Revue Automatic

Revue Automatic

We revel in the obscure here at Analog/Shift. Sure, we love all the well-known brand names, the Tudors, Omegas, and Rolexes of the world. But the fun in watch collecting is all about the 3 AM discoveries that come after hours of poring over eBay auction listings.

Revue is one of those names that you might see in a late-night eBay binge. While it was recently resurrected as Revue Thommen, the brand is much older than that. A little research uncovers the brand’s history—and what a fascinating history it is, intertwined with the growth of Switzerland’s budding railway and Air Force.

In the 1850s, railways were just beginning to cross Europe. Switzerland, although a mountainous country, readily embraced the new mode of transport. Soon, the quiet valleys rang with the sound of dynamite, as crews blasted tunnels in the mountainsides to make way for the railroad.

But progress sometimes has unintended drawbacks. The sleepy community of Waldenburg was one that was cut off by the railway network that connected Basel to Geneva. So in 1853 the town fathers founded a watch manufacturing company, the Société d’Horlogerie à Waldenburg, in order to infuse some much-needed revenue into the town’s depleted economy. A few years later, two entrepreneurs—Louis Tschopp and Gédéon Thommen—took the company over and restructured it; however, Tschopp would soon leave. Under the leadership of Thommen (himself a railroad pioneer), the company was officially registered as Revue Thommen AG.

As the years went on, Thommen’s focus shifted from the railroads to airplanes. In 1916 the Swiss Air Force was founded, and Revue Thommen was awarded a contract to supply instruments and timepieces to the Air Force. Along with chronographs, clocks, and altimeters, Revue Thommen even constructed the landing gear for a biplane.

Over the years, Revue’s military-issue timepieces found a foothold in the UK, sold under the brand name Vertex—one of the “Dirty Dozen” that made watches for the MoD during World War II.

This watch is just one of many that the manufacture produced during its golden years, in the 1950s and 1960s. Powered by one of Revue’s propriety automatic movements, it has all the makings of a mid-century classic, with an elegant silver dial and applied gold markers. As a civilian counterpart to the military watches with which Revue Thommen made its name, it certainly does not disappoint.


SKU: TT01255

Chrome-plated case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown).

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition over all with some signs of age and use. Dial is in very good condition with some signs of age, including patina. Signed crown.

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