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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,


I recently purchased this Minerva watch and I am trying to find out some information about the company and the watch. The watch appears to run very well and is in pretty good shape, save for some scratches on the crystal. Also, it appears the previous owner did not use the proper tool in an attempt to remove the screw back, so it has some scratches.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Baker324
 

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We will need movement pics to say much. The dial looks like one from the 40s or 50s. Strangely the caseback looks like it is laser etched in the photo. But that is impossible as that technology is fairly recent. So he caseback may be a replacement.

Minerva was a Swiss company that bought movements and dials and cases and probably had them assembled. They then handled the wholesale distribution to jewelers and other retailers. They are gone now.

This watch looks very distinguished. I hope you have it serviced for wear!
 

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Minerva was a Swiss company that bought movements and dials and cases and probably had them assembled. They then handled the wholesale distribution to jewelers and other retailers. They are gone now.
Beg pardon, but Minerva was not merely an etablisseur. It made many of its own movements, including the cal 13-20, a rather well regarded chronograph movement. In my book, Minerva ranks as one of the great chronograph houses of yore, along with Angelus, Excelsior Park/Gallet, and Universal Geneve.

I believe Montblanc bought Minerva in 2007 and uses them in its efforts to establish itself as a real manufacture. The name lives on as their high-end in house movement branch, the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie. It is not clear to me what the sale included - whether just rights to the name, or also personnel, expertise and physical plant. Perhaps someone could enlighten me.
 

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Beg pardon, but Minerva was not merely an etablisseur. It made many of its own movements, including the cal 13-20, a rather well regarded chronograph movement. In my book, Minerva ranks as one of the great chronograph houses of yore, along with Angelus, Excelsior Park/Gallet, and Universal Geneve.

I believe Montblanc bought Minerva in 2007 and uses them in its efforts to establish itself as a real manufacture. The name lives on as their high-end in house movement branch, the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie. It is not clear to me what the sale included - whether just rights to the name, or also personnel, expertise and physical plant. Perhaps someone could enlighten me.
Minerva, Villeret, was a respected manufacturer of watches using high quality in house movements, including their own chronograph movements. They are an example of the downside of joining a consortium such as Swatch, etc. They were acquired by Richemont and strings were pulled internally to the effect that Montblanc, a pen (pushing) brand with practically no history in watchmaking, was to be upgraded to a luxury brand at the expense of Minerva: Minerva were taken over by Montblanc, forced to stop making watches altogether and is now confined to designing and making movements for Montblanc who put them in their watches. So, Minerva still lives on but their watches have another name on the dial..... :roll:

Hartmut Richter
 

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One of the nice things about Vintage is, if you see a mistake, you can be fairly sure someone will quickly correct it. I stand (sit actually) corrected.

Thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
IMG_Inside.JPG

Here is a picture of the movement and case back. Also, as to the mention of the laser etch of the logo on the case back. I think it is actually acid etched or sand blasted. Does anyone have any idea as to when this might have been produced? Thanks for all the input!



IMG_333XXX.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hmmmmmm. That movement actually looks rather like a Valjoux Cal. 23 and not a Minerva movement:

bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Valjoux 23

Minerva also used Valjoux movements so I doubt that it's a fake. Nevertheless, it might have been a little more exciting to find an in house movement inside.

Hartmut Richter
Since it appears to be a Valjoux movement isn't that a good thing? I saw some information on http://chronomaddox.com/valjoux/72_72c_88/1600w/page_1.jpg and I thought it appeared to be a Valjoux 72, and looking at the movement I can see a 72 stamped in it under the balance wheel. I don't know if one is better over the other honestly. It seems like this could be a valuable vintage watch and if I could nail down the era it was made would be better still. Thanks again for all the input!
 

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A Valjoux 72 is an excellent movement, but not rare or exotic, and some of us hardcore strung-out watch addicts need that for a thrill.;-)

You've got a a great watch. There is no doubt that it is valuable. Take good care of it.
 

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Can anyone speak to the significance of the Red numeral scale around the outside of the dial?
it is a decimal scale, simply a way of measuring time as 100ths of a minute. Uncommon, but by no means super rare in vintage chronographs.
 

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it is a decimal scale, simply a way of measuring time as 100ths of a minute. Uncommon, but by no means super rare in vintage chronographs.
And inaccurate on a watch that runs at less than 6000 bph... (TAGHeuer has one that exceeds this rate!)
 

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it's a very nice example... looks to be 50's/60's... the VJ72 is coveted by many collectors and was used in the original Rolex Cosmograph/Daytona and by other companies in their high-grade chronographs...

here's my late 60's/early 70's Minerva with the later version VJ726...

enjoy that nice find!

cheers,
Peter

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
it's a very nice example... looks to be 50's/60's... the VJ72 is coveted by many collectors and was used in the original Rolex Cosmograph/Daytona and by other companies in their high-grade chronographs...

here's my late 60's/early 70's Minerva with the later version VJ726...

enjoy that nice find!

cheers,
Peter

Hi Peter,

Thanks, and very nice Minerva as well! I have to admit, I only vaguely recognized the name when I first saw my watch. Looking closer I saw it was chronograph and then I wound it a little and it started to tick. I knew then it was something special. I am waiting to hear back from Montblanc Germany, with the hope they can provide more information on the watch.
 

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This is the catalog from the early 50es with the similar model casing the V72. Minerva use to case the V72C as well and the model was launched at Basel Fair in 1952. Minerva was a great manufacturer one of the few doing its own chronograph movements (I like very much the 13-20ch).
This model showed in this thread I suppose is more recent.....Great find !!

minerva-catalog01.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well I received a reply back from Montblanc regarding my Minerva. This was their response: "The chronograph shown in the pictures has the ref. VD712, with calibre Valjoux 13-72 (17 jewels, with metal dial with 1/5 second-divisions, tachymeter). It was produced by Minerva around 1970. Valjoux has produced around 140’000 pieces of this movement. This chronograph was recommended for sport and industrial purposes."

I expected it to be a bit older and was hoping for a tad more information, such as where it was sold etc. Anyway, it's at the watchmaker's for a cleaning and tune-up. I am happy to have it.
 
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