The early history of the Pierce watch company reads like the history of many other brands that we’ve covered on this site. Like the others, the story starts in the late 1800s with a group of relatives – in this case, brothers – who set out to establish a company that would capitalize on the increasing popularity of watches. And so it is that in 1883 that the Levy brothers established Léon Lévy Frères Manufactures des Montres et Chronographes Pierce SA (later to become Pierce) in Biel, Switzerland.
Almost immediately the brothers found enormous success in their venture. By 1910, they employed nearly 1500 people, an impressive feat considering that Biel only had 24,000 inhabitants at the time.
Pierce created a number of notable watches during its production history. In the 1930’s they developed the flight calendar chronograph, a piece that would be used by early RAF pilots. In 1956 they presented the mechanical alarm wristwatch, dubbed the Duofon, which could ring its alarm at either a high or low volume decibel. Included on the list of notable Pierce watches is the “Pi” series of dive watches, which we have here today, that are treasured for the reliability and robustness that has earned the brand and the series its solid reputation.
The case design of this watch eschewed the bulk and heft that can be seen in many dive watches of this era. Rather, it strives for simplicity and function in a svelte package measuring 36mm across, 42mm lug to lug, and 11mm thick. The overall case condition is fair. It shows the fine scratches that one would expect to see of a watch that has been worn and used for its intended purpose but no major dings or dents are apparent. Additionally, the watch wears the correct “Pi” signed crown and screw-down case back.
The Dial and Hand
The defining feature of this watch is its silver-grey grooved dial. These finely engraved circles radiate out from the center of the dial and create a wonderful sunburst like effect that reflects light from all angles across the face of the watch. The dial is in fair condition showing signs of fading particularly around the printed text. There is also fading around the edge of the multi-directional bezel. Likely from finger wear when the bezel was being rotated. The lume on the bezel is still intact as is the lumes in the hour and minute hand.
The watch features a 25 jewel automatic winding movement with date function. The watch is currently running and keeping good time but the service history of the watch is not known.
The watch comes on a non-original brown leather strap with buckle.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Automatic 25 Jewel|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|