a look at an Observatory Movement

A fellow Lounger send me these scans and kindly allowd me to share the information.

As you may know Observatory movements were the equivalent in some way to F1 motors, not for everyday use per se but a proof of a brand's know how and a watchmaker's dexterity. 

For a more in depth look at the history of Observatory trials have a look at my article on the Chronometre Royal which can be found in the All Articles section.

The following movement is a RA 17 (17 lignes) Extra AB movement from the 30s (of which only 4 were made). It was thinner than the production piece counterparts and had a higher level of finsish as is shown by the golden chattons. It stayed in VC stock til the 40. VC do not have the trial results though a look at an Observatory Movement

a look at an Observatory Movement 

notice the regulating system:

a look at an Observatory Movement
Cool Alex! Is 389065 the mvmt number? nt
01/09/2009 - 15:39
yes (nt)
01/09/2009 - 16:53
Re: a look at an Observatory Movement
01/10/2009 - 17:50
Thanks for the picture. I am amazed at the utilitarian look of the movement. Obviously Geneva stripe embellishments do little to enhance the performance of the watch but if you changed the name to JLC or Omega I would be hard pressed to tell the difference. The picture makes it difficult to tell but is this a bimetallic Guillaume balance with a blue steel Breguet overcoil spring? I particularly like the polished gold tip of the escape wheel bridge. Is there a reason for this?  These state of the art movements greatly advanced mechanical watch precision and were the forerunners to electrical movements, than tuning fork movements and finally the most accurate portable movement today, the quartz movement (the bane of all watch collectors and unjustly so).  I believe an oscillating quartz crystal is ubiquitous in virtually all modern electronic and computer equipment. Therefore, one might logically conclude that these were part of the stepping stones to the current information age. Thanks again. Mike S.