Valjean “Avalon” Watch with an Amazing Art Deco Dial and Pioneer Watch Case

photo_2[1] (15)This ULTRA-RARE Avalon is One of the Most Beautiful Art Deco Watches Ever.

Valjean Watch Co., NYC since June 1935 – Importers and suppliers of Watches, Clocks, Jewelry and Precious Stones, was in business in New York City from the early 1930s, perhaps earlier. Their headquarters were at 44 E 32nd St. New York, NY 10016.

They were associated with the Webster Watch Co (active circa 1900-1956). Beginning in 1956, the Pedre Company, parent of industry supplier Pedre Promotional Products , announced the acquisition of the Webster Watch Company. The acquisition of the New York-based Webster’s assets included all of the brand names and trademarks, as well as its Avalon Watch division. “We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Webster following the completion of recent negotiations,” stated R. Peter Gunshor, The Pedre Company CEO. “Webster’s almost 60 years of operation as a manufacturer/wholesaler of timepiece products, complements our own rich 65-year history”.

The Pioneer Watch Case Company was owned by Harry Kolberg and his brother Arthur Kolberg; their “new” factory at Mt. Vernon, NY, was built in 1938. Their headquarters: Pioneer Watch Case Co., Inc., 630 5th Ave. NYC. In addition to Avalon Watches, Pioneer also provided extraordinary cases for highly collected Illinois, Imperial, and Gruen watches, among others.

This is a very fine watch in every way.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Americus Watch

photo_4[1] (4)The Americus Watch Company was founded in 1916, and in business through 1951 in Detroit, Michigan. They were a dealer in watches, diamonds and jewelry, and specialized in the watch importing business. Their headquarters was at 606 Metropolitan Bldg. Watches, Detroit, in 1930, and was at 33 John R Street, Detroit, in 1933. Among their corporate officers were Jacob D. Rosenbert, Sol Glttleman, and Elijah H. Rosenberg, secretary-treasurer, who died in 1933. The owner of the company died in 1951 and it was offered for sale at that time.

During their long period of activity, the Americus Watch Company imported very fine Swiss watches, of which this Americus Watch Co. 17 Jewel Military Style Gold Filled men’s vintage watch is a great example. It is a very interesting and rare watch from the 1940s, in wonderful condition, with a fancy case, in gold, probably gold filled or rolled gold plate. Features include a full chapter ring, crisp and strong black second numerals, integral lugs that are beautifully curved, a white dial in outstanding condition with only slight aging, a long, elegant sweep second hand, bold Arabic numerals, and a glass crystal which is probably original.

To read more about this watch visit:

Americus Watch

Posted in Vintage Wrist Watches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gruen Blue Dial Quatre-Fleur Women’s Watch

photo_5[1] (6)What a pretty, vintage ladies’ watch! This Gruen Precision Swiss Watch has features that make it stand out from the ordinary.

First of all it is a 17 jewel watch. These tend to be among the best timekeepers and among the most dependable movements down through the decades. Yes, there are many good and collection-worthy watches with a lower jewel count, but you cannot go wrong when the movement is of this quality.

Second, the 10K white gold filled case is of a “Quatre-Fleur” motif. That is, it is made in the shape of four stylized leaves. This conventionalized representation of a flower with four petals, or a lucky four-leaf clover, makes such a charming framework for the next stand-out feature.

The watch has a lovely blue dial. Blue dial watches became of interest to the public in the late 1930s to early 1940s. Enicar may have been the first maker of note to feature blue dials. The others soon followed suit. This example, with its raised white gold colored markers, creating a kind of starburst or ray pattern on the dial face, is particulary pleasing.

It looks great as it is shown, and even better on the wrist.

For more about this watch please follow this link:

Gruen Blue Dial Women’s Watch

Posted in Vintage Wrist Watches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wonderful Women’s Vintage Watches

photo_5[1] (7)If the truth be told, there are more collectors of men’s vintage watches than there are collectors of women’s vintage watches. Why is this so? Several reasons, which we will mention, but first let us say that none of these reasons should prevent you from focusing upon women’s watches in your own collecting.

The first is this: There seems to be a greater number of men who collect watches than women. The men who collect watches may do so simply to admire the beauty and mechanical precision of these timepieces, but they will also confess that they are glad to collect something that they can use, wear, and enjoy. And so, these collectors focus upon watches that were made for men, because they look appropriate on their own wrists.

A second reason is that the collecting of men’s vintage watches has a long history behind it, making the “field” well established. Most collectors enjoy having a body of reference to depend upon, to learn what they have and what to look for. There are many more reference works and price guides out there that focus on men’s watches.

