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Unique school watch with Valjoux 23

  1. wouter van wijk

    wouter van wijk Dec 11, 2019

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    Hi guys, I know I am a dealer but I want to show you an unique piece. I just love these kind of rare watches. They are way more special imho than a stock vintage watch from the main brands. This is a piece with a real soul in it since the graduate chose the parts to complete his graduating piece.

    This is a Montre Ecole Technicum Cantonal Ecole d’Horlogerie St’ Imier School Watch. This is a very nice graduating watch or Montreal École from the watchmaking school of Saint-Imier (called Technicum cantonal of Saint-Imier from 1960 to 1975). Nowadays this school still exists as part of the The Arc Engineering High School , the result of the merger of the engineering schools of Locle (EICN) and St-Imier (EIS).

    The watchmaking school of Saint-Imier was founded in 1866 in a region - the arc Jura - and at a time when the watch industry is expanding. As in Geneva , La Chaux-de-Fonds and Besançon , it was important for Saint-Imier to have a vocational school that can train a skilled workforce in an increasingly mechanical manufacturing process. Saint Imier is nowadays the home of Longines and it used to be the home of Breitling and Heuer.

    At watchmaking schools at that time, students could follow classes for 2, 3, 4, and 5 and 1/2 years. The students who studied the most years had to pass their exam by building a graduating piece’ an observatory chronometer. Trough the 50s and the 60s watchmakers were competing to make the most precise watch movement. To make the competition fair, all testing was done at observatories. Neuchatel Observatory, Geneva Observatory, Besancon Observatory, and Kew Observatory were examples of observatories that certified the accuracy of mechanical timepieces.

    Some of the students who graduated as a Ingénieur Technicien after 5 and 1/2 years also made an additional optional wristwatch to complete their course. This watch is such a piece. It was bought by a collector friend who’s interest lies in the chronometer pocket and desk watches. This is sort of his side catch. He bought this piece directly from an alumnus from the Technicum Cantonal Ecole d’Horlogerie St’ Imier. I am completely in love with this piece since it shows an unique craftsmanship. It has the coveted Valjoux 23 movement inside, which is a celebrated hand-winding chronograph movement in the Valjoux 72 family produced from 1916 through 1974. The Valjoux 23 and 72 are almost identical except that the latter adds a 12 hour counter at 6:00 on the dial.The Valjoux 23 family is 13 ligne in size (29.5 mm) with a nine-pillar column wheel. It is typically a two-register design, with small seconds at 9:00 and a 30- or 45-minute counter at 3:00.

    The movement of this Montreal École has been hand finished and looks really stunning. This particular piece runs as a chronometer Besides the highly skilled movement there is more to admire. Look at that dial!! It has golden hour markers as well as really interesting sword looking golden hands which are also seen in some of the Patek Phillip models such as some of the examples of reference 3417 the Amagnetic as well as the Calatrava references 3466 and 2584 .
     
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    imageWIS, jmazpiazu, Als 27 and 25 others like this.
  2. ilayd

    ilayd Dec 11, 2019

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    Thats a beautiful watch. I really like the gold accents on the silver dial.
     
    wouter van wijk likes this.
  3. KingCrouchy

    KingCrouchy Jan 4, 2020

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    Thanks for sharing. Really nice Watch. I just love old Chronograph movements.:thumbsup:
     
    DaveK likes this.
  4. Radiumpassion

    Radiumpassion Jan 7, 2020

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    Very nice and collectable piece:thumbsup:

    Thank you for sharing:)
     
  5. Larry S

    Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Jan 7, 2020

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    That is just beautiful. Love the dial and gold furniture/hands. Love the movement finish. Thanks for sharing the watch and the story.
     
    wouter van wijk likes this.
  6. Folgono

    Folgono Jan 7, 2020

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    Lovely watch. The hands are absolutely gorgeous !
     
    wouter van wijk likes this.
  7. S.Song

    S.Song Jan 15, 2020

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    School watches don't get the attention they deserve, perhaps due to branding, but you are right, quality is fantastic.
     
    wouter van wijk likes this.
  8. vacheroyale

    vacheroyale Jan 19, 2020

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    very unique dial. the indexes they stand out really strong. nice design

    thanks for sharing!
     
    wouter van wijk likes this.
  9. stuart70

    stuart70 Mar 1, 2020

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    An amazing watch, thank you for sharing.
    Do you have information on the watchmaker?
     
  10. wouter van wijk

    wouter van wijk Mar 2, 2020

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    Not with this watch. Just bought the most interesting pocket watch and wristwatch made by the same student with all the paperwork. But that's a different story that I will soon list. Its a complete package that's I have never seen before
     
    KingCrouchy likes this.
  11. Professor

    Professor Mar 10, 2020

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    Very well done images, a real look inside. Quiet a trip,thanks for the thrill.
     
  12. lupinpopette

    lupinpopette Apr 27, 2020

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    Love these vintage chronos!
     
  13. Flintlock

    Flintlock Apr 30, 2020

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    Thanks. The face and hands are great. Now I'm wondering, did the students have to machine every little piece by hand? What does it take to machine one little cog?
     
  14. Als 27

    Als 27 Apr 30, 2020

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    Beautiful style & craftsmanship.. a fine quality piece.
    Must be a pleasure to own & ware
    Must give you great enjoyment
    Love it ::love:: :thumbsup: :) lucky man - owner :cool:
     
  15. ZIELSZIEK

    ZIELSZIEK May 1, 2020

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    Read this if you're interested in how watch wheels can be cut with today's technology: https://watchguy.co.uk/one-step-closer/
    I don't know exactly how they did the wheels back in the day, but I'm guessing they used the precursor of the CNC, the Numerical Control machine. If someone could clarify this, I'd be grateful. Maybe the students were even taught how to cut them by hand in case they could not find a replacement?
    If you want to read a great article on NC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_numerical_control
    Sorry, I forgot to thank the op for the great thread! I always wondered how watchmaking schools work.
     
    Flintlock likes this.