We are starting a bit of a trend here with another Nivada watch, following up on yesterday’s Croton Aquamatic and the theme is going to continue tomorrow as well, with another Chonomaster. As a reminder, the various names that you will hear in connection with the Nivada brand, including Nivada Grenchen, Croton, Croton Nivada, Croton Nivada Grenchen, or really any combination therein, are essentially interchangeable and were all produced by the same company. For more historical information on the founding of Nivada check out this article here.
As we have seen from other watches from this era on Dial + Bezel, watches in the 1960’s were often associated with exploration, aviation, and diving, and this watch is no different. What is different is that it went after land, sea, and air in a time when most watches and their marketing only tackled one of the three. Advertisements of the time read “The Croton Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster is a favorite with sports car drivers, airline pilots, skin divers, yacht race enthusiasts, engineers, navigators, scientists, business executives, and a host of others.” Nivada wasn’t just going after a slice of the pie, they were going after the whole damn thing.
The Nivada Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver was first introduced in 1961. These early watches were fitted with the Venus 210 caliber and featured radium lume. Just one year later, Nivada would update the movement to the Valjoux 92 and would keep that movement up until 1966. Additionally, there were a few key dial changes that Nivade made early on in the history of the Chronomaster. The first was the switch to tritium for the luminous material, which was accompanied by the addition of a ‘T’ above Swiss at the bottom of the dial, and the second was the switch from broad arrow hands to stick-shaped hands. All of this points to the example shown here as a third-generation model which would have been produced between 1962 and 1966.
The 38mm stainless steel case is in good condition. It is a very honest example showing scratches throughout with some deep scratches shown on the lugs. That being said the bevels on the lugs are sharp and defined as they should be. The rotating bezel is also in good condition with some wear points around the edges. It should be noted that the watch wears an incorrect replacement crown and that the caseback, while correct, has been polished down to receive a custom engraving that reads “Barry Bohan”. We gave the name a google but nothing of note came up.
The Dial and Hands
The dials on these watches are fantastic. They have a great design that was driven by Nivada’s desire to have this be the do anything and everything watch. The chronograph function is augmented by a regatta indicator in red, tachymeter inner bezel and bi-directional diving bezel. This particular dial is in very good condition. There are no major faults to note and all of the printing remains crisp. The hands appear correct and original, though the tritium in the hour and minute hands has aged a bit more than the other lume on the dial.
This watch features a Valjoux 92 manually wound chronograph movement. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, Valjoux 92|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|
|Clasp Type||Stainless Steel Buckle|