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Thread: Helvetia Site Update

  1. #1
    Journeyman
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    Helvetia Site Update

    Hello all,

    I have just completed a major update of my site on Helvetia watches. As well as new information there has also been a bit of a tidy and re-design.

    The DIH watches, 1930s Pilots Watches and Early Chronograph pages have had major additions and revisions and there are new pages on 1930s Large Date Watches, Trench Watches and Case Markings.

    In the next couple of weeks I will be adding a page telling you all you ever wanted to know, and probably quite a lot you don't want to know, about Helvetia German DH watches. Then it's back to revise the Sports Watch page as I have a lot of new info there and possibly add a British Military Helvetia page. It's never ending!

    Please have a look, all feedback gratefully received! https://www.helvetiahistory.co.uk/

    Thanks. Carl.

  2. #2
    Just had a look. Interesting section on shock protection which I enjoyed.

  3. #3
    Master
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    Carl, certainly a major update!

    Some real highlights for me, too many to list all of them. The Stop and Sport Chronographs section is very good. I had no idea about the Pattern 3169. The Sport with a 12 hour counter looks superb. Finding one would be very special.

    Nice to see all the Pilot watches laid out as well. The Helbros/Brooks is unusual, attractive with that dial colour.

    Interesting to claim that Helvetia invented the Large Date watch. I agree the evidence looks pretty clear; interesting to see what others think.

    Plenty to read and a real treat. Thanks for the effort you are putting into these under appreciated watches.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post
    Carl, certainly a major update!

    Some real highlights for me, too many to list all of them. The Stop and Sport Chronographs section is very good. I had no idea about the Pattern 3169. The Sport with a 12 hour counter looks superb. Finding one would be very special.

    Nice to see all the Pilot watches laid out as well. The Helbros/Brooks is unusual, attractive with that dial colour.

    Interesting to claim that Helvetia invented the Large Date watch. I agree the evidence looks pretty clear; interesting to see what others think.

    Plenty to read and a real treat. Thanks for the effort you are putting into these under appreciated watches.
    Thanks Simon.

    I think that when these early Chronograph wristwatches came out there was no convention on what they should look like so they could do what they wanted, I'd love to find one.

    I have found five Helbros Pilots watches from the middle of the war, 2 white, 3 black. The Germans seemed to go for black, lots of the sports watches from the 30s sold to Germany seem to be black too. These Helbros watches may have a role to pay in the Helvetia German DH page when that comes out too.

    With photos of the Mimo/GP watches about it was easy to see they were based on the Helvetia 75 and I had that confirmed by the curator at Girard Perregaux. They were known to be later than the Helvetia anyway. The Solvil was different. The existing ads seemed earlier than Helvetia, 1932, but that is only going by ads that can be found now, who knows when Helvetia first started selling them. The Helvetia ad from 1934 mentions their new waterproof watches but doesn't mention the calendar watches are new and the picture in this ad is of the later version. With no Solvil calendar watches to be found it was helpful they put a picture of the movement in their ad. That is definitely a Helvetia 75 as well. With the case matching too it looks as if Solvil just rebadged Helvetias. The only other option I can see is that Solvil took the Helvetia 75, adapted it with the date wheels, put it in a case and then Helvetia saw what they had done and bought them back off of Solvil and sold them under their own name as well. I think this is unlikely as Ditis looks like the budget Solvil line and why use a Helvetia movement if you were going to do this, why not use one of your own movements. I'm sure they bought them off of Helvetia the same as Mimo/GP.

  5. #5
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Great work there OP! Now bookmarked and I look forward to some interesting reading.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    Great work there OP! Now bookmarked and I look forward to some interesting reading.
    Thanks! Hope you enjoy it.

  7. #7
    Well done OP, I'll have a look sometime.

    TBH I know nothing about Helvetia and even if people aren't interested it's good to see such sites created by enthusiasts for the less mainstream brands.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post
    Carl, certainly a major update!

    Some real highlights for me, too many to list all of them. The Stop and Sport Chronographs section is very good. I had no idea about the Pattern 3169. The Sport with a 12 hour counter looks superb. Finding one would be very special.

    Nice to see all the Pilot watches laid out as well. The Helbros/Brooks is unusual, attractive with that dial colour.

    Interesting to claim that Helvetia invented the Large Date watch. I agree the evidence looks pretty clear; interesting to see what others think.

    Plenty to read and a real treat. Thanks for the effort you are putting into these under appreciated watches.
    Just to let you know I've added a couple more pilots watches. Another Helbros and the Helvetia with the FHF movement. Can't have too many pictures!

    I've just been looking through all the pictures I have of Helvetia pilot watches and about 75% of them are of the standard Flieger type, large luminous numbers, cathedral hands etc. however the two books that illustrate these Helvetia watches both show non-typical watches versions. Konrad Knirim uses the later 1955/60 version in his book with the 80C movement only seen in these late watches and Ziggy Wesolowski uses the early version without the spinning propeller and smaller numerals in his book. This is actually the only other place I've seen the static propeller logo version apart from the one I have on the site, that one has the lowest serial number of any Helvetia pilot I've seen.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Well done OP, I'll have a look sometime.

    TBH I know nothing about Helvetia and even if people aren't interested it's good to see such sites created by enthusiasts for the less mainstream brands.
    Thanks, by chance I happened to buy a Helvetia and the more I looked into them the more interesting a brand they became, involved with a lot of innovations during the 20s and 30s especially.

  10. #10
    Master
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    What a terrific job Carl.

    I went straight to the pilots watches.

    I very much like the propellor logo.

    Iíve put it all in my reading list.

    Thank you for this.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Great site!

  12. #12
    Superb job. Very interesting and a terrific read👍

  13. #13
    Master
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    Carl, are you planning to cover Helvetia pocket watches at all?

  14. #14
    Craftsman Tazmo61's Avatar
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    A very interesting site with some great information , thank you .

  15. #15
    I've been back for more viewing, it really is a very interesting site and well designed. Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post
    Carl, are you planning to cover Helvetia pocket watches at all?
    Hello Simon,

    I think I will at some point for completeness. When is another matter though. I need to go back and redo the Sports watch section as there is a lot of new info there and the DH page still needs finishing.

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