Sicura's automatic and manual-winding jump hour watches are quite iconic of the 1970's chic - like the rare red dial variant here - and feature a rather unique second hand represented by a red and white "propeller” in the center of the watch. Unlike some Sicura's out there, the one on offer here remains an honest example, and has not been re-plated, as shown by the original brushed finish on the case top of the watch.
The jump hour is a century-old movement design, made famous by Cartier in the 1930’s, and the design is rather rare today - and the Sicura jump hour is by far the best known horizontal integration time piece from the 1970’s time period.
While many are quick to state that Sicura’s during this time period were manufactured by Breitling, the truth is that while the two watch companies were certainly owned by the same man, Ernest Schieder (of Sicura), but they were operated separately. That said, Sicura - through its purchase of the defunct Breitling brand - did succeed in saving Breitling from bankruptcy during this time period.
As a consequence of the Quartz Crisis, Breitling suspended operations in 1978, laid off all its workers and sold Breitling assets to the highest bidders - Sinn bought completed / partially completed watches and Ollech & Wajs bought the machinery and unassembled parts. A year later, in early 1979, Schneider signed an agreement with Willy Breitling to buy the right to the brands "Breitling" and "Navitimer".
Schneider was a master in adapting to turbulent times - and the Quartz Crisis was certainly this; he had a knack for delivering what the consumers wanted, which at the time was affordable fashion watches and large colorful divers with lots of functions - be they mechanical or quartz. When he saw the opportunity to buy one of the old, well esteemed watch brands, he swiftly took advantage.
Schneider introduced new models and breathed new life into Breitling, meeting with such success that he phased the Sicura brand name out and replaced it wholesale to Breitling. Schneider would go on to live a remarkably full life as President of Breitling until his death in 2015 at the age of 94 - and like all things Swiss, his son Theodore Schneider took over as the leader of Breitling.
This Sicura comes with a leather rally strap, nylon NATO strap, spring bar tool, and Pelican travel case.
1970s Sicura Jump Hour Mechanical Watch, Red Variant
DIAL: Brilliant original Sicura-signed red dial. Date display at the 3 o’clock position works as designed. Original red and white “propeller” seconds hand in center spins, as designed. Of important note, the red dial variant here is quite seldom seen compared to the far more blue dial one.
CASE: Original 38mm x 43mm stainless-steel case, not including crown, is in exceptional condition with no atypical wear or deep scratches and it retains the original brushed finish on case top. Matching original caseback, with Sicura coat-of-arms inscription.
CRYSTAL: Original Sicura plexi-crystal, no cracks.
BAND: Dark brown leather rally strap, with stainless-steel hardware. This jump hour watch also comes with red leather ZULU strap.
MOVEMENT: Original 17-jewel Baumgartner BFG866 manual wind movement.
CROWN: Original stainless steel crown.