Citron is a name that is not very familiar among watch collectors. This may be because if you translate the word from the French you get the English word “lemon”. And then your mind does not go to the fresh and bright fruit but to something that does not work. A pity, since this “Citron Calendar De Luxe” with its 23 Jewel Agon Movement is a very nice men’s Swiss watch.
The features are rather special:
– 23 Jewels
– Gold plated case
– Silver tone dial
– Raised gold tone keystone shaped markers for the 12 / 6 & 9.
– Date window
– Magnification crystal for the calendar window
Inside, the movement reads: SWISS / AGON / 23 JEWELS. Agon was the trademark of an active Swiss maker of movements in the 1930s-1970s. They provided movements for Smiths watches in the UK among others. Agon was a trademark used by Robert Tiebold. (Agon Watch – Robert Tiebold Ltd, registered the name in Mumpf, Switzerland, in 1930). The company was founded in the 1930s by Robert Triebold. In its heyday the factory in Mumpf employed some 200 workers and had hundreds more working from home. Robert’s son Eddie ran the commercial side of the business and his son Othmar was the production wizard. They manufactured about 2.5 million watches and double the number of movements per year in the late 1960s. The movements not used for Agon’s own watches were sold to companies like Continental, or Bühler and found their way into other named watches. Continental was in those days the number one watch brand in the Middle East.
Agon came to a sudden stop in the mid-1970s when the market for cheap mechanical watches declined rapidly when the first affordable quartz watches came along. Agon SA’s activities had already been taken over by SSIH (the core of today’s Swatch Corp.) in 1971. Othmar Triebold was appointed vice president at SSIH and ran the various factories. Eddie Triebold went on to become a successful gemstone wholesaler.
Agon SA was in many respects a pace-setting company. Quite a few of today’s watch industry leaders in production or sales began their career at Agon. These former Agon employees are still in close contact with each other. Their combined experience is credited as the basis of many Swiss manufacturers’ drive into the higher-ends of the market.
In Greek drama, the “agon” was a moment of deliberation, or a contest, between two characters or competing ideas, sometimes also taking the form of a debate between a single character and the chorus. The name Agon may have been selected by Robert Triebold as he was striving to create a totally unique dialogue between old and new.