Chrono Valjoux 7734
This watchs history:
I came upon this watch in may 2003 while strolling through what has become my favorite auctionsite, e-bay. I instantly recognised the lay-out of the chrono registers and the date. This HAD to be a Valjoux 7734 chrono movement. I was comtemplating a Poljot chrono watch, the one with a Poljot 3133 movement. The Poljot 3133 movement is based on the Valjoux 7734. I loved the looks of this Dugena watch. The yellow hands reminded me of my Omega Dynamic Chrono, and the watch seemed to be in great condition. I did a bid, and won the auction.
Brand and Reference:
Dugena is a brand I heard of before, but I was not familiar with it. Little information can be found on the Internet. Sure, they have their own website, but not much information can be found even there. This is what I found at the Dugena website:
"DUGENA - 100 years history. The
roots of the German watch brand DUGENA date back to the 'Union Horlogere', a guild founded
by watchmakers in Switzerland in 1900. Some 17 years later, the watch factories in
Biel-Genf-Glashütte merged with the united Glashütten ALPINA, which shortly afterwards
set up a branch in Germany under the name of 'Alpina Deutsche Uhrmachergenossenschaft'
(Alpina German watchmaker's guild).
The circle in the triangle. - The watchmaker's sign of quality.
The name 'DUGENA German watchmakers guild' appears for the first time in 1942 in Berlin, when it was decided to change the name Alpina to DUGENA.. Ever since, the circle in the triangle has been the DUGENA logo - the watchmaker's sign for quality in Germany.
Tradition and innovation, skilfully united.
Today, the brand-name DUGENA combines watchmakers quality with modern design, and offers not only the popular DUGENA ornament watches but also fashionable sports watches and jewellery.
DUGENA is a brand available in all good jewellers and department stores."
So Basicly, what once was a good watch manufacture, had now become a Boutique Brand. I don't like Boutique Brands. Nevertheless I like the watch that is subject to this review.
I don't know the reference number for this watch. It is obvious that the watch is a product of the 19-seventies.
This was the first watch I bought mainly because of the innerwork, the movement. Like said, under the dial a Valjoux 7734 is ticking at 18.000 a/h.
The Valjoux 7734 is a handwind movement, belonging to the 773- family. The 7733 (with 30- or 45 minute counter), the 7734 (with added date function), and the 7736 (with 12 hour counter). The 773- family was introduced in 1969, and production ceased in 1978. Less than 2 million movements were produced alltogether. The Russians got a grip of the remains of the production line, and adapted and modified this movement. The Poljot 3133 (as it was named) is still widely available in many many Russian chrono's.
Below are the technical data of the Valjoux 7734, and a comparison with the Poljot 3133.
|Valjoux 7734||Poljot 3133|
|Power reserve||36 hours||42 hours|
The 7334 movement in the Dugena is a very good condition. Clean, crisp, as if the movement was manufactured just last year. Engravings on the movement itself are: "DUGENA" "4003", "SEVENTEEN" "17" "JEWELS", and the Valjoux logo .
Chrono functions are still perfect, zeroing is OK. And the watch is, much to surprise still very accurate at +6 seconds a day. Not bad at all for an oldie. The ticking of the movement is very audible.
Case, crown and crystal:
The case is typical 1970's. Rather large, squarish, and a lot of steel. But it is not out of proportion on this watch. The watch is 11mm high, including the (domed) synthetic crystal, and 36mm wide excluding the (non-signed) crown. From lug to lug the watch is 41mm.
The caseback has got a few engravings: "SHOCK RESISTANT", "STAINLESS STEEL", "WATERRESISTANT", "SWISS MADE", and "157".
The caseback comes of very easy. On the inside of the caseback some further engravings can be found, including an indication on the year of production of this watch. "BREVET" "508925", "9-73",
and a little engraving that looks like this
The 9-73 could mean that the watch was produced in september 1973. The case design would fit that era, and the movement was still produced in 1973. By the way: BREVET is PATENT in french, not the name of the case manufacturer, as I first thought.
Dial and hands:
I like the dial a lot. Beautiful brushed steel, applied markers, a black tachymetre scale on the outside, and two black registers. At three the 30 minutes totaliser, and at 9 the small seconds. The date is placed at 6. The chrono hands are in yellow. The 30 minute register is divided in yellow and black parts of 5 minutes each. This makes it very easy to read the elapsed time. Strangely the small seconds hand is also yellow. I would have liked it more if it was in white. Engravings on the dial are: "DUGENA" under the Dugena logo, "17 JEWELS", "INCABLOC", "T-SWISS MADE-T".The T is indicating that Tritium is used for luminosity.
Another strange thing is that the register at 3 does not touch the black tachymetre scale. A milimeter of brushed steel is visible. The small seconds register however touches the black tachymtre scale, not showing any brushed steel in between. This must be a design-flaw.
This Dugena is aestetic nic