Wladir Pierce SA / Leon Levy & Freres SA Watch Co, Uhrenteile; Biel, Schweiz;
In 1883 the Lévy brothers created “Léon Lévy Frères Manufactures des Montres et Chronographes Pierce SA” in the bilingual city of Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. Fast forward twenty-seven years and, in 1910, 1,500 of the town’s 24,000 inhabitants were employees of the company. Clearly, Pierce was already a big player in the industry. During the 1920s, Léon Lévy was approached by Ebauches S.A, who wanted Pierce to join the consortium. Léon, however, had a completely different direction in mind for his brand, and he refused the offer, allowing him to stay independent. This independence came at a cost: blacklisted by all the suppliers, Pierce couldn’t borrow or use pieces from the consortium companies, forcing the brand to come up with and develop their own manufacture calibres. As a result, Pierce invented more than 30 different calibres throughout the company’s history, two of them being chronograph movements.
By the mid-1930s, Léon felt the need to create an affordable chronograph for the masses, a particularly difficult mission considering the price of these complications at that time. Starting from scratch, he designed a movement (Calibre 130) built around a central wheel, enabling him to get rid of many springs and levers and consequently cut costs. Léon also invented a vertical friction clutch to engage the chronograph. Although frequently used in the watch industry today, it was a first at that time.
However, this strange yet ingenious architecture forced him to place the two registers in a 12 and 6 o’clock position, creating a rather unusual dial layout. The first watch sold with this calibre was launched in 1936 and became an instant success.
D I A L : o r i g i n a l white color enamel dial with black color arabig numbers and red color tachymetre and telemetre scales. Dial is signed CHRONOGRAPHE at twelve, WLADIR (earliest PIERCE signature) at six, FAB SUISSE at bottom, under register for seconds. Dial has a ding just in the last letters of the word "chronographe", please refer to the pictures.
C A S E : Original silver tone metal case with snap back cover. As seen at the pictures, this chronograph has movable lugs for a perfect fit on wrist.
M O V E M E N T : O r i g i n a l mechanical with manual winding movement, PIERCE CALIBER 130 monopusher, entirely developed by PIERCE WATCH CO.
W O R K I N G O R D E R : Y e s , i t i s i n r u n n i n g order, all functions are working properly.
B R A C E L E T / S T R A P : vintage brown color leather strap, 20mm wide, with silver tone buckle (see pictures, please).
M E A S U R E S : 40mm w i d e i n c l u d i n g w i n d i n g c r o w n , 38mm diameter without crown, 48m m l u g t o lug.
A G E : circa 1936
C O N D I T I O N S : v e r y g o o d g e n e r a l c o n d i t i o n s ( p l e a s e , r e f e r t o p i c t u r e s ) .
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