For Your Reference: The Movado FB 95M

For Your Reference

 This is a study of Movado 95M chronographs, particularly those housed in François Borgel manufactured, water-resistant, 35.5mm cases. Much of the following derives from a library of examples, compiled thanks to many collectors and sales across the web. The independent conclusions are based on this library as well as period advertisements and literature. Naming conventions presented and used are my own.

 Movado, in a previous era, offered a catalog more on par with Longines and Universal Genéve, than Michael Kors and Hugo Boss. The brand boasted a horological pedigree dating back to 1881 with innovations such as the ingeniously curved calibre Polyplan, and over six decades of in-house movements. Mid-century Movados are remarkable watches, none more the case than Borgel 95M’s.

While FB and Movado offered a waterproof two register in 1939— the first hard evidence of a FB case 95M comes from 1946. Movado made most of its 90M watches in the 40s and 50s whereas 95M examples seem to date more to the 50s and 60s; an eight-year delay between a water-resistant 90M and 95M is not unbelievable. My conclusion is that the 95M was certainly in a FB case by 1946 and could have been offered in the years prior, I just do not know.

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Favre-Leuba: A Brief History

Guides

Switzerland’s little known, second-oldest watch brand and its fascinating history that intersects with Bovet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and others.

The history of the watch industry is littered with defunct brands, many of which met their demise during the quartz crisis of the 1970s. Others were gobbled up by large conglomerates during this time. And finally, some companies transformed into just a skeleton of the fine watch manufacturers they had been for years, sometimes centuries prior. That’s what has happened to Favre-Leuba. It’s a Swiss watch manufacturer still in existence to this day, headquartered in Zug, Swizterland (separately referred to as the “Crypto Valley” by some Ethereum nerds, more on that in a minute).

Favre-Leuba traces its roots back to 1737, making it the second-oldest watch brand in Switzerland, after Blancpain (1735). It was founded by Abraham Favre in Le Locle, Switzerland, who was eventually appointed the “master watchmaker” of Le Locle, a position that every city should have.

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Vintage Grand Seiko: A Brief History

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Why should you care about Grand Seiko? I’ll give you two pretty good reasons: first, its modern watches remain some of the most affordable options out there while still being beloved by watch enthusiasts; second, vintage Grand Seiko remains one of the last undervalued brands in vintage watches (in the West at least), as the vintage watch boom has meant skyrocketing prices for almost all Swiss brands.

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Tudor Submariner: A Brief History

Guides

There’s been a lot of conjecture that in 2019, Tudor will re-release a new reference of its iconic Tudor Submariner collection. Tudor has done little to dissuade these rumors, and now seems to be actively encouraging the hype (and of course, its Black Bay collection shows the brand’s affinity for re-releasing old hits). [Ed. note: Okay, we were wrong about this one.]

On January 21 on its Instagram, Tudor posted a macro shot of a dial, zooming in on an hour marker that looks an awful lot like some of the vintage Tudor Submariners that enthusiasts are hoping inspire a new Submariner release. And since rumors are also swirling that a new Rolex Submariner is in the works for next year (new movement and all), many buyers may end up with a Tudor Submariner if they can’t stand to wile away on an authorized Rolex dealer’s waitlist. With the seemingly imminent release of a Tudor Submariner, it’s a good time to recap the history of the Submariner, its most important references, everything else a collector needs to know.

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