MOVADO ‘PANDA’ SUB-SEA DATRON DIVER 1960s – £6750
El Primero movement and Panda dial makes this Movado the closest watch to the vintage Rolex Daytona. Its presence is simply one of understated wealth.
The ‘Panda’ Sub-Sea Movado is the world’s first automatic chronograph watch. Working together with Zenith, the two companies combined their resources to come up with the ground-breaking El Primero movement. The same movement found inside the uber-expensive vintage Rolex Daytona.
Item description: Movado ‘Panda’ Sub-Sea Datron Diver. The Movado Sub-Sea Datron Diver watch is classed as the world’s first self-winding chronograph, even although three other companies made a stake for the claim.
Possibly they all have to share the award. But, one thing is for sure, it is the El Primero movement of the Zenith-Movado partnership, that is regarded as most appealing visually, being both more compact, and not requiring an awkward left side crown, as do the other self-winding chrongraphs brought out that year. The Movado ‘El Primero’ self-winding chronograph of 1969 was named the Movado Sub-Sea Datron HS360., with a quick-set day date set at 12.00.
This watch is a particularly rare example with the so-called ‘Panda’ dial. The watch has a polished stainless steel case, with the ‘Panda’ dial with three black sub-registers in contrast to the white background. The dial bearing the Movado logo, with name and designation, ‘Datron HS 360’. Winding crown with Movado logo, with polished chronograph pushers either side. Reverse with a screw on case-back with the ‘Sub-Sea’ designation engraved to the border. The watch with the Movado signed El Primero movement. The watch complete with a new leather strap (non-branded buckle).
Case size: 43mm x 38mm
Condition report: Excellent overall condition with minimal use showing. Beautiful polished case. Original ‘Panda’ dial with light aging only. The case-back clean and with the ‘Sub-Sea’ designation clear. Movement overhauled. The timepiece may have been opened, so it should not be used near moisture or water without being checked by a qualified watchmaker. Particularly rare to find original examples of the ‘Panda’ dial Sub-Sea diver.
Background to Movado: Movado was founded in 1881 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, by Achilles Ditesheim. The company produced high quality timepieces, including chronographs. Perhaps from a public perspective, Movado are most famous for their ‘Museum Watch’. Designed in 1947 by Bauhaus-influenced artist Nathan George Horwitt, the watch dial has a very simple design defined by a solitary dot at 12, symbolizing the sun at high noon. Movado brought out the first ‘Museum Watch’ in 1960, and an example of the Movado Museum watch was selected for the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York in that same year.
During the 1960s, Movado collaborated with Zenith to produce what was arguably the world’s first automatic chronograph wristwatch. The new movement, named the ‘El Primero’ was ground breaking for its time, and was used both by Movado in their Sub-Sea Datron watch launched in 1969, alongside Zenith’s own Sub-Sea watch. The El Primero movement went on to be used in the Rolex Daytona, and a modern version of this same movement is still used by Zenith to this day. In 1983, the Movado company was purchased by Cuban born Gedalio Grinberg, who fled from Fidel Castro’s Marxist Revolution in 1960 with his family, settling in the USA. His son, Efraim Grinberg, is the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Movado Group, Inc. In 2006, Movado celebrated its 125th year of watchmaking.
Special notes: n/a
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