LeGran Nautoscaph
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LeGran Nautoscaph

A man on a motorboat looks out to sea. He holds a Walkie up to his mouth. The watch on his wrist glints in the sun.

The scene is in Jaws, the seminal 1970s nautical drama that probably made a whole generation afraid of going into the ocean. But for some watch collectors, the drama centered not on the shark, but on what watch Richard Dreyfuss wore in the film. Years—even decades—passed before someone was able to find out.

Finally, in 2010, two brothers hit on the watch’s identify after years of poring over screen caps and Google searches… and then uncovered an even greater mystery.

The watch, it seems, was an Alsta Nautoscaph. But, like what happened with all too many Swiss watch brands after the Quartz Crisis, there was little for the brothers to go on once they made their discovery. Alsta no longer existed, and what information could be found about the brand was scanty.

However, thanks to the diligence of watch sleuths, the holes in the story have been filled in over the years. “Alsta” was a brand owned by the Alstater Watch Company of New York. Alstater, it seems, was a company that primarily imported and cased Swiss-made watches, and then sold them under its own brand names—Alsta being the one that’s most familiar to collectors today.

To make it even more complicated, Alsta also sold the watches that it commissioned from other brands… to other brands.

LeGran was one of those companies. From what we can tell, LeGran subsisted primarily as a distributor, and had agreements with many of the numerous suppliers in Switzerland. This watch, therefore, is an Alsta Nautoscaph that LeGran sold under its own brand name.

The Nautoscaph came in many variations, from the cushion-case version that Dreyfuss wore in Jaws to the 36mm contract case featured here. But the case is sturdy despite the diameter, in keeping with the watch’s 200M depth rating. The glossy black dial, surmounted by green numerals and sword hands, gives the watch a distinctive look of its own while maintaining the classic diver silhouette that we’ve come to know and love.

Rest assured, even though the name on the dial might be obscure, the appeal of this watch certainly is not.  

Details

SKU: TT01254

Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown). Felsa 4007N Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1970s.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with moderate signs of use and wear. Dial is in very good condition with patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers. Unsigned crown. Screw case back shows light tool marks and bears the Nautoscaph hallmark.

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