At a BBQ over the weekend a pal of mine asked me some very interesting questions, one of which spurred me on to create this video. Like myself he owns a variety of different watches in a multitude of different price ranges, he knows that you don’t have to pay a fortune to purchase a fantastic timepiece and he also appreciates watches for their design even if the brand is more of an overpriced fashion accessory as opposed to a masterclass watchmakers.
For example had you of asked me at the beginning of last year or my friend prior to the weekend, we both would have never considered purchasing a Bulgari, I don’t currently own one and I’m not necessarily going to go out my way to buy one mmmm just yet either, I do own three other of the LVMH Group watch brands, a vintage Tag Heuer, a vintage Zenith and a newish Hublot.
The LVMH group or Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton group among their army of 70 strong houses that produce Wines & Spirits, Fashion & Leather Goods, Perfumes & Cosmetics, also own the the mentioned Swiss Watch brands Zenith, Tag Heuer, Hublot and Bulgari.
But of those mentioned the last being Bulgari has always been seen as a fashion accessory that simply loses value, they use the standard Swatch Groups ETA and Valjoux movements and their designs, just never did it for me, until they released the all new Octo Finissimo at Baselworld last year, okay, this is a very expensive timepiece and I’m not going to be discussing this in this video other than quickly showing you what my friend and I both appreciated about this watch, and that is the design and the fact Bulgari have created their own movement for this.
Now, this watch is ultra, ultra thin it was and may well still be the thinnest automatic watch and movement in the world, the caliber BVL 138 is no more than 2.23mm thick and the case is no more than 5.15mm thick and to me it is visually beautiful. Anyway I’m not here to gloat on about watches only a few people can afford to purchase so, back to the topic in question, the question that friend asked that spurred me on to create this video was, “What would I say would potentially be great investment timepieces for the future, that aren’t expensive to purchase today?And that is, a very good question indeed!
While there is a hive of activity within the vintage Swiss watch market sector, once affordable watch brands have quickly become expensive, for example only a few years ago you could have picked up a Wakeman for a few hundred pounds, whereas today you will need to spend up to a few thousand for the same watch. But even still today there are some watches that are still extremely affordable to buy now which can only go up in value in the future. And these particular watches all share one thing in common, and that is their movements. These movements in question are the Landeron chronograph movements.
Landeron a Brief History
Initially established as watch manufacturer in 1873 by brother Charles and Aime Hahn the Charles Hahn & Cie factory which changed its name a few times over the years, by the early 1920’s made the wise decision to move away from an ever grow watch market to focus on purely making watch movements instead.
It’s quite a sad story however as within just two years of establishing the company Charles passed away, however his dreams were pursued by his brother and son also named Charles, and in 1924 the new Charles did a fantastic deal in buying the rights to Anatole Breitlings chronograph movements, these movements were renamed Landeron after the Swiss district the factory was based in.
While manufacturing and selling huge quantities of the old Anatole Breitlings chronograph movements they reinvested their hard earned cash into creating their own far superior chronograph movements, in fact between the mid 1930’s to 1970’s they made over 42 different chronograph calibers including variants, supplying over 3.5 million movements to all manor of watchmakers large and small, including such names as Chronograph Suisse, Baume & Mercier, Breitling, Heuer, Rolex, Rotary, Wakeman and Zenith. Nearly every watchmaker in the land was using their movements.
They were basically the early version of the Swatch Group now, supplying their Valjoux 7750 movement to more than 75% of the watch industry today.
And here we have one of those magnificent examples in front of me, the