Manual wind dress chronographs from the 1940s and 1950s are a special breed of class – like this 1950s Avalon two register chronograph here – and bring a special charm to any formal occasion.
During the 1950s, there existed a thriving market for mechanical watches in the United States, with many moderately priced Swiss watches imported to meet demand – mostly sold through department stores or independent jewelers.
Avalon was owned by parent company Banner Watch Company – founded in 1881 – and imported by Schein & Engle of New York.
During this era, chronographs were quite popular with aviators, as they allowed them to make rapid calculations and conduct precise timing. The demand for chronographs only grew along with the aviation industry in the early part of the 20th century. As the U.S. exploration of space initially involved solely test pilots, by order of President Dwight Eisenhower, chronographs were on the wrists of many early astronauts.
Usage of these watches followed a similar trajectory for many fields that involved precise and repeated timing around increasingly more complicated high-performance machinery – automobile racing and naval submarine navigation being two prime examples.
The Avalon dial is set with metallic blue snail pattern, with Arabic numerals and droplets, and metallic blue chronograph and subdial hands. The dial shows a small visible amount of patina that only contributes to the vintage beauty of this watch.
This Avalon comes with a leather strap, nylon NATO strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1950s Avalon Watch Company Snail Dial Mechanical Chronograph
DIAL: Beautiful original silver/cream colored Avalon-signed “snail” dial, with original hour, minute, and chronograph hands. 60 second and 45 minute chronograph subdials
CASE: Original 33.5mm (35mm w/crown) x 38mm case; as noted, plating remains mostly complete.
CRYSTAL: Domed acrylic crystal is scratch-free.
BAND: Light brown leather strap, with cream-colored accent stitching and stainless-steel hardware. This Avalon comes with a dark blue and gray nylon ZULU strap, also with stainless-steel hardware.
MOVEMENT: Manual wind 17 jewel movement, signed “Avalon Watch Co”
CROWN: Original unsigned crown. Note plating has worn off crown.
CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS: Pushers depress with satisfying click. Chronograph hands snap back and reset to zero with no issue. Note plating has worn off pushers.