The Beyer Watch

The design of this watch emulates the giant timepiece that hangs outside the Beyer shop. It has served as a trademark for decades, and can be seen from a long way off on the Bahnhofstrasse.

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Rolex men’s wristwatch with the dealer’s signature, “Beyer Zürich”, ca. 1944, Geneva, Switzerland

The hand-wound wristwatch with a non-screw down crown has a round steel case with a polished bezel and a black lizard strap. The silver coloured dial reveals discolorations due to age. The Arabic numerals and skeleton hands for the hour and minute are painted with a white radium luminous substance. At 6 o’clock, there is a recessed small seconds sub-dial. Signatures on the dial: “Shock resisting” and “Swissmade”. Engraved on the back of the case are the reference number 3882 and the case number 262919. The watch was purchased from a private person from Italy.

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Rolex Oyster Chronometer men’s wristwatch with the dealer’s signature, “Beyer”, ca. 1940, Geneva, Switzerland

The men’s wristwatch with a steel case features a screw down case back and manual winding with a screw down crown. It has a black dial with a red central seconds hand and skeleton hour and minute hands, which are filled with a radium luminous substance. Dual signature on the dial: “Swiss Made” and “Fab. Suisse”. The leather strap did not originally belong to the watch and was attached at a later date. The reference number 2765 and case number 83409 are engraved on the back of the case. The watch was purchased from a dealer from Switzerland.

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Omega men’s wristwatch with the dealer’s signature, "Beyer Zürich", ca. 1920, Biel, Switzerland

This pillow-shaped, hand-wound men’s wristwatch features a high-grade 90 silver case. The white enamel dial is equipped with Arabic numerals and skeleton hands, which are painted with a gold-coloured radium luminous substance. The golden luminous substance reveals a degree of wear and tear on the numeral 1 of the 12 numerals, as well as on the minute hand. The leather strap did not originally belong to the watch and was attached at a later date. The silver hallmarks and the case number 5875316 are clearly visible on the case back. The watch was purchased from a dealer from Switzerland.

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Eterna men’s wristwatch, “KonTiki” 1978, Grenchen, Switzerland

In 1976, this stainless steel model was considered to be the flattest watch with an electronic movement. It has a massive case with a sapphire crystal and a screw back, and is water resistant up to a depth of 100 metres. In addition, its condition indicates that it has hardly ever been worn. Engraving of the series number F200 and case number 729 1505 41, as well as the embossed KonTiki logo, on the back of the case.

In 1947, Eterna equipped Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki expedition team with robust, water-resistant sports wristwatches. On this legendary journey, they sailed on a raft made out of balsawood from Peru to the eastern Polynesian islands. Heyerdahl wanted to show that people from South America could have settled in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times,that is before the era of the Incas, using only the materials and technologies available to them at the time.
Inspired by this legendary expedition, Eterna launched the KonTiki watch collection 10 years after the adventure took place.

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Breitling Chronometer aerobatic squadron wristwatch “Frecce Tricolori”, 2004, Grenchen, Switzerland

The massive automatic wristwatch with a tachymeter has a polished case and a stainless steel strap, as well as a rotatable matt steel bezel with minutes gradation. The black dial is inscribed with the logo, “P.A.N. frecce tricolori”, and has appliqué Arabic numerals made from polished steel. This edition dedicated to the P.A.N. (Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale) frecce tricolori is No. 1 of a limited edition of 1,000 pieces in total. Engravings on the case back: water resistant up to a depth of 100 metres, calibre B13, reference number A13356, Edition Limitee A1000 Exemplares, 1/1000, and aerobatic display squadron.

In 1984, the chronograph with automatic winding was developed for the Italian aerobatic demonstration team, Frecce Tricolori, and could withstand accelerations of up to 20 G. The new design with its eye-catching appearance proved to be very popular among buyers and contributed towards the rapid rise in popularity of the Breitling brand and its mechanical watches. This limited edition was launched in 2004 to mark the 20th anniversary of this success. Frecce Tricolori, which is Italian for tricolour arrows, is an aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Air Force, which was formed in 1961 under the name of 313º Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico. The watch is a gift from Breitling.


