Kelek was founded in 1896, during the year of the first Olympic games in Athens, by Emest Gorgerat, who established his new company in the well known Swiss watch town La Chaux-de-fonds which later became the mecca of horology, attracting the finest craftsmen, artists and engineers in the watch manufacturing industry. In the early years the company became well known for exceptional craftmanship while producing complicated watches, mainly for military purposes. Later and under the stewardship of Chief Executive Gabriel Feuvrier, Kelek carries on its remarkable reputation and makes a name particularly as a specialist for complications, establishes a cooperation with Breitling, and is instrumentally involved in the development of some complications for them. This cooperation, in 1997, culminated in a "corporate marriage" and since 2002 this is called "Breitling Chronometrie".
The International Watch Museum has four representative Kelek mechanical watches and there is good reason for this. During the Quartz revolution in the 1970s, Gabriel Feuvrier not only resisted to the trend of companies switching to the new technology, but insisted on perfecting mechanical movements by making them more technically sophisticated, and by improving their designs for greater exclusivity!!
On offer is a beautifully preserved "Big Eye" chronograph by Kelek from that era. Unpolished case with sharp lines and signs of use but no hits, dents etc, having only surface scratches. Dimension at 40mm w/out the crown (43 crown included).
Spotless light blue dial with white minutes inner bezel and Tritium applied hour markers. Big eye white minute subdial on the right and seconds subdial on the left. Original white hour and minute hands and orange chronograph and subdial hands. Original crown and pushers. Tritium lume on hour markers and hands is present starting to show its age, turning into cream/light grey colour. Orange chrono and subdial hands have faded to a nice light yellow hue.
Inside, the well known robust Valjoux 7733 movement, serviced in 2017, keeping excellent time, showing just -1sec per day. Chronograph starts, stops and resets as it should.
Overall, a completely original Kelek chronograph from the 70s that has been worn, but never abused and ready to be worn and enjoyed!!