Jump to content
  • Sign Up to reply and join the friendliest Watch Forum on the web. Stick around, get to 50 posts and gain access to your full profile and additional features such as a personal messaging system, chat room and the sales forum PLUS the chance to enter our regular giveaways.

Rone Watches: Nothing to do with Rolex


Always"watching"
 Share

Recommended Posts

I came across a sad remnant of a watch the other day, marked "RONE" and "Swiss Made." It was also designated on the dial as a 17 jewel incabloc model and had a cushion-shaped chromed case with screw-on back. I thought that I would lucky to find out anything about this brand; a second failure in a week as I had also been looking, unsuccessfully, for information about watches marked, "Vinrex." Fortunately, I did manage to come upon references to Rone watches, in addition to quite a few pictures of said watches. So here is my meagre offering on the subject

Rone watches were listed (by Pritchard) as Rone Watch Co. SA, Bole (circumflex on 'o'), Switzerland, and the same source mentions that they were listed again from 1966-1973. Rone watches were seemingly in production from the 1940s until the middle of the 1970s, and I have found references to examples that can be accurately dated for 1946, 1957, 1966, and 1970. A variety of models are found branded, Rone, including some in solid gold, which can have the maker's mark "RWC" or "RWCo" for Rone watch Company. In connection with the designation, RWC, there has been some confusion with Rolex but I can categorically state that Rone watches are not related to Rolex in any way.

The Rone Watch Company also used the brand names, Ronette and Ronet, and it appears that Rone Watch Company did not use its own movements. In the case of two early models, the Rone Seven and the Rone Sportsmans, the movement is marked for Rone with the brand and model names. In the mid-1960s, Rone was certainly using an automatic caliber by Anton Schild for at least some of its watches.

Rone Watch Company has been called a typical "assembler" of watches, and it is probably the case that Rone was not an in-house manufacturer of watches or movements. Nevertheless, the number and variety of surviving Rone branded watches bears testament to a firm that was fully engaged in producing watches for the general public over a long period of time, and it probably had input into the design and componentry decisions of its products.

Having stated what we know about the Rone Watch Company, let us look at some pictures to get some idea of the product range before forming some sort of conclusion:

 

 

Nine-carat gold rectangular Rone gents handwind wristwatch with hallmarks for Rone Watch Company, 1946, and powered by a 15 jewel caliber 812 Swiss movement (pic from images.antiquesatlas.com):

Vintage_9ct_gold_Rone_15_wrist_as170a511

 

 

Gold-cased Rone Sportsmans hand-wind wrist watch from about 1950 (pic from s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com):

774-2013215183023_original.jpg

 

 

a gold-plated Rone Sportsmans wrist watch with 31mm case, lumed hands and numbers, and Swiss hand-wind movement (pic from images.antiquesatlas.com):

Gents_1950s_Rone_Sportsmans_wa_as170a141

 

15 jewel movement from a Rone Sportsmans (pic from thumbs.worthpoint.com):

vintage-rone-sportsman-15j-cushion_360_a

 

 

Rone stainless steel automatic gents wristwatch from the late period of production, the 1970s (pic from brittons-watches.co.uk):

1438.jpg

 

 

Rone LCD digital watch from about the mid to late 1970s (pic from thumbs.ebaystatic.com):

mZpKr1IxZmIvpSpSd1NR4Fw.jpg

 

 

Rone gold-cased 17 jewel Incabloc hand-wind gents wristwatch, c.1955-60 (pic from walshbros-jewellers.co.uk):

vintage-watches-rone-mechanical-gold-wat

 

 

Rone early-mid 1970s gents hand-wind chronograph wristwatch with gold-plated case, screw-down back, and tritium lume. The two registers are for running seconds and minutes (pic from brittons-watches.co.uk):

1437.jpg

 

I have heard it posited that there may be a British link with regard to Rone Watch Company, perhaps because the gold examples seem often to be hallmarked for London. What is clear from the extant examples is that Rone Watch Company had a long life and had even started producing quartz watches before it went out of business. The product range of the firm was quite varied and in terms of quality parameters, these were quite wide. Indeed, I must apologise for not showing any pictures of Rone ladies' watches, which were no doubt produced right through the life of the company.

I would certainly suggest that Rone watches would make a nice collection, being representative of popular Swiss watches from just after the War until the quartz crisis had taken hold and was starting to shake the Swiss watch industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Great article, I came looking for info on a charity shop find and as usual you did not disappoint. I think this is a gents watch and I thought id add the image to your article if that's ok....

its running to time and I love the Hands and dial, They have a nice quality to them imho.. I'm Guessing 1940s...

