Clebar Chronograph

Clebar Chronograph

Like Juliet, we vintage watch enthusiasts often find ourselves wondering: “What’s in a name?” For every recognizable name like Rolex, Breitling, or Heuer, there are dozens of unfamiliar ones that can baffle even the most experienced of watch collectors. And there are some that simply leap from page-after-page of scrolling on eBay or forums, making both novice and seasoned collectors alike wonder, “What?”

Names like Clebar, for instance.

In Welsh it means “clamor,” like the kind of noise that arises when someone puts a Paul Newman Daytona on the table at a watch get-together. But we’re not so sure how familiar the good people of Switzerland were with Welsh when they came up with the name Clebar. However, a look in a French-English dictionary yields the word clébard, which might hold the key to the brand name’s origins.

In English, it means mutt.

The trademark was first used in the 1920s by Edward Trauner, Inc., best-known for bringing Zodiac watches to the States. By the 1950s it became associated with watches that collectors have dubbed “Poor Man’s Heuers” due to their similarity to watches like the Heuer Carrera or Autavia. However, far from being pale imitations, “Poor Man’s Heuers” were made with the same care and attention to detail—and oftentimes the same parts.

Faced with strictures on imports following the Great Depression, many Swiss watch brands partnered with U.S.-based companies in order to bring their products stateside. The partnership between Longines and Wittnauer, or Wakmann and Breitling, are examples of this type of symbiotic relationship. Watches would be manufactured in Switzerland—often with fewer jewels, to get around U.S. restrictions—and then sent to the States, for either assembly or retail.

To prove that they were compliant with U.S. tariffs, the dials would be printed—not with the name of the manufacturer, such as Heuer or Breitling—but with the distributor’s.

Since Zodiac had already gained traction in the U.S., Trauner pulled an old trademark from its archives and used it to import the sporty chronographs that modern-day collectors love.

Watches like this one, for example, which takes the classic white-on-black color-way and livens it up with a splash of blue in the outer tachymeter scale. Furthermore, instead of the budget-conscience (but no less reliable) Valjoux 7730, this one is powered by the Valjoux 72. Combining robust internals with cool looks, this is a mutt that simply begs to be taken for a walk.


SKU: AS02136

Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown). Valjoux Calibre 72 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with some signs of prior polishing. Dial is in very good condition showing some signs of age, including lume loss. Unsigned crown.

Includes one 20mm tan nylon two-piece strap.

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