What did I miss out on?
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Thread: What did I miss out on?

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  1. #1
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    What did I miss out on?

    I ultimately lost the auction but I was intrigued by this vintage chrono. No real info provided, other than "1940's, 37.5mm case, serviced, screw down back"

    Any ideas on the maker/movement? Was it common to have unbranded watches in this era? It's really got me wondering...
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  2. #2
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    Re: What did I miss out on?

    Looks to me to be either a Landeron 48 or 54.
    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Landeron 48

    These watches were often made by small companies that ordered all the parts then put the brand name on the dials and this watch could be made with an old un branded dial.



    Last edited by Shum; February 24th, 2015 at 03:55.

  3. #3
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    Re: What did I miss out on?

    I agree with Shum, Landeron 48.
    What is going on with that flyback spring though? It is far too long and should only be just past the retaining post.
    Also it looks like a press-fit back type, not a screw-down.
    Small things sure, but they can make a difference in a sale or return...

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    Re: What did I miss out on?

    Yeah, at first glance a Landeron 48 in an interesting case carrying all marks of a waterproofed watch (pushers!) but with a pressed-on bottom - I've seen this combination only with Pierce watches so far - and interesting lugs.

    A second look at the movement is necessary because the chronograph bridge is unlike anything I've ever seen in a Landeron movement - I know this shape from the Valjoux 22/23 family. Once more, this illustrates the extreme level of interchangeability of parts in those early chronographs.



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  6. #5
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    Re: What did I miss out on?

    Unbranded watches were not uncommon in that era. We live in a super brand conscious time, of course, and find it hard to imagine now, but not so long ago, jeweller's brands were more prestigious than the watch they were selling. An obvious example is JW Benson, who had only their name printed on the dial, and used a wide range of suppliers. There are quite a few unbranded chronos around, and I suspect that these were assemblies of sub-contracted parts, sold by sales agencies. Still good watches, but just unbranded, or perhaps waiting to be branded.

  7. #6
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    Great insights everyone, thank you.

    It sounds like it was a combination of several movements when serviced to get it running again. It appealed to me because I really like the look of 30s-40s Breitlings, but most are out of my price range.

    Is the consensus that should a similar watch come available it would be okay to purchase (I.e. The mis-matched parts would still work together because of the interchangeability from the era)? Brand-name and resale value aside of course...

    Still trying to learn

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    Re: What did I miss out on?

    Don't think the watch you showed comprised necessarily 'mis-matched' parts…loads of well considered brands don't manufacture their own parts, only companies who claim to be a manufacture (as in the French usage); these are companies who make the bulk of their product under their direct control. An example of this would be Zenith. Many companies buy in the movement, sometimes refining it, sometimes not, it depends. Many companies don't make their own dials, hands, cases, but specify and/or buy in stock pieces and assemble them into a unit. I call those companies sales agencies (which they are, really).

    So your unbranded chronograph was, to some degree, an honest item. Many watch companies have been through the wringer and aren't today as glorious as they once were. An example might be Zodiac, now owned by Fossil and reissuing a pastiche of their iconic Astrographic watch. Sad. It's interesting to look through company ownerships and see how the industry runs - too little time to go into it here and now, but suffice to say that some highly thought of brands are paper thin and not deserving of their reputation.

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    Re: What did I miss out on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Habitant View Post
    Don't think the watch you showed comprised necessarily 'mis-matched' parts…loads of well considered brands don't manufacture their own parts, only companies who claim to be a manufacture (as in the French usage); these are companies who make the bulk of their product under their direct control. An example of this would be Zenith. Many companies buy in the movement, sometimes refining it, sometimes not, it depends. Many companies don't make their own dials, hands, cases, but specify and/or buy in stock pieces and assemble them into a unit. I call those companies sales agencies (which they are, really).

    So your unbranded chronograph was, to some degree, an honest item. Many watch companies have been through the wringer and aren't today as glorious as they once were. An example might be Zodiac, now owned by Fossil and reissuing a pastiche of their iconic Astrographic watch. Sad. It's interesting to look through company ownerships and see how the industry runs - too little time to go into it here and now, but suffice to say that some highly thought of brands are paper thin and not deserving of their reputation.
    Very interesting, Habitant. Learning a lot by reading through and now interacting with these forums. Hopefully one day I can be the one to contribute Not there yet, but everyone starts somewhere. Thanks again!

  10. #9
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    Re: What did I miss out on?

    Glad to help if I can. One thing I ought to have mentioned in particular about chronographs is that the Landeron movement you showed is very widely used and very often branded by companies as their own, but in fact, a Landeron 48 is a Landeron 48 (and so on). My point is that when it comes to special movements like a chronograph, most of the ones you'll see are either made by Landeron or Valjoux (occasionally Venus), regardless of the brand. And it's commonplace for some less ethical types to engrave a fancy name (say Leonidas) on the bridge of an ordinary Landeron, bodge it together with a dial printed up to support it (staying with the example, say 'Leonidas') and then charge big money as though it was once assembled and sold by Leonidas (example again). Buyer beware; it doesn't happen that often, but it does happen.

    When it comes to chrongraphs, the vast majority of the ones you'll find are not from a manufacture. Many companies who might usually make their own movements often don't do so with chronos, choosing then to buy them in from a company who can make them for less and perhaps better. They'll then case them, dial them and sell them. So the quality of the cases will vary from company to company, as will the dials, and these factors (as well as brand perception) are what makes some worth more than others, even though you're often comparing an apple to an apple, yet buying a pear.

    You guessed it, it's a mine field. There are guys here who really know their stuff, so if in doubt, ask first. In general, the community is helpful and welcoming.

    Quote Originally Posted by thethomasboy View Post
    Very interesting, Habitant. Learning a lot by reading through and now interacting with these forums. Hopefully one day I can be the one to contribute Not there yet, but everyone starts somewhere. Thanks again!
    Last edited by Habitant; February 25th, 2015 at 13:04. Reason: Clarity
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