A third reason is that of the women’s watches that are avidly collected and sought after, these tend to be the rarer and more expensive watches. At the higher end of the spectrum, price-wise, when the watches are solid gold or platinum, when they are jewel-encrusted, when they are the work of elite makers, such watches will not go wanting a buyer. So they are not only lovely to look at and delightful to hold, they hold their value. They are dependable investments.

Based on all of the above, it would seem that the majority of vintage women’s watches are not really worth the attention of the majority of collectors. To which we say: Exactly what others are thinking! So, the field is wide open for you. Women’s watches are an underappreciated area of collecting.

If you want a vintage watch from a good maker, you will soon discover that a watch made for a woman can be found for a much more reasonable price than a man’s watch from the same year by the same maker. If you pay attention, you will notice that these watches have all the features of their male companions, and do what the men’s watches do, but in a smaller space, which is remarkable in and of itself.

If you like the look of women’s vintage watches, why not go for it. The timing couldn’t be better.

Shown above is a Hamilton “Fay” watch from the 1950s. For information about this and other Hamilton Watches for women and men, follow this link:

Some Hamilton Watches

Posted in Vintage Wrist Watches | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Liberty Coin Style Watch – Men’s Omicron 17J – Circa Late 1970s

il_fullxfull.533789272_e182[1]Here is a gorgeous vintage gold tone Omicron 17 jewel wrist watch with a dial designed to look like a coin. Specifically, the design of the watch is based upon US coins. In the late 1970s and early 1980s several high end Swiss watch companies offered watches either using actual coins or dial designs based on vintage US coins. The design on this dial is patterned after the $10 and $20 Liberty coins of the 1880s-1900. It has 12 stars around the dial, serving as numeral markers, where the original coins had 13 stars for the 13 original states.

Although the material is not indicated, we believe this dial to be gold plated. Further enhancing the look, is the coin-edge bezel. And in keeping with similar watches of the era, this watch has long straight lugs, and a winding crown surmounted by a deep blue cabochon stone.

The hour and minute hands are slim and black, again, this is in keeping with the other coin watches by other high end Swiss makers of the time. While you would expect to pay more than $2,000 for those brands, this genuine Omicron watch may be had for a fraction of that price.

All in all it is quite an attractive watch.


Posted in Vintage Wrist Watches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IWCase Co “Argonic” with Bernard Datyner 6 Jewel Movement

il_fullxfull.538195244_shej[1]Occasionally you come across a watch that is so special you want to shout about it. This is one of thsoe watches.

It is a Bernard Datyner 6 Jewel watch in an Illinois Watch Case Company Square Nickel Silver “Argonic” Model case. An extremely rare, hard-to-find, possibly unique and greatly desirable watch. This wristwatch has been serviced by a watchmaker (who loved working on it and is delighted that it winds, sets and runs great).

The gorgeous late 1920s sliver tone IWC Illinois Watch Case Company square case measures 25mm across and 36mm in length including the lugs. Signed inside IWC CO ARGONIC. Argonic is the case style name. This is a hinged case, with a square, angled bezel and triangular integral lugs. The watch case hase a beautiful decorated feature to the sides – a running vine type of decorative engraving. The back of the case shows wear, as do most nickel sliver watch cases from this time period.

The Bernard Daytner Swiss made movement is signed and also states: 6 Jewels; 2 Adjustments. Bernard Datyner, manufacturer of watches, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, in business from 1924. B Datyner often purchased IWC (Illinois Watch Case Co.) cases during this era.

The watch features a completely correct and unrestored white dial with black “Gothic” or “Gutenberg” style Arabic numerals and inner minutes track. Blued steel hour and minute hands with great full moon circles, that are completely original and in excellent condition. Genuine glass crystal with virtually no inclusions. This is the real deal. Case by the celebrated Illinois Watch Case Company.

The Illinois Watch Case Company was a major maker of forward design-watch cases with headquarters in the city of Elgin, Illinois. It manufactured watch cases under many model names. Illinois Watch Case Company cases were marketed internationally, and bought by many watch companies seeking to benefit from their excellent case designs. In 1928, Illinois Watch Case Co. was purchased by Hamilton Watch.

Illinois Watch Case Company was one of the leading watch case factories in the United States. They manufactured everything in the line of watch cases, from solid gold, gold filled to silver, and their reputation extended all over the world and there was hardly a country on the globe where their watch cases were not sold.

In summary this is a hauntingly classic square bezel Art Deco Jazz Age men’s watch. The watch has been furnished with an elegant stainless scissor type expansion watch band, signed with the Foster logo and: FOSTER / STAINLESS

Read more about this watch: ARGONIC IWC CO B DATYNER WATCH

Posted in Vintage Wrist Watches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Benrus Men’s Gold Tone Dial Military Style Swiss Watch – Stainless Steel Case with Fancy Lugs

il_fullxfull.538292259_j730[1]Benrus always created great looking timepieces with strong running movements from fine Swiss makers. Here is a looker to be sure, the circa 1940s stainless steel case has great rabbit’s or cat’s ear lugs, with an extra bit of flare on the outside edges. The gold tone military style dial shimmers. This is one of those Benrus Watch finds that are a great addition to any collection.

