LeCoultre retailed by Gübelin circa 1935 18ct gold
Vintage Watch Update – 13 August 2021 | 13.8.21

LeCoultre retailed by Gübelin circa 1935 18ct gold

LeCoultre retailed by Gübelin | 18ct Gold c.1935

Opening this week’s newsletter is a sensational Art Deco LeCoultre pocket watch. This timepiece has an outstanding black lacquered dial which is rich and glossy, contrasting spectacularly with the applied gold hour indexes and 18ct gold case. The watch was specially made by LeCoultre for the famous Swiss retailer Gübelin. Manually wound, the 17”’ LeCoultre movement is signed Gübelin to the bridge and the LeCoultre numbering dates the watch to circa 1935. The inside case back carries LeCoultre’s stamp and key number. A wonderfully charismatic pocket watch, this is Art Deco watch design at its very finest.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal. P469 circa 1955

Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal.P469 | Steel c.1955

Unusually large for a watch of the period, the case of this wristwatch measures 35.5mm in diameter. The relatively slim chamfered bezel allows for an increased dial area and enhances the watch’s apparent size. With classic Jaeger-LeCoultre styling, the dial has raised combination Arabic and triangular numerals and sword-shaped hands. We have fitted this watch with a Christopher Clarke for Black Bough pig skin leather watch strap.

Omega Genève Ref. 131.022 circa 1970 blue dial

Omega Genève Ref.131.022 | Steel c.1970

An extremely attractive version of this cushion-form 131.022 model, the blue satin finished dial is deep and rich in tone, retaining an excellent lustre. The case is in unpolished condition with crisp angles and edges and only light marks and scuffs.

Tissot Seastar Sonorous Ref. 40500-3X circa 1970

Tissot Seastar Sonorous Ref.40500-3X | Steel c.1970

This model incorporates the movement manufacturer A. Schild’s popular alarm calibre (cal. 1475). In addition to Tissot, the cal. 1475 was used by a variety of different manufacturers, including Tudor for their Advisor model and Movado for their Ermetophon purse watch. A manually wound movement, the alarm’s sound is created by a ‘hammer’ rapidly striking a pin welded to an inner movement cover, this is a similar system to that adopted by Jaeger-LeCoultre for their Memovox model. In very good condition, the dial has a great monochromatic look and a vertical satin finish which matches the grain of the upper case. This watch is fitted with a herringbone patterned, Italian-made, steel bracelet which appears to be contemporary with the watch and compliments its styling. Fully adjustable via a sliding clasp, the bracelet can also be detached and replaced with a leather strap if preferred.

Bulova Cal. 11ANAC circa 1970 with red cross hair

Bulova Cal.11ANAC | Steel c.1970

Despite Bulova’s successful introduction of the Accutron electronic movement in 1960, the company by no means abandoned their mechanical watch production. This watch incorporates the firm’s efficient and well-designed calibre 11ANAC which was part of a series of automatic movements produced for several years with and without date apertures. The case has typical design elements of the period with a broad tonneau shape and a satin finished bezel. However, it is the dial layout that is particularly effective with bold black hour indexes contrasting with a matt white surface, all complimented by  subtle yet dominant red accents in the form of a crosshair and centre seconds hand.  We have fitted the watch with one of our steel Milanese watch bracelets.

Swiss, hallmarked 1929-30 | silver manually wound wristwatch

Swiss | Silver Hallmarked 1929-30

An early silver model, this Swiss wristwatch has UK import hallmarks for the Edinburgh assay office that date it to 1929-1930. The silvered dial features the 12 o’clock painted in red, an ‘accent’ adopted by early wristwatch dial manufacturers to act as a quick reminder of its position – this was due to the fact that, on an open-faced pocket watch, the 12 o’clock position was usually located beneath the winding crown, i.e. the 3 o’clock position on a wristwatch dial. The hinged case is typical of early wristwatch designs but has clearly defined lugs rather than the simple wire bars found on many of the wristwatches of the earlier 1900s and 1910s. Silver was a popular metal that was frequently used for wristwatches well into the 1930s, but seems to have fallen out of favour as improvements in the handling and production of anti-corrosion steel cases led to a dramatic increase in steel cased watches. Steel is considerably tougher and stronger than silver and allows crisp angles and edges to be more easily cut, yet silver has a softness that is particularly suited to cases with rounded bezels and backs and is of course, by its nature, a very handsome metal.

Christopher Clarke for Black Bough No.3 handmade pig skin leather watch strap

Christopher Clarke for Black Bough No.3

Today we added two new watch straps handmade exclusively for us by Christopher Clarke. Both straps use pig skin hides sourced from a Scottish tannery and are vegetable tanned and dyed. Pig skin has a fantastic textured which gives these straps a uniquely rugged appearance. The ‘No.3’ has a rich honey coloured tone, while ‘No.6’ has a golden brown hue. Each style has a soft sheen to the surface and the straps are backed with supple yet strong kangaroo skin to ensure a comfortable fit.

Christopher Clarke for Black Bough No.6 handmade pig skin leather watch strap

Christopher Clarke for Black Bough No.6

The buckle and keep are hand sewn using linen thread coated with beeswax. A scribed line is added to the edges of the straps to add definition – a feature often found on vintage watch straps. Pig skin was used by strap makers right from the early days of wristwatch production and remained popular until the end of the 1960s. Today the use of pig and boar skin for watch straps has greatly diminished, such that it is difficult to find straps made with this leather on the market today. The traditional look of these straps make them ideal for use with vintage wristwatches.

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