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There is a particular thrill in vintage watch collecting when you discover a brand or model that has, because of a defunct brand, limited production or from a use that resulted in rending examples unserviceable or destroyed, become completely obscure. It’s even more thrilling when the discovery yields a fantastic watch.
The scarcity of the Jardur Bezelmeter Reference 960 can be attributed to all three.
Jardur got its start manufacturing mechanical navigation tools and dashboard gauges and timers for airplanes in the early 1940s. The production of a wrist-born timer seemed like a logical extension of their efforts and by 1945, they were making watches.
The mid-40s was an interesting time for aviation. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, AOPA, had been minted in 1939, and while much of the sector was still largely controlled by the military, civilian aviation was rapidly becoming more popular. But, despite the shifting demographic, aviator’s watches were still largely built along the staid standards and design language which hallmarked watches like the IWC/JLC Mark XI.
Jardur utilized these cues when crafting the Ref. 960, producing a run of pilot’s watches with black dials and steel cases which, despite the addition of tachymetre and decimal tracks printed on the dial, echoed military standards. By the late 1940s, Jardur enlivened their design by adding gold-capped cases and matching plated bezel, apparently in an effort to differentiate itself.
This particular Ref. 960 hails from the earlier efforts from Jardur. The steel case and silver dial combination is very rare, but shows the simplistic starting point upon which the brand expanded. While reminiscent of another popular pilot’s watch, the Breitling Premier Ref. 788 — a simple triple-register, luminous dial and syringe hands — the Jardur Ref. 960 added a thin, rotating steel bezel to its 37mm steel case. The result is a stunning watch, with all the hallmarks of mid-1940s tool watches, including the use of a Valjoux 72 manually winding chronograph drivetrain.
With this workhorse (and easy-to-service!) movement and subtle refined design, the Ref. 960 is collector’s dream watch, especially for those interested in something off the beaten path.
Stainless Steel Case is approximately 37mm (excluding crown and pushers). Jardur Reference 960. Valjoux 72 Manually Winding Chronograph Movement signed Pilgrim Electric Corp. Late 1940s.
Overall Condition: The watch is in excellent condition over all, with no noteworthy blemishes or defects. Silver dial is in excellent condition; Arabic luminous hour markers bear a dark even patina consistent with age, though there is some very minor lume loss to the 10:00 marker. Blued-steel syringe hour and minute hands are in excellent condition, as are sub-register and sweep hands. Case shows no signs of polishing, faceted, drilled lugs are sharp. Steel rotating bezel is in very good condition. Pump pushers are firm and operate chronograph sharply; unsigned crown.
Includes one Forstner Komfit stainless steel mesh band with 20mm bar end links.
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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