Vintage Watch Blog.
Did you ever wonder how and when the classic three register and two pusher chronograph wrist watch we all know and love came into existence? I know I have - and if you're the type of guy that likes to know or tell the story behind your prized possessions, well let's just say this is a story you'll want to know.
It all started with Universal Geneve. Universal claims to have created the worlds first chronograph wrist watch in 1917. These chronographs were fairly simply with only one register and a single pusher. Later came chronographs with two registers counting both elapsed seconds and minutes. It was Universal's partnership with Zenith and Martel Watch Co. which gave birth, in 1934, to the three register, two pusher chronograph we still see in today's modern masterpieces. Both Universal and Zenith had access to the movements developed in partnership with movement maker Martel - the watches were marketed as "Compax" meaning having three sub-dials.
It should not be a surprise, that this development in chronograph wrist watches had significant influence on what is available today.
In some more rare examples, a few other watch companies appeared to had got their hands on this movement as well. Before the famed house of Jaeger-LeCoultre, there was Jaeger and there was LeCoultre & Cie. Although the two companies collaborated since the early 1900s, it was not until 1937 when the two officially announced their alliance and became Jaeger-LeCoultre. This magnificent chronograph represents a very short time period in which Jaeger was not yet Jaeger -LeCoultre, and the birth of the Chronograph wrist watch with two pushers (1934). A tough to find collectors piece, this chronograph, circa 1934-1936, houses a historically significant chronograph movement developed and manufactured by Martel Watch Co. and most commonly seen in the Universal Geneve or Zenith Compax of the same period. Significant because it is the first chronograph wrist watch movement with three registers and two pushers - the classic layout we all have come accustomed to. It's unknown how Jaeger got their hands on this chronograph movement, but it is likely they purchased the movements in small quantities from Universal as some are noted to carry the Universal caliber number. A beautiful, robust column wheel chronograph, this Jaeger is in excellent vintage condition, including its original solid 18k gold case which measures approximately 34MM in diameter not including the crown or pushers.
Adam J. Dubilo, founder of Adam Vintage
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