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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I have been fielding many questions as of late, in regards to the association, or lack of, between Croton and Nivada. I will give my best input, and if anyone else would like to input their information, or correct me on mine, that would be greatly appreciated.
Through my research, I have found that the two are related, how much so is still a question. They have many similar models, but most of the time are cleverly model name different. They have almost identical movements, with the exception of markings. The biggest being that the Croton watches have the COW or JXH swiss codes, where I have yet to see a Nivada with a Swiss code, unless it has been applied to import to the US.
Which makes me determine, from my best guess, that Croton was primarily a American based product, whereas the Nivada is European based. I base this also on the number of Croton's for sale in each market.
I have not yet narrowed down production numbers on both products, which will be interesting once it gets determined. The Croton line has produced many more different models than the Nivada line. And my research does not include any after the Croton name was changed into the Croton Time Corp. in 1978.
I will just add in conclusion I will add for comparison, a Croton Aquamatic, and a Nivada Aquamatica, they both use the Brevet clamshell cases, and other than the second hand placement and movement markings, are identical.




I look forward to hearing everyone's input.

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Going by what's in Wikipdia, Nivada were a company that actually had to sell under the brand name "Nivada Grenchen"to avoid phonetic clashes and misinterpretations with "Movado". They founded "Croton" in the US as their distributor so that "Croton" were owned entirely by Nivada and the similarities between the two are hardly surprising.

Hartmut Richter
 

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I have noticed though, the surprising lack of movement markings on the Nivada movements, as compared to the Crotons. And I only have one Nivada to compare to a Croton, but the Nivada lines from what I have seen, look to be a substandard quality in the movement, at least it looks as much. I'm sure they are quality, maybe I'm just too used to the Crotons.

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Not to dispute your claim, but by what metrics are you using to evaluate the quality of the movements? Timekeeping accuracy? Serviceability?
 

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I own a few old Crotons and look at this. A Croton Nivada Gretchen ! This is before I cleaned and oiled it and I tell you what I can wear this 5 days and never have to wind it and it will only be off time by 30-45 seconds and I am by no means real watchmaker. Such a fine watch to get for under 20 dollars the brand is undervalue in my opinion!


 

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Not to dispute your claim, but by what metrics are you using to evaluate the quality of the movements? Timekeeping accuracy? Serviceability?
I'm basing it primarily on aesthetics, seeing that I only have one model of Nivada, and 250 different models of Croton. Many of the Nivada movements I have viewed online though, seem to look cheaper in material manufacture. Again, I am not disputing that Nivada's are a quality product, just a visual comparison.

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I own a few old Crotons and look at this. A Croton Nivada Gretchen ! This is before I cleaned and oiled it and I tell you what I can wear this 5 days and never have to wind it and it will only be off time by 30-45 seconds and I am by no means real watchmaker. Such a fine watch to get for under 20 dollars the brand is undervalue in my opinion!


They are great watches IMHO, and very underrated indeed! I wear one of my many just about every day, and never worry about accuracy issues.

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Going by what's in Wikipdia, Nivada were a company that actually had to sell under the brand name "Nivada Grenchen"to avoid phonetic clashes and misinterpretations with "Movado". They founded "Croton" in the US as their distributor so that "Croton" were owned entirely by Nivada and the similarities between the two are hardly surprising.

Hartmut Richter
Not to dispute Wikipedia, but I have many Croton models that pre-date their claim of Croton starting in 1940. The JXH line goes into the mid 1920's. Now is it the same Croton?

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I cannot believe that the Nivada movements were in any way inferior to their Croton-labeled counterparts.

Here is a link to a summary of the history of the company, couched in a longer focus on their excellent chronographs:

Page Modèles
 

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Another topic on these two brands that we can discuss, is their founding date. All of the Croton information that I have seen, states that they were founded in 1878. You see it on their boxes, on their dials, etc. If you read the Nivada Wikipedia page, it says the company was founded in 1879, with a footnote paragraph reading: "Nivada was founded as early as 1879, in 1887, or as late as 1926 in Grenchen, Switzerland. "
That has me confused now as to the actual founding date of each brand.

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Here's a 1960 Sea Blade I got in a "junk" E-Bay lot. I did some cosmetic work, put a loose hand back on, and cleaned and oiled the stem. Seems to run great. I've put it to the side for the moment until I can give it a real service.
 

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I own a few old Crotons and look at this. A Croton Nivada Gretchen ! This is before I cleaned and oiled it and I tell you what I can wear this 5 days and never have to wind it and it will only be off time by 30-45 seconds and I am by no means real watchmaker. Such a fine watch to get for under 20 dollars the brand is undervalue in my opinion!


It has an older ETA movement worth to be serviced
 

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Another topic on these two brands that we can discuss, is their founding date. All of the Croton information that I have seen, states that they were founded in 1878. You see it on their boxes, on their dials, etc. If you read the Nivada Wikipedia page, it says the company was founded in 1879, with a footnote paragraph reading: "Nivada was founded as early as 1879, in 1887, or as late as 1926 in Grenchen, Switzerland. "
That has me confused now as to the actual founding date of each brand.

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Many watch factories started out as parts manuracturer for other factories or made just movements. Later they expanded out making their own watches, so different date starting of the company and to birth of the brand. What is the correct date for birthday of the brand. It's up how you look at it.
 

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Croton & Nivada were two different companies, Nivada & Grenchen were swiss and parts makers while Croton was New York based (Croton-on-Hudson or somewhere close to there) & an assembler of parts from the two earlier mentioned manufactories. Eventualy the 3 were combined into 1 conglomeration going by the name of Croton Nivada Grenchen. I have hundreds of parts from them including dials movements cases and bracelets etc. due to my late grandfather having been a Croton master watchmaker there in NY in the post WW2 era. The dials I have sport various combinations of the 3 names. I have sold off some of the dials on eBay over time but am now preoccupied with other watch paraphernalia at this time so i no longer list them.
 

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Yidi,
In your collection of dials, do you have one that might fit this Nivada chronograph?

I bought it new in 1959, but it didn't fare well in tropical climes.

Nivada Chrono.jpg
 
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