Bonham's Summer 2019 Vintage Wristwatches Online Auction


Bonhams is hosting a number of wristwatch auctions this summer, but the most lots are on offer in its two-part “Vintage Wristwatches from a Private Collection”. Part 1 ended on June 27, while Part 2 is open until July 3. There are no headliner grabbers here, just some decent, honest watches that will all likely sell for under $5,000 to $6,000. The auction is full of Movado, Omega, Universal Geneve, and Vacheron — the collector here seemed to know what he or she liked, and went in deep. There’s also a lot of gold watches, with some exceptions (which I’ll highlight below).

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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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