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  1. Pianotuna Sep 22, 2021

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    OF members, a question posed by my recent acquisition of a Pierce chronograph which I believe to be a mid 1940’s model rather than the c.1950 listed in its advertisement. The tachymetre runs only to ‘800’ and thus the main question, does the tachymetre and/or sub-dials, provide accurate guidance as to a watch’s age in the absence of reliable company data?
    For example the earlier Pierce chronograph (130) had an inner spiral index that only ran to ‘400’ or ‘500’. The early 134’s similarly.
    As land and airspeed records continued to tumble in those heady days did watch manufacturers adjust their dials to suit? With Yeager breaking the sound barrier in 1947 did that sensational aviation record force a rethink among watch makers who with their chronographs were targeting this very industry?
    I believe Breitling for instance, from 1947 put three-minute markers on sub dials so one could keep a track of the cost of trans-Atlantic calls.
    Just curious on the matter. Appreciate anyone’s input.

    just a pic to illustrate. M
     
    677B6EED-8489-4A3F-844A-68D7C978B6D2.jpeg
  2. Vitezi Sep 22, 2021

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    The seminal reference book Chronograph Wristwatches: To Stop Time by Lang and Meis suggests that, in general terms, the highest speed reading on the tachymeter scale can be used as a means of dating a chronograph.

    Chronographs made in the 1920s have scales that reach 300-360kph; in the thirties, scales reach 400, and by 1940 scales of 500 can be found. By 1950, top numbers were 750-800, in line with the increasing speeds of automobiles and aircraft. At 800, your example is about right for the 1950s and is consistent with the dial and case style.
     
  3. Dan S Sep 22, 2021

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    Shock protection can also provide a hint.
     
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  4. Joe_A Sep 22, 2021

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    Dan, apart from Dr. Roland Ranfft, can you share any sources where one can learn during which year a manufacturer of movements switched from and early attempt at shock-proofing to Incabloc?

    I've been trying to pin down when Excelsior Park made the switch, but so far have not found anything helpful.

    Information on Pierce can be found here:

    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&&2uswk
     
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  5. Out of TIME! Sep 24, 2021

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    Re-Read the Dial!
    TELEMETRE!
    For Artilere sound timing.
    When you here the sound, than feel or see the explosion clock it read the correct scale to get distance.
    Not sure of the formula but sure itis on line in some form. May help to date the watch also.
    Instruments for WAR.... that lead to a bang & A Boom!
    I won't look it up in my references, not worth my time.
    Sorry Mike
     
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  6. Pianotuna Sep 24, 2021

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    Thank you for the reply, I will adjust my thinking on the date accordingly. Is the book a ‘quiet read’ kind of thing or a text book for the more learned and technically minded?
     
  7. Pianotuna Sep 24, 2021

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    Thanks for replying Joe, and for the link. I’ve seen Ranfft’s name come up in my googling of the topic, I’ll investigate that further. And will check out the link of course.
     
  8. Pianotuna Sep 24, 2021

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    Thanks for the reply. Oh I’ve read the dial in not-quite microscopic detail and am familiar with the telemetre. Press once when you see the enemy’s gun flash, press again when you hear the “earth shattering kaboom”. Harks back to a different time when your opponent’s artillery were not over the horizon or perhaps you were the poor unfortunate placed in an observation balloon to get a better view (but at least you could hear clearly!). I think today I’d use it for timing lightning and when to get the hell off the bowling green … err, when we’re allowed to play community sport again that is.
    Pierce advertisements boast of their ‘four timepieces in one’ status and their handbook gives instructions for all. Wonderful relics of the past.

    Now if I could just get aircraft to fly conveniently past mile markers …

    thx gents
     
  9. Vitezi Sep 24, 2021

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    If you're into vintage chronographs, it's a must-read. The first few chapters are basic textbook; the last several chapters are picture book :thumbsup:
     
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  10. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Sep 24, 2021

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    Thanks for the reference … just ordered it from Amazon.
     
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  11. Out of TIME! Sep 24, 2021

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    Here are a few shots :
    16325381016257761552995826324308.jpg 16325381344641312470904558393187.jpg 16325381960225082155845362720839.jpg 16325382778215919758121118553567.jpg
     
  12. Out of TIME! Sep 24, 2021

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  13. Out of TIME! Sep 24, 2021

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  14. Pianotuna Sep 25, 2021

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  15. adrian scott Sep 26, 2021

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    Very interesting thank you!
     
  16. Out of TIME! Sep 26, 2021

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    The refferance book is from NAWCC, Cost, $100 if I recall.
    "Swiss Timepiece Makers 1775 - 1975" Kathleen Pritchard
    She did research at NAWCC library, you could send in questions and she would do the research for members. When she retired she published this set: 16326878086535230556518778485832.jpg 16326878322463401223498644996750.jpg
     
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