The titus geneve and buren watch company

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Steve Maddox, Aug 15, 2001.

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  1. Steve Maddox

    Steve Maddox Guest

    Some interesting information about the Buren Watch Company was recently revealed on the "Pocket Watches" section of this message board. The following is a link to that thread: http://www.nawcc.org/ubb/Forum3/HTML/001109.html

    I've seen Titus watches, but don't know much about them. As far as I know, they're more or less just a "generic" Swiss watch.



    ------------------
    Steve Maddox
    VP, NAWCC Chapter #62
    North Little Rock, Arkansas
     
  2. Dave Haynes

    Dave Haynes Registered User

    Sep 12, 2000
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    I think Buren was sold to Hamilton and they made their Thinline model movements based on the Buren 1000 planetary micro-rotor (a bummer movement in my experience).

    The Solvil et Titus S.A. in Geneva, made
    medium to high quality ebauche based watches
    well into the quartz era. I've seen little war watches marked Titus and have owned several interesting high quality automatics by Solvil Titus. If my memory serves me, I
    recall reading that there was a Solvil-
    Ditisheim watch company and that would make the Solvil side the pedigree end of the
    Solvil-Titus name. They are an interesting
    little known brand. I look on Ebay for them
    and there is usually something there.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Dave Haynes

    Dave Haynes Registered User

    Sep 12, 2000
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    The two that I've owned both had trouble with the barrel click. A part that shouldn't give trouble if properly designed. It is kind of hanging out there in the breeze and subject to being hurt when the movement is handled.
    I suppose it's OK if left alone, but both of mine were cobbed up by previous owners. Both were Hamiltons and were not particularly well cased. There was trace rust and other bad deeds on the movements. Cleaned a Bulova with one and it was very well cased and worked well.
    I like that Universal 215 alot better if one wants a micro-roter movement. The Patek's not bad either(I wish)!
    Chuck, remember, I'm not a watchmaker. I should keep my opinions to myself.
     
  4. Dave Haynes

    Dave Haynes Registered User

    Sep 12, 2000
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    Chuck: The guy who taught me said it this way: "the well cased watch always works better". That is why a 20 year old Seiko still runs well. The same A.S. ebauche
    can be seen in a loose base metal, snap back case or an expensive one piece stainless
    case and it will still be fresh in the expensive case, and filthy and worn out in the cheap case.

    What happened to a watch before we see it is just pure luck. It could have been worked on by a hack like me or somebody like Steve who respects the watch for what it is:
    a miniature machine
     
  5. Steve Maddox

    Steve Maddox Guest

    Now Dave,

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I'm sure you're no slouch either.

    For what it's worth, I've never worked on one of Buren's versions, but I wholeheartedly agree that the Hamilton "Thin-O-Matic" is one of the worst pieces of garbage ever to be graced by the Hamilton name (I detest them even more than the 500 and 505 electrics). Some have jeweled rotors, and those only suffer from their inherently poor design, but the majority have non-jeweled rotors, and when those wear out (which usually doesn't take very long), there's nothing to do but replace them. Of course, since replacement parts haven't been available for years (maybe decades), they're basically not repairable.

    Personally, I'm not too crazy about any of the various "micro-rotor" automatics. Universal Geneve's are good quality, but if their engineers had set out to purposely make an automatic winding mechanism as complicated as possible, using the absolute maximum number of small parts, they couldn't have done a better job.

    The subject of wristwatch casing always makes me think about Rolex. In my opinion, the Rolex Oyster is by far the best wristwatch case that's ever been made, and since their movements (at least since the 1950s) are very good as well, the combination results in watches that will last a lifetime. It's too bad that it takes a lifetime to pay for one!

    SM
     
  6. Dave Haynes

    Dave Haynes Registered User

    Sep 12, 2000
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    Steve: I agree that the whole micro-rotor
    idea was flawed. The Polerouter that I had was a nice 28 jewel model and aside from being slightly thinner, there was nothing to be gained on a nice ETA or AS automatic.
    I always thought that the little rotor wasn't as efficient because it lacked mass. I'd bet that after the movement was maybe 1/3d fully wound, that rotor was not moving much at all.
    Supposedly parts are non existant for the
    Universals as well.
     
  7. Didn't one company use a solid gold rotor to overcome the lack of mass problem?n The LeCoultre Futurematic weight has lead inside.....

    Larry

    [This message has been edited by Larry Jones 98326 (edited 08-17-2001).]
     
  8. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

    I know Patek used an 18K rotor in their 12 calibre 500. But that was a full size rotor.
    de Carle wrote glowingly of it.

    Regards,
    Mike
     
  9. Thanks Mike, but I'm thinking microrotor, in fact, the more I think about it, Universal Geneve Golden Shadow? Hmmmmmm........
     
  10. Dave Haynes

    Dave Haynes Registered User

    Sep 12, 2000
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    Patek made a movement with micro-rotor with 18 or 24 carat mini rotor.
     
  11. Steve Maddox

    Steve Maddox Guest

    I have a 30 jewel Piaget with a 22 karat gold rotor, but I'm sure other companies made them as well. I think even platinum has been used, but I can't recall for sure (platinum is about half again as heavy as 14k gold).

    I've seen a Rolex prototype with a solid gold rotor, but they were never commercially produced.

    SM
     

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