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Discussion Starter #1
I've just received my first Nivada, it's an Antarctic model and from a quick inspection I'm impressed,

IMG_1441_zpsu9fq5ojk.jpg

I've compared it to my Omegas of similar age and it's on a par with them, but upon doing a little research I've found out the watches history is cool:roll:Nivada Antarctic Archives - Grail Watch, it was compared at the time with the Rolex Explorer and the JLC Geophysic, two very impressive watches. I could never see myself getting either of them for the price I paid for this:-!

Anyone else got any Nivada's tucked away?

Matt
 

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I've just received my first Nivada, it's an Antarctic model and from a quick inspection I'm impressed,

View attachment 4880434

I've compared it to my Omegas of similar age and it's on a par with them, but upon doing a little research I've found out the watches history is cool:roll:Nivada Antarctic Archives - Grail Watch, it was compared at the time with the Rolex Explorer and the JLC Geophysic, two very impressive watches. I could never see myself getting either of them for the price I paid for this:-!

Anyone else got any Nivada's tucked away?

Matt
Got one :) http://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/croton-nivada-grenchen-1089866.html
Really nice pieces
 

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Thanks for the link. I think that article is a very solid, simple piece offering introductory information regarding the respectability and legitimacy of Nivada watches.

As I collect only divers, I have enjoyed buying, restoring and learning about Nivada's Antartic series-- which includes some really groovy GMT models, their Taravana watches which extends into chronos, and GLX divers that are highly ruggedized. And of course their depth meter compressors. All have been super, attractive, technical and fine underwater timepieces in my very humble opinion.

Nivada's development and use of the word "compensamatic" is a great story (as the legend goes), and although more of a marketing campaign, does speak to great the watch-making technology that put them up there with the top couple of companies producing watches through the 50's & 60's. I highly recommend the brief research.

Today I have only 3 left, 2 housing v72 movements and 1 (the dual register chrono) with a v23. All of these movements are Nivada signed and gold plated.

1-IMG_20150607_072655_443.jpg
1-IMG_20141014_145227_632.jpg
1-IMG_20141011_134643_850.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice watches everyone, 'scuse me for being dim but can you post a link to the interesting story behind the Compensamatic? as I can't seem to find it. I think I've broken my Google.

Matt
 

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Brief version:

