I built this page like a notebook.Initially it was a private page where you can land only with a shared link,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 about who invented the first GMT function Rolex or Glycine. I stand for Glycine as the inventor of the first 24h rotating bezel, not Rolex as it's claimed by its fans. Below patent dates will prove it. The problem with Rolex is that the company is not sharing any information and has a discreet approach to their products, years, serial numbers etc... All information in the market is a result of their fans and collectors effort. 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 is NOT. Starting from '40s there were already efforts in finding 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. It was Glycine who found the form we use now. Rolex patent is a rotating disc with city names patent, similar to those days Tissot Navigator.
An 'auxiliary' hand rotating independently that is set with its own crown, was how its inventor Robert Israel called it- that is the first sight of a GMT hand. It was developed 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. Patent application dates to Oct 1952. See below original patent.
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 the 12+12 hour dial in Oct 1945, not sure if they implemented and manufactured it though, will need to see an example yet.
I love dead beat seconds 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 because not everyone knows what it is. Knowledge is power:
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 Gigantic.
- 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.
- 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, and manufactured some premium 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. Chinese 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/
History and Background:
Angelus was a premium chronograph manufacturing company established in 1891 by two brothers, Albert and Gustav Stolz. They were both working for Henri Sandoz who was the Director of Tavannes Watch Factory. They decided to create their own brand and manufacture based in Le Locle.Back then focus being on pocket watches, that marked their initial manufacture. In 1904 they already were manufacturing their own ebauches. The company marked its distinctive future by manufacturing a mono-pusher chronograph wristwatch in 1925 while delivering the smallest 8 day movement for wristwatches. 1930s Angelus worked on two pusher chronographs while developing travel and car clocks. The company has numerous inventions along with chronograph calibers and specs, the phone duration recorder ( which is marked also on chronographs for every 3 minutes ). Reason for this call recording chronographs was that the initial set up for international calls was being billed per 3 minutes, rounded upwards. If you would make an intl. call for 1 min you would be billed for 3 min, speak 4 min and 10 sec pay 6 min... Having a timepiece that would allow you to monitor your call was fixing a problem. Angelus dared a bold attempt in 1958 by manufacturing 100 pieces of Angelus Tinkler: the very first automatic,water-resistant, 15 min repeater wristwatch. Tinkler was based on AS 1580 automatic ebauche. Than in 1978 comes another wrist repeater, this time a 5 min repeater watch manufactured with Dubois Depraz and Kelek, all developed on an ETA 2801 ebauche. The whole mechanism came out to be able to be mounted on many ETA movements, including ETA 2892. This marked one of the last manufacture of Angelus which went extinct until being resurrected in 2011 by La Joux Perret, whose roof company is Citizen Group. Angelus continues making haute horlogerie pieces since a decade again.
tl:dr version for wristwatches:
1935: Angelus two pusher chronographs with 13 and 15 lignes movements made their appearance, SF 215
1936: Angelus introduces SF ( Stolz Freres ) 240 movement, the smallest 8-days power reserve movement with and without alarm options
1942: Angelus developed the SF215 to SF217 with 14 lignes and added the first date configuration on the dial. Initially the watch was named Chronodate, in 1943 the name has switched to Chronodato
1948: SF250 12 lignes movements are introduced. This marks the start of manufacture of Chrono-Datoluxe models
1955: SF240, 8 day movement with eccentric seconds at 9 o'clock is introduced and famed by its use in Panerai watches
1956: Angelus Datalarm is introduced, the first alarm wrist-watch with date function
1958: Angelus Tinkler- wrist repater watch is introduced.It's also the first waterproof wrist repeater ( quarter repeater wrist-watch ). City legend and Angelus itself says only 100 were manufactured.
1978: Angelus manufactures 5 min repeater wristwatch
Manufacture Years and Serial Numbers:
My enthusiasm for Angelus apart from owning several of the vintage timepieces comes from my admiration to its craftsmanship. It deserves more attention. When I was looking around the web what is available for the company and its watches I can say that there are serious Angelus watch collectors. While having my Chronodato serviced I saw that the base plate has 4 digit code like 12 52 while the caliber is Angelus 217. So I thought it may be a date code, month and year. So I checked in WUS if there are other owners who has those numbers and voila with several examples we were able to put a chart together which corresponds and makes sense for the manufacture years. It's not definite but helps to narrow down and is an attempt to develop it further with common knowledge. It has to be noted though this chart is not for solid gold cased Angelus watches. Gold cases have a different numbering system. So these are valid for pocket-watches, clocks and wrist watches which are chrome, gold plated or stainless steel case. If you would like to contribute to the chart by sending me your Angelus' watches serial number via email it will help to populate the sample pool and proof reading. Any feedback or possible corrections please drop me an email with your remarks.
Angelus Watches Serial Numbers
Glycintennial, Vintage Glycine Watches
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