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Last modified: 26 jul 2003


Ulysse Nardin Royal Dutch Navy chronograph

Another illusive watch in my collection: a Ulysse Nardin chronograph, issued to the Royal Dutch Navy.

Detail of the face (Click for full view)
click on image for a full view

This watch, purchased by my father on a garage sale for a ridiculous price, sprung to eye because of a mark on the dial, an ancre with a crown over it, and sided by the letters K and M. Offentimes, these letters indicate being property of the German Kriegsmarine, but the crown over the ancre suggested otherwise, since Germany has been a republic (or non-monarchal) country since before WW II. This, and the fact that I had seen this emblem before on a stopwatch which I knew came from the Royal Dutch Navy, led to the conclusion that these letters stand for Koninklijke Marine, or Royal Navy in Dutch.

But that is where my knowledge stops. All the markings and clues indicate that this watch is original, signed on dial, case and movement - a wonderful Valjoux 23 it appears.

I had seen chronograph wrist watches of the Dutch Navy before, but never made by, and thus signed, Ulysse Nardin. I know very little about this watch, and am still awaiting information from several sources. Of course I will publish any more information when I find it.

Update 26-07-2003

The watch has undergone a thorough restoration. A complete overhaul of case, dial and movement by veery skilled craftsmen. More details about the restoration will be published later.

Meanwhile, my research about this watch has progressed. In an email, Ulysse Nardin confirmed it to be original, that the movement is BASED on a 13"' Valjoux caliber, and that is was manufactured in 1947. They could not provide details about for whom it was produced.

After restorationMy watchmaker has confirmed that it is a Valjoux 72, without the hours section installed. The finishing of the movement is exceptionally good, much higher than the standard Valjoux 72. The theory is that the Valjoux 72 was used to provide the option to manufacture the watch with or without hour register in the chronograph mechanics, a practice also seen in Breguet military chronograph.

The saga continues...