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Carlos Fandango

'Special Watches' from 1934 Catalogue

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Hello all,

I know some members have an interest in early waterproof and shockproof watches so I thought I would post these pages on ‘Special Watches’ from the 1934 ‘Wilderness Catalogue’ I have just acquired.

This catalogue was produced periodically by Robert Pringle & Sons who were a wholesale supplier of silver, electroplate and other ‘fancy goods’.

There are other pages with more standard watches including Cyma, Tavannes, Waltham, Eterna, Ena and Aster as well as Helvetia of course if anyone is interested.

There are also over 200 pages of things such as propelling pencils, cigarette cases, lighters, dressing sets, candlesticks, tankards, clocks, you name it if anyone has wider interests let me know.

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Thanks. Carl.

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Many thanks, Carlos, for showing us that fascinating catalogue page.:)

I am aware that the technical descriptions given in the captions will be of major interest to many collectors and researchers like myself. Nevertheless, for me, perhaps the most important watch shown is that two-register chronograph with cushion-shaped case. I have long suspected that some 1930s chronograph watches have been wrongly dated to the post-War period, and that mid-1930s chronograph illustrated here is prescient of later stylistic developments in chronograph design.

Please do show us more pages of that catalogue...

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3 hours ago, Always"watching" said:

Many thanks, Carlos, for showing us that fascinating catalogue page.:)

I am aware that the technical descriptions given in the captions will be of major interest to many collectors and researchers like myself. Nevertheless, for me, perhaps the most important watch shown is that two-register chronograph with cushion-shaped case. I have long suspected that some 1930s chronograph watches have been wrongly dated to the post-War period, and that mid-1930s chronograph illustrated here is prescient of later stylistic developments in chronograph design.

Please do show us more pages of that catalogue...

Thanks. I've been on the lookout for one of these catalogues since seeing a page from the 1931 version that highlighted the Helvetia shock protection and I wanted some more info for my Helvetia site. The diagram and description of the Helvetias is great for me. A bit confused though as all the Helvetias I have seen from this period have 15 jewel movements whether in chromed or stainless cases. Either the cal 81 or a modified FHF. Not sure if this 6 jewel budget version is just marketing to get you to buy the more expensive one.

I will admit I always thought the two register chronograph as shown was a 1940s invention and I have never seen a cushion case one. I thought they were all 'Stop second' style in the 1930s like the Helvetia 'Stop' and 'Sport'.

The other pages are of more ordinary watches but they do have the price lists which have more technical info, size, type of metal etc.

I'll post them when I have a minute, may be tomorrow.

Thanks. Carl.

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For those of you interested this is a picture of the spring mounting for the movement as illustrated at the top of the first page above.

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This is the watch section of the index. Ladies are 7 to 16 and men's wrist are 24 to 31 so more or less anything else is pocket watches. I am posting the other wristwatch pages below but if you want to see anything else let me know.

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Wristwatch pages:

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Many thanks Carlos @Carlos Fandango. Original source material is manna for those of us who are always researching watches (and other historical subjects).:)

I have just noticed that some of the watches are ascribed to "Ena" in the captions and I wonder if that is a seperate brand name or merely an abbreviation for "Eterna." I have briefly checked to see if "Ena" was an actual watch brand, but have not found any reference to it as yet.

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On 20/11/2019 at 15:42, Always"watching" said:

Many thanks Carlos @Carlos Fandango. Original source material is manna for those of us who are always researching watches (and other historical subjects).:)

I have just noticed that some of the watches are ascribed to "Ena" in the captions and I wonder if that is a seperate brand name or merely an abbreviation for "Eterna." I have briefly checked to see if "Ena" was an actual watch brand, but have not found any reference to it as yet.

I know what you mean. I saw a diagram of the Helvetia shock protection on David Boettcher's page that said it was from the Wilderness Catalogue 1931 so I have kept my eyes open and managed to find this one from 1934 for £20. The catalogue was produced by Robert Pringle and Sons who's employee was Arthur George Rendell who used his initials for the import mark when importing watches. So watches marked AGR were imported by Robert Pringle and Sons.

I think Ena is separate as there are Eterna marked ones as well but I can't find anything on it either, I was thinking it might be a sort of house brand for them for anonymous cases and movements. I hadn't heard of Aster either but they are on Mikrolisk.

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I was thinking the same as you about Eno, @Carlos Fandango - perhaps an own-brand for the company. The entries on Mikrolisk for "Aster" are intriguing and research into the firm of Louis Muller might reveal some interesting info into that brand's history.

I also noticed that Mikrolisk attributes the AGR mark to Arthur George Rendell as an importer of Swiss watches from 1907, based in Clerkenwell. The mark shown by Mikrolisk is very like a silver sponsor's mark, with "A.G.R" in overlapping circles, stamped; I therefore decided to do some research into this mark as if it were a silver mark and hit paydirt with some interesting information regarding Rendell and the Pringle company. The relevant website reference is "vintagewatchstraps.com/sponsorsmarks.php" and the section heading is, "A.G.R: Arthur George Rendell for Robert Pringle & Sons". :)

 

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On 19/11/2019 at 16:46, Always"watching" said:

Many thanks, Carlos, for showing us that fascinating catalogue page.:)

I am aware that the technical descriptions given in the captions will be of major interest to many collectors and researchers like myself. Nevertheless, for me, perhaps the most important watch shown is that two-register chronograph with cushion-shaped case. I have long suspected that some 1930s chronograph watches have been wrongly dated to the post-War period, and that mid-1930s chronograph illustrated here is prescient of later stylistic developments in chronograph design.

Please do show us more pages of that catalogue...

Thought you might be interested in seeing the below as well. This is a patent by Helvetia in 1940 for chronographs that have the hour and minute hands on the same subdial and moving about the same axis. The only watch I have seen using this design is the Helvetia 'Sport'. They have changed it to a two button chrono and the subdial hands have been made very different looking to each other in order to be able to differentiate them but it is the same idea.

Has anyone seen this anywhere else?

 

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Edited by Carlos Fandango
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Thanks for showing that, dear @Carlos Fandango. Very interesting and what a lovely watch that Helvetica Sport is - I hope it is in your collection. I love everything about it, and just wonder who made the movement and what caliber is it. The round-cased single button chronograph in the drawing presumably has a similar base movement to the two-button example.  :)

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Unfortunately the watch is not mine and that is the only example of it I have seen. Fortunately there is a picture of the movement. It is the Helvetia 822 which is based on their Cal 81/ Cal 82. The naming would suggest it is an adapted Cal 82 but those I've seen seem to be adapted from the Cal 81, these two movements are very similar.

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On the version in the 'Sport' the adaptations are on the dial side so you can't see much from the photo. However most Cal 822 movements were used in the Helvetia 'Stop' which is a more standard stop second chronograph they had out at the same time. In these the adaptions are visible and I even have the patent drawing for them.

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Have a look at my page here for more info:

https://www.helvetiahistory.co.uk/the-helvetia-stop-chronostop-watch

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