tirsdag den 8. oktober 2013

The famous Valjoux column wheel family of chronographs


I will start with one of my favorites, the Valjoux 22 which is a 14 ligne  - 31,3 mm column wheel controlled chronograph with two sub-dials, one as 6o sek. counter and the other in versions with 30 or 45 minutes counter. It had a beat of 18.000 per hour and a power-reserve of 40 hours

It was built over a very long period, from around 1914 all the way up to 1974. It therefor also exists in the older versions without shock protections, and the later versions with different shock protections. One of my reasons for liking it so much, is the size 31,1 mm, with generally resulted in fairly large cases, often 38-40 mm in width without the crown.

A beautiful  Eterna chronograph with Valjoux 22 in a very special house from around 1934 - all original

It was followed quickly, but not as such fully replaced by Valjoux 23 a 13 ligne-  29,50 mm column wheel chronograph with same configuration, 60 sek. counter and choice between 30 or 45 min. counter as the second subdial. It is running at 18000 beat and with a power reserve of 48 hours.

As this movement is close to 2 mm smaller in diameter, this was often build into smaller houses, very often “only" 34 - 36 mm width.

                              A fine Eterna with Valjoux 23 and early round pushers from around 1944

And another favorite - an Aquastar deepstar with the big minut subdial and propoller second hand
a truly rare bird

If we then move forward from Valjoux 23 – a fairly large number of calibers originates from it with same size and beat. I shall first just list them and then get back to a bit more about them. The following all had a beat of 18000

Valjoux 230 - two subdials, fly back
Valjou 232 - slightly smaller chrown-wheel
Valjoux 23 C – two subdials same as 23 but with a calendar build in

Valjoux 72 – one we will surely get back to – now as a three-subdial chronograph with hour counter as subdial extra
Valjoux 720 A fly back version of 72 allowing immediate restart of the second hand – sold also quite much to companies like Longines
Valjoux 88 a different number series, but still based on 23, with and hour counter and a calendar + moon phase – a rare bird.
Also a few calibers without chronograph function actually was based on Valjoux 23 just quickly mentioned, caliber 78 and 90

Heuer Bundeswehr with Valjoux 230 - and this time just over 41 mm in diameter
There is a number of calibers, still basically derived from caliber 23, but now with a beat of 21.600 per hour.

Valjoux 236 – two subdials base caliber with the new higher beat, still derived from caliber 23
Valjoux 234 – two subdials and date

Enicar Neptun with relatively rare Valjoux 7734 - fine dial

Valjoux 235 – two subdials with fly back function of the second hand
Valjoux 236 – same as 235 but including both date and fly back function
Valjoux 726 – Three subdials = including hour counter
Valjoux 227 - Rolex used - with center minute hand no chronograph subdials ?
Valjoux 228 - Certine used - with center minute hand no chronograph subdials
Valjoux 729 – As 726 but now with a gear for a 24 hour GMT hand for 24 hours reading of time
Valjoux 730 – As 726 but with an added calendar

The last I will list is the Valjoux 92 from around 1950, which is again a column wheel chronograph but not at all derived from the same caliber as all the other.

A Nivada Grenchen typical with most used valujoux 92 (exists with several movements)

As promised I will end by getting back to Valjoux 72 – this beautiful three subdial movement which has been used in so many famous watches, such as Patek Philip and indeed in the early manually wound – and very sought after versions of Rolex Daytona – as well as Rolex chronographs earlier than the Daytona.

A valjoux 72 C from the fine precision maker Recta in 18 K gold with the very typical small gold balls
as our markings. Note the fine day and month window and the date shown by the extra date hand

Best regards John Hannover – all pictures are my own and copyright to me.

10 kommentarer:

  1. Are parts interchangeable between the valjoux 23 and 72?

  2. Many parts are - but certainly not all - I would not count on it without knowing the details

  3. I have a Vulcain Chrono very similar to the Eterna with the early Valjoux 22 movement. Please see:

    I am interested in dating it. How did you identify the Eterna as c1934?

  4. Do you know if the Val. 23 was used in the Rolex 2811 - that unusual "Boy-Size" chrono?

    1. No I did not know that- I just know the Valjoux 72 was in the Rolex Datona, and in earlier Rolex Chronographe, but it makes great sence - thanks

  5. I have a Zodiac and I don't know when it was made. It says Gold filled 620 EPSA. On the inside according to a watch repair man, said that it is 7733 movement. It runs great but, does it worth something?

  6. Yes - not as much as a coloumwheel movement would be but - Zodiac with 7733 is worth something like 200 USD only - in goldfiled versions - maybe higher if all stainless steel - and not just - staniless steal back - Could also, if a collecter of Zodiac is found - reach 4-600 USD

  7. I just bought a watch with a Valjoux 23 but the stopwatch is terribly innaccurate. Ie counting 15 minutes as 10 etc. Is this normal? Is there a solution? Otherwise regular timekeeping is ok.

    1. No this is not normal - and a bit strange if it does it always as 16 opposed to 10 and the watch itself if fairly accurate. You will need to have it checked by a qualified watchmaker

  8. I'm currently working on a valjoux 22 with a bad center wheel. There appears to be various heights for center wheel. I need one 594mm in height. Can anyone supply?