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50th anniversary of the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum – The collection is growing

For 50 years, the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum in the basement of the shop at Bahnhofstrasse 31 has been inviting visitors on a journey through time. The history of timekeeping is made visible and tangible with the aid of around 300 clocks, watches and other time-measuring devices. The collection, which was built up by Theodor Beyer (1926 – 2002) and has been open to the public since 1971, now comprises over 1,000 objects.

The museum is regularly offered additional timepieces, often with a connection to the family or company history of Beyer Chronometrie. In this way, some 10 watches or clocks are added to our collection every year. Each year, we present selected treasures in a small special exhibition. We, too, were taken by surprise by the turbulent events of the past year. We are therefore all the more delighted that in our anniversary year 2021 we are able to present our latest acquisitions from the last two years.

New acquisitions - Exhibition from September 2021

Wristwatch “BEYER 2016” in white gold by Patek Philippe, Geneva, Switzerland, 2016. Limited edition of 25 pieces with annual calendar and blue dial, self-winding. The wristwatch “Caliber 324 S QA LU 24h” with annual calendar is part of a special edition to mark the 5th anniversary of the Patek Philippe Boutique by Beyer. The boutique opened in 2011 as the first (and to date only one in Switzerland) dealer-run Patek Philippe Boutique. The collaboration between the Beyer watch retailer family and the Geneva-based manufacturer goes back to Patek Philippe’s founding years. The watch with original certificate bears the inscription “Beyer 2016” on the back case cover.

 

 

Stainless steel “Oyster Perpetual” wristwatch from Rolex, Geneva, Switzerland, ca. 1935. With “bow tie” dial, self-winding. This watch from the 1930s is entirely in its original condition. In addition to its typical “bubbleback” case – a hallmark of the early perpetual models with self-winding – it is distinguished by its special dial: the design in the shape of a bow tie led to it being referred to as a “bow tie” dial. The watch was sold by Beyer. Characteristic of Rolex watches of the time is the dealer’s signature BEYER on the dial.

 

Chrome-plated nickel women’s wristwatch by Dollar, Besançon, France, ca. 1930–35. Hand-wound, with photograph of the long-time owner. The father of the previous owner of this watch with analogue digital display probably purchased it at the Paris International Exposition in 1937. The watch was a gift for his wife, who is shown in the photograph also on display, possibly on the occasion of their wedding in July 1939. It remained in the possession of the family for over 80 years and was worn regularly. In 2020, it was donated to the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum.

 

Yellow gold pocket watch by IWC, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, ca. 1958. Hand-wound, with leather case. This Lepine pocket watch by International Watch Co. Schaffhausen (IWC) is kept in its accompanying leather case for protection. According to our stock ledgers, it was sold in the Beyer Chronometrie shop on 27 September 1958. In 2020, it found its way back into the museum collection.  

 

Stainless steel pocket watch, “Mathematic”, with circular slide rule by Didisheim-Goldschmidt Fils & Cie, Juvenia, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, 1940s. Hand-winding. One of the forefathers of the slide rule was the Swiss mathematician and clockmaker, Jost Bürgi. In pre-electronic times, the slide rule was used to perform various mathematical calculations. This pocket watch is equipped with a double mechanical circular slide rule, as used by architects and engineers for example. With its patent dating from January 1948, this well-documented measuring device is an enrichment for the museum’s collection.

 

 

Pocket watch with musical movement in pink gold, unsigned, Switzerland, ca. 1820, key-wound, with winding key. This pocket watch is equipped with a quarter-repeating mechanism and a musical barrel movement. The dial is gilded in two different shades and has been artistically guilloched. The pocket watch, whose winding key is also on display, came to the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum in 2020.

 

Silver and pink gold pocket watch by Vacheron Constantin, Geneva, Switzerland, 1903. Oxidised silver and pink gold case, enamel dial with red numerals, manual winding. Lepine pocket watch in an elaborately crafted case. The mythological bird, the griffin, is depicted on the back in pink gold on an oxidised silver background. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Geneva manufactory, Vacheron Constantin, was highly regarded for its jewellery watches and this is one such piece. Three years after its creation, at the World Expo 1906 in Milan, Vacheron Constantin even won the Grand Prix for its exhibited collection.

 

Yellow gold brooch watch by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, Dresden, Germany, ca. 1900. Case and brooch decorated with enamel and diamonds, hand-wound, with chatelaine. Yellow gold brooch watch by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, Dresden, Germany, ca. 1900. Case and brooch decorated with enamel and diamonds, hand-wound, with chatelaine

Yellow gold pocket watch by The West End Watch Co, Leytron, Switzerland / Bombay, India, ca. 1890. Richly decorated case of enamel, pearls and diamonds, manual winding. The “West End SA. Compagnie des montres” was specialised in the manufacture of watches for the Indian market. Founded in the late 1880s, it operated several branches, including in Geneva, Bombay and Calcutta. According to the inscription, this pocket watch comes from “The West End Watch Company” branch in Bombay. The addition of the word, “EXTRA”, is an indication of its complications and the high-quality manufacture of the watch: the half-hunter savonnette with a circular glass insert in the spring cover has a richly decorated case, as well as a date, weekday and moon phase display and a chronograph.

 

 

Yellow gold Lepine pocket watch by Patek Philippe, Geneva, Switzerland, 1919. Manual winding, with chain, certificate and box. This excellently documented pocket watch with original guarantee certificate by Patek Philippe has a special history: it was presented in 1924 to Albert Borsdorff, then the director of Wädenswil Tuchfabrik A.G., to mark the company’s 25th anniversary. The presentation of the gift was recorded in an inscription on the dust cover. Another engraving on the rim of the dust cover certifies that it was purchased at Beyer in Zurich. The pocket watch entered the museum collection in 2019.

Silver gentleman’s wristwatch from Beyer, Zurich, Switzerland, 1920s. Manual winding, with blue Beyer box. This silver wristwatch was manufactured and sold by Beyer in the 1920s. With its simple case and likewise silver link bracelet, it represents the modern yet elegant style of the day, when the wearing of wristwatches also became common among men. The Beyer watch with its original blue box found its way back to Bahnhofstrasse in 2020.

 

Beyer Chronometrie