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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have inherited my grandfather's gold watch. It was given to my father and now it's passed down to me. I only saw it a handful of times growing up. My grandfather worked on ocean liners/oil tankers and was in multiple countries. The story I was told was that he bought it in Russia. I don't know how that story was started or if it's accurate. If I was able to put a date on its purchase, I would have to say 1950's to 1960's as that's when he was working on the open seas. He died at sea 1967, the year my parents got married. I have tried to look up the name on the dial, Mundial. I can't find anything about it anywhere. I was told that sometimes watchmakers would sell their watches to department stores or jewelry stores and brand them with the name of the store. I realize that you guys can't tell me much about the watch without seeing the movement. I agree, but that's my question. I don't know how to get it open without damaging it. When I try to look up information on opening a watch case, I mostly see advice like "research the watch and that will tell you how to open it". Perhaps someone might get some info from the markings on the case. Here are some pictures of the watch. Any input would be appreciated.

Tom.





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Tissot PR 516 GL, Sea-Gull 1963, Seiko SKXA35, Seiko Cocktail Time, Vostok Komandirskie
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Wow that is a NICE 18K gold Swiss (definitely not Russian) chronograph in wonderful condition! Looks like it is a front loader, meaning a watchmaker has to pop out the crystal to remove the movement. Based on the dial style, I would date this to the 1950s. Might cost a bit to get it serviced, but I would definitely do that and wear it with pride!!
 

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The gold on the 18k chronographs is often very thin, so take care when working on it. I think the back will actually pop off, but I would personally take it to a watchmaker to prevent accidentally scratching the gold. If you following the thin line around the back you will find the tiniest little notch to insert an opening tool, likely between the lug (12:00 or 6:00) or opposite the crown at 9:00. Or maybe somewhere else! Please post photos when you get it open and congrats on a nice watch!
 

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Looks like a standard case to me with press-on case-back. As @MoreWatches mentioned, look carefully for a small opening around the edge of the case-back. Sometimes people don't put much thought into how the replace the case-back, so the opening might even be behind the lugs, which makes it harder to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the input. My problem is that I live in a small rural area. It’s at least a 2 hour drive to a decent size city where I might find a watchmaker I would trust. (The pandemic is making that harder to do). I know it hasn’t been serviced in at least 40 years. My parent’s are from Greece. The last time it was serviced, I was a kid and my father was going to Greece to help take care of his mother. The family folklore was told that it needed to go to a watchmaker that the family knew so they could stand over him while he worked on it. Evidently my grandparents thought someone would swap out the movement for something cheap. I don’t know if that’s even a thing or not. I’ll look at it again more closely when I get home from work.

Tom.
 

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That is super nice. I agree that the back should pop off, use care if attempting. This is early 50's or 40's since it is not a shock protected movement. Enjoy that
 
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My guess would be you've got a Chronograph Suisse:


If this is the case, be very careful with the lugs, do not pry the case back against them, as they could be damaged easily.
 

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My parent’s are from Greece. [...] The family folklore was told that it needed to go to a watchmaker that the family knew so they could stand over him while he worked on it. Evidently my grandparents thought someone would swap out the movement for something cheap. I don’t know if that’s even a thing or not.
1. Not a thing. Think of the amount of engineering it would take to make a different movement fit the case, dial, hands. Just not happening.

2. I asked the Mrs. about this, her Father's side is Greek. She tells me this is definitely Greek folklore, and nonsense specific to jewelers. She says this, holding up one finger, 'Oh yeah. You can't trust jewelers. They take it in the back and switch it on you.'
 

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As sleepy mentioned. A model similar to the Chronograph Swiss design in which a company bought parts from various suppliers and assembled the watches under different brand names.

CSwiss is usually referenced as many are seen with this name.

Designed with hollow lugs and very thin back. Underneath the back is a dust cover of a thicker material which adds support to the gold back to prevent it from denting.

The thin gold allowed many to afford a gold watch without the added expense of thicker gold content.

3 piece case. Bezel, center and back with dust cover under back

DON
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
1. Not a thing. Think of the amount of engineering it would take to make a different movement fit the case, dial, hands. Just not happening.

2. I asked the Mrs. about this, her Father's side is Greek. She tells me this is definitely Greek folklore, and nonsense specific to jewelers. She says this, holding up one finger, 'Oh yeah. You can't trust jewelers. They take it in the back and switch it on you.'
Lol!! I can't tell you how many times i have heard that in my lifetime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My guess would be you've got a Chronograph Suisse:


If this is the case, be very careful with the lugs, do not pry the case back against them, as they could be damaged easily.
Thank you for that response! I believe you have figured it out. That was a fascinating read. And yes, when you hold it in your hand, it feels very light. I'm sure the gold in the case is quite thin. I know the next step is to open it. Being a noob and having these meathooks, I wouldn't even try right now. Any guidance in selecting a place to service it?

Tom.
 

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Kalimera!
Mundial seems to have two entries into mikrolisk registers, first in from France in 1913 and another one in 1942 from Portugal by Irmaos Aguiar ( sounds Greek ? ).
Agree with above comments, it may be a thin gold case-back and it may be just the case-back unless you see gold hallmarks on the watchcase itself also. Probably a Landeron movement ticking inside. Being an heirloom makes it meaningful and valuable of course. While it's not serviced I would recommend not to wind the watch. As for watchmakers paranoia, no worries, find a decent place who knows what they do - I am sure there are Greek watch forums, check for a well referred craftsman and mail it out with courier. Once serviced wrap it with a brown leather strap and wear it with pride. Just be careful since these grand dames are not water resistant and doesn't expose to shocks.
 

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Thank you for that response! [...] Any guidance in selecting a place to service it?

Tom.
Happy to help! If you're in the US, you can search at the AWCI site. Look for someone with at least CW / CW21 certification to know they've passed a test. CMW (cerified master watchmaker) not necessary for a standard chronograph such as this.

 

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Kalimera!
Mundial seems to have two entries into mikrolisk registers, first in from France in 1913 and another one in 1942 from Portugal
Interesting site. I found a third reference, 'Tourist / World Service / Welt-Dienst / Service Mondial / Servicio Mundial' owned by Adolf Allemann Fils in Welschenrohr, Schweiz (Switzerland). Allemann Fils registered many watch related trademarks, Tourist likely the most well known today.

Also, Google translate tells me Mundial is Portuguese for 'Worldwide' and French or Spanish for 'World'
 
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