The latest from Boldr, who have a variant on their flagship Valjoux 7750 model;
Built to accompany its wearer on the toughest regatta races, this is our first ever yachting chronograph watch, and like all Odysseys, it’s a beast on your wrist. Combining modern & classic elements meticulously designed for performance and durability, this stainless steel sailor features a 10-minute count back disk-dial.
At its heart lies an ETA Valjoux 7750 Chronograph Movement for seamless timekeeping while skimming the waves or exploring 500m under the surface. The dial is classic black & white with stylised boat-shaped skeleton hands to maintain the highest possible legibility. It also boasts a unique 2-in-1 bi-directional bezel function that pairs a 15-minute marker option with a specialized nautical miles tachymeter.
It’s on a pre-orde deal at $1299, plus import duty and VAT, so it isn’t a cheap model. You can find the Valjoux 7750 inside other chrono watches for less.
This is a statement watch, at 45mm across and sits 18mm high – for those with big chunky arms and wrists, it will be an option.
You can pay a great deal of cash for a watch featuring the Valjoux 7750 movement, or slight variations on that base ebauche engine.
That’s why NWC mag has a lot of time for the LIV P-51 pilot watch. It’s got that Valjoux touch of class for £1095, plus VAT and UK import duty. Go figure say 30% on top.
That’s still way cheaper than say a Bremont ALT-1 for £5000, which features a tweaked 7750 movement. Or how about paying £7300 to IWC for a Portugieser with a green dial, which is also powered by a modded variant of the 7750? Yes, prestige brands are watch modders too.
You see why we mention this Swiss MOD watch angle right?
The same work that is kinda sneered at by certain watch blogs, magazines and experts as being `Frankenwatch’ is just the same process as factories carry out to Valjoux 7750 movements. Blue screws, decorated rotors, slightly different pushers.
So we say, check out thios LIV take on the Valjoux movement, because it has that sporty Top Gun vibe, day/ date window, sapphire crystal, a huge 46mm case if you are a fan of Breitling plus size cases, and a riveted tan strap that really sets off the black theme nicely.
Nope, we aren’t on commission, we just like spotting great value.
Built to accompany its wearer on the toughest regatta races, this is our first ever yachting chronograph watch, and like all Odysseys, it’s a beast on your wrist. Combining modern & classic elements meticulously designed for performance and durability, this stainless steel sailor features a 10-minute count back disk-dial and a flyback chronograph hand that resets immediately with a simple click.
At its heart lies an ETA Valjoux 7750 Chronograph Movement for seamless timekeeping while skimming the waves or exploring 500m under the surface. The dial is classic black & white with stylised boat-shaped skeleton hands to maintain the highest possible legibility. It also boasts a unique 2-in-1 bi-directional bezel function that pairs a 15-minute marker option with a specialized nautical miles tachymeter (Refer to watch manual for instructions.)
If you order today – 20th April – the price is $1199, rising to $1499 once the initial limited edition of 20 pieces has been snapped up.
Think about this for one minute, the Valjoux 7750 is still found in many a pre-owned Breitling, Sinn, Raymond Weil and more prestige brands, with asking prices of over $3000. So you’re getting the same engine, for much less money. Worth a look we say.
We’ve experienced 9 exciting months of development by your side. Your thousands of votes and comments have allowed us to make the NB24 chronograph a reality, which we here at CODE41 are really proud about. Rather than going with a simple standard movement, we’ve made the mad move of creating an exceptional movement with a peripheral weight integrated into the dial side. It’s rare and complex, but what a joy it is to have it on your wrist!
Mechanical movements are extremely complex, and nowadays are only produced by a few manufacturers. Developing such a movement costs around 3 to 5 million euros, and can take up to 5 years to perfect. In addition, based on series of a few thousand watches per year, the production cost for each movement is around 3,000 euros.
In that case, how have we been able to create our very own movement, fitted with a peripheral weight on the dial side, for only 1,000 euros?
As the chronograph is one of our partner Concepto’s specialties, we’ve been able to make use of their base, constructed using the architecture of the famous Valjoux 7750 movement, known for its robustness and reliability. Then we’ve modified it by moving the counters, redesigning the bridges, and above all adding a peripheral weight on the dial side. This rare complication alone accounts for a third of the cost of production. It’s important to point out that all of the components, except for the mainspring and the jewels, are produced in-house.
So-called ‘automatic’ mechanical movements are fitted with an oscillating weight that recharges the watch through wrist movements (no battery required). As it swings from left to right, the weight rewinds the mainspring, which stores the energy required for the mechanism to function correctly.
