Dating from the 1950s, this 18ct cased triple calendar watch from Heuer is unusual in so many ways.
Firstly the case, it is a three piece snap back with unusual stepped, curved lugs and a very slim bezel; but what makes it special is that it was made in France. In the decades following WW2, the French Government responded to frequent financial crises by regularly devaluing the Franc. This left the public with zero faith in the currency, so they responded by buying and hoarding gold. To counter this the French Government made private ownership and importation of gold illegal. This was so strictly enforced that even importing watches with gold cases were forbidden. This meant that firms such as Patek, Rolex, Jaeger le Coultre and Heuer had to commission French jewellers to manufacture cases. These are recognizable by the presence of the Eagles’s Head French 18k hallmark and the stamp of the jeweller who made the case. This watch bears the stamp of a diamond containing the initials JP and what appears to be a crossbow. What I find most interesting about French cased watches of this period is that the cases are almost always better made than their original Swiss versions. This is almost certainly due to the fact that these cases were almost hand made by jewellers, rather than being produced industrially.
The movement is the very unusual Valjoux calibre 90; which is based on the Valjoux 72C triple calendar chronograph with all the chronograph parts removed. It beats at 18,000 bph and has Incabloc shock protection. There are pushers at 8:30 and 10, the upper one advances the month, please note that this has to be done at the end of each month, it does not advance automatically. The lower pusher moves the date indicator.
The dial is silvered with applied even gilt Arabic numerals and applied gilt dots for the odd hours; there is an outer track in balck for the seconds/minutes divided into fifths and just inside it is the date track printed in blue. There are beautifully angled cut windows for the day and month; interestingly they are in English, despite the fact that the watch was for sale in France and that the dial is even signed ‘Fab Suisse’ in French.
Case & movement are both 95% whilst the dial is 90+%.
Diameter 34mm; Lug-to-Lug 43mm; Height 10.5mm., it takes a 16mm strap and a brown leather one is fitted.
£1,600.00 (Approx. $2,100.00 US)