Minerva, Suisse, Shock-absorber chronograph, Made in the 1940s. 18kt yellow gold wristwatch with chronograph and registers.
Case: 18kt gold, three-body, polished, stepped bezel, fluted concave lugs, snap-on caseback.
Dial: Silver two tone with gold applied arabic and pyramid indexes, outer minutes and fifths of a second divisions, subsidiary seconds 12-hour and 30-minute registers. Dauphine hands. Dial is much patinated with aging thru out.
Movement: Rhodium plated, 17 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance, Breguet balance spring, index regulator.
Dial, case and movement signed
Diameter: 37mm Thickness: 14mm
Minerva Watches began their history in 1858 in Villeret, Switzerland when it was founded by the Robert family. The company name changed several times, becoming Fabrique Robert Freres in 1898, then Fabrique des Faverges in 1902, Fabrique Minerva in 1923 and eventually in 1929 it became Minerva SA.
In 1902 Minerva became a "manufacture" of watches designing and manufacturing the most critical watch parts, such as the movement, in their own engineering workshops. The earliest Minerva wristwatch was manufactured in 1909, but Minerva's greatest success came in 1923 with the introduction the No. 20, a caliber which was a chronograph with a column-wheel mechanism, a Breguet balance-spring and 17 jewels. With the launch of this watch, the company earned its reputation as a manufacturer of complicated movements of exceptional quality.
Minerva, up until 2000 when it was purchased by an Italian company who later was sold to the Richemont Group with Minerva SA movement production being integrated to Montblanc. Minerva was one of very few companies to produce their own movements, especially the chronograph and one of even fewer who had done so continuously for close to a hundred years.