A mid-century watch from one of the big watch brands like Benrus means that you’re getting a great timepiece from the era when these brands meant quality and creativity. This elegant looking, vintage, collectible, usable BENRUS wristwatch has a Classic Style that blends very well with today’s modern fashion.

This mechanical watch boasts the following features: waterproof; shock absorber, full chapter ring, luminous hands (now faded), sweep second hand. The Swiss Made watch has Arabic numerals. The crystal has a few scratches, but is perfectly usable. The case is stainless steel with rabbit ear lugs. The watch is furnished with a genuine vintage scissor type expansion band signed FOSTER / STAINLESS.

Read more about this watch here: Benrus Military Watch

Posted in Vintage Wrist Watches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When to Wear Your Vintage Watch?

photo[1] (6)When to wear your vintage watch?

It may seem too simple a question but consider it for a few moments. When do you wear your vintage watch? Perhaps the answer depends upon what vintage watch you mean.

If the watch is a family heirloom that one would be afraid to lose or if of great monetary worth, the answer might be:

- On family occasions when the wearing of it will bring the original family member to remembrance.

- On other special occasions such as graduations, weddings or recognitions when wearing it will make it seem as if the family member is somehow there.

- On challenging occasions when the watch might serve as a kind of talisman of confidence.

If the vintage watch is of great rarity, whether or not a family heirloom, one might also take the kinds of precautions to avoid conditions that will not subject it to risks like dust, moisture and undue shock. Museum quality timepieces may need to spend much of their time in safe, secure places, but even these treasures ought to have a day or evening on the town.

When the vintage watch is good – even great – and it gives the owner pleasure, then by all means, wear it often. After all, watches we’re made to be worn, and much of the intrinsic value of these survivors comes from the fact that their designers and makers intended them to perform day after day, year in and year out. We know of one vintage watch wearer who confesses that a glance of the wrist has help him get through boring meetings at the office and brought a smile in the middle of tough days.

If you own a great looking watch, design wise, function wise, then wear it in good health.

When to wear your vintage watch?

Every day.

Posted in Vintage Wrist Watches | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orvin Swiss Watch

photo[1] (51)

Here is an Orvin Swiss Watch powered by a 21 jewels shock resistant movement, in a gold plated case. This very unique Orvin watch from the 1950′s has Mad Men, Mid-Century Modern Style.

Orvin Swiss Watches were based out of the Orvin municipality in Switzerland and were marketed around the world, both in small jewelry stores and large chain stores, including Sears.

This Orvin features straight lugs, a silver-white dial, and gilt raised markers (12 & 6 are Arabic numerals, while all the other markers are arrowhead shaped). The dial is signed ORVIN / 21 JEWELS / SHOCKRESISTANT.

Read more: ORVIN WATCH<a

Posted in Vintage Wrist Watches | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rodania Swiss Watch with Black Dial and Red Sweep Second Hand

photo[3] (7)The Rodania brand was created in 1930 in the small village of Lengnau in Switzerland, home to many other famous Swiss brands, by Mr. Hans Baumgartner of the Baumgartner family. Rodania has been producing the finest watches since its foundation in 1930. Very much in business today, their watches area highly prized. Their current headquarters is: International Sales and Distribution • Avenue de Limburg Stirum 274 • 1780 Wemmel, Belgium.

Shown here is a fantastic 1950s Rodania 17 jewels military style Swiss watch with a great black dial in a stainless steel case. The watch features a brilliant bright red sweep second hand.

The watch is powered by an A. Schild Calibre 1430 (AS 1430) movement, featuring 17 jewels, manual wind, with a sweep second. These AS 1430s were used in many Swiss watches in the early 1950s.

The dial and hands of this 60 year old watch are in very fine condition. The case, however, shows quite a bit of wear or patina or age, any of those terms will cover the pitting and brassing you see.

There are several schools of thought about vintage watch condition. Some folks want their vintage watch to be as pristine as the day it was made, which you can find (either because someone put it in a drawer and never wore it or because someone painstakingly restored it). Others treasure a watch that shows all of the character than comes only with being worn and enjoyed for decade upon decade. If you are among the first group, then you will not think much of this watch. But if you are of the second group, then you will see the beauty in this great vintage men’s Swiss watch (as we do).

To read more about this watch, visit: RODANIA BLACK DIAL WATCH

Posted in Vintage Wrist Watches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment