Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby AlbertaTime » September 14th 2014, 2:32pm

I mention often (because it's true, often) that I am a very fortunate person, and that I'm always mindful and grateful for the many, many kindnesses I am shown by the the individuals and groups of the watch-loving community. This is yet another example, and I don't take any of this lightly. With my sincere thanks...

My first Antarctic watch was very generously gifted to me by noted VCM collector and MicmicMor website host Joel Chan when we first met in Beijing in 2011. I wrote about the watch here.

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Now to my second Antarctic: the Nivada Grenchen Croton Antarctic, also a gift to the AMCHPR.

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From the "Grail Watch" website, these descriptions:

One company that went all-in for explorer-connected watches is Nivada, yet they are all but forgotten today. Once a major Swiss watch company, Nivada was early to bring an automatic watch to market, enjoyed success in chronographs and dive watches, and produced a successful line of chronometers.

Yet Nivada was unable to sell under their own name in the United States after the threat of a name-similarity lawsuit by Movado. They added their home town of Grenchen to the dial and struck a deal with the Croton watch company for distribution. So these watches are often known today as “Nivada Grenchen”, “Croton Nivada”, or just “Croton”, if they are known at all.

In time for International Geophysical Year, Nivada supported the US Navy “Operation Deep Freeze” with a durable waterproof, anti-magnetic watch they named “Antarctic”. This would become one of their signature products...


and

Today, it seems laughable to think that a Nivada would be worth the same as a Rolex or Jaeger-LeCoultre. And vintage watches from IWC, Breitling, Zenith, and Heuer retain much more value than the products of Universal, Buren, Vulcain, or Enicar. Yet these brands (with the possible exception of Rolex) were all fairly competitive when these watches were new.

It seems that a brand’s value is based in large part on their credibility and popularity today. Rolex has remained strong and Jaeger-LeCoultre is enjoying a resurgence of interest. Although the Nivada, Buren, Vulcain, and Enicar brands can be found today, they are anything but prestigious. And this has reflected on the valuation of their historical products as well.

It’s not all marketing, however. Rolex and Jaeger-LeCoultre in particular have a strong reputation for support and service, giving vintage pieces a new life and buyers peace of mind. But the etablisseur culture of the Swiss watch industry in the classic period means that most of those movements remain serviceable. I’m sure a competent watchmaker would have no trouble with the ETA 2472 in my Antarctic even if the original maker is long gone.


The person who donated this exhibit to the AMCHPR as a very appropriate companion piece to the Sea-Gull Antarctic has asked not to be personally named, and has instead asked that all credit go to the Watchlords forum, a request I am more than happy to honour.

I also want to say thanks for the very cool Lion Brand coffee and macadamia nut chocolates that came with the watch! They won't last long and they will be greatly enjoyed :-)

Note that the piece came unbelieveably complete given its age, with hang tags, instructions, box, case, leather and steel strap...it's just an amazingly complete set. I'm more grateful than I have words for the thoughtfulness.

TL/DR: photos :-)

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From "Grail Watch":

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and from Watchlords (by way of Uhrforum)...

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Caseback photo included in case the numbers 49C or 62376 can provide some certain information, like what the movement is. I couldn't open the case and don't want to force the issue. The watch is pretty much unworn.

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Last edited by AlbertaTime on September 13th 2015, 12:40am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby conjurer » September 14th 2014, 2:46pm

Two nice additions, A-T. That coffee's the fucking bomb, too.
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Re: Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby Airframer » September 14th 2014, 2:48pm

I'm fairly certain who did this, and I agree he is a scholar and a gentleman of the highest caliber.
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Re: Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby conjurer » September 14th 2014, 4:40pm

Airframer wrote:I'm fairly certain who did this, and I agree he is a scholar and a gentleman of the highest caliber.


Yup.
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Re: Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby biglove » September 14th 2014, 5:15pm

Airframer wrote:I'm fairly certain who did this, and I agree he is a scholar and a gentleman of the highest caliber.


Indeed!
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Re: Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby Racer-X » September 14th 2014, 5:54pm

Great additions and props to the generous donor. They have found the perfect home.
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Re: Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby conjurer » September 14th 2014, 6:17pm

It's always interesting to me how we, a bunch of fucking haterz and assholes, are so fucking generous sometimes.
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Re: Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby Tzimisces » September 14th 2014, 6:41pm

conjurer wrote:It's always interesting to me how we, a bunch of fucking haterz and assholes, are so fucking generous sometimes.

Not me. I'll be in Hawaii next month and if I find one of these I'm keeping it.

I do love this forum, and ATs museum is something special.
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Re: Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby Wasp » September 15th 2014, 6:22am

Very cool. Just watched a doc on Camp Century. No close ups of wrist shots, guessing a few were there.

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Re: Another "Antarctic" watch arrives at the AMCHPR...

Postby Kahuna74 » September 15th 2014, 8:51am

Great post. Beautiful watch to add to the history of the Antarctic explorers.
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