Cortébert 60th 1st Prix Observatoires Entered Watch Rare Case Back Near Mint Vintage 1950's
Well, this watch exemplifies that fact that they only let me decide what we're buying and what we're not, and do ridiculous YouTube videos and write about all things historical. Anyway, my point is, if you haven't noticed, my taste in inventory has gone to the very best examples of some of the most extreme rarities; although we carry watches is all ranges. So, here is why this watch is so important and why we love it. First, let's look at the manufacturer, Cortébert. This company was no joke and used to be one of the highest regarded premium watch brands, manufacturing their own movements, supplying movements to other brands such as Rolex & Omega and introducing a jump-hour movement later adopted by IWC. When the quartz crisis hit the industry in the '70s, the majority of prestige brands ceased production including Cortébert. Another reason we love this watch is that all signs point to the fact that this was an entered piece as indicated by its unique and multiple serial numbers. It also contains the rarest case-back of all the 60 1st Prix watches from Cortébert, using the unusual Botonnee Maltese Cross (on the crown too). Now let's look where this came from. This is an estate find I imported from France and the original owner worked for Cortébert. The estate said it was wrapped up in a drawer with no strap on it. Clearly, an employee that was a collector of special pieces, as there were many more watches, but the prices were getting too much. Here are some more things to be happy about this watch, it has an original nearly untouched case, original mint silver sunburst dial, rare signed crown, extremely rare case-back...which ultimately sets this piece aside from any other comparable on the market. By the way, I looked hard and could not find another example of a Cortébert that had been submitted to the Observatoires for testing or perhaps a contest. My watchmaker removed the old oils and freshly oiled the movement and the watch performs very well. They definitely placed an in-house movement and modified and adjusted to their best chronometer they were capable of. And this watch is exactly that; and runs within modern chronometer specifications. Because our intake process is watchmaker first, I sometimes cannot photograph the movement if I'm not there. That's what happened to this watch. I won't open the Calatrava type case unless it's insisted on because there is not a scratch to be seen. Which means I'll have to bring it to my watchmaker again because he is incredible at not scratching a snap back case, and this is a tight one. Currently, the watch is near mint with only swirls from making contact with any type of wood surface. Looking at the available movements and case size, it is very likely the well-regarded calibre 677 with a Spirofix regulator. Definitely, has to be in the 600 families anyhow. These movements were also the main source for Rolex manual wind chronometer / and non-chronometers at the time. This is a true beauty that you will likely never see again. 34mm case in stainless steel and presented on a new genuine leather dark brown alligator embossed padded strap with stainless steel buckle.
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