2017-11-14_12-54-35

 

Edited by Spandy
addition
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 6 months later...

Rone watch here with R.W.Co 9ct gold case hallmarked for London1938 so you will have to revise your start date for Rone watch manufacture...

Ry007xP.jpg

On 11/02/2018 at 08:49, keff said:

The UK address of the company during the 1970's was;

 

Rone Watch Co

294 Pentonville Road

London N.1

Which just happens to have been next door to Bravingtons address at the time (and had been for many years before that) and coincidently where the watch shown in my post above, was bought in 1938. 

RlxlugN.jpg

Picture above taken in the early 1950's

Perhaps not a coincidence either that the Bravingtons Renown watch, shown below bears a more than striking resemblance to my Rone, even sharing the same FHF29 movement... Too many coincidences not to be a connection?

p1040290a.jpg?w=400&h=300

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Always"watching" said:

Thanks @John_D, As I indicated in my topic, the start date for Rone was an estimate, and it is great to be able to add your watch to the list of dateable early examples. From your watch, we can move back the start date to probably just pre-War.:)

I have a very strong suspicion that Bravingtons were the main importer or agent for Rone watches Pre-War.

While 296-298 Pentonville road was their double fronted retail shop, 294, which is the given address for Rone watches in the UK in the 1970's, was almost certainly Bravingtons workshop. Would be interesting to try to find out if Bravingtons had part or full ownership of Rone at any time...

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Fascinating information, thank you! I found this whilst trying to research my own 9ct rose gold octagonal ladies watch. It has R.W.Co mark inside case and has a sprung Britannic 9ct rose gold wrist chain. The marks inside the case are for London 1925 .

There is no Rone branding on the face. This is one of their very early watches, as from an advert the company placed on 1st March 1954, they refer to their 30 years of progress in watch making suggesting production must have commenced circa 1924.

Would love to post photos but very confused even having read the guide as to how to do so...sorry!

 

Here is the link for the advert- hope it works.

http://adbooma.com/product/the-big-5-of-the-watch-world-rone-sportsmans-rone-fifteen-rone-seven-rone-waterproof-rone-seven-5/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
On 16/03/2019 at 10:02, ItalyDiva said:

Fascinating information, thank you! I found this whilst trying to research my own 9ct rose gold octagonal ladies watch. It has R.W.Co mark inside case and has a sprung Britannic 9ct rose gold wrist chain. The marks inside the case are for London 1925 .

There is no Rone branding on the face. This is one of their very early watches, as from an advert the company placed on 1st March 1954, they refer to their 30 years of progress in watch making suggesting production must have commenced circa 1924.

Would love to post photos but very confused even having read the guide as to how to do so...sorry!

 

Here is the link for the advert- hope it works.

http://adbooma.com/product/the-big-5-of-the-watch-world-rone-sportsmans-rone-fifteen-rone-seven-rone-waterproof-rone-seven-5/

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

As an eleven-year-old in 1963 my father took me to Morris's, a wholesaler in Sunderland, where he bought two watches, both Rones. The first was a twenty-one jewel automatic watch with a sweep second hand and date, and which he kept for himself. The second was a seventeen-jewel with the second hand in its own dial, cutting through the '6': this was my reward for passing my eleven plus (OK, doing well enough in the tests to get to grammar school - the argument was that you didn't pass the eleven-plus, your results simply directed you to the correct type of secondary education establishment). I treasured that watch, and it passed through several style iterations as, at various times over the next two decades, it was mounted on a single leather strap, a Speidel (?) expanding wrist band, a double broad strap and, finally, back to a German manufactured, elegantly stitched, slim leather strap that it sports today and which is worn on special occasions with suit or DJ.

This watch has been dropped in hot concrete, scattered to the four winds when bowling at cricket (the case actually came apart, with the glass and second hand never recovered and the bezel travelling farther than the ball!).

It was only after that incident when my local jeweller in Sunderland tutted over the appalling degree to which I'd allowed my watch to degenerate and suggested that, although he could repair the watch he wouldn't be able to match precisely the bezel or second hand. He did, however, manage to match the glass, so things looked pretty good. He, also, stunned me with the suggestion that, should I ever mistreat the watch again, it would probably be impossible to obtain parts for it and that, in such an event, I should seek to have a whole new mechanism inserted into the watch. Why? Because the case was solid gold! Some revelation!

