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Gent’s, silvered (chromed steel), quartz powered, self-winding, wristwatch with skeletonized chromed steel bracelet, Museum Watch, made by Movado, Switzerland, circa 1980s or later
Size not provided but thought to approximate 35-39mm in diameter. This is a Movado made wristwatch modeling their Classic original Museum watch with the gold dot on a black dial invented in 1947 by Nathan George Horwitt. The design entered the Museum of Modern Art in NYC in 1959. It took until 1965 until he found Movado, a company willing to try his product with the gold dot on a black dial placed at the twelve position. The rest is history. When the quartz crisis in Switzerland occurred during the 1970-1990s, every company made their own version of quartz watches and Movado was no different.
This fine example of the Museum watch is made of chromed steel with a black bezel and grey dial with a silvered round dot at the twelve position on the dial. This watch has fine silvered baton hands and a counterbalanced sweep seconds pointer. The base of the dial read “Swiss MOVADO Quartz”. A fluted setting crown is noted adjacent to the three position and the back cover reads, “Movado, since 1881, All Steel, Quartz, water resistant, the other markings which tell you the model number and case number are too worn to read properly, but appear to be SLE4.9884, 2864 (uncertain of the actual letters and numbers). The back covers screws down to make the case water resistant.
The movement is a battery powered quartz movement, Swiss standardized and timed. One of the nicest feature of this modern looking watch is the integrated chromed steel bracelet, which is skeletonized. Each side of the bracelet is a mixture of four long tubes of steel with openings between then joining the next set with six short tubes interconnecting with each other so that a pleasing pattern is developed. The bracelet terminates in a simple fold-over clasp, marked illegibly in the photo.
CASE: In very good condition except for the back cover which has worn poorly around the numerals.
Movement: not pictured but assumed genuine, original to case and functional.
HISTORY OF Movado:
Abraham Ditisheim (1858-1877) came to La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland from the Alsace region to open an engraving business. He was joined by three relatives; Achille, Isaac and Aaron. Achille played a major role in establishing the business by 1881. His brothers Leopold and Isidore, both watchmakers, joined the firm in 1885. The firm name at this point was L.A.I. Ditisheim. By 1890 there were 30 workers. While initially focusing on pocket watches for men and women, they soon developed a ladies wristwatch (1895). In 1899 they entered pocket chronometers in competitions in Neuchatel, Switzerland and won first prize. In 1903 they first registered the trademark name of ‘Movado’, meaning ‘Always in motion’. In 1903 they developed a repeater mechanism and a calendar for their watches. In 1905, Isaac, twin of Leopold joined as an engraver and the firm became LAI Ditisheim & Frere. It was also in 1905 that the name Fabrique Movado was first registered in Switzerland. They won a gold medal at a French competition in the same year. Between 1910 and 1920 they created many new designs in wristwatches and used the term ‘Chronometre’ on the dial, almost matching the standards for true chronometers. They produced their first soldier’s watch, during WWl, with luminescent dial markers and the dial was covered like a hunting case pocket watch. It was a 17 jewel very fine and accurate movement. After 1917 ALL watches were marked Fabrique Movado. They made new designs frequently coming up with a dust proof example called the ‘Ermeto’ in 1926. In addition they continued to win most competitions that they entered for watches and chronometers. The Automatic brand was introduced in 1951; it was an ultra-thin self-wind and used their newly developed caliber 138 movement. The names and styles of their watches are just too numerous to mention here. In 1972 control shifted to the Zenith Radio Corporation. Needless to say it appears that the Movado Company made just about every conceivable variation of wristwatch, comparable to any other fine Swiss watch company.
The Movado Museum watch was conceived by George Horwitt by 1947: a plain round black dial, large dot at twelve and two gilt hands. Inspired by a positive response from the MOMA in NYC it was called the Museum model. It became a reality on the market in 1963 in both 18k gold and gold plate. Movement was manually wound mechanical calibre 245/246. On 1976 a ladies version arrived in 14k white gold and one in 14k yellow gold with a date in the dial dot. Both watches also had mechanical movements and the dial read, "Movado Swiss". 1981 bought the first quartz model called the Museum Imperiale. Today multiple variants exist of the Museum model with different case styles and bracelet designs.
~https://www.ebay.com/itm/275187557684?hash=item401274e534:g:~CEAAOSwzI5f9Kjb (Offered on EBay for $295)
~https://www.ebay.com/itm/304496042841?hash=item46e560e359:g:RDcAAOSwi~xih8ZP (The mirror model sold on EBay for $435)
~https://www.ebay.com/itm/144533410691?epid=1103554106&hash=item21a6dcd383:g:f7oAAOSwMwBibz-d (sold for $175)
~https://www.ebay.com/itm/144533410691?epid=1103554106&hash=item21a6dcd383:g:f7oAAOSwMwBibz-d (Sold for $175 with quartz movement)
~https://www.ebay.com/itm/304493800913?hash=item46e53eadd1:g:CNQAAOSwazpihWUO (very much like your example this watch sold for $142.50)
~https://www.ebay.com/itm/393940260431?hash=item5bb8ab564f:g:sAMAAOSw2oliAvi5 (Sold for $200 on EBay)
I find that the bracelet enhances the value of this quartz Museum watch. I believe the fair market value of your quartz museum watch would fall into the range of $250-$300.
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