Avia Olympic steel and chrome vintage chronograph wristwatch, circa 1955
A steel and chrome manually wound chronograph wristwatch with register, tachymeter and telemeter
Measuring 36.5mm in diameter, this is a handsome and relatively large vintage wristwatch. The slim and steeply chamfered bezel maximises the surface area available for the dial, ensuring all scales and calibrations are clear and easy to use. The dial has a good lustre with light oxidation spotting. There is some pitting and wear to the chrome finish which is largely confined to the underside of the upper case.
The dial has two engine-turned subsidiary dials: to the left for constant seconds and, to the right, for registering minutes whilst the chronograph is running. Within the minute register, the 3rd, 6th and 9th minutes are marked with elongated batons. These long markers represent the post office fees that were once charged when making telephone calls – calls were frequently charged in 3 minute intervals and thus by running the chronograph, it could quickly be seen if one had run into the next unit fee. The silvered dial has outer scales in blue for tachymeter and red for telemeter. Tachymeter scales enable the user to compute the speed of a travelling object over a set distance. In this instance the dial is calibrated for 1,000 units. If a car is timed over a measured mile, the user could begin their chronograph at the start of the mile and stop it once one mile had been travelled – by then reading on the blue scale, the speed in miles per hour are shown; for example, if a car took 30 seconds to travel 1 mile, the reading on the scale will show 120, i.e. the car is travelling at 120 miles per hour. The telemeter scale allows the calculation of something that emits both sound and light – for example, if the chronograph is started when a flash of lightning is seen and stopped when the thunder is heard, reading the chronograph seconds hand against the red scale will show the distance of the thunder storm from the watch, in this instance the scale is calibrated from 0 – 20 kilometres.
[M] Landeron calibre 149 manually wound movement, lever escapement, 17 jewels, compensation balance, 18,000 BPH, Incabloc shock absorber [D] silvered dial, raised gilded Arabic and faceted dagger indexes, gilded dauphine hands, outer black track for minutes/chronograph seconds, outermost tracks calibrated in red for telemeter and blue for tachymeter, two engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30-minute register [C] chromed upper case with chamfered bezel, downturned lugs with chamfered edges, snap-on case back with broad chamfered edge [S] case, dial and movement signed
Diameter excluding winding crown: 36.5mm
Length including lugs: 46mm
Depth to centre of crystal: 13mm
Strap width/lug gauge: 19mm
All our watches have been serviced and overhauled and are sold with a one year guarantee and detailed Black Bough certificate. A Black Bough fitted box will accompany this watch.