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Guinand 7730 Chronograph - flying gentleman (AWW 23)

Guinand 7730 Chronograph - flying gentleman

Name: Guinand Chronograph 24
Model Reference: -
Movement: Valjoux 7730, hand wind chronograph, 14 lignes, 18,000 A/h, 17 jewels, power reserve 45 h
Time display: 24 hour, minute, seconds,
Date: no date
Case: gold plated, stainless steel back
Size: 36 mm diameter without crown, 38 mm with crown, 44 mm lug to lug
Height: 12 mm
Face: white, black even hour numbers, 24 on top, gold odd hour markers, black minute markers, golden hour and minute hands, black seconds and chronograph seconds and minutes hands, two sub-dials for seconds and chronograph minutes (30 min)
Text on dial: Guinand, Swiss Made
Text on back: -
Water-resistance: not marked
Crown: main crown at 3, chronograph push buttons at 2 and 4
Crystal: domed acrylic crystal
Lug: 19 mm
Bracelet: leather strap with buckle


Here we go again with AWW (Afka's Weekly Watch) after several nice summer weeks.

One of the most important decisions of the year is "which watches I will take with me to my vacation trip". This year's decision was simple - take two, blonde and brunette. Brunette was Fortis 621.10.148 - nice smaller version (34 mm without crown) of the well-known 24h watch. Today's star is the blonde one - Guinand Flying Officer precursor chronograph in very good condition I bought this year from Italy for a ridiculous EUR 500. I was the sole bidder…


The watch came without box and papers, but in a very good condition. I would say almost NOS, absolutely no usage marks I can see on the watch.

Let's start from the beginning.

Small and old (founded in 1865) Swiss brand Guinand belongs now since 1996 to honorary Mr. Helmut Sinn, who is still producing under this label watches what made Guinand famous - chronographs.

Guinand - Watches Wiki, The Best Watches And Watch Brands:
In the heyday of mechanical watches the name Guinand has become synonymous with the rattrapante chronograph in general. The list of customers from this period includes over 200 different brands and reaches from "A" for Ancora to "Z" for Zenith. Thus, thanks to its specialization in complicated chronographs, the company survived even the big brand dying, which attacked Switzerland at the end of the 1970s due to the quartz crisis.
One of the most well-known 24h chronographs is Guinand Flying Officer, which 1[SUP]st[/SUP] generation was in production in the 70 with Valjoux 7733 and 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] generation was introduced in 2007 with Valjoux 7760. The 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] generation FO was produced as a limited series (200 pieces, the 7760 is discontinued today) and is still available for EUR 1870. The 1[SUP]st[/SUP] generation FO you can see time-to-time in ebay and the price level is usually about EUR 2000.

What I got is the Guinand 24h Chronograph which was a precursor of the Flying Officer, produced, by estimate, 1966-1973.
This watch is a chronograph, but looks very fine and stylish. I would say it is a chronograph dress watch. Especially my watch, which is gold plated version. As there is no model reference I call my watch "Flying Gentleman".

Another version of this watch which came with stainless steel case is shown at 24 hour watch.

The follower, Flying Officer, was redesigned as a flieger watch with black dial and the movement model was changed too. My watch came with Valjoux 7730 and the sign is as usual under the balance wheel.

The movement's history is following. This movement was designed by Venus and was in production as Venus 188 from 1948 to 1966. Thereafter Venus was bought by Valjoux. Valjoux renamed this movement as 7730 and the production run (with minor changes) 1966-1973. In total about 175,000 movements were produced.

Then, in the beginning of 70s Valjoux made several changes to 7730. Some changes were technical improvements, but the main idea was the more cost effective manufacturing of movements. This redesigned model was named 7733. Later some complications were added and 7734 got date, 7736 comes with third 12-hour sub-dial and 7737 has sailing timer function. This new series 773x was produced until the end of 70s, in total about 2,000,000 units.

Common features for all these movements are: 14 lignes, 18,000 A/h, 17 jewels, power reserve 45 hours.

Good links to read about the Valjoux 773x movements are:
Valjoux-7733 swiss chronograph watches
Hamilton Chronograph (Valjoux Cal. 7730)… | The Watch Spot

Below you see side-by-side the movements of my watch (7730) and 1[SUP]st[/SUP] generation Flying Officer (7733). I would say that the "more cost effective manufacturing" is obvious.

Some surprising features are snap case back and 19mm lugs. The stainless steel snap case back has no text at all. (Flying Officer 1[SUP]st[/SUP] gen was equipped with the same plain case back. 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] gen comes with transparent screw case back.) And as you can see on the pictures my watch came with 20mm strap, which looks not bad at all with 19mm lugs.

There is no need to additionally tell you, that the dial is legible, all the chronometer functions are ok, watch is keeping time etc. etc.
Now as I have this Guinand one of my questions is answered. Some time ago I asked Dennis Smith:
What do you think, which version is more valuable, the original Guinand Flying Officer or the current remake, what Guinand is producing? In assumption that both are not used and in mint condition.
Dennis answered:
That is a very difficult question to answer. In my opinion the new watch would have more value on the market than the vintage version, since the new watch would be more water resistant and have sapphire crystal. So it would have more value due to its increased functionality as a daily wearer. The vintage piece, which is even more rare, would have equal value, and maybe even more value, to the right collector who wants to add to his collection a rare vintage piece from Helmut Sinn.
I would rather own the new version though, due to its vintage looks and modern wearability. The new version is also rare, and also a Helmut Sinn watch so it might appeal to the same collectors.
Now I know that I don't need a 1[SUP]st[/SUP] generation Flying Officer, because I have an earlier "Flying Gentleman" I like even more. But the new FO version is added to wish list.


Of course I'm very happy. I would say that I even prefer this Guinand to my previous favourite - Hamilton Chronograph (see AWW 17 ). And Guinand is the most affordable 24h chronograph I have!

I have to say again - Italy is one important source for vintage watches. The watches I bought from are all in a very good shape and reasonably priced.


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