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Pocket watch “Issac Grasset & Cie”, ca. 1900, Geneva, Switzerland

This pocket watch with a Lépine case is made from steel. It has a white enamel dial with Roman numerals from I to XII and copper-coloured Louis XV hour and minute hands. An outer minute chapter ring with Arabic numerals and an inset small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock are also affixed to the dial. The watch is engraved inside on the movement with “Issac Grasset & Cie Geneve” and the Swiss patent numbers, 5019 and 14528. The movement is wound by means of a torsion, a special mainspring that is coiled around the winding stem. The hinged back cover is decorated with a barley guilloche pattern. The watch was purchased from a dealer from Switzerland.

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Marine chronometer Ulysse Nardin, 1935, Le Locle, Switzerland

Marine chronometer in a wooden case with cardanic suspension and additional transport cassette with leather strap, made entirely from mahogany. White dial with the signature, “Ulysse Nardin Locle Suisse”, black Roman numerals for the hour, outer minute chapter ring and round seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Also on the dial is an up-and-down indication at 12 o’clock, which shows the current position of the mainspring. Case no. 2918, 52-hour power reserve, winding key and small key for the box. Two original awards for first prize: “1re Classe pour Chronomètres de Marine Catégorie A”, dated 8 July 1935 and a document, “Epreuves Speciales de Marches diurnes”, dated 12 May 1937 from Neuchâtel Observatory. Letter from FAVAG (Fabrique D'Appareils Electriques S.A.) dated 18 May 1937.

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Ornate pocket watch, “Th. Beyer Fils Zurich”, International Watch Co., ca. 1888, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

This rare, anti-magnetic pocket watch in Lépine form has an elaborate 800 silver case. The white enamel dial is adorned with blued spade hands, black Roman numerals I to XII, and the dealer’s signature, “Th. Beyer Fils Zurich”. The back cover with a punched relief decoration shows the image of the knight St. George, sitting on a horse and slaying a dragon. The name George stands for courage and neighbourly love, chivalry and courtesy. There is a banner with the words “S.GEORGIUS EQUITVM PATRONUS” (St. George, patron saint of riders). The time can be changed by depressing the pusher at 1 o’clock and turning the gold winding crown. 2/3 platinum movement, with a granular structure, gold-plated and signed “Balancier & Spiral Paillard brevets”, screw compensation balance and balance spring according to Paillard, movement no. 33583. The watch was acquired through the Crott auction house.

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Gold pocket watch with the dealer’s signature, “Galli-Zürich”, ca. 1900, Switzerland

This hand-wound watch with a minute repetition has a polished Lépine 750 yellow gold case. The white metal dial is adorned with black Breguet hands, gold coloured Arabic numerals for the hours, an outer chapter ring for the minutes, and a small recessed second hand at 6 o’clock. Movement with Breguet spring, Swiss lever escapement without shock absorption and swan neck micrometer. The watch was acquired through an international auction house.

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Tissot pocket watch, Mathey-Tissot & Co, Swiss, ca. 1925, Le Locle, Switzerland

Watch with a 750 white gold Lépine case with perpetual calendar and moon phase. The silver coloured dial features appliqué Breguet numerals made from white gold. Round recessed indications for the weekday at 9 o’clock and for the date at 3 o’clock. Movement with blued Breguet spring, bimetal compensation balance and Swiss lever escapement without shock absorption. Tissot won the Grand Prix 1914 in Berne with this timepiece. The watch was acquired through an international auction house.


