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Nicolet Watch Sub 200 Divers Chronograph - Landeron 248 - Any Info?

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    Posted 10 years ago

    (18 items)

    My girlfriend bought this watch for me for my 40th birthday after I spotted it on eBay for very little money, I think if I remember correctly it was £140 + postage, it was sent from Argentina and so probably cost £20 in postage, so £160 in all. It came on a NATO style (very old) red and black nylon strap but I changed that for an Oyster Type bracelet. It is not a Rolex bracelet, just a good quality after market one without a brand name on it. I had to slightly adapt the bracelet by shaving about 0.5mm from each side to ensure a flush fit (which I managed to achieve) as I hope you can see by the pictures.
    Anyway, I bought the watch first and foremost because I loved the look of it, the Black, Red and White just look perfect, an great colour combination. I then started to do a little research on these watches and low and behold, about a week later I found one on ebay, it was not a Sub 200, but it was a Nicolet Watch fitted with a Landeron 248. It had a gold dial and it was a quite plain looking 2 register chronograph (30 min register) and it was up on a buy it now for £995 and it sold.
    I have not yet come across either another Sub 200 with this same colour combination. Infact I have not come across another Sub 200.
    The watch is my everyday watch, I wind it twice a day, 6 revolutions before bed and 8 in the morning. I barely use the chronograph functions but they do all work correctly and the flyback works as it should with everything shooting straight back to the 12 o'clock position.
    The watch has a serial number engraved/stamped between the lugs, something that is usually associated with either limited edition watches or watches that have come from a quality maker, as each is individually numbered.
    I have had a few people look at it, some say it is most definitely a non commercial NATO issued watch, someone else said that it was a prototype watch that never actually went into mass production.
    My questions then are these:-
    Has anyone else ever seen one of these exact watches in the same colours?
    Has anyone seen one in ANY colours?
    Does anyone know if these were Military Issue Watches to any foreign Armed Forces Unit. With it being a Divers Chronograph, I would suspect a Naval Special Forces type unit, due to the chrono and the waterproofness. Also the movement, the Landeron 248 was in its day one of the best movements available. Landeron were used by great watch makers like Heuer, Breitling, Longines and many others. The watch runs spot on and has never (touch wood) given me any cause for concern. I obviously keep it away from water as its clearly a 1940s/1950s watch and having taken the back off myself, I have seen the perished water seals.
    I personally think it looks great on the steel bracelet as opposed to the NATO strap.
    I will wear this watch as my daily watch forever, I have no doubt it will last that long, for it was my 40th birthday present from my girlfriend (of almost 5 years) and so this watch will NEVER leave my collection, I would though like to know any more about it and in particular if anyone had ever seen one with the same colour scheme.
    Having paid less than £200 for it over a year ago, I already know that it is worth 4 times in the region of what she paid for it, watches are like Classic Cars, so long as you take good care of it and have it serviced, the time piece will only ever increase in value. In 50 years time, mechanical watches may well be obsolete as Quartz movements, Kinetic Movements, Eco Drive (Solar) Movements (all non mechanical) become cheaper to produce and are absolutely 100% accurate and can even be remotely & automatically corrected when the clocks go back or forward. No mechanical watch can do that.
    Some mechanical watch producers will continue to produce mechanical watches, but with the world in the state it is financially, countries bailing out other countries, countries invading other countries, people will want good quality watches, reliable, waterproof and everything else. Quartz are cheaper to produce and have many more functions to offer than most mechanical watches.

    Anyway, lets hope someone can show me where I may find another Sub 200 in the same colour as mine.

    Thank you in advance (and sorry about the rant ^^^^^ up there,) about watch movements.... I often just go on one!

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    1. thehorologist thehorologist, 10 years ago
      Thank you very much, you may of also noticed I put up pictures of the watch on its original NATO strap, the one with which it was issued with when new.
      I have had many a comment on it.
      Nicolet Watches was owned by Charles Nicolet whom was a well known and respected watchmaker from within Switzerland's Basel Valley Region. He produced watches under his name also 'Charles Nicolet' - There is also a new Nicolet on the market 'Armand Nicolet' which seems to be the same Nicolet, but having been taken over by Armand, decided to name the company after himself, just as Charles did in the 1950s. Google Nicolet and Armand Nicolet are to be found in the top 3 or 4 results (their own website) - The prices of the watches they produce today are huge, I found one basically the same as mine (in functionality) on eBay and it is priced at $12,400 but states the retail price is $31,000. Its a steel 2 register Swiss Made Chronograph, the model is Armand Nicolet L07 Limited Edition Steel Chrono Watch Silver 9649A-AG-P964MR2. I am sure if you google that, you will find the watch.
      If indeed Charles Nicolet & Armand Nicolet are of the same family and have continued to produce high quality, Swiss watches since the 40's/50's, then this watch may be worth a damn sight more than originally estimated. I would never part with it as it has sentimental value that far exceeds any monetary value.
      So, does anyone know if Armand Nicolet is somehow related to Charles Nicolet? Does the Nicolet brand still survive today, under the name Armand Nicolet?
      It would make my day if it turns out that Armand is Charles' Son or Grandson. $31,000 US Dollars is £19,600 at todays rate. That is a lot of money for a steel watch, Rolex do not do a steel watch that costs that much, neither do Cartier, Omega, Audemars Piguet and I think its possible to buy a steel Patek Philppe (Brand New) for less than £19,600. If the link is there, then there is a slight possibility that my £160 watch could potentially be worth so much more than the £800 it has been valued at for insurance purposes. Any item of jewellery/watches over a certain amount MUST be registered separately, otherwise chances are they will (the insurance companies) deny your claim should anything ever happen to your watch. Watches to some men are like cars, certainly the case for myself. I would rather own a Rolex Daytona 6262 than a Ferrari. One because the servicing charges are less regular and less expensive and 2, because I have 11 points already, so my insurance would be HUGE for such a car.
      The watch I could wear it everyday, look at it and smile whenever I want too without having to climb inside a dehumidifying tent in order to just sit in my car, should I want to take it out (I live in London) I must drive very carefully until I can hit to old B roads in Surrey and open her up. I'd rather have the watch ANY DAY of the week. A much wiser investment.
      Thank you again for your comment - have yourself a great weekend, and Bank Holiday Monday too.

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