Tavannes Chronograph | steel

Cal. Valjoux 22

Regular price £4,850 Enquire to Buy

This vintage, manual-winding, Tavannes chronograph from the early 1940s is remarkably well-preserved. Its original gilt dial, is in excellent condition, given the age of the watch.

In 1891, Henri-Frédéric Sandoz founded the manufacturing company Tavannes Watch Co. SA. in Tavannes, Canton of Bern. Under the direction of Sandoz, Tavannes developed many of their own calibres, also producing the specialised lathes and milling machines needed to manufacture them. From the 1900s, through to the 1950s, many Tavannes watches were sold under the brand name Cyma, having established a working relationship with Schwob Frères of La Chaux-de-Fonds. Tavannes Watch Co. were an early producer of wristwatch-specific movements, supplying a number of leading Swiss manufacturers, including Jaeger-LeCoultre, Dunhill, Hermes and Cartier. Lisica S.A. movements (subsidiary movement manufacturer of Tavannes), were used in the first production series of Reverso wristwatches. By 1938, Tavannes claimed to be the 4th largest watch manufacturer in the world.

Observed in this Tavannes chronograph, are many of the characteristics which distinguished brands like Tavannes and Cyma from their competitors during the 1930s and 40s. The gilt black dial is beautifully proportioned, with two registers for constant seconds and 30 minute tracking. It features an outer-track denoting the minutes, offering balance and legibility. Complimenting this classical timepiece is the addition of steel, feuille hands, retaining their sharpness. At 12 o’clock, the Tavannes logo is of an early style, with no other text visible on the dial. The steel case and flat, polished bezel are sharp and thick, while the high-domed glass further enhances its typical 40s style.

While the artistic aesthetics of this watch are undeniable, the technical aspects of the piece are equally noteworthy. The watch carries the manual-winding, 17 jewel, Valjoux calibre 22 (labeled as “Tavennes Watch Co”) at its heart, beating at 18,000 A/h, with a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. The Valjoux 22, and similar Valjoux 71, were produced by Valjoux (and later ETA) for 60 years, from 1914 through to 1974. Like the Valjoux 23, the movement is a nine-column column wheel chronograph with subsidiary seconds and a minute counter at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock, respectively.

This rare Tavannes chronograph retains both its original unsigned crown, as well its original chronograph pushers. The watch is fitted with a black leather strap and steel tang buckle.

Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.

Brand: Tavannes
Model: Chronograph
Movement: mechanical manual-winding Valjoux 22
Functions: chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds
Features: unrestored gilt black dial, original pushers/crown
Case: 35 mm stainless steel
Crystal: plexiglass
Bracelet: black leather rally strap, steel buckle
Year: circa 1940s
Box & papers: N/A

The steel case of this Tavannes is in excellent condition, it is thick and does not suffer from over polishing. The flat, polished bezel is equally sharp. The two-register, glossy black dial is well-preserved, with small marks towards the centre. It also has its original, unsigned crown and corresponding pump-pushers. The caseback exhibits superficial marks and scratches, consistent with use. This Tavannes chronograph watch has been fully-serviced and keeps excellent time. 

All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards. Our pre-owned and vintage watches are covered by a full, or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. 

All of our new watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer. Please contact us for further information.

We offer worldwide delivery on all of our watches.

If ordering from the UK or Europe before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.

If ordering from outside Europe, delivery will depend on choice of courier and destination. 

You can cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the watch has been delivered to you.