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James Bond. The Apollo Program. The Porsche 911. Miniskirts. The White Album. Suffice it to say, a lot of really great shit came out of the 1960s.
When it comes to watches, there were more important firsts and iconic designs that either matured or outright came into being in the 1960s than at just about any other time in history. For diving watches in particular, the 60s were very much the Golden Era as countless brands competed for recognition and success in the rapidly expanding market of amateur SCUBA. Many of these brands still exist today, with their current collections echoing the design sensibilities of the decade of their origin. Still, many brand names were lost to time, leaving remnants of their former glory for us to find and explore in the sock drawers and workshops of the watch community.
One such brand is Mirexal - a brand not so much lost to time as just generally unknown to most of the world. At one time, Mirexal was the house brand for the retail store chain Migros, the largest company of its kind in Switzerland, and the single largest employer in the country. While house brand watches from this time period aren't completely impossible to find, it comes as no shock to us that those retailed only in Switzerland were really on a whole other level.
With a simple and rugged ETA 2783 beating away inside, this particular watch has all the hallmarks of a purpose-built 60s diver that we so adore: Large cushion case with crisp beveling and rotating (unidirectional!) steel bezel, locking crown, and bright, luminescent hands. With an interesting two tone matte grey/metallic blue dial, pointed crown guards (!!), and acrylic domed crystal, this is by far one of our favorite dive-watch finds in awhile, regardless of brand name.
Migros still exists (and is a must-stop when next you are in Switzerland), but Mirexal is very much a ghost from the past. While we have seen similar contract divers, we've never seen another featuring the Mirexal name - most likely because very few ever got past the Swiss border. If you're into the off-beat and cool, you'd best grab this one before it goes!
Steel case is approximately 41.5mm (excluding crown). Circa 1960s.
Overall condition: Case is in very good condition throughout, showing normal signs of wear from age and use. Original two-tone grey and sunburst blue dial is very clean, with crisp printing and no signs of water damage or hand drag. Luminous elements on dial and hands have faded evenly. Original case back shows light signs of wear. Unsigned crown.
Includes black woven strap with orange contrast stitching and two 20mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle.