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Avia: Forgotten but not Gone

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47 minutes ago, tick-tock-tittle-tattle said:

To walk past a watch shop when I have some time on my hands would be wrong wouldn't it?

Almost criminal. My eBay watch list is full of watches too. What else would you put in a "watch" list?

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As a collector of Limit watches, I am acutely aware of the frustration engendered by collecting items from a company where the early history of that company has, well, vanished. Thus it is with some t

New member here and Avia brought me here. Such an interesting read from a company I knew nothing about till recently. I found out about Avia through my Dad after expressing interest in watch

I know this thread is a couple of years old, but.... I used to work for Avia in 1989.  It was based in Redhill, Surrey - Ormside Way, Holmethorpe Industrial Estate, and they were called Louis New

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I have got several Avia's now, one apparently a very early "bmw" patterned scroll name sub second dial I paid £4 on ebay for this gem and it keeps astonishing time for its age.   The seller said it had a dead battery and water damaged... started ticking on the second twirl of the crown, took a good wind and kept about 30 hours on it and I set it from midnight IAT and midnight the next day it hadn't dropped a second.   The only other one close to this was a very cheap gold Ruhla believed 70's, never been worn, not a scratch, mark or blemish on that or its German expanding rolled gold bracelet and that is a beautiful piece.

I used to live in Redhill and never knew Avia were there, I was one of the naughty "philly" boys who enjoyed the bars and small room theme up on Philanthropic Hill, we were always loved down the local youth club Horizon or rather the girls liked us, the boys all hated us hehe   Funny other fact of Redhill for me is for a while I used to help out the Reliant garage in Brook Lane, still called the Brook Garage and my car of choice today is a Reliant Robin MK2 so I deal with Phil a lot at the old place but he don't remember me lol or rather he chooses not to remember he had one of us rascals there as I do believe the town did sigh a sigh of relief when the old school became a school for the blind.

Wearing right now a very tidy Avia Mariner, OK the case isn't as big as I would like it but it is waterproof, it has out of all my watches the best lume lasting a good ten minutes, I also have the matching ladies version of this but sadly no lady hehe.

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53 minutes ago, tick-tock-tittle-tattle said:

I sold this 1950's Olympic recently, I got virtually nothing for it on Fleabay, but I wasn't wearing it enough, and a watch must be worn or it just becomes 'objet d'art'


What's wrong with an objet d'art in a collection? That's a rather nice watch, though I'd have it on a darker strap.

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2 minutes ago, spinynorman said:

What's wrong with an objet d'art in a collection? That's a rather nice watch, though I'd have it on a darker strap.

I think it was just down to a snap decision really, I just thought 'someone may wear this and love this more than I do' 

It did deserve a better strap to be honest, fake ostrich wasn't right for it, but that strap was kicking around (came off a rather nice 1960's Seiko that I got for next to nothing. The guy kept going on about the ostrich strap rather than the watch until I told him that the strap was ostrich grain on calf leather.

The Seiko with 'Ostrich' strap.


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@Always"watching"My local shoemaker has a window full of Limit watches all at basement prices, I always had Limit and Avia grouped in the lower end of mid range, never had either tagged as bargain basement, I would imagine the product placement is more to do with current fashion rather than watch quality.

I have honestly balked at some Avia watches on the bay, thinking there must be something wrong if it is that cheap. How wrong could I be..

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Will never be forgotten by me!

It was this 9k model & bracelet, gifted by my parents to mark a significant birthday in 1972, as my introduction to the world of horology...



Most to be found with quality Peseux, ETA, AS, movements.

Some of the others I have since acquired...







The above fitted with an AS1916 (quick set day/date) movement...


The none quick set variation, AS1816, was deemed good enough for the early Blancpain FF's, calibre Rayville 566.


Would strongly recommend, for those interested in vintage timepieces, look out for early models as prices are 'continuing' to rise for good condition examples.



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I thought this may be an appropriate thread in which to include my 1967 Avia “Ajustor” which has a 17j FHF 73 as the base calibre, but much modified by the incorporation of Fernand Etienne’s patented “Ajustor” mechanism.

Thought to have been 250 Avia examples produced and which were mightily expensive at the time.


Avia Ajustor 2 v.2.jpg

Avia Ajustor FHF 73 v.2.jpg

Avia Ajustor advert v.2.jpg

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 There is quite a lot of personal interest and sentimental attachment in these watches. The little Avia on the left was given to my late mother by my father on the day I was born.   He gave her the small Rotary in the middle on their 20th wedding anniversary.  Sadly he passed away a couple of years after that. The larger Rotary on the right was my 80th birthday gift to her. She had macular degeneration and could not really see the time on those very small watches. 

 A couple of years before she died, she brought the two small watches downstairs on my birthday in August and gave them to me, saying that she had taken them to a local watchmaker and he had declared them beyond repair.  I took them to a watchmaker in Norwich who fixed them both up pretty quickly and the following Christmas I gave them back to her both ticking.  The look on her face is something I will never forget. But she still gave them back to me to look after and keep. 



 Here is my Birth Day watch next to my Birth Year watch, bought from a well-known moderator of this forum, to celebrate my 60th.



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Could someone help me date my one if poss?


I haven't got an online foto and can't seem to work out how to link a pic from my pc but here goes.


15 Jewels, gold case, textured "bow tie" or BMW logo whichever way you would look at it dial, solid baton gold hands, sub dial, scrolly Avia logo, golden markers and numerals at 12, 3, 9 with the lower part of the six under the subdial.   It is on an ancient 9k gold expanding bracelet.


I am curious more than anything now as other forums ppl have said late 40's early 50's due to the "bow tie" and ornate branding.


Today I timegraphed using what I call a baby timegrapher recently bought on ebay, half my collection and I had to do the Avia several times because it just refused to move from a single track line with a little splittng into two tracks but infrequently, its amplitude was very good as was beats, beat error under a ms and wait for it.... its secs loss a day.... 0.3s/d.   I did this ten times and for considerable periods and it just didn't deviate from it.


It absolutely destroyed a brand new Miyota 8215 and a Seagull DG2813, made my two Seikos look bad with one my calibration watch for the tester and nothing came close to it new or old.


After polishing tonight, the watch has fetched up like new and I am wondering if this is the case, that down the years this watch which bore little signs of wear, no scratches or dings in the case, clear crystal and a clean dial, that I managed to pick up a watch that has never been used and there is no servicing marks in the caseback either but surely its original oil would be nasty and slowing it down?


The ebay seller offered it buy it now for £4 if memory serves me right claiming it needed a new battery, it was water damaged and not working, I at first was of the mind the bracelet was worth a lot more than the whole piece and it arrived here a bit dusty and grubby but no sign of any water damage past or present, I wound it a couple twirls and the second hand started turning so puzzled I put it on my computer desk shelf where I put my observation pieces to see which ones stop, lose or gain time etc and it was still going the next day... 

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