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 un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado]

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Tony C.
Membre très actif

Nombre de messages : 168
Age : 62
Localisation : lisboa, Portugal
Date d'inscription : 11/04/2008

un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado] Empty
MessageSujet: un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado]   un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado] Empty5/2/2011, 05:46

For those who read English, I have written a long post on this watch in TZ . [edit Modox : bon sujet Tony. ok nous sommes francophones mais pas trop intégristes. Pour ne pas être que boîte aux lettres j'ai pris la liberté de le copier/coller faire si cela t'agrée, les réponses peuvent se faire en français]

According to Wikipedia, the title of this post (and well-known phrase) can be traced to “a sermon by Jesus recorded in the Christian Bible: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

Males of a certain age, however, are likely to associate it with its application to automobile advertising, most notably in a successful marketing campaign that VW launched for their GTI model over 30 years ago. It was a clever use of the phrase (Dodge also employed a variation back in 1963), as it acknowledged the then novel possibility of a ‘hot’, high-performance engine lurking inside a cool exterior.

One respect in which watches resemble cars is this duality – an exterior (body/case) that provides the primary aesthetics, and a power source (engine/movement) hidden within. During the golden years of mechanical watch production (i.e. the 1940s–‘60s), most manufacturers below the very top tier were eager to market their especially accurate movements, often through chronometer certification, and corresponding notations on the dials.

As a vintage collector, my interest has consistently been piqued when, on rare occasions, I have come across watches that feature extraordinary movements, yet give no overt external cues suggesting that a ‘wolf’ lies within. Last year, I acquired one such watch.

Movado is best known by the masses for their iconic, stylized, Museum series watches. Vintage collectors know, however, that the company was quite different, and dynamic during the early and middle parts of the 20th Century. Among others, Movado introduced the (curved) Polyplan, the famous Ermeto, a forerunner of the modern travel clock, and an early digital design. Their chronographs, especially those powered by the M95 movement, are also in great demand amongst vintage collectors.

Movado’s simple, time only watches from the golden period tended to be attractive, understated, and occasionally quite elegant. In terms of their manual-wind movements, the company developed a very attractive three bridge design, which appeared around 1910 (cal. 105). This basic layout anchored their movements all the way up to the early 1960s. Over that long course, movements were improved, finished to varying degrees, and a fair percentage were adjusted.

The final, basic iteration of this family was the calibre 125 series, produced from 1946 through 1961. But the pièce de résistance was the so-called calibre 126 – Movado’s finest, chronometer grade, hand-wind movement (outside of their Observatory competition offerings). Arguably comparable to other outstanding, chronometer grade movements of the period, the cal. 126 was produced in very low numbers, beginning in 1950. Based on the movement numbers, there is a clear implication that no more than 999 (if that many) were produced. In the mid to late 1950s, Movado dominated the Observatory timing competitions at Neuchatel, and the calibre 126 was the key to those victories.

The cal. 126 is a 28mm movement, features 21 jewels (as opposed to 15 or 17 for the base caliber), a Glucydur balance with self-compensating Breguet hairspring, a swan-neck regulator, gold chatons, and no shock protection. They were adjusted to five positions, and the bridges were inscribed distinctively. They were serialized with six digits, the first three of which were always “125”, followed by three digits denoting the production number in the limited run.

All of the examples of Movado watches with cal. 126 movements that I had previously seen were marked as chronometers on the dial. This example, however, appeared on that auction site that so many seem to hate, without any indication of the quality of its movement. Luckily, the seller did provide a photo of it, though he failed to recognize its significance.

When I received the watch, I was able to think more deeply, and clearly about the mystery. Why was the dial not marked chronometer, as was typically the case? Was it a replacement dial, or had the movement been re-cased? Having the watch in my hands allowed me to answer those questions. It was in exceptionally good condition throughout, and there was nothing to suggest a marriage of any kind. The dial was clearly genuine and original, given the corresponding condition of the case. Furthermore, the quality of both the dial (beautifully executed with applied gold markers) and the 35mm case (by Huguenin Freres) were very high, underscoring that there was no dissonance between them and the top-class movement.

So then, what could be the answer? Could it have been a special order? Are there other, similar examples out there, suggesting that a small percentage of the cal. 126 movements were not certified, and therefore not designated as chronometers on the dial (Fritz van Osterhausen provides a possible clue in his History of Movado when mentioning that the movements were "largely reserved for chronometers")? As, in this instance, the movement was from the latter end of the production run, and was cased several years later, could Movado have run out of such dials?

The answer may never be known, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t bother me in the least. In fact, I quite like my wolf in sheep’s clothing, which leads to the final part of the story. I had never previously considered having a display back made for a vintage watch, but this Movado, and it’s superb movement, motivated me to do so. And I am happy to report that Keaton Myrick, an excellent, West Coast-based independent watchmaker, couldn’t have done a better job.

un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado] Movado21

un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado] Movado22

un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado] 126kpm
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Nombre de messages : 4862
Age : 63
Localisation : tout au bord du RHIN
Date d'inscription : 27/06/2007

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MessageSujet: Re: un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado]   un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado] Empty5/2/2011, 10:31

Si celui ci sort du bois Mr.Red . un loup déguisé en brebis [Movado] 5-49
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