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In the realm of vintage watch collecting, the allure of familiar names like Rolex or Omega is hard to resist. They speak of quality, excellence, and perseverance—if a brand can weather wars, depressions, and the Quartz Crisis, then that says something about the quality of their products. But there’s more to vintage watches than just those familiar names—sometimes there’s gold in them thar hills.
Prior to the introduction of Bulova’s Accutron movement in 1969, the watch market was filled with brands that produced mechanical wristwatches. Though those brands might have gone out of business in the 1970s or 1980s, their watches remain. In today’s technology-obsessed world, we take for granted that prior to the introduction of cell phones, a watch was an indispensable accessory, and scores of companies existed to produce a watch for every wrist in the world.
Delvina is a name that we haven’t heard before. A quick Google search reveals that it’s a small town in Southern Albania. Googling “Delvina watches” narrows it down a little more, revealing sporty chronographs, chunky divers, and even some elegant wristwatches.
If you dig a little deeper into other resources, you find that Delvina was registered to Solvil et Titus S.A. “Great, who’s that?” you ask. Solvil et Titus was founded in 1892 by none other than Paul Ditisheim, whose father, Maurice, founded Vulcain. A relative of theirs, Achille, founded Movado.
Paul studied at the watchmaking school in La Chaux-de-Fonds and graduated at the age of 13 (can we say precocious?) He started working in his father’s workshop upon graduation until 1892, when he founded Solvil (which was also branded under his own name) and Titus. The latter of which should be familiar to fans of vintage dive watches for its Calypsomatic.
In 1930 Ditisheim handed over the reins of his companies to another Paul—Paul Vogel, himself a scion of industry and noted art collector (who counted in his collection works by Picasso, Matisse, and Degas) who was married to the heiress of the Eberhard family. Vogel decided to sever Solvil and Titus permanently, devoting one to high-end luxury timepieces, and the other to lower-cost sports watches like the Calypsomatic.
That’s where Delvina comes in. Vogel registered the trademark for Delvina in United States on August 15, 1969. Many of the watches like this Super Compressor here used contract cases—in this instance, the Super Compressor case manufactured by Ervin Piquerez SA (or EPSA).
Aside from the case with its trademark cross-hatch crowns, this dive watch (which is in New Old Stock condition) has a lot going for it. Take the dial, for instance, in bright red, white, and blue, with lume plots that are as puffy as marshmallows (and probably just as delicious). With a 22mm Tropic strap, this Delvina sings a song of loving design, deep lineage and infinite wearability.
Stainless steel case is approximately 42mm (excluding crown). Circa late 1960s/early 1970s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel Super Compressor Case is in excellent, New Old Stock condition with only the slightest signs of wear consistent with handling. Dial is in likewise excellent condition with crisp printing and puffy luminescent plots. Crosshatch EPSA crowns. Delvina case back is in very good condition with signs of wear consistent with handling.
Includes one 22mm rubber Tropic strap with original hang tag.