I feel that lately the industry especially the Swatch group who controls many of the parts that we use in our watches have been finding wats to not allow os to access to like higher end parts for their omea, tissot etc… I get this hasnt been happening for a short period of time.. this was even a big deal back in the 40 when Peirce refused to join the Ebauches S.A (group). they where not able to get the chronograph movements that they needed so they started building out their own technology. This went fairly well for them as they developed a chronograph movement with some efficiency in the Vertical Clutch system which Seiko also discovered later.
Pierce still exists today under the http://www.pierce1883.com/ the Pierces that I have and collected I feel where very innovative and stylish for their time in the 40’s the new Pierce chronographs on that website seem to be trying to re-create the glory that they once discovered (they even had these watches working in the RAF (Royal Air Force). I feel that these where very well built and reliable time pieces during that time however not mass produced like the Valjoux, Venus and Landeron movements. This is why you will not find to many Pierce chronographs around that still work properly (they do exists but are scarce) where as the mass market Chrono’s made by Valjoux and Landeron you can still find parts for those chronographs everywhere at least for the common ones like the 7734, 7733, 7750 (I know the 72 and 22 are hard to get umongst others that had a short life)
The Flight commander they have on the site is the only thing that resembles the older Peirce that collectors like to hound over. the newer lines however nice have a lot of stuff going on, Check out a picture of what I think is their basic flight chronograph. There is “A Lot” happening here, shark teeth marking are probably not needed the over expression of the dial marking and the hard core Fluted bezel. Dont get me wrong its a nice watch but just nothing reminiscent of the Pierce of the days passed as it wasnt that “Fancy” watch, it was an Aviators time keeper and even Civilians that purchased them wanted that same kind of feeling when wearing one.
*Update: Looking at the website and some documents in more detail it seems like they are using probably ETA movements in their watches. I have posted on the Watchuseek forum to try and get some more information.
Here are a couple of My Pierce chronographs, I would love to get the single pusher ones as they are the earlier models.
Pierce by the Points
- Came out in 1883
- The in house movements where the Caliber 130 (Single Pusher) and Caliber 134 (Dual Pusher)
- Still Exists as Pierce1883.com
- Built and designed all their own movement
- Single Pusher models where original model then came the double model
- Double pushers came out later
- You can guess the date of your watch by the chronograph markings on the watch (Ie if you have 1000 then its probably one of the later years)
- The watch movements look very complex but they are actually quite simple to service (watchmakers might look at it with all the gears and levers and get scared)
- Here is a well written article on Pierce then and now
Has anyone out there bought one of these new Pierce Chronographs? are they still built with their own movements or have gone the wat of the ETA.
Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment (Have you ever noticed when you put any watch on a leather Rally band they look 10 times nicer?)