Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Vintage Splendor Chronograph

Today I'm wearing, well, this, whatever this is. It's branded "Splendor" and says "Top Timer" on the dial, but the crowns and caseback are not signed and I haven't opened it to see what kind of movement it is. I bought this relatively cheaply through eBay and the seller didn't have any additional information. I was looking for a vintage chronograph (before I came across my Wittnauer) and didn't want to spend the $500+ for a nice vintage Hamilton chrono. This one appeared to be from the '60s or '70s, said "Swiss Made" on the dial and "Swiss" on the back, was a decent looking design and the single pusher and oversized crowns kind of intrigued me. Also, it was well under $100 and claimed to be in good working order. At some point I'll probably have my watchmaker take a look at it to identify the movement and see if it's worth cleaning/adjusting/repairing. It does run pretty well, but it ticks very loudly, to the point that I thought my car was making odd noises on the drive home today, but it was just the watch. Also, I haven't a clue what the dial at 9 o'clock does. It counts up to 14 (no, really, go look at it!) and seems to move on its own and not as part of the chronograph function. In fact, since there is no real dial nor hand at 3 o'clock, just a circle and some writing, the chronograph hand just kind of spins and spins, so timing anything over 60 seconds is impossible. So anyway, it's a curiosity, but it's a decent size, maybe 38mm without the crowns, and it's not in bad shape considering it has a chrome-plated brass case, and it runs. Maybe I'll find out something else about it from my watchmaker or maybe somebody will recognize it here, either way, I don't mind keeping it in my collection for the time being.

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