Since that time I have treated my watch with much greater reverence. Not because of its gold content, although the revelation did bring me up short, but because my long-deceased father had bought such a precious item item for me: when questioned about it he said that he hadn't realised it was gold, but that is irrelevant - it was the class and apparent quality of the watch, presented to my eleven-year-old self when my contemporaries were wearing Timex.

The watch had cost 17 guineas wholesale, plus purchase tax, (£17.85 in decimal coin) probably the equivalent of half a week's wages for a skilled man in 1963, and it remains my most prized possession.

I know it isn't in the first rank of watches - the mechanism is swiss made, certainly, the case was assayed in Birmingham and, I think, the whole was assembled in London - but it is elegant and beautiful, and I know of no other person of my acquaintance who has one. There is, however, something about the watch that, as soon as you strap it onto your wrist, the last thing to be put on and immediately concealed under the cuff-linked shot sleeves of the evening shirt, that makes you stand a little straighter, your wardrobe complete. 

My watch is awaiting a clean and service, to correct the minimal loss of a second or so a month. This has been delayed by the Covid crisis and it would be nice to find out something about the watch and, perhaps, obtain a photograph of one in its original state, in the hope of getting the second hand and bezel replaced with original parts.  

I'm away from home at the moment, so can't upload a picture, but will do so tomorrow. I'll be grateful to receive any information people may have about the watch, the company and where original parts might be obtained prior to its service. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Pandadunelm said:

As an eleven-year-old in 1963 my father took me to Morris's, a wholesaler in Sunderland, where he bought two watches, both Rones. The first was a twenty-one jewel automatic watch with a sweep second hand and date, and which he kept for himself. The second was a seventeen-jewel with the second hand in its own dial, cutting through the '6': this was my reward for passing my eleven plus (OK, doing well enough in the tests to get to grammar school - the argument was that you didn't pass the eleven-plus, your results simply directed you to the correct type of secondary education establishment). I treasured that watch, and it passed through several style iterations as, at various times over the next two decades, it was mounted on a single leather strap, a Speidel (?) expanding wrist band, a double broad strap and, finally, back to a German manufactured, elegantly stitched, slim leather strap that it sports today and which is worn on special occasions with suit or DJ.

This watch has been dropped in hot concrete, scattered to the four winds when bowling at cricket (the case actually came apart, with the glass and second hand never recovered and the bezel travelling farther than the ball!).

It was only after that incident when my local jeweller in Sunderland tutted over the appalling degree to which I'd allowed my watch to degenerate and suggested that, although he could repair the watch he wouldn't be able to match precisely the bezel or second hand. He did, however, manage to match the glass, so things looked pretty good. He, also, stunned me with the suggestion that, should I ever mistreat the watch again, it would probably be impossible to obtain parts for it and that, in such an event, I should seek to have a whole new mechanism inserted into the watch. Why? Because the case was solid gold! Some revelation!

Since that time I have treated my watch with much greater reverence. Not because of its gold content, although the revelation did bring me up short, but because my long-deceased father had bought such a precious item item for me: when questioned about it he said that he hadn't realised it was gold, but that is irrelevant - it was the class and apparent quality of the watch, presented to my eleven-year-old self when my contemporaries were wearing Timex.

The watch had cost 17 guineas wholesale, plus purchase tax, (£17.85 in decimal coin) probably the equivalent of half a week's wages for a skilled man in 1963, and it remains my most prized possession.

I know it isn't in the first rank of watches - the mechanism is swiss made, certainly, the case was assayed in Birmingham and, I think, the whole was assembled in London - but it is elegant and beautiful, and I know of no other person of my acquaintance who has one. There is, however, something about the watch that, as soon as you strap it onto your wrist, the last thing to be put on and immediately concealed under the cuff-linked shot sleeves of the evening shirt, that makes you stand a little straighter, your wardrobe complete. 

My watch is awaiting a clean and service, to correct the minimal loss of a second or so a month. This has been delayed by the Covid crisis and it would be nice to find out something about the watch and, perhaps, obtain a photograph of one in its original state, in the hope of getting the second hand and bezel replaced with original parts.  

I'm away from home at the moment, so can't upload a picture, but will do so tomorrow. I'll be grateful to receive any information people may have about the watch, the company and where original parts might be obtained prior to its service. 

A lovely story, it's always good to see a vintage watch being treasured for its personal connections.

