We have here a stunning Chronograph Suisse, retailed by Javil, from the early 1950s. We normally see these chronographs in a bad condition so we are very excited to be offering this watch in a super fine condition! The white dial has a small amount of patina, which gives no doubt to its originality. Gilt Arabic numerals sit on the innermost ring of the dial, with outer minute tracking next, followed by the telemetre scale. The 30-minute recorder subsidiary dial is at 3 o'clock with subsidiary seconds at 9 o'clock. The dial is signed by the retailer 'Javil' and the manufacturer 'Chronograph Suisse' along with '17 Rubis' at 12 o'clock. Gilt, leaf hour, minute and chronograph seconds hands make for an easy read on a complicated dial.
The jumbo, 37mm, solid 18ct pink gold, three-piece case, although considered big at the time, wears comfortably for both men and women now. Two square pushers are at 2 and 4 o'clock for the chronograph functions. Inside is the mechanical manual wind Landeron caliber 48, fully serviced by us and running strongly. We've paired it on a brown leather strap but with this much personality, it can wear anything.
Extra PointsThe brand Chronograph Suisse was born out of being a watch parts manufacturer. During the 1940s, they provided "generic" chronograph watches and parts for other brands and jewellers to sell under their own name , such as Britix, Javil and Ultimor. This practice is not uncommon today and many luxury brands outsource movements, cases, glasses etc. Interestingly though, Chronograph Suisse did not produce their own movements. Instead they used Landeron, Valjoux or Venus calibers and by outsourcing the manufacturing of their movements, it established their reputation as an affordable but high-quality and reliable Swiss watch. This business model, although successful, was short lived as the quartz revolution of the 1970s forced many mechanical watch factories to close. At the height of the Chronograph Suisse, over 500 workshops were producing watches with supplies from them. The watches were largely marketed to tourists, often being sold in airport lounges or tourist shops and were available in a variety of style and in gold-plated, nickel-plated, solid stainless steel or solid 18ct gold cases, therefore offering the full range of prices to those looking for a memento from their travels. Some earlier Chronograph Suisse watches were even used by Italian officers during and after the Second World War. There was a small revival of Chronograph Suisse watches in 2010. The watches were produced were not of a heritage-type range, but modern chronographs.
What we think
With the range of styles, sizes and case materials that were produced, under a variety of different brands and jewellers (not to mention the 50+ years of aging!), you'll struggle to find two Chronograph Suisse watches that look exactly alike! These watches are full of personality and with their workhorse movements, they have now become quite collectable. The perfect chronograph for the first-time, vintage-watch buyer and every collection should have at least one Chronograph Suisse!
Age : 1951/1960
Specific Age : Early 1950s
Case Size : 37mm
Case Thickness :
Lug to Lug :
Lugs : 18mm
Condition : Pre-Owned
Box & Papers : No
Case Material : 18ct Pink Gold
Service History : 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty