Francois Borgel Movado M95 in 18K YG
The M95 is a chronograph to tell the world you know precisely what you’re up to. Immense history, detail, and charm contained within a single chronograph that, for the most part, the watch public remain nearly oblivious toward. This is certainly one of those watches which, if spotted on the street or in a random room, I would feel compelled to beeline toward its wearer. Even moreso here, as this particular M95 holds additional intrigue for its unique case metallurgy, Tiffany & Co bracelet, and double Zenith signature.
While most gold M95 watches were executed in 14k (likely for import reasons), this 35.5mm case is the all-out 18k. That is not common. Moreover, yes, it’s an FB case. Along with ‘Tasti Tondi’-style pushers, this means an intricate stepped bezel which helps the case wear slightly larger than its size would imply and early waterproof construction. This gorgeous exterior is complemented by a Tiffany-made, small-brick-style bracelet of the same vintage, which has also made appearances on a few interesting Cartier models. This M95 is from the latter years of production, when Zenith had purchased the company and so also signed the dial.
The watch is not just a case, however. The M95 is one of the most charming vintage chronograph movements. Its pushers are inverted, that is to say that the bottom stop/starts and the top resets. That differentiation means all the cogs that you are used to seeing in a case back are in different places and you’ll often get it wrong out of habit. The calibre was entirely their own, a modular affair designed by Frédéric Piguet. In total, a bewitching and highly unique chronograph that oozes considered taste.
This example has a case with relatively full lugs and a strong overall proportion. Its dial is clear of fault entirely. I just adore those serpentine subdial hands. This is one of the most intriguing M95s I’ve seen on the market for some time. It comes from a well-regarded Dutch vintage retailer.
Find this M95 here from Vintage Times Amsterdam for 32000 EUR.