The Angelus Watch Company began life in 1891, started by two brothers in the Swiss village of Le Locle, home of many famous watch brands. The Stolz brothers incorporated many advanced mechanisms into their watches at an early stage and because of their ingenuity, won many prizes for excellence. Producing both wrist and pocket watches, the company soon established itself as a major force in horological circles.
Their innovation continued throughout the next thirty years, and just before WWII they introduced a wrist watch that was somewhat rare at the time, a chronograph named the Chronodato. The company fitted the movement into many different styles of case and due to its accurate performance it became the company's top selling timepiece.
Angelus was certainly not afraid to make bold decisions and in 1957 they embarked on what would be their most ambitious project to date, an automatic wrist watch nicknamed the "Tinkler" with a quarter-repeating complication. The watch was finally completed, but only a very small number were ever manufactured; in the order of 100.
The process had proved to be somewhat more complex and expensive than the company thought, and the resulting cost of the watch proved to be a major hurdle. Few were sold and the watch was withdrawn from sale. As a collector, if you can find one of these it would be a