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In watchmaking terms, anything that goes above and beyond telling the time with two hands is called a complication. A complication can be deceptively simple, such as a day or a date display. But when you consider that each additional function requires additional parts—sometimes in the hundreds or thousands—then it really brings home how intricate these tiny machines really are.
Also, a complication in its purest form is not simply for empty show, but to prove a particular watchmaker or maison’s skill.
While the production of highly-complicated watches seems to be almost the exclusive purview of the “Big Three”—particularly Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe—in watchmaking’s golden years, there were many other brands that also excelled at producing watches whose technical complexity was equalled by their beauty.
Angelus is once such brand.
The manufacture was established in the first floor of a house in Le Locle’s Rue du Marais as Stolz Frères SA. At first the eponymous Stolz brothers Angelus assembled watches out of parts made by other manufacturers. But as the 20th century dawned, the manufacture took on a new name—Angelus—and a new focus: designing and manufacturing its own movements entirely in-house.
The quality of their watches, and the technical innovations that they achieved, did not go unnoticed. They made their name for the movements that they manufactured, and in the realm of complications they particularly excelled. Angelus won awards at exhibitions in almost every year from 1902 to 1926.
Among these, the most well-known was the Chronodato.
Released in 1942, the Chronodato was the first wristwatch to accompany a chronograph with a full calendar. On the rim of the dial, the dates are printed in a ring, indicated by a red-tipped hand. At 12 o’clock the month peeps out, here in Portuguese, as does the day above 6 o’clock.
While other chronographs of this ilk can appear cluttered, Angelus focused on extreme legibility, giving the dial a wide-open look that is almost minimalistic. But any hint of brutality is softened by the soft yellow gold of the case and the warm patina of the dial. The sharp bevels of the lugs foreshadow sport watches to come, like the Carrera.
This is an early version of the Chronodato, featuring an unusual (not to mention gorgeous!) gold-colored dial and matching case. The beveled lugs help the watch to achieve a delicate balance between sport and dress. Though the Chronodato looks stunning with a suit a tie, it’s a sportsman at heart, at home in any environment you wish to wear it.
Gold-filled case is approximately 37.5mm (excluding crown and pushers). Manually-wound in-house chronograph movement. Circa 1950.
Case is in very good condition over all, showing signs of normal wear and use. The dial is likewise in very good condition showing normal signs of age. Original crown. Signed case back has some signs of wear but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm brown leather strap.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options