French makers seemed to have had a great fondness for 3 letter names, LIP, LOV, RAR, UTI, DOP, VEC, PIL, IKE, TYL, LUX, WIL etc, etc.
For those of you not bored silly with my apparent obsession with French brands here’s another one you may not have come across before, VOG, “distr. par Kody”.
VOG, a Parisian brand, is inextricably linked with another French make, Kody, also of Paris, In fact I am certain that similarly to Mirus and Altitude, that VOG was in fact a Kody brand with purely French content. Kody, founded in 1922, used the slogan, “La montre Suisse habillée à Paris”, literally, “the Swiss watch dressed in Paris” in its advertising during the 1920’s. Their watches in 1920’s, mostly ladies watches it seems, all appear to have had Swiss movements, and they offered solid gold watches too.One of their adverts recommends their watches as suitable to be worn when playing golf, polo and tennis, which seems to be defining their target market as being rather higher than the norm for the majority of French brands of the time. There is no doubt that Kody was a top end brand in the late 1950’s, an advert of 1957 shows four of their ladies watches, priced between 18,500ffr and 48,000ffr, making the highest priced ladies Kody at today’s prices in the region of justover £2,000.
At the same time VOG advertised extensively as “La montre en vogue”, and again their advertising largely featured ladies wrist watches. They used celebrities to endorse their brand, and featured, amongst others Princess Vatchnadze, a Russian émigré socialite associated with Marlene Deitrich and Dolly Davis, a celebrated French film star of the 1920’s and 30’s.
VOG’s advertising at this period was noted for its extensive use of the Art Deco style, and, judging by the retailers where VOG watches were stocked, the brand was aimed at the middle class aspirants of Paris. It is also noticeable that most of the same outlets where the watches were stocked are also featured in Kody’s advertising.
VOG as an independent brand seems to have disappeared by the end of 1940’s to be replaced by “VOG distr. par Kody”, signally its dependence on Kody, and by 1957 Kody advertised VOG’s “guaranteed by Kody” at prices between 4,800ffrto 12,500ffr, so they were distinctly at the lower end of the food chain as far as Kody were concerned, at between £190 and £525 in current money. So it’s clear that VOG was indeed a sub-brand of Kody,
Kody became Kody SARL in 1956 and is still in business at 176 rue du Temple, Paris, and are listed in trade directories as makers as of gold watches, with, depending on the listing viewed, either 1 or 3 employees. Theydo not appear to have a website, but I have emailed them asking if they can add any more to the relationship between themselves and VOG, but have had no reply as yet.
So, after that over long preamble here we have a “VOG distr.par Kody”, with a movement inscribed “VOG cal 80”, which really can’t disguise the fact that is actually a Parrenin HP 90 from the late 1940’s/early 1950’s.
If you got this far, thanks indeed for reading all the way to the end,