1941-CROTON-COMPENSAMATIC-COMPENSATING-MILITARY-RADIUM-WATCH


IN 1938 THE BRITISH NOTIFIED THE SWISS WATCH INDUSTRY THAT THEY WERE BUYING WRIST WATCHES; THAT NO TESTING WAS NECESSARY. THEY HAD A SIMPLE FACT SHEET. A COMPANIES ONLY REQUIREMENT WERE PRETTY SIMPLE, SUCH AS 15 JEWELS, WATER PROOF, AND A FEW OTHER SIMPLE CRITERIA. CROTON WANTED TO PARTICIPATE.​
CROTON DECIDED TO BUILD A COMPLETELY SEALED SINGLE CASE SYSTEM WRIST WATCH AS A CANDIDATE FOR MILITARY USE. THE PROBLEM THAT CROTON FACED WAS THE WYLER COMPANY.​
WYLER HELD PATENTS ON THE BEST WATER PROOF CASE DESIGN. THEIR WYLER SINGLE CASED, CRYSTAL SEALED, TWO PART STEM CASE SYSTEM WAS THE BEST IN THE WORLD. BETTER THEN ROLEX. IN FACT, THEIR CASE SYSTEM WOULD DOMINATE THE WORLD UNTIL THE END OF THE MECHANICAL WATCH ERA IN THE LATE 1970'S.​
CROTON WENT TO WORK DEVISING AND DESIGNING A CASING SYSTEM THAT WOULD COMPETE WITH WYLER AND MOST OF THE STEEL SCREW BACK DESIGNS.​
CROTON CHOSE A SINGLE STEEL CASE IN WHICH THE MOVEMENT WAS FIT.​
THEY THEN SEALED THE MOVEMENT BY PLACING A RUBBER SEAL ON THE CASE TOP LEDGES, AND OVER THE SEAL, A "TOP HAT" CRYSTAL. THEY THEN INCORPORATED THE WYLER TWO PIECE STEM SYSTEM.​
THEN TO KEEP IT UNIQUE, THEY BUILT A STEEL BEZEL[ WITH LUGS] THAT FIT OVER THE CRYSTAL AND THE CASE.​
THEY THEN DRILLED AND THREADED EACH LUG, WHERE THEY UTILIZED HEADLESS SCREWS TO PUSH THE CASE UP AND INTO THE BEZEL.​
THE PRESSURE WOULD COMPRESS THE SEAL BETWEEN THE CASE AND THE BEZEL.​
THEY THEN ADDED A "COMPENSATING" MOVEMENT AND CALLED THEIR "TECHNOLOGY" "COMPENSAMATIC".​
"COMPENSAMATIC" WAS NOT A THING, AN ACT OR A SYSTEM, OR EVEN A TECHNOLOGY, IT WAS A WORD: A TRADE MARK THAT REPRESENTED THE "TECHNOLOGY" THAT WAS "CROTON"/"NIVADA".​
CROTON NEVER ACHIEVED GREAT SUCCESS SELLING MILITARIES WATCHES AS COMPARED TO BULOVA, PHENIX, OMEGA AND HUNDREDS OF OTHERS. BUT SOON THE NAMES "CROTON" + "NIVADA" WOULD DOMINATE A NEW MARKET. THAT OF THE SCIENTIFIC AND DIVING WORLD.​
NIVADA AND CROTON WOULD BE AS ONE AND COMPENSAMATIC WOULD BE TRADEMARKED IN THE USA IN 1956 BY NIVADA.​
COMPENSAMATIC WOULD BECOME KNOW WORLD OVER AS NIVADA AND CROTON BUILT SOME OF THE MOST ADVANCED WATCHES IN THE WORLD.​
CROTON/NIVADA CHRONOGRAPHS, DIVE WATCHES, AND THE FAMOUS ANTARCTIC WATCHES HELPED MAKE THE WORD COMPENSAMATIC FAMOUS.​
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cool read, Thanks

Matt
 

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The term 'compensamatic' has been well explained above, but that's not a thrilling story, more a commercial thing, a simple trademark.

The interesting part of the history comes in connection with the name 'Antarctic'. There was an Exploration of the South Pole in the 1950ies and each of the members of the American team wore an automatic, waterproof compensatic Nivada watch, especially built for these Antarctic conditions. The idea was then born to come to the general market with an Nivada Antarctic series, which went on for about 20 years to come. Several explorations under the name 'Deep Freeze' followed, with the goal to establish bases for the Navy in the area and an airfield (William Air Operations Facility).

Nivada had disappered from the market and was reborn as a brand name in Mexico (Grupo Salinas).
 

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I almost forgot: If this is your first Nivada, you still have a long way to go. An absolute must is the Nivada 'depthomatic', not a mickey mouse diver, but a watch withstanding water pressure up to 1000 (!) meters. I think these watches, in the genereral market, had then only been guaranteed up to 200 or 300 meters. But you also need to have the Rollamatic, the Reglavit, the Alertamatic and the Ultramatic to be complete. Skip the late Mexican models (year 2000 I guess and after). There was also a temporary Korean production of Nivadas from 1985 - 2000, which you can also leave out under the aspect of vintage.

It's up to you if you also want to go after a 'Wanderer'. Due to a close relationship to Phenix/MSR they sold the Vulcain Cricket alarm watch under their own brand name. In any case, don't stop half way!

I have to admit, I could have made my elaborate a lot shorter by simply providing this link:

http://www.watch-wiki.net/index.php?title=Nivada
 

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I almost forgot: If this is your first Nivada, you still have a long way to go. An absolute must is the Nivada 'depthomatic', not a mickey mouse diver, but a watch withstanding water pressure up to 1000 (!) meters. I think these watches, in the genereral market, had then only been guaranteed up to 200 or 300 meters. But you also need to have the Rollamatic, the Reglavit, the Alertamatic and the Ultramatic to be complete. Skip the late Mexican models (year 2000 I guess and after). There was also a temporary Korean production of Nivadas from 1985 - 2000, which you can also leave out under the aspect of vintage.

