Pontiac watches are well known within the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). There are many 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.
Although they mainly produced “3 hand” or “time-only” dress watches, that isn’t all they created. Pontiac also produced dive watches and chronographs.
Pontiac has used a lot of manufacturers for their movements over the years. Landeron movements are widespread in their chronographs, but Pontiac also used Venus and Valjoux movements.
For their dress watches Pontiac used almost all major Swiss manufacturers:
- AS (A. Schild)
- FHF (Fontainemelon)
However, in later models, Pontiac also used FE (France Ebauches) movements. ETA and AS movements are used the most.
The theory is that the number of stars (1, 2, or 3) on the dial represents the quality/reliability of the movement and therefore the watch as a whole. Though this is sensible, it can’t be verified, and it remains somewhat of a mystery. There are different models that have identical movements, but somehow have a different amount of stars.
Also, some dress watches with a “simple” ETA 1080 movement have a dial with three stars while chronographs with a Venus 170 movement only have 1 star. This doesn’t add up.
There must be additional criteria or procedures on how many stars a watch received. At the moment, we’re only guessing at what these might be. Some theories include the degree of water resistance, case material, and production era of the watch in question.
Wrap it up
Pontiac has some fascinating pieces. They have an extensive collection of different types and models. If you’ve never heard of them, keep an eye out. They’re worth it.
Do you have a Pontiac in your collection? Let me know in the comments below.
34 thoughts on “Pontiac watches: the Pride of the Benelux”
I have a Pontiac 3 star Royal Oak watch. The case and bracelet are exactly like the Bulova (or AP) Royal Oak. I was wondering if this is a model they have produced, or if this could be a mod created by someone.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Hi, I’m sorry but I’ve never heard of a Pontiac Royal Oak. It sounds like a watch that someone put together.
I have a pointac prestige watch ( I think) it has a moon phase but I can not find any information about it on the internet it has a number 75003 on the back
Just wondering if it is a fake watch
I have triple date pontiac with three star with voljoux 72c movement.
Souvenir for Indonesian air force army (engrave at back case) in 1953 year. Dial and other hands chrono not original. And one of push button and crown non otoginal too.
I want to sale it do you interesting?
Hi Melvin, the Pontiac chronograph >20y in my collection has a Landeron 148 movement. The watch is well running and in minty rosé gold plated condition except the crown who has lost some plating and looks like copper, but polished nevertheless beautiful too. With the orange leather strap it is a fine summer watch, witch makes me happy.
Just curious to know is there a relationship between Pontiac and the Swiss watch brand Bernex? I note the same triple star logo on some Bernex watches and I recently saw for auction a Bernex watch with a Pontiac movement.
Hi I have a pontiac watch belonging to my late father, l’ve never heard of them and came across your page via google, it is a gold chronological, has two stars with the elongated P, on the back of the case it says swiss made with the numbers 3000 and 8488, it seems to be over wound, l was wondering if it was worth restoring. Would I be able to send you a picture to get your opinion? Thankyou
Hi, there’s no such thing as overwound. You can read more about it here. We’re happy to help. Please send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Great article!! Made me think…
I own a gold coloured Pontiac watch (small P) marked “International” with 3 stars.
Date in a square window on the 3 o’ clock position.
Gold colored dial (no two-tone) with black hour indication numbers.(latin, not roman)
On the back it says 24610.
Probably dates back to mid ’80’s. (I got it iirc for my 12th birthday)
It’s in bad condition (big scratch in the glass) and I was wondering if it is worth restoring…
I was searching the internet but I can’t find a similar watch. Especially one with black numbers.
Most Pontiacs come without numbers.
Thanks a lot!
hi i have a pontiac watch it is solid gold case 3 stars and date window it says memomatic and swiss made in very small letters right on the bottom of the face i don’t know how old it is but i’m quessing 70’s
regards Bob Eelsing
Hi, I’ve seen the pictures and it’s a lovely watch. You could be right about the date. It’s either from the late 60s or early 70s.
Ik heb een 18 K gouden chronograaf die wat afwijkt van gebruikelijk.
De twee subdials zijn verticaal geplaatst, de 12 en de 6, in plaats van horizontaal.
Ook is deze van goud in plaats van het gebruikelijke doublé.
Vroeger heb ik deze ook daadwerkelijk gedragen, maar ik heb hem niet nieuw gekocht en heb geen flauw idee van wanneer deze kan zijn.
Overigens ga ik er binnenkort afscheid van nemen. Samen met wat andere vintages zal het een investering zijn voor een eigentijds horloge.
Ik stuur een paar afbeeldingen naar uw email adres.
Sorry, I’ve missed this comment. It sounds like a Venus movement. I’d be interested in the pics if you still have them.
I Have a pontiac Diadate jump chronograph beautiful watch been trying to find more about it for many years
Please send some pics to email@example.com
Hi, can I email you with some photos of my Pontiac watch, please. Kind regards, Jacqueline.
Hi, yes you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! I recently received a Pontiac watch from my late grandfather, can’t find it anywhere though so I don’t know which model it is…
Hi, we’re happy to help. Please send a few pictures to email@example.com
Hi. Thanks for the info.
I have an 18k support choc antimagnetique chronograph.
Has always kept great time but the chronograph has stopped working of late. Believe it was bought in the Netherlands in the 50’s or 60’s by a brother of my grandmother.
That’s a great watch! It probably has a Landeron 48 or 148 movement. Will you get it repaired?
i have a 88023 of1978.
it stil works daily
Very nice, Ben. Wear it in good health 🙂
Hi, what a great informative site you have. I hope to learn a lot around here, lots of good reading and documentation. As for Pontiac, I have some. Pontiac*** chrono with Venus movement, Pontiac*** chrono with Landeron movement, Pontiac**** Nageur Maillot Jaune automatic, Pontiac*** hydraulica memomatic ( dress watch style). All of them are working great despite their age. I hope to get a Pontiac with Valjoux movement one day to complete this tiny collection.
Hi Stef, great to have you aboard. Sounds like you already have quite the Pontiac collection. Good luck on your grail 🙂 If I come across one, I’ll let you know.
Can I post images?
Sorry, but you can’t post images in the comments. You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, I’ll do so.
I bought my first Pontiac last month, a PONTIAC JUMPING Bullhead c.872
and it is an amazing watch, powered by a Lemania 1872 manual wind
What a great colorful timepiece. I think you found your summer watch!
Thanks a lot!
Hi Melvin.. I recently found myself the owner of a Pontiac Supportchoc ‘maillot Vert’ Dialite watch and love it.. I’ve managed to piece together the connection with your de Frances ‘ green jersey’ but can’t find any info on the history ,date of manufacture etc it has three stars and a gride lined watch face.. I will send you a photo on the website you have if your interested.. As my info would be greatly appreciated .many thanks.. Matthew
Hi Matthew, sorry for the late reply. Please send some pics to email@example.com and I’ll do my best to help you.
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