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enfuseeast

Ralco watches 2 of a kind

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i have these 2 ralco watches (movement signed ralco 15j).....neither is signed on the face but have identical movements......anyone any idea of appx. date (1940s? 50s?)....and is it true that ralco have an association with movado?......both keep excellent time.....one after a tweak by simon 2......also only 28mm across the face......ladies or gents?.....

IMG_20190131_114327

any info welcome:)

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Ralco watches do indeed have a link with Movado, and were manufactured by that company. The Ralco name derives from the first letter of the names of members of the Dittesheim family, who owned Movado - Roger, Armand and Lucien. Your two Ralco watches are in a style that had a long life which makes them hard to date exactly but I would place them in the mid-late 1940s.

Ralco as a brand name was in use from a relatively early date (perhaps about the mid-1930s), as is shown by extant watches illustrated online, and the name was still in use in the 1960s. I haven't sufficiently explored Ralco to enable me to provide more details about the history of the brand, but both gents' and ladies' models were branded Ralco, as were both automatic and hand-wind watches. Some of the watches include a stylish logo on the dial in addition to the brand name - resembling a head-on view of an airplane or a wide shallow "V" and small circle.

I should just note that there is apparently information about Ralco watches contained in van Osterhausen's book on Movado.

 

Stop Press: I have just discovered the following information:  On Saturday 11 October 1941, a U.S. Federal trademark registration was filed for the word mark RALCO. The trademark was owned by Movado Watch Agency, Inc, and received registration on 17 March 1942. It expired on 10 January 1986.

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Wow, intersting post, and then you mentioned "Ditisheim"

In pocket watch circles Paul Ditisheim ( 1868 - 1945 ) is very famous for doing very high end pocket watches, marine chronometers and also wrist watches. He did some revolutionary balances and chronometre work alongside physics nobel prize winner Charles Guillaume, who made the famous "Guillaume Balance"

There must have been some family connection somewhere.............

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On 31/01/2019 at 12:14, enfuseeast said:

also only 28mm across the face......ladies or gents?.....

I would say by style and period, Gents, and 1930's.

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I now have some additional information about Ralco, courtesy of Mikrolisk, which for me led to a slightly revised dating of your two Ralco watches, dear @enfuseeast.

Ralco SA was registered in 1920 as a general export company based in La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland and exported watches and related items. Just how direct the company link with Movado was at this time it is difficult to say, but one would expect Ralco to have exported watches produced by Movado from about this time. The actual use of the Ralco name as a brand designation stated on watches, including on movements, seems to have started later - probably beginning shortly before 1930, in which year the first US registration of Ralco occurred as a word trademark of Movado Watch Agency, Inc.  My own caution in placing your watches into the 1930s was partly based on the lack of information about Ralco prior to 1940, but now that this barrier has disappeared, I have looked again at illustrative source material for watches of the period 1930-1950 and the discrepancy between my esteemed colleague @WRENCH and myself concerning the date of your two watches has pretty much vanished. In other words, I would now date your watches to the second half of the 1930s up to just after 1940.

I value expertise from wherever it comes, and am always ready to look again when someone like Wrench takes a  different view to my own - in this way we can together piece together the fascinating  history of watches  with increasing accuracy and detail. :biggrin:

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9 minutes ago, Always"watching" said:

I value expertise from wherever it comes, and am always ready to look again when someone like Wrench takes a  different view to my own - in this way we can together piece together the fascinating  history of watches  with increasing accuracy and detail. :biggrin:

Oops,.didn't intend to contradict. :thumbsup: I had this saved from years gone by.

 

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i find it difficult dating watches/many objects.....between the late 1930s and the early 1950s....i suspect (only a theory)....that the efforts of people involved with style/design....were directed toward other pursuits during the 2nd WW.....seems like the aesthetic of the late art deco period picked up where it left off before the war....?

that said i cant quite imagine "harold lloyd" swinging from one of the hands of these watches.....

 

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