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Like Universal Geneve, Wittnauer, and Gallet, Angelus is a defunct brand whose chronographs have been gaining a lot of momentum in vintage collecting circles. Like these brands, Angelus has a long and storied history of making watches--and making them well. Established in Le Locle in 1891 (four years before Universal Geneve was founded in the same village) by the Stolz brothers, Angelus at first assembled watches out of parts made by other manufacturers. But as the 20th century dawned, Angelus were designing and manufacturing their own movements entirely in-house. They won awards at international exhibitions almost every year from 1902 to 1926.
Their chronographs, in particular, were as innovative as they were praiseworthy. The Chronodato, introduced in 1942, was the first chronograph to feature a calendar. With its versatility of style (Angelus fitted the Chronodato movement into cases made of various metals), the Chronodato became the best-selling watch in Switzerland.
The design of the Chronodato's dial is an exercise in legibility. While a watch with so much information on the dial could seem cluttered, the dial of the Chronodato is perfectly balanced, with the day and month windows interplayed on a vertical axis amidst the chronograph sub-registers. The date's displayed in a chapter ring on the outer edge of the dial, indicated by a red-tipped hand.
Angelus followed the success of the Chronodato with the Chronodato Deluxe in 1948. The Chronodato Deluxe was the first chronograph to feature a big date complication, and also bore a moon-phase indicator. Another specialized chronograph, this time for physicians, followed in 1960.
But innovation is often a double-edged sword, especially in the world of watchmaking, where thousands of hours of brain power and the equivalent amount of money can prove fatal if a product does not sell well. The poor performance of the Tinkler--an automatic wristwatch that contained a quarter repeater, of all things--combined with the general poor sales of mechanical wristwatches in the Swiss watch industry, spelled doom for Angelus. The brand soldiered on throughout the 1960s until the Quartz Crisis tolled the death knell of the brand.
The vintage market is a constantly-evolving ecosystem, and we're always keen to identify trends and speculate on the future. If the outpouring of complimentary feedback on the Chronodatos we've offered so far is any indicator, big things are coming down the pike for Angelus--so our advice is grab a good one before they go stratospheric!
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding crown and pushers). Manually-wound in-house chronograph movement. Circa 1950s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in excellent condition with only minimal signs of wear and use in keeping with its age, sharp lugs, and no signs of over-polishing. Rare non-luminous dial has taken on an even faded patina and only some light discoloration below 6 o'clock and between 2 and 3 o'clock. Unsigned crown; signed case back is in excellent condition with traces of factory brush finishing.
Includes one 20mm black 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.
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