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Heuer hand stopwatch, “Trackstar”, Heuer-Leonidas SA, 1978, Biel, Switzerland

The referee addition timer has a polished stainless steel case. On the back is an adhesive label with Ref. 652.307 printed on it. The white & green dial bears the names of different ball sports in English and the corresponding timeouts. Black hand for the second and orange luminous hand for the minute. 1/5 second and mega 60-minute timer. The addition timer is used for measuring time with an interrupt option (timeout). Start and stop by means of the winding crown, return to zero position by means of the pusher. Also with the original box, with the reference number 652.307 printed on the side, and a warranty.

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Gold coin watch, Patek Philippe, 1970, Geneva, Switzerland

This hand-wound miniature watch can be carried in the pocket or worn on a chain as a fob watch. It is inserted in an outer casing made from an original 20 US dollar gold coin dating from 1901. The spring cover shows the heads side and the back cover the tails side of the coin. On the right side is an invisible mechanism for opening the case. The ultra-flat gold watch inside the case can be unfolded to form a small table clock. The gold coloured dial bears the dealer’s signature,”Beyer”. These watches were produced in small editions and even more seldom were marked with a dealer’s signature. Ref. 803-1, Patek movement 866650, case no. 2664185. The watch was acquired through an international auction house.

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Table clock “Bowling”, ca. 1930, Switzerland

The hand-wound, 8-day movement is inserted in an elegant wooden ball with identical finger grip holes to those of the original larger bowling ball. This unusual table clock comprises two parts. The bowling clock sits freely on eight bowling pins, which in turn are screwed from underneath onto a square wooden panel with a brass base. The champagne coloured dial indicates the hours with black Arabic numerals and the minutes with a delicate outer chapter ring. The clock was purchased from a dealer from Switzerland.

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Wooden pocket watch by the brothers, Michail and Nikolai Bronnikov, ca. 1870, Russia

This watch with a wooden bead chain and separate wooden outer casing is made from root boxwood. The dial has a recessed small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The hands, the white inset numeral discs, and the hour and minute wheels are made from ivory (probably mammoth). The movement is also made almost entirely from wood, with the exception of the mainspring, the click spring and the balance spring, which are fashioned from metal. The screws in the movement and on the case are made from wood or ivory. The movement is wound from the inside using the round wooden key.

This pocket watch was already shown last year as part of the special exhibition, “Precious Time”, held from 13 June to 23 September 2016.

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Ticino wooden table clock with pendulum, Francesco Andrea Santino, ca. 1680, Ticino, Switzerland

The case is fashioned from walnut and dark pear wood. The punched brass dial bears the signature, “Franc.° Andrea Santino” and is adorned on the lower edge with a gold-plated wooden relief. The glass door covering the clock face is held in place by a frame of yew with a herringbone pattern. The appliqué silver chapter ring with engraved black Roman numerals indicates the hours. The outer edge of the chapter ring is divided into minutes in five-minute gradations with Arabic numerals, and on the inner edge a 48-hour gradation can be seen. 3-day movement with verge escapement and pendulum. Full-hour and quarter-hour strike on a bell; day and night hours are struck differently. In earlier times, the movement probably had two bells, as the fixture for this is still visible.

This very rare pendulum clock is the first and only object from the Canton of Ticino to enrich our collection. It is the first time that it is on show. The clock was purchased from a private person, in whose possession it was for over 40 years.


New acquisitions

The Beyer Clock and Watch Museum is presenting last year’s acquisitions in a special exhibition from 4 April till 2 June. Once again, we would like to present to you the latest additions to our museum, which enrich and expand our ever-growing collection. Each item reflects a piece of history and is valuable and unique in its own way. Wristwatches and pocket watches with the dealer’s signature, “Beyer”, are closely linked with our company’s history; a KonTiki watch commemorates the daring trip on a balsawood raft from Peru to the eastern Polynesian islands in 1947; the marine chronometer was awarded first prize by the Neuchâtel Observatory in 1935; and the collection’s very first watch from the Canton of Ticino has made its debut at the tender age of 337.