• Lot 320

    Minerva. A large and unusual stainless steel single button pilot's chronograph wristwatch with black dial

    SIGNED MINERVA, REF. 2022, MOVEMENT NO. 1'563'149, CASE NO. 468'958, CIRCA 1940

    Price Realised  


    Minerva. A large and unusual stainless steel single button pilot's chronograph wristwatch with black dial
    Signed Minerva, ref. 2022, movement no. 1'563'149, case no. 468'958, circa 1940
    Cal. 17''' nickel-finished lever movement, 17 jewels, black dial, baton and Arabic numerals, inner spiral tachymetre scale, outer five minute divisions and telemetre scale, skeletonized hands, two engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30 minutes register, large circular case, soldered lugs, revolving ribbed bezel with red triangular-shaped pointer, one oval chronograph button in the band, case, dial and movement signed
    46 mm. diam.

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    A similar watch is illustrated in Classification of the Swiss Watch Movements and Watchmaterials, p. 114 (relevant photocopy will be delivered with the watch).

    The present wristwatch is a fine example of an early military chronograph wristwatch, standing out by its excellent overall condition.

    Founded in 1858 by Charles-Yvan Robert and Hyppolite Robert of Villeret, what would eventually become the Minerva Watch brand in 1887 was initially a "tablisseurs" of watches, an assembler of watches from parts manufactured elsewhere. It wasn't until 1902, under the leadership of C. Robert's sons, Charles-Auguste and Georges-Louis, that Minerva became a watch manufacturer with own engineering workshops.

    The earliest Minerva wristwatch was made in 1909, but the watch company's greatest success came in 1923 with the introduction of the No. 20, a calibre that perfectly illustrates the classic and refined architecture of wrist chronographs of that era, with a column-wheel mechanism, a Breguet balance-spring and 17 jewels. With the launch of this watch, the company earned its reputation as a manufacturer of complicated movements of exceptional quality.

    Pre-Lot Text