It's up to you if you also want to go after a 'Wanderer'. Due to a close relationship to Phenix/MSR they sold the Vulcain Cricket alarm watch under their own brand name. In any case, don't stop half way!

I have to admit, I could have made my elaborate a lot shorter by simply providing this link:

Nivada - Watch Wiki, The Best Watches And Watch Brands
And the enabling begins... LOL
 

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Well, I was prepared to hand out a couple of 'likes' on this thread, really I was, but now you guys have opened up a whole new front in my vintage watch war. They - the other side - have the goods. Me - beleaguered collector - need the goods.

And now I need more goods. Oh God. Oh Lord. Why, oh why didn't I just set out to collect Saddam Hussein watches? Why? I mean I haven't even got past one my Enicar (those guys are taking over this forum, did you notice????), and now you tell me I have to hunt for Nivadas, too.

Maudit, maudit, maudit.
 

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Well, I was prepared to hand out a couple of 'likes' on this thread, really I was, but now you guys have opened up a whole new front in my vintage watch war. They - the other side - have the goods. Me - beleaguered collector - need the goods.

And now I need more goods. Oh God. Oh Lord. Why, oh why didn't I just set out to collect Saddam Hussein watches? Why? I mean I haven't even got past one my Enicar (those guys are taking over this forum, did you notice????), and now you tell me I have to hunt for Nivadas, too.

Maudit, maudit, maudit.
Before you open your purse for Nivada watches, please bear in mind (especially under the aspect of vintage) that the old Nivada company went out of business.

If you find: NIVADA-SWISS, with the Swiss National emblem, a web adress (nivadaswiss.com) and the slogan 'siempre a tiempo with Nivada', it is a watch coming from Mexico (they bought the name in the late 1990ies and advertise a lot with the old history. The brand was 'reactivated' in 2000).

There is also a Korean company on the Nivada-trip (nivadawatch.com), and also advertising with the Nivada history since 1926.

Their description of the Nivada watches and their history shows the limits of the Google-translator:

'Has Nivada that has a lifetime of good luck and peace

1926, in the Swiss city of Gruenzen, Nivada born ...... During World War II, the founder of Marchese. Schneider generously funded medical career, heal people suffering from war wounds and is known as the messenger of peace. At the time of European wives popular forms to be sent to a Nivada husband on the battlefield, which represents the woman who loved endless thoughts while praying wife can return home safely. Later, people have a Nivada watch, on behalf of the owner of a peaceful and happy life, Nivada become a symbol of good luck and peace.'


I understand, that the appearance of different 'Nivada watches' is always causing confusion, especially at the Basel Fair each year.

So, what concerns your new target of collecting Nivada watches, I sincerely hope that the Korean-made slogan also goes for the old vintages:

'Has Nivada, has luck and peace'
 

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Here is a 1957 advert I found and posted just over a year ago here:
http://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/vintage-nivada-antarctic-diver-sub-automatic-date-depth-uncertain-1063597.html#post8161104







Looks like a match with your beauty's design (sans date comp.) Matt, thus giving you a rough age for it.

Cheers, Bob.
Hi Bobbee,

Looks like the ad also has some fame...

The Antarctic model developed for an expedition headed for the ice attained world fame thanks to a similarity between the bearded man in the advertising campaign and the Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. The advertising was immediately banned and all printed matter confiscated on the Caribbean island, which was still under the Batista regime’s rule. Naturally, that made the watch even more interesting.
Stefan Muser , Michael Ph. Horlbeck

Regards,
 

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Hi...I own two vintage Croton chronos..very nice watches, great looking and very good value. I believe they will start to become very collectable in the near future. Croton ..on.

Cheers
 
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