Why You Shouldn’t Care About Labelling Your Watch

Spending a lot of time in the forums, I see a lot of people ask the question “what model is it?” in reference to their watch.

Reactions to the answer “it doesn’t have one” tend to vary. Some ask “what does it mean?” to which there is but one answer: it means just that. It doesn’t have one.

It generally wasn’t popular until the 1960s to really give a name to a watch, or a model line (collection). Among Swiss brands, Rolex did give names to a lot of watches… but still, most of their watches are known by their reference numbers rather than names (that period, when reference numbers were 5 digits long – tops).

American brands are a different story. Find me a pre-1970 Bulova or Hamilton wristwatch, which doesn’t have a name. Banker, Clipper, President, Senator, and so on…

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Service: Buren Grand Prix

Buren is (still) one of those underrated brands.

  • Buren was a respectable Swiss brand that used in-house movements.
  • They were 1 of the manufacturers of the “Dirty Dozen“.
  • They invented the micro-rotor.

But somehow, the watches don’t receive much appreciation. Perhaps that will change in the future when people start looking for interesting brands to collect when others have moved out of reach.

This is a Buren Grand Prix with a Buren 1420 movement.

It needed a cleaning and fresh lubrication and the hour hand had lost all the lume, as you can see.

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Is a Chinese $20 Watch Any Good?

I came across this cheap watch at a collector’s fair. It’s an unbranded Flieger-style watch. Though it’s clearly not Haute Horlogerie, I liked the design and the appearance.

The watch was obviously mechanical because I heard the keyless works rattle turning the crown anti-clockwise. It didn’t run though and after a quick inspection, I saw that the minute hand was stuck on the subsecond. The seller let me have it for a song so I’d just bought another timepiece.

I suspected it was a Chinese movement so I thought it would be interesting to show you what you get when you buy a watch like this from eBay or a similar website.

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Service: Girard-Perregaux Dress Watch

This is a tonneau- shaped 1980s Girard-Perregaux dress watch. The movement is a Peseux 7040. Though this particular watch doesn’t have seconds it’s also available with sub seconds.

This caliber is often used in smaller flat dress watches because it’s a graceful and sleek movement. It’s beautifully finished in comparison to similar movements in other watches. Look at the Geneva stripes and the gold-coloured engravings on the wheel-train bridge.

The watch had a low amplitude and a short power reserve. It also suddenly stopped several times.

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Service: Regalis AS 1220/1221

This is a Regalis dress watch with an AS 1220/1221 movement. The one thing that immediately jumps out if you look at the movement is the triangular hole in the wheel train bridge. This can be used to inspect or lubricate the bearing jewel of one of the transmission wheels. But if that’s necessary than it probably needs a service anyway and you’ll have to remove the bridge altogether. Or they might have just put it there as decoration.

I’m not a 100% sure which type of shock protection this is but it looks like Monorex or Simrex.

The watch is 31 mm in diameter, so it’s rather small for today’s standards. It’s even a little small for the time period (the late 40s / early 50s) it’s from. Some people would qualify it as a boy’s watch.

It looks like Regalis was a part of Nivada.

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