Photos - including one of the movement, if you can - may enable someone to tell you more about it. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Pandadunelm said:

As an eleven-year-old in 1963 my father took me to Morris's, a wholesaler in Sunderland, where he bought two watches, both Rones. The first was a twenty-one jewel automatic watch with a sweep second hand and date, and which he kept for himself. The second was a seventeen-jewel with the second hand in its own dial, cutting through the '6': this was my reward for passing my eleven plus (OK, doing well enough in the tests to get to grammar school - the argument was that you didn't pass the eleven-plus, your results simply directed you to the correct type of secondary education establishment). I treasured that watch, and it passed through several style iterations as, at various times over the next two decades, it was mounted on a single leather strap, a Speidel (?) expanding wrist band, a double broad strap and, finally, back to a German manufactured, elegantly stitched, slim leather strap that it sports today and which is worn on special occasions with suit or DJ.

This watch has been dropped in hot concrete, scattered to the four winds when bowling at cricket (the case actually came apart, with the glass and second hand never recovered and the bezel travelling farther than the ball!).

It was only after that incident when my local jeweller in Sunderland tutted over the appalling degree to which I'd allowed my watch to degenerate and suggested that, although he could repair the watch he wouldn't be able to match precisely the bezel or second hand. He did, however, manage to match the glass, so things looked pretty good. He, also, stunned me with the suggestion that, should I ever mistreat the watch again, it would probably be impossible to obtain parts for it and that, in such an event, I should seek to have a whole new mechanism inserted into the watch. Why? Because the case was solid gold! Some revelation!

Since that time I have treated my watch with much greater reverence. Not because of its gold content, although the revelation did bring me up short, but because my long-deceased father had bought such a precious item item for me: when questioned about it he said that he hadn't realised it was gold, but that is irrelevant - it was the class and apparent quality of the watch, presented to my eleven-year-old self when my contemporaries were wearing Timex.

The watch had cost 17 guineas wholesale, plus purchase tax, (£17.85 in decimal coin) probably the equivalent of half a week's wages for a skilled man in 1963, and it remains my most prized possession.

I know it isn't in the first rank of watches - the mechanism is swiss made, certainly, the case was assayed in Birmingham and, I think, the whole was assembled in London - but it is elegant and beautiful, and I know of no other person of my acquaintance who has one. There is, however, something about the watch that, as soon as you strap it onto your wrist, the last thing to be put on and immediately concealed under the cuff-linked shot sleeves of the evening shirt, that makes you stand a little straighter, your wardrobe complete. 

My watch is awaiting a clean and service, to correct the minimal loss of a second or so a month. This has been delayed by the Covid crisis and it would be nice to find out something about the watch and, perhaps, obtain a photograph of one in its original state, in the hope of getting the second hand and bezel replaced with original parts.  

I'm away from home at the moment, so can't upload a picture, but will do so tomorrow. I'll be grateful to receive any information people may have about the watch, the company and where original parts might be obtained prior to its service. 

Can you recall which street the shop was in ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The store was on High Street East at the junction, I think, of Nile Street. It's a long time since I've revisited my home town, despite living only fifteen miles away: my memories are far nicer than the reality, and I've even had to give up going to the Stadium of Light!. If I remember correctly, there was a department store next to Morris's called Liverpool House.

Thanks for your interest. I'm hoping to have the watch serviced and overhauled when possible and I'll ask the jeweler to open up the watch in order for me to take photos. May be some time as we go into Tier 3 Covid restrictions!

And thenk-you for the likes!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Pandadunelm said:

The store was on High Street East at the junction, I think, of Nile Street. It's a long time since I've revisited my home town, despite living only fifteen miles away: my memories are far nicer than the reality, and I've even had to give up going to the Stadium of Light!. If I remember correctly, there was a department store next to Morris's called Liverpool House.

Thanks for your interest. I'm hoping to have the watch serviced and overhauled when possible and I'll ask the jeweler to open up the watch in order for me to take photos. May be some time as we go into Tier 3 Covid restrictions!

And thenk-you for the likes!

I thought that's where it was. My dad worked for W.C. Thomson which was Liverpool House. I can remember the shop where you bought the watches pretty well.    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

que tal colegas, yo acabo de comprar un Rone sportsman, esta en muy buen estado, pero mi duda es, saben por que fueron hechos en 9k? por que no 10, 14 o 18? era por las escaces de metal fino en epocas de guerra o cual es la razon ?? saludos y pronto les mostrare fotos de mi reloj

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, israel monzuri said:

que tal colegas, yo acabo de comprar un Rone sportsman, esta en muy buen estado, pero mi duda es, saben por que fueron hechos en 9k? por que no 10, 14 o 18? era por las escaces de metal fino en epocas de guerra o cual es la razon ?? saludos y pronto les mostrare fotos de mi reloj

They probably used 9k for cost reasons, Rone was not an expensive brand, also 14k and 10k are not usually used in Europe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...