Better Timepieces

         Many watches have been produced that were not of the lowest quality. They were affordable and well made. Among these were the watches that had mechanisms made by the Swiss Ebauche Companies, such as this Benrus. These watches are plentiful and affordable today. One difficulty with some of these watches is that they were installed in one-piece cases, so that the crystal must be removed in order to access the mechanism.


         Many Bulova watches (circa 1955) have very attractive mechanisms (Swiss Ebauche), but their cases offered virtually no resistance against dirt nor moisture. Most cases were gold plated and were easily corroded when the plating wore off. Most had fancy crystals with all kinds of shapes other than the ordinary round shape (round crystals are the least difficult to replace).

         Here is a fine watch, about ten years older, made by Hamilton. However, its case and crystal have the same problems as for the Bulovas above.

         Ebauche made a fine series of automatically wound wristwatches, like these. The first one, a nice looking movement, is made by Felsa. The second one is of lower grade, the third one of medium grade, the fourth one a high quality certified chronometer made for Bucherer, and the fifth one a high quality watch made for Longines. The main difference in these watches is in the quality of the hairspring and balance wheel. Another difference is in whether the automatic winding mechanism is jewelled. Otherwise, these watches are very similar. The first one was made circa 1962. The rest were made circa 1970.

        The last watch above is a newer Ebauche watch made for Bucherer. While it is not a certified chronometer, it is very well made. Notice that the automatic rotor has ball bearings!

         I particularly like the equivalent watches made by Tissot. This watch has an extremely accurate microregulator, which is the same as the one found on the Omega Speedmaster (or very similar). My best mechanical timekeeper is a Tissot with a microregulator like this one.