Pre-WW2 Paul Vallette Split-Timer
made by Ed. Heuer & Cie. - Ref. 540
Exhibited here is a rare vintage split-seconds timer made by the famous chronograph maker Heuer. It uses a 1/5-second movement based upon the famous caliber in the Semikrograph, Heuer's 1/50th-second timer, little brother to the historic Mikrograph 1/100th-second timer of 1916.
This timer was made for the US market and uses Heuer's Paul Vallette brand name, which was one of a set of alternates used by Ed. Heuer & Cie. and their US partner (Freund) to sell watches in America at a time when consumers preferred French names to German-sounding names (ostensibly as a result of the first World War backlash against Germany). This timer likely dates from the 1930s.
This watch has a stunning enamel dial, blued steel hands, and a lovely silver-plated movement with column-wheel stopwatch activation. The case has two hinged rear covers (with maker's signature) and a snap-on bezel.
Please see my photos below, which include period catalogue entries from Heuer (1930s-1950s). For images of another rare Heuer using a variant of this movement, I invite you to visit this excellent site: http://www.goldschmiede-zwehn.de/mikrographen.htm
Photos: click for larger
Images from a 1936 Heuer catalogue:
Note: serial number of movement in image is slightly newer than the number of the timer on display:
Image from 1946 catalogue:
Text and photographs © C. Bradley Jacobs, WatchCarefully.com