This is a guest post by Martin Lee.
Until about three years ago I had little interest in watches – either modern or vintage.
Then one day I managed to break the mineral glass crystal on my cheap Pulsar and decided to browse the web for an affordable replacement.
At the time I was on a vintage razor collecting spree.
eBay seemed the go-to site for old watches and despite my lack of knowledge at that point I pulled the trigger and won a nice enough Tissot Seastar from the 1960s.
I had heard of the brand and was aware they had a long history. Other than that I hadn`t a clue really.
The watch arrived (from India !) and even my novice eye could detect a less than brilliant re-dial.
The watch had the correct Tissot movement though and worked well enough.
I liked the idea of having a few different watches so I decided I would need to do a bit more research in order to find future buys at a decent price as well as being authentic. Hopefully with a historic pedigree as well.
That is when I discovered the Roamer brand.
Pontiac watches are well known within the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). There are quite a lot of collectors in these countries. Outside of that area…not so much. I hope to change that.
A. Kinsbergen and his three brothers launched Pontiac in Belgium and the Netherlands in 1932. Mr. Kinsbergen was also an agent for Omega and Tissot. Suprécis registered Pontiac in Biel – Switzerland. Therefore, Suprécis technically made the first Pontiac watches. Until the 1970s, the logo is with the large P extended over the other letters. After that, the letter P is the same as the others.
Magnetic fields are an issue known all too well to watch aficionados. They make quartz movements go haywire. They cause the hairspring of a mechanical movement to stick to itself, causing the watch to run fast beyond measure. Even in the 19th century, great manufacturers like Patek Philippe tried to use hairsprings made of metals less susceptible to magnetism and experimented with various alloys. But here, we’re talking about high-end manufacturers. And what about the affordable brands?
Well, that’s where it gets interesting.
Alpina watches have been around since 1883. They have always tried to be innovative in the world of horology. The brand suffered enormously, like so many other brands during the quartz crisis in the 70s. However, unlike many other brands, Alpina survived and lately has even made a comeback. Despite the rich history and the recent comeback, the brand isn’t well known or appreciated. Let’s change that.
Short history in case you never heard of them