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Excelsior Park might not be a recognizable name on its own, but this manufacturer of chronograph ébauches contributed movements to a host of well known brands such as Gallet and Zenith, a good indication of the quality and reliability they are known for in watchmaking circles.
Henri Jeanneret-Brahm, scion of the famous Jeanneret watchmaking dynasty of Saint-Imier, first registered the Excelsior trademark in 1911. Between the years of 1918 and 1983, Excelsior Park produced movements for brands like Girard-Perregaux and the aforementioned Gallet and Zenith. They specialized in stopwatches from the 1920s to the introduction of their movements for chronograph wristwatches. Business boomed after the Second World War, but faltered after the Quartz Crisis, and the brand was absorbed by Gallet before disappearing completely in the 1980s.
Aside from the chronograph movements that Excelsior Park supplied to other brands, the company also branded watches under their own name. The majority of these watches entered the European market, but also saw limited distribution to various militaries. One such client was the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (or JSDF), established in the 1950s under the careful eye of the United States and a newly formed NATO.
The watch that we offer here has an Excelsior Park-branded dial that has faded brilliantly to a gorgeous milk chocolate brown. Its 38mm steel case and large, easily-legible luminous dial makes it a joy to wear, and the stylized Arabic hour markers make it an immediate topic of conversation. The case back bears engravings from the JSDF (in Kanji!), a testament to its military heritage. With luminous syringe hands, barrel pushers, and gently twisted lugs, this chronograph checks all of the boxes in terms of beauty, provenance, and rarity!
Stainless steel case is approximately 37mm (excluding crown). Excelsior Park Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition with sharp bevels on the lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Shows light, normal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age. Dial is in great condition, with rich tropical patina. Luminescent elements on hands have faded evenly. Signed case back bears Japanese Self-Defense Air Force engravings. Unsigned crown.
Includes 20mm handcrafted leather strap and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle