Wednesday, August 01, 2007

CWC vintage military pilot chronograph for the RAF

This is another chronograph watch of mine running on a Valjoux 7733 movement. It is issued in the 1970s to pilots of the RAF. Notice the slightly different case design? It's an asymmetrical case unique to CWC. Very clean and sharp design overall.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

CROTON Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1970's

MONDIA Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1970's

Thursday, October 26, 2006

BULOVA Valjoux 7733 chronograph) 666ft diver

DUGENA Valjoux 7733 chronograph (racing dial)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

FRAMONT Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1970's

LaGLOCHE Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1960's

DOGMA Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1970's

FELCA Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1960's

PIERCE Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1960's

BULOVA Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1970's

INVENCIBLE Valjoux 7733 chronograph (Le-mans racing)

BOILLAT LES BOIS Valjoux 7733 chronograph

PLYMONTH Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1960's

BUSGA Valjoux 7733 chronograph (red tachymetre)

PRECIMAX Valjoux 7733 chronograph (diver version)

PRECIMAX Valjoux 7733 chronograph (45min register)

SILVANA Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1970's

HERMA Valjoux 7733 chronograph 1960's

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

DUGENA Valjoux 7733 (rare purple dial)

VULCAIN Valjoux 7733 (grandprix racing dial)

ELGIN 1960's Valjoux 7733 chronograph

YEMA 1970's Valjoux 7733 chronograph (20 micron g/p)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

YEMA 1960's Valjoux 7733 chronograph

YEMA 1960's Valjoux 7733 chronograph

My first Valjoux 7733

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

History of Valjoux watches

The name Valjoux comes from "Vallée de Joux", a formerly inaccessible mountain region of Switzerland long associated with chronograph design and construction.

Originally farmers, the locals turned to doing craft on the kitchen table during the freezing winters when they couldn't do much else, and thus a long line of watchmakers was born.

In 1844 an inhabitant of the Joux Valley named Adolphe Nicole, applied for the patent of a heart-shaped cam design, which enabled the building of the first useful watch with a chronograph in 1862.

Valjoux was founded in "Valley de Joux" in the mid-to-late part of the 19th century. Valjoux originally made timers (stopwatches) and chronograph movements.

In 1890 or so, they invented the column wheel which revolutionized the chronograph movements. Virtually every chronograph movement made since then used a column wheel untill the late 40's or so when Landeron invented the cam/lever shuttle as a cheaper alternative.

A majority of chronograph movements today use a cam/lever switch. Throughout the 20th century, manufacturers like: Valjoux, Lemania, Landeron & Venus made the vast majority of all chrono movements.

When the watch business collapsed in the latter half of the 20th century, Venus failed and Valjoux bought them over, thereby Valjoux attained the rights to the new cam/lever and switch of Cal 188 that Venus had made. This was rebranded as Val 7730 and sold for a year or two until the Valjoux redesign of this movement was made - the 7733.

Valjoux's modification of the caliber results in the more cost effective manufacture of the movement and the design set offs the series creation of 7734, 7735, 7736, 7737, 775x and 776x calibers. These basic cam designs are still used today which features the familiar start, stop and reset action now seen in all mechanical chronographs and stopwatches.

Over the years, chronograph manufacturers had improve on their own designs and the designs of other manufacturers.

In 1939 Landeron came out with the pioneering calibers 47 and 48. Valjoux produced the 13 ligne ratchet wheel caliber from 1946, and also made 175,000 copies of the 1948 Venus 188 cal. up to 1973.

The Valjoux 7730 (14 ligne, 6mm high) was produced until 1967. However, the much more successful were the 7733 (with 30 minute or 45 minute sub dials), the 7734 (with date), and the 7736 (with 12-hour sub dial) made between 1969 and 1978.

Almost 2 million of these movements left the factory, destined to tick away merrily in watches made by such names as Hamilton, Helbros, Le Jour, Memosail, Wittenaur, and Breitling.

Note the use of wire springs at various places around the movement. Some enthusiasts regard this as a weakness in the design, as they can go out of adjustment.

Still, the ubiquitous 7750 movement (an automatic-winding descendant of the 7733) uses the same springs but nevertheless has a well-earned reputation for ruggedness and reliability.

My mechanical swiss chronographs

My love for the VALJOUX 7733 vintage swiss made chronograph watches started 3 years ago when i bought my very first piece from a vintage shop. Ever since, I've been collecting these watches from time to time.

Now the population for these watches of mine grew to about 30 pieces. Around 20 pieces are with me now and the rest are still with my watch repairman awaiting full servicing and restoration to give them a new lease of life.

Happy to share with all chronograph watch lovers and anyone else who apprieciates the fine art of mechanical watch making.