Collecting vintage watches is great—as long as you’re okay with a little maintenance (well, Much maintenance). Fine Hours Carefully complex and intricate machines – that’s why we love them – but years can take a toll. By the time it reaches your wrist, your old watch will likely have gone through a significant amount of wear and tear, and those finer parts may not work as well as they once did. For some, that’s fine, but for others, a broken old watch is a broken watch. This is what makes the Nivada Grenchen Valjoux 23 VZ Limited Edition so attractive. Made from old new stock moves, this pair of watches Effectively recreates the hours of the year as if they were brand new. In other words, owning one is like owning an old watch – without the maintenance hassles.
The two hours are an exercise in bringing history back to life. The highlight here is actually what’s beneath the surface: the fully restored vintage Valjoux 23 VZ movement. This hand-wound chronograph is one of the most popular watch movements in history, particularly as it enjoyed a stunning production spanning from 1916 to 1974. It also produced a number of variants.
To make this new release possible, Nivada first secured a batch of 55 unused 23 VZs. The company used five of them to develop prototypes, and the rest were disassembled, completely serviced and lubricated, and used to power the limited edition watches now on display.
Of course, the exterior of these watches is also very special. They are called “Paul Newman” watches because they use unique Singer dials similar to those in Daytona Rolexes preferred actor. It is also what distinguishes the two models: there is a “Panda” version with white dial and black sub-dials, and “Panda Reverse” with black dial and white sub-wheels. Depending on the colour, the hour and minute hands come in either silver or black (Acoustic with Super LumiNova for easy reading), while both watches come with a bold red seconds hand that really stands out from the watch face.
A pair of sub-dials – the watch’s chronograph feature – also add visual interest and create a nice contrast to the dial. It is framed by a 39mm stainless steel case with a rotating bezel, and the transparent case back provides a glimpse into the inner workings of the movement of the same name. They are all tied together (literally) with a stylish black leather strap.
The pre-order list is currently full, but keep an eye out for the sellers – this is a rare opportunity to pick up a piece of history that’s still working exactly as it should.
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