Minerva - START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs Geneva Friday, May 13, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Minerva
    Year: Circa 1935
    Movement No: 520'023
    Case No: 469'024
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 19-9, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel buckle
    Dimensions: 46mm diameter

  • Catalogue Essay

    Brothers Charles and Hyppolite Robert founded H. & C. Robert in 1858, ultimately becoming Minerva in 1887. The brand achieved worldwide recognition for their exceptional military chronograph wristwatches, and is today well known for producing movements at the highest level of luxury.

    The present watch from approximately 1935 is a wonderful example, with a snail-shaped tachometer ring located at the center of the dial and a telemeter scale found on the outer edge of the dial. The white printed scales are clearly visible against the black dial, providing stunning contrast. By conclusion, we can assume it was made for members of the army, particularly pilots, giving them the ability to quickly and easily read it. Additionally, the watch features a rotating bezel with a triangular shaped luminous marker, matching the luminous Arabic hour markers and hands.

    A single button chronograph, the present watch is extremely oversized with a diameter measuring 46mm, and is fitted with a massive crown – two important qualities for a pilot’s watch to possess. One can assume the size of the crown and pusher was made so pilots could engage the chronograph function with ease while wearing gloves in cold climates at 20,000 feet in the air. The caseback is stamped 469’024, with the last two numbers ‘24’ found underneath the lug. Showing few signs of prior wear, the watch was well preserved over its some 80-year life span. Watches such as the present one are not easily found in today’s market, making it a true find for the pilot’s watch enthusiast.


A very rare and oversized stainless steel pilot’s single-button chronograph wristwatch with black dial, rotatable bezel with triangular shaped luminous markers, tachometer and telemeter scales.

Circa 1935
46mm diameter

CHF10,000 - 20,000 

Sold for CHF13,750

Contact Specialist
Livia Russo
+41 22 317 81 86

START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs

Geneva Auction 14 May 2016