Chronograph | steel
Cal. Valjoux 22
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.
|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|
|Bracelet:||black leather rally strap, steel buckle|
|Box & papers:||N/A|
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