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There is nothing better than traveling through time, and with vintage watches, that is exactly what you can do.
The early days of wristwatches were also the twilight years of the large clock manufacturers. By the early 1900s, many manufactures were shifting their focus from clocks to pocket watches and wristwatches. As in any epochal shift, companies merged, dissolved, changed names and trademarks, creating a new market space with new players.
As those companies grew, they opened new facilities in new locations, using different names to cater to specific markets and clientele.
This watch, bearing the name 'Harvard' on the dial and stamped 'Berna Watch Co.' on the bridge of the Valjoux movement, is a descendent of the early days of the West End Watch Company. While still in business today selling modern pieces primarily in the Asian and Middle Eastern Markets, West End was a large mechanical watch producer throughout the 1940s and 50s with much of its operation based in what was then Bombay, India.
Its heritage can be traced all the way back to the late 1800s to a Swiss watchmaking company called Droz and Perret. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, Droz and Perret underwent numerous changes in name and structure, resulting in a raft of factories and manufacturing facilities bearing different names and hallmarks.
This watch, hailing from the late 1950s, was assembled by the Berna Watch Company (named for Berne, Switzerland, where Droz and Perret was minted) and sold under the name Harvard, a brand name used in a handful of their Asian markets. The movement, a manual-winding Valjoux 71 chronograph unit, bears the company's stamp on the bridge.
In excellent shape with a simple silver dial, blued-steel hands and a pleasing 36.5mm steel case, this watch is a rare find in any condition and would make a pleasant addition to any collection--or the perfect gift for a Harvard grad with horological leanings!
Steel case is approximately 36.5mm (excluding the crown). Valjoux 71 Manually-Winding Chronograph movement. Circa late 1950s.
Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition, with minimal signs of wear save a few light tool marks on the snap case back. Silver dial with printed Arabic numeral is in outstanding condition. Outer minute track printing is clear and crisp. Blued-steel feuille hands. Unsigned crown and snap case back.
Includes one 19mm brown leather strap with contrast stitching and two nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.