Pontiac watches: the Pride of the Benelux

 In Collecting Watches

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.

Short history

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.

Models

Although they mainly produced “3 hand” or “time-only” dress watches, that isn’t all they produced. Pontiac also produced divers and chronographs.

Pontiac watches

Chrono diver Valjoux 7733

Pontiac Watches

Chronograph with a Venus 170 movement

Movements

Pontiac has used a lot of manufacturers for their movements over the years. Landeron movements are very common in their chronographs but Pontiac also used Venus and Valjoux movements.

Pontiac Watches

Venus 170 movement

For their dress watches Pontiac used almost all major Swiss manufacturers:

  • ETA
  • AS (A. Schild)
  • Standard
  • FHF (Fontainemelon)
  • Peseux

However, in later models, Pontiac also used FE (France Ebauches) movements. Most often used are movements by ETA and AS.

Pontiac Watches

ETA 1080 movement

Stars

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 totally be verified and it remains somewhat of a mystery. Completely different models exist that have identical movements but somehow have a different amount of stars.

Also, some dress watches with a “simple” ETA 1080 movement have three stars while chronographs with a Venus 170 movement have 1 star. This simply doesn’t add up.

There must be additional criteria or procedures on how many stars a watch received. Presently 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 very interesting pieces. They have a wide collection of different types and models. If you’ve never heard of them, keep an eye out. They’re definitely worth it.

Do you have a Pontiac in your collection? Let me know in the comments below.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Никита
    Reply

    Great article

  • chelis
    Reply

    Beautiful article.
    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

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