wear similarly size wise to todays watches.

    I'd definately get that overhauled, then get some nice pics up

  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage Croton Chronomaster

    Croton was the brand used by Nivada in the US. Their Chronomaster (Datomaster, Aviator, Seadiver...) chronographs may contain anything from a Landeron to Venus to Valjoux (even 23/72) movement, and this one even has the date. The watch looks a little dirty, but otherwise not in bad shape. It is definetely worth to have it serviced, even if it was not a family heirloom. No real valuations here, but the market value will vary somewhere between 300 and 800 USD depending on the condition and type of movement inside. So it is definetely worth a little investment - go and show it to a watchmaker!

    This is a mechanical movement, and it will need to be cleaned and serviced at least. Off course in worst case, moisture could have crept inside the case and ruined the movement, but likely this can be fixed. About the crown - when it can be screwed off - try to screw it on again, and slightly pull it - You should be able to set the hands then. If it can't be turned either way (crown pulled or not), don't force it, or You may damage parts. But this is no good sign and something might be broken already.
    Last edited by o.v.e; November 13th, 2010 at 10:21.

  7. #6
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Vintage Croton Chronomaster

    I would say that this one probably has a Valjoux 7734 calibre from the late sixties or early seventies. You say that the crown won't turn and even screws off the watch? That sounds like it has a screw down crown to waterproof the watch. These can only be turned in one direction to loosen the crown, after it has "come off the watch", it is still attached by the winding strem and can then be used to wind or set the watch. Once the watch is running, the chronograph should function too. You should definitely have the watch serviced but it is possible that nothing is broken, that it just needs a clean.

    If you loosen the crown and wind the watch, don't forget to screw the crown back onto the case again!

    Hartmut Richter

  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Croton Chronomaster

    I apparently hit and run this forum years ago - I accidentally didn't subscribe to the thread and then couldn't find where I posted this, so did not see any of your replies. I had a estimation of this watch done by a local watchmaker/repairer. He said that it needed cleaning/oiling plus three parts - the crown and the button below it and something internally. Total came out to $950, which he stated was because it was a chronometer and more difficult to work on.

    I also have now been given a Croton Vacuum that also belonged to my father - my mom found it in storage apparently. The jewelry maker hasn't seen it, but he said that a vacuum watch would likely be in the same ballpark just to service it (clean and oil I think is what he said).

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  9. #8
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    Re: Vintage Croton Chronomaster

    So... did you have the Chronomaster serviced and cleaned up, or just an estimate? If so, need PIC!

    Thanks for following up!
    Stowa 1938 | Speedy Pro 311 | Omega SMPc | 66 Omega SM | 65 Omega Cosmic | 54 Omega SM | 72 Speedy Mark II | 69 Tissot T.12 | 70 Tissot Super T.12 | 70 Seiko 6139 | 71 Seiko Yachtman | 77 Seiko Pogue | 70s Seiko Bullhead | 69 Bulova SK | Ventus Mori | Helm Khuraburi

  10. #9
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    Just an estimate for now. Gotta wait on the job to kick in before I shell out $1k on a watch.

  11. #10
    Member GhentWatch's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Croton Chronomaster

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainDooley View Post
    Just an estimate for now. Gotta wait on the job to kick in before I shell out $1k on a watch.
    That´s WAY too much for that watch to service.
    You wouldn´t be interested in selling this piece I presume? If so please do send me a PM.
    Vintage Chronographs and Divers are my thing.

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