NB24 PERIPHERAL OSCILLATING WEIGHT
STANDARD OSCILLATING WEIGHT
Verdict: There are a fantastic range of personalisation options with this model, from carbon fibre to titanium cases, various dial and sub-dial colours, straps etc. At 42mm it’s the perfect size for many, and with a 1-500 numbered edition, you have collector value too. It’s a technical tour-de-force in terms of making the bob weight rotate on the dial side, rather than on the caseback side of the movement – you have to admire that complication. £3100 is expensive, but then so is £1700 for an Oris which has the same movement inside as £900 Tissot.
Check the Code 41 video out;
You have to love the NB24 for its skeleton dial design, unique auto rotor mod, Swiss finishing and limited edition numbers. You will wait a long time before it realises £3000 on the pre-owned market, so make sure you buy into the Code 41 cause, not just the watch ownership.
Torgeon has released a limited edition T36 Valjoux 7750 powered automatic chrono, which has their signature bold numbers dial, clean case design and a selection of leather straps.
Here’s the word from Torgeon;
The Torgoen T36 has four different styles, each delivered in a wooden, enameled-finish gift box with an additional complimentary strap.
The T36 runs on the famous Valjoux Calibre 7750. This celebrated movement can be found on some of the world’s most prestigious watches, which often surpass the $5,000 – and sometimes even $10,000 – bar. This movement incorporates 25 jewels, running at 28,800 Vibrations per Hour. It is considered as one of the most robust and reliable mechanisms in the market. The accuracy, as specified by ETA (the movement manufacturer), is set to -10/+15 seconds per day.
The case of the T36 consists of three main pieces: A see-through back, the top ring and the case body. The last two are made out of high-grade, brushed stainless steel. The case is designed to withstand pressure equivalent to 10ATM (100 meters under water).
The look and feel of the T36 dial is inspired by a cockpit’s altimeters. The markers and hands offer excellent luminescence, which can last up to 8 hours in total darkness. This is made possible thanks to the Super Luminova luminescence technology the watch incorporates, which is the best non-radioactive one out there. The dial consists of two layers- The upper one is cut out to expose the three sub dials that are printed on the one beneath it.
Each T36 comes with two straps: The first is a superior and luxurious calf Italian leather stitched strap that would only look better with time and the second, a double injection supple silicon strap that feels great on the wrist.
Using the best available materials, as described above, is not enough. In order to output the highest quality possible watch, all Torgoen watches undergo a series of rigorous quality control (QC) routines. These include drop tests, sweat simulations and esthetic tests, UV lighting (for dial discoloration prevention) tests, strap scratching prevention, water resistance, accuracy in different positions, power reserve tests, visual (cosmetic) checks, plating adherence, and many more. These tests are performed in all stages of production from the components level, through the assembly (encasing), and the final product.
We really tried to make the best product in its class, so we deployed our best team members to this project; those who are experienced and talented enough to be able to create this timepiece up to the standards we set ourselves to achieve. With this addition to our line we continue to be loyal to our mission: providing the best value product while using the highest quality of materials, applying the latest and best technology, and reaching the best attention-to-detail design and fine workmanship. The T36 is an affordable luxury product, and is guaranteed to give satisfaction and pride to its wearer.
Verdict: You can’t argue that an edition of just 15 examples isn’t collectable. This is a rairity, even though the Valjoux 7750 is arguaby the VW GTi 2.0 diesel engine of the watch world, having been around for decades. It’s a fair price for the spec, but the Torgeon name doesn’t carry much weight with enthusiasts as a bespoke producer. To be blunt, many brands offer more handmade features than this at the £1000-£1200 mark. Then there are vintage options like a Valjoux powered Sinn, Tissot, Oris, Muarice Lacroix and many more – dozens of brands in fact.
We found a Meister Anker, serviced, on ebay at £575, or how about a Tissot Couturier with box and papers, mint example for £649?
The Valjoux 7750 is the VW 2.0 GTi of the watch world, an engine that combines proven reliability with gutsy performance and a wide range of specialists and suppliers who can service your pride and joy. What’s not to like?
Well, you could pay over £3000 for a Valjoux 7750 powered watch right now, if you choose a premier Swiss brand. Sure, that Swiss beauty may have beatuful detailing, luxury packaging, and a strap that’s been hand-crafted by artisan Elves from Unicorn hide. But ultimately, it has the trusty 7750 engine inside the case.
So why not check out LIV watches in the USA? They have their stunning looking GX-AC Swiss Panda dial chronograph on their site today for £812, which is entry level Longines, Rado or Oris money. I’m talking mechanical watches too, not chronographs.
The LIV Swiss Panda has a 316L stainless steel case, 42 hour reserve, choice of straps and a sapphire crystal. There’s a mineral glass exhibition caseback as well, so you can see that Swiss engineering in action.
The LIV Cobalt offers a very striking blue dial variant, still 7750 powered, if you wnat something that looks more sporty, more outdoors adventure. This is a 46mm width case too, so ideal for those who want a chunky sized watch.
