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About balaton

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  1. Many thanks! Absolutely informative and beautifully photographed. I think the 238G is one of the few 23x I haven't got, but I'll know where to go if I ever need to tear one down. Regards.
  2. Off to another of these largely forgotten horological corners today with this all-steel Vixa, dating from the 1940s and running on a 15j Lorsa 237B. There’s no nice ‘n’ easy linear narrative for this French “Vixa” brand which isn’t recorded in the usual databases but was made by Stéphane Boullier of Besançon who was much involved in Timex setting up their Kelton brand in Besançon. Boullier became head of Timex France so, given his profile, I’d have thought that the history of his own Vixa Watch Co would have been reasonably well documented but either it’s not, or I’m not finding it. I’m not alone in this - others have tried and have also come up empty, so this fragmented synopsis is as much about what I can’t find, as what I can. I can’t even establish when the Vixa brand was first registered, nor what they were doing either before or after Boullier took charge at Timex France. However, it is reported that when WW2 ended, they were one of six companies (Breguet and Dodane amongst them) commissioned to supply Type 20 Chronos for the French Naval Air Force. Seemingly, Vixa’s cases and movements for these came from the German Hanhart factory under war “reparations” and were then assembled into complete watches for Vixa back in France by Kiplé in Morteau. Thereafter Vixa appears to have largely concentrated on watches for the French Military, possibly alongside other civilian models like mine, but when those orders dried up, the company’s doors were closed in the early 1960s by whoever was running it then. If anyone has any more insight into the original Vixa company, then please do share. Regards.
  3. One of my occasional forays into Chinese-made watches, this 34.65mm 1970s BaoXuan with a Zhongshan SN-2 movement which came with various jewel counts, ranging from nine to this “up-graded” one with 17. Bit of fun, being quite sparkly with its red and gold accents, and even in their day I believe these watches weren’t aimed at anything like the top end of the home market. Produced by the Jie Yang Watch Factory and absolutely not the world’s prettiest movement but described as “robust” and “reliable”. Equally unattractive is the cheapo bracelet which accompanied it, soon to be changed for a decent leather job. Regards.
  4. Quite like that, and made by P. Bessot-Fresard of Charquement. Yes, they are French movements, and here's an image of the Lorsa Cal. 651 dial side. Regards.
  5. Certainly looks like it. Have you got an image of the dial?
  6. ......and here by, ahem, popular demand, are some multi-jewelled pin-levers, excluding the usual suspects of BFG, EB and Ronda, as well as any with less than 17 jewels. Each movement is preceded by the watch wherein it lurks and the images can be expanded for anyone interested. Not sure how to text - photo - text, so in order of appearance they are: Lorsa 655G.3, Lorsa 652, Lorsa 651, Brac 117, Brac 2002, Brac 118, Brac 903, 17j Ebosa 65, 21j Ebosa 65, 21j Oberon, 17j Oberon. Regards. EDIT. Image No.3 should have been at the top and image No.4 should be in third place. The joys of being tech-unsavvy.
  7. OK Andy, I'll get them posted tomorrow. Cheers, Bryan
  8. Thank you for your kind words. Over the years I seem to have ended up with several multi-jewelled pin-levers other than those from the usual suspects of BFG and EB. I'm thinking of things like Lorsa 655G.3 and 651; Brac 117, 118 and 903; Rego 129; Ebosa 65; Oberon; Ronda 1218-21. If you'd like to see images of any of 'em, I'll be happy to post them. Regards.
  9. Something a bit different today, this 32mm Burgana from the 1950s and made by, er, Burgana who seem to have been in business from 1942 (although one source says 1952) until 1997. Bought for pennies as a non-runner, with a scratched dial and no case back, it lay untouched for long enough before I had the courage to introduce it to my watchmaker. Oh how he laughed. It runs on a 21j version of an Ebosa 27 pin-lever movement, “a new Roskopf automatic” according to, and apparently featured in, issue 17/1952 of the German “The Watch” magazine. It’s a bumper, but unusual in that the oscillating weight strikes on steel pins rather than the more usual springs. This movement doesn’t feature on Ranfft’s database but he described it in one of his auction sales as “absolutely rare”. So, for any members who haven’t seen one, here it is. Hopefully you can tell the “befores” from the “afters”. Regards.
  10. Nice one. My two "Big Qs" have their dates of manufacture stamped into the floor of the battery compartment, consisting of 3 numbers. The first two are the year and the third is the month, e.g. 827 = July 1987. Mind you, mine were assembled in Taiwan, so may have a completely different dating system from yours. According to Timex, these things run on their M135 movement although as one is a date model and one ain't, I'm taking that with a generous pinch of salt. Whatever, here's images of the non-date one. Regards.
  11. Thanks, and I can't disagree with any of that.
  12. Also here, from R.R.'s site, if anyone's interested: http://www.ranfft.de/uhr/info-mass-e.html Regards.
  13. Mr Grumpy G. McGrumpy's demeanour never changes. It's his default position and similar, I suspect, to most of his dwindling band of fellow-professionals. We know each other well, with him having worked on some hundreds of my old nonsenses. I've never been inclined to use the smiley "watch repairs" guy who would also cut me a new key, fix a shoe, and charge me 2x what my watchmaker does before it goes to him anyway. Regards.
  14. An escapee from my watchmaker’s bag of Horrible Dead Things, the only polite description for his parts stash of old broken pin-levers which he’d hoped never to need again until, to his undisguised horror, I introduced him to my old nonsenses some years ago. I always tell him that instead of just sitting there changing batteries and re-sizing bracelets on fashion watches all day, he should be grateful for my helping him maintain his traditional skills. By way of witty riposte, he tells me to “@&*# off”. So, a forlorn Ostara which, although having lost the jaunty looks of its youth long ago, was willing to run with a little encouragement. The display back looked as time-worn as the rest of the watch so may well be original as I somehow can’t imagine anyone retro-fitting it to proudly exhibit its 15j EB 1344. The case and bezel topsides had lost their plating but have now been brightened up a little. With that and new crystals fore and aft, new crown and the missing seconds hand replaced, it now looks almost presentable. Oh, and it’s also had a new balance staff, because when it fell from Mr Grumpy the Watchmaker’s grasp, he expertly managed to dropkick it the length of his workspace whilst attempting to cushion its fall with his foot. Cue Mr Even Grumpier the Watchmaker. The watch was by Walter Ris of Grenchen, founded in 1945, with the Ostara brand following in 1950. They were making watches certainly into the ‘70s before liquidation in 1997 and eventual dissolution in 1998. Regards.
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