DEPOLLIER--Genius of design and marketing.

Watch brands with roots in North America

DEPOLLIER--Genius of design and marketing.

Postby bobbee » December 1st 2016, 4:17am

The wristwatch in the US may have started as early as the late 1800's but it is mainly down to WW1 that men started wearing wrist watches in general.
The above is widely accepted, but there is one company that took the bull by the horns and started manufacturing cases that were made for the man of war, and that company is Depollier.

It started with the fairly simple "Utility" model in early 1916, seen in this advert below:



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This model soon became more complex, and was available in a similar design to the ladies early wrist watch, which could be worn on the wrist, pinned to a jacket or attached to a chatelaine or simply carried in the purse as a pocket watch.
This novelty became available in late 1916, and is aimed at men from all walks of life, but in particular the fighting man.



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Here is an actual example of the "D D" Utility, showing how the bottom lug could be removed:


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This may not have been a very successful model, as we see very few examples of them.
The next incarnation is known as the "KHAKI", this is one of the most well-known models of WW1. First seen in early 1917, it was seen in several different designs, and some adverts are seen below.



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There was even a black dial version, only two adverts are known to exist for this model, one of which (below) was found by me.



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There was even a ladies version, the "Miladi Militaire" brought out in 1918.



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A cushion cased advert, and a photo of a "doughboy" wearing what looks to be the very model. I actually own the photo.



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The next model, known as the first "Waterproof & Dustproof" has been seen many times in adverts and articles in magazines such as "Outing", and various military publications, but not one example exists or has been heard of. It was first advertised in August 1918, but disappeared a few months later.



Here is the first advert, it only has an artists rendition.



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Here are several other ads, this time the images appear to be from actual examples.




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Here is a one of a kind advert, featuring both the Khaki and Waterproof & Dustproof models together.



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Below is an article about the new watch, but it is strange that none have ever been seen in real life!




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The next model is another that has never been seen in the flesh, the "Thermo", first advertised early 1919. This can only be bought in gold or silver according to the adverts, and only three ads have ever been found, only one features elsewhere.




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This last one is the one we see fairly often the dark cased "Waterproof & Dustproof" model.
This came out some time in late 1919, and is advertised as "odxidized". The cases were ordered by the military per the adverts, and movements left from the war were then used in the cases.
Some think that because many examples are seen that look to be painted (indeed one specialist claims all are painted), but it is possible that these have been re-finished because of wear and tear to the "black nickel" finish.



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Roland Rohlf flew to extreme height wearing one, as shown in these ads below.


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This advert is supposed to "prove" the W&D model was actually a lacquered finish, but it is a 3rd. party advert and incorrect in the descrition. We can see it is even supposed to be a silver case, but this model only came in a nickel silver case, no actual silver at all.



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So we see that Depollier created some stunning watches for the military, and are still enjoyed by collectors the world over.



Well, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did,
Thanks for looking, Bob.
"Punch a fish, make a wish."~Doctor Penguin.
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Re: DEPOLLIER--Genius of design and marketing.

Postby foghorn » December 1st 2016, 6:19am

Great post-fun to read all those old ads.
I even noticed that a younger Mortuus was modeling the DD Khaki.
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This is the jinnies with their legahorns feinting to read in theirhandmade's book of stralegy while making their war undisidesthe Willingdone
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Re: DEPOLLIER--Genius of design and marketing.

Postby jason_recliner » December 1st 2016, 9:14am

Unbreakable glass, eh? Sounds like a challenge to me.
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