This watch is the third Nivada/Croton watch in so many days that we have posted on Dial + Bezel. We will spare you the history lesson again, but if you have missed the other articles you can check them out here and here.
This watch, in conjunction with the Nivad Chronomaster from yesterday makes one thing very apparent. Watches evolve. These evolutions, and the documenting of them, are some of the things that watch collectors love the most. There are some famous examples that those new to the hobby have probably heard of like the dot over 90 on certain Omega Speedmaster bezels, or the inverted 6 on some Rolex Daytonas, but almost every vintage and many modern watches changed in small ways over time. Variations help us to contextualize watch as well because most of the changes made to watch were done for a specific reason. Suppliers, materials, costs, movements, and more are in a constant state of change, and watch manufacturers update their watches as they go along. These changes and variations lead to identifying features that help us date a watch and also create rarity within certain model ranges if a certain variation was not produced in high numbers. For those car people among us the 1963 Corvette, with its one year only split rear window, comes to mind as an apt analogy. We must issue a warning though. Diving into the minutia of watches like this is the first step to a full blown obsession, one that this author can tell you from experience, can become quite consuming.
The Croton Chronograph Aviator Sea Diver is the culmination of over 15 years of changes and evolution within the Chronomaster range. Almost every piece of the watch is different from the original Chronomaster that was released in 1961, but the overall aesthetic and goal of the watch remains. Some of the changes are easy to spot, such as the placement of the chronograph registers or the new shape of the hands, but others take a more keen eye. For example, the font on the bi-directonal bezel has been updated and the width of the internal tachymeter scale is larger on this later model. Of all of the updates to this watch one of the major ones is hiding inside the case. The movement is now the lesser known Valjoux 7765 which brings with it a quickset date function. This all helps us date the watch to 1977.
The 38mm stainless steel case is in very good condition with scratches throughout the case appropriate for its age. All crown, pushers, crystal and caseback all appear to be correct and original to the watch. The crystal however does have multiple deep scratches that should be noted. A protective plastic sticker is present on the caseback that has yellowed from age. We are uncertain if the protective sticker is original to the watch or was added at a later date.
The Dial and Hands
The dial of this watch features all of the trademark features of the Chronomaster including the regatta counter highlighted in red and internal tachymeter bezel but there are also three distinct changes. The first is a date window at 3 and the second is the repositioning of the chronograph registers to 9 and 12 rather than 3 and 9. The last major change is the batton style hands in place for the arrow hands seen on the earlier models. Overall the dial is in very good condition with no major faults to note and all parts are correct and thought to be original.
This watch features a Valjoux 7765 manually wound chronograph movement with date function. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Model||Chronograph Aviator Sea Diver|
|Movement||Manual, Valjoux 7765|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Rubber Strap|
|Clasp Type||Stainless Steel Buckle|
|Original Papers||Period Warranty Card (not stamped)|