I built this page as a notebook.Initially it was a private page where you can land only with a shared link and was not available in the index of the website. Than I thought why not open to public so everyone can benefit, here you go:
You will find interesting information here in no particular order.
We were discussing in watchuseek.com who invented the first GMT function. I stand for Glycine as the inventor of the first 24h rotating bezel, not Rolex as it's claimed by its fans. And that's the problem with Rolex, the company is not sharing any information since the very beginning. Discreet approach to their products, years, serial numbers etc... Everything in the market is a result of their fans and collectors. So it becomes less reliable especially given that information evolves and discoveries surface. Rolex fans claim that the GMT bezel is invented by Rolex, here is the proof that it's not. There were already many efforts to find the optimum way to read a second time zone. Glycine also didn't come up with it suddenly and solely by themselves, everyone builds up knowledge on each other's and the final stage as we know now is Glycine's ice on the cake. Most companies focused on rotating discs with standard mean time on it, including Rolex as in its patent shown below. It was Glycine who found the form we use now.
An 'auxiliary' hand, that is how its inventor Robert Israel called it, was developed initially to show a second time zone on a 12 hour watch. There are no bezel or dial drawings in the patent nor enough information whether the second hour hand is moving on 24 hour bases. But it is the first time a second hour hand is implemented to move on the dial and can be set independently from the main hour hand, thanks to its own crown.
This is a weird company, just like Kelek. It surfaced, invented some fancy things like 24h dial, alarm watch, chronographs and disappeared in a decade. They are the ones who invented this 12+12 hour dial, but not sure if they implemented and manufactured it at all.
I love the dead beat seconds watches complication. Especially because it's so humble. A wolf under the sheep skin. Dead beat seconds aka jumping seconds were initially developed as real seconds. Rolex executed it for a very short period as ' Tru beat ' and Omega called it 'Synchrobeat'. Chezard 116 differs from 115 only at crown function. In Cal 116 if you push crown in, it stops the seconds ( hacking ).
Different bridge configuration on movement same result 'dead beat seconds watch ' as in cal 115 and 116. Chezard 7400 is a 3 hands, 7402, 3 hands + date watch.
Chezard patented this function in 1952 ( Patent no: CH303336 ). The term 'sautante' was used in '30s for jump hour watches, in '50s we see that the term shifts to dead beat aka jumping seconds.
I am sharing the list here which I formed over time for dead beat seconds watches, it's for vintage watch models of course. Reason that I do this is to save as many dead beat seconds as possible. I have seen and bought many for the price of junk because not everyone knows what it is. Knowledge is power, and cash ;)
This watch has no hour hand, if it's PM the moon rises from 6 o'clock , AM sun rises from the same position and sets at 6 pm while moon rise again from the other side.... The seconds are dead beat seconds. This watch is in my collection and cases Chezard 115 movement. Not only the movement but also the dial is patented by Chezard (Patent no: CH318232 )
- Martel Watch Company manufactured the chronographs for Universal Geneve and Zenith Watch Company until they were acquired by Zenith in 1959. The aim of this merge was to create the first Automatic Chronograph for the centennial of Zenith ( 1865-1965 ) with Martel's know how and Zenith's momentum. However it was not that easy and they had to work on El Primero until Jan 1969 to present a prototype. Martel ebauches were in very high demand and utilized also in Vacheron and Jaeger chronographs.
- City legend says that Lemania was working on an automatic chronograph in 1947 which has not been realized, but I didn't see any patent or information on it. Looking back to that decade there are certainly some capable chronograph manufacturers like Breitling, Martel, Lemania, Angelus and that weird company Gigandit.
- Kelek, a short lived watch company has produced the smallest automatic chronograph movement of its time the Cal. 1369 along with other movements. They were also involved in the Dubois Depraz, Buren, Breitling Heuer coalition to manufacture the first automatic chronograph vs Zenith with Martel vs Seiko. Kelek was acquired by Breitling and is called now 'Chronometrie Breitling'.
- Hidden in the Swiss Alleys are still some manufacturing companies which you may never heard of like Le Joux Perret who is a movement supplier for many companies including made in Britain 'Bremont'. Le Joux Perret is owned by Japanese Citizen Group.
- Angelus has built in 1957 a limited run of automatic and water-proof quarter repeaters wrist-watch: Angelus Tinkler, and they did all this on a humble base caliber A.Schild 1580. Later they came up with a 5 minute repeater wrist watch, this time on an ETA 2801. The repeater module this time was developed with Dubois Depraz and Kelek's support on dial side module - all champs came together in this watch. The whole mechanism came out to be able to be mounted on many ETA movements incl. 2892. Like many watchmakers Angelus also couldn't survive the Quartz crises and was closed. This legendary chronograph manufacturer has been resurrected now by Le Joux Perret, whose roof company is Citizen Group.
- Lemania, another premium manufacturer was acquired by Swatch Group. Before the acquisition, Patek chronograph base movements were provided by Lemania. The company now manufactures movements exclusively for Breguet under the name Nouvelle Lemania within Swatch Group.
- Buren Watch Company was acquired by Hamilton Watch Co in 1966, which by 1984 was integrated into Swatch Group.
- Marius Meylan was a pioneer in many things chronographs... He was the son in law of Alfred Lugrin who was a well known and respected watchmaker. In Switzerland the tradition continues that when you are the successful apprentice you become also the son in law. That's what happened here also and Lugrin worked for a while together with Meylan and rebranded the company Lugrin Lemania.Later after Alfred Lugrin retired Marius Meylan continued with Lemania name only and has been a pioneer in premium chronographs. Lemania, Omega and Tissot formed SSIH in 1931 which later was integrated into what we know now Swatch Group. Before the Swatch Group integration Marius Meylan invented the Venus 230 mechanical alarm watch for ASUAG and SSIH.
- Another apprentice and son in law connection was a bit more earlier in 1811 when the first known watchmaker Meylan, Philippe Samuel Meylan was working with his apprentice Louis Audemars. Meylan left him all his tools and moved to Geneve to create with Isaac Piguet the Maison Piguet et Meylan. Louis Audemars was a very skilled apprentice who created his own brand Louis Audemars and Cie, who created some premium sought after pocket watches. A descendant of the Maison Louis Audemars currently is Paul Audemars a forum-mate also in WUS who dedicated his life to his great great grandfathers works and archive studies ( http://audemars.co.uk/paul-audemars/ ). At the other hand Piguet and Meylan ( P&M ) extended their automatons and horological wonders to exhibition in Paris. Chineese and Far Eastern traders loved their work and miniature automatons. An Australian businessman bought all their inventory displayed in the exhibition only to have his ship sunk in Indian Ocean.
In 17 Aug 1936, Aegler is paying out Gruen 500K CHF and ending the partnership, marking the start of exclusive Aegler and Rolex share. Until then the company names is 'Aegler Societe Anonym, Fabrique des Montres Rolex & Gruen Guild'
Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex had a good eye on inventions around him and purchased the screw down crown and oyster case initiatives which he developed further.
A sad story giving us a glimpse into the social history of its time: https://www.watchuseek.com/rolex-and-the-ragtime-king/
Glycintennial, Vintage Glycine Watches
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