Today's offering showcases this all-original 1940's Clebar two-register chronograph made by Zodiac for the U.S. market.
It presents as a subtle vintage timepiece that can be worn everyday and whose price tag won't break the budget, but it is far from simple.
Chronograph watches were originally designed as precision instruments, serving the needs of doctor's, pilots, auto racers, sportsmen, and other professionals who demanded a high level of precision in their timing. Equipped with special functions to aid the wearer in the task at hand, these fine mechanisms played an integral role in their owner's lives.
Two of the most utilized features on a chronograph were a special dial for timing events up to 30 minutes in duration and a tachymetre scale for easily determining speed and distance, such as on this watch. Some like this one also had 1/5 second markings on the dial for very precise timing.
This watch is powered by a Landeron movement. For those unfamiliar with chronographs, due to their complexity, in vintage times most brands, including respected firms like Rolex, Breitling, and Heuer, did not manufacture their own chronograph movements but rather purchased them from companies who specialized in making the sophisticated mechanisms.
One of the main chronograph movement makers of the period was the Swiss firm Landeron. Their movements are well-known for powering some of Heuer's and Baume et Mercier's chronographs, as well as watches from Gallet and a number of other Swiss watch houses.
If you stake your claim as a watch enthusiast, but find yourself frantically thumbing through your coffee table watch catalogs to see if you somehow missed this brand in the lineup of famous swiss made watches, don't worry. You're not alone. Keep reading to hear the unique and dare we say even humorous origin of this company.
The Clebar name was trademarked in the 1920's by Edward Trauner. Trauner was instrumental in bringing Zodiac watches to the States.
Made at a time when the U.S. government imposed very high import tariffs on finished watches but not on watch parts, this Clebar became a way for Zodiac to sell their watches in the States. Nearly all Swiss watchmakers who sold watches during this time in the U.S. market - including the likes of even Patek Philippe, Vacheron, Rolex and the like - to a greater or lesser degree, imported some of their watches as movements only and cased and timed them in the States. Some even had dials and other components made in the U.S. and some like Zodiac and Jaeger-LeCoultre, even sold them under a different brand name.
The brands mid-centutry watches have become associated with watches known as so-called “Poor Man’s Heuers” because they share some of the same design characteristics and even components with highly collectable Heuers. Their "poor man" moniker applies only to the fact that they can be acquired by collectors without the hefty means to fork over for some of Heuer's particularly collectable models. The watches themselves share a similar quality and as mentioned even some of the same parts as their counterparts from the splashier Heuer brand.
It has been speculated that the origin of Zodiac's choice of the Clebar brand name resulted from this import strategy.
In Welsh, Clebar means "Clamor", a noise similar to the sound of the coffee pot being dropped by an uncaffeinated individual in search of their first cup. But upon more thorough research and a quick stop in a English-French dictionary you'll find the word Clebard, which in french means Mutt. Like a Mutt, the "parts" of a Clebar came from various sources... they were a melting pot of unique and reliable parts coming together to make what we might consider an upper-class mixed breed…or Mutt to the everyman.
Our watch has all of its original Clebar parts.
Its untouched silver luminous dial is stunning, and the blue steel of its luminous pencil hands has toned to a beautiful purple and bronze. Its case presents in honest original condition with some plating wear to the sides and underneath the lugs. It has never been polished. Please inquire if you would like it restored. It presents nicely on the wrist.
One of our watchmakers has freshly cleaned and oiled the movement. The chronograph resets crisply and to a perfect zero. We have also tested the watch on a machine that spins it in all directions simulating it being worn on the wrist.
For the finishing touch, we have equipped it with a brand new Teju lizard strap making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. warranty on the movement and its function a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity.
Country of origin: Switzerland
Brand: Clebar made by Zodiac
Year built: c. 1940's
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Chronograph, Subsidiary Seconds
Designed for: Men
Case material: Stainless steel
Case markings (side): Clebar Watch Co., Swiss, 693451
Case condition: Honest original condition with plating wear to the sides. It has never been polished. Please inquire if you would like it restored.
Dimensions: 35mm wide (without crown), 42.5mm long lug tip-to-tip
Dial: Silver with luminous Arabic indexes, tachymetre scale, outer 1/5 second markings, original and untouched, just short of perfect mint condition
Hands: Original, "pencil batons ", blue steel, toned to a gorgeous purple and bronze
Jewels: 17 rubies
Band: Teju lizard, fully stitched, padded, brand new and unworn
Width between lugs: 17mm
Crystal type: Acrylic, excellent condition
Serviced: Yes, cleaned, oiled, and adjusted. The chronograph resets crisply and to a perfect zero.
Timing: Timed on a state-of-the-art computerized system. We have also tested it on a machine that spins it in all directions simulating it being worn on the wrist. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an extremely experienced team of four Master Watchmakers all of whom each have over thirty-five years of experience and a large number of parts. One used to be the watchmaker for an authorized Rolex dealership and was given special training by Rolex at their Beverly Hills Service Center.
Warranty: 1-year warranty. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity
Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee
We offer a 100%
satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way
unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime
within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our
client's expectations throughout the buying experience.
All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially
constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All
watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic
shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail,
and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier.
International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.
The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any
required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and
taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.
Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be
guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not
recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed
to be waterproof.