The final Valjoux 7750 model is the Rose Gold edition, which shares the same case size, pushers, sapphire crystal etc. Costs slightly more by the way. There are still a few examples of the P51 Mustang themed limited edition model still on the LIV website too, which may also tick your boxes if you want to add a 7750 to your collection.
Apart from a slightly unusual lug width at 23mm, which limits your choices when it comes to replacement straps and bracelets, the LIV chronographs offer an interesting remix of the Valjoux spirit.
People ask me which is the best automatic Swiss watch to buy new, for say under £3000. Tough question. The short answer is buy what you like, because if you don’t love the dial, the colour, hands, bezel, bracelet links – all those details – then you won’t wear the watch much and it will languish in a box or on an automatic winder.
My own favourite is an Omega with George Daniels brilliant co-axial movement inside, such as the Seamaster/Speedmaster range. You can buy one from about £2600 which to me is a bargain for two reasons;
One, the co-axial movement runs at about 2500bph (beats per hour) which is significantly lower than may other Swiss watches that run at over 32,000bph. That means low friction, more time between services and that is a massive saving on the running costs of ownership with a service costing upwards of £600 at an Omega/Breitling/Rolex/Tudor etc dealership.
Two, the Omega Seamaster/Speedmaster is a well established brand name with the wider public, so if you decide to sell there will be a queue of trade, and public, keen to acquire your Omega. Try selling a used Franck Muller, Graham Chronofighter or a Breguet to Joe Public and you’ll find they haven’t really got a clue about the watch and its true value, plus it won’t impress their friends on Facebook, so they won’t offer you decent money.
That’s how it works; watches are a game of oneupmanship for many men, keen to brag that they’re considerably richer than you…
The Valjoux 7750 and All Its Children
OK, let’s move on to the amazing ETA Valjoux 7750 movement. Now this benchmark engine can be found in so many watches, even today, although manufacturers often try to disguise the base movement beneath a range of tweaks, tune-ups and in-house modifications.
Let me explain why the buying the best value Swiss watch featuring a Valjoux 7750 often means shelling out for the least fashionable;
You are investing long-term in the movement, and hoping it will be reliable, easy to service and hold its future value. Bells and whistles like a stronger mainspring, a silicon hairspring (non-magnetic is always useful) and perhaps some beautiful engine-turning/engraving on the bridgework or automatic rotor, is nice to have – but it doesn’t alter the fact that you’ve paid ten times as much for the same watch movement.
Ten times you say, really? Yep. If you buy a used IWC Portugieser, rather than a Hamilton Khaki, then you have probably bought a watch with the same base calibre 7750 movement inside the case. But your IWC will cost you maybe £4000 for those little IWC extra touches, whereas a used Hamilton can be had for £400, because it is seen as a deeply unfashionable brand in watch collecting. The IWC version of the ETA Valjoux 7750 is undoubtedly built to a higher spec, bit like an AMG Merc A Class – but it’s still an A Class, if you’re with me.
OK, before you splash out £3000 on a new Swiss watch ask yourself if the movement really matters, because if it does, then you really want to avoid buying something with a Valjoux 7750 base unit in there. You could buy a Tissot, Certina, Victorinox, Longines, Steinhart, Hamilton, Oris and many more for well under £1000, with the 7750 inside. So what will the future collectable value of those watches be? Answer, not likely to be as much as something bespoke, truly unique, and in short supply.
Don’t get me wrong, any watch with a well maintained Valjoux 7750 is a great timepiece – it just isn’t going to be described as being truly special, rare or a future classic in my view.
If you buy a modern Rolex, you get a watch with an in-house movement, not a Valjoux (or a Zenith) inside the case. Plus it’s the most well known watch brand in the world, so you’ll always be able to sell it – or have your Rolex stolen at knifepoint by moped thugs in London.
£3000 will get you a used Breitling Navitimer, with its own in-house 01 movement (manufactured post 2013) which again, is a fashionable watch, although they are expensive to service and look a bit big and gaudy unless you have a large wrist – in my humble opinion.
Assuming I had 3K to spare what would I buy? Probably something like a Jaeger Le Coultre bumper automatic from the 1950s. A mint example, with a gold case would probably be around that price and it ticks all the right boxes for me.
It looks understated and oozes sheer quality, the name itself is not so well known amongst the casual thug/criminal fraternity, so it reduces the risk of mugging or violent attack at home. Plus the bumper auto movement was unique to JLC, it wasn’t hawked around other manufacturers, and I reckon that it will always be truly collectable because of the prestige still attached to the JLC name today. The same cannot be said of many other 1950s Swiss watch brands that have faded into bankruptcy, or merger.
There is much to be said for a low profile when it comes to watch collecting. Let the fashion victims chase the latest Tudor Black Bay deals, or lowest finance rates on a Rolex Daytona. There’s more to it than flash for cash, watches are also inherently beautiful pieces of miniature engineering, history made jewels and metal. Treasure the craft of watchmaking, not just the RRP.