I find it difficult to believe that a design from the 1940s can feel so perfectly at home eighty years on. Imagine being tasked today with designing a watch that would look good in the year 2100. That seems an impossibly difficult task with a low probability of success. This is why I am so particularly struck at the beauty of this Vetta, a humble Italian Swiss Valjoux clamshell with a timeless charm. A good suit never goes out of style. I dare to say a chronograph this purposeful in its aesthetic won’t either.
Vetta was the Italian arm of Wyler watches, a Swiss-based watchmaker with many inventive patents. Wyler created the Incaflex system of shock absorbance and parts of the clamshell case. History teaches us that Italians design without equal. This small venture of Wyler proves the rule, there is no exception. With a humble Valjoux 22 and clamshell case, they created a 38mm proportion that still seems sporting now. Vetta are highly collected as their productions were low in number and highly varied, even within model lines. This example sports a cream dial and blued steel hands, a particularly lovely variant to my eye. Sadly, both Vetta and Wyler were folded at the outset of the quartz crisis.
A great fact about the now defunct Wyler (and by extension Vetta); in December 1956, a handful of Vetta watches were thrown from the Eiffel Tower, 300 meters, to demonstrate their durability. It is said they were all working perfectly afterwards. I am highly suspicious, however, for my love of Vetta I suspend that disbelief. Take that, Kikuo Ibe.
This example is in a strong condition. Its lugs are strong, the case back engravings are clear, the movement seems clear of serious problems. This all without mentioning its dial and handset, which are original and unrestored: lovely beyond compare. I am very fond of the patina on this example, which has taken a white dial to a sort of honey-cream tone. There is little to no serious corrosion and all outer multi-scales are still visible. It comes from a private seller out of Ukraine on eBay. As I always say, do your own research.
Find this Cronografo Ermetico here on eBay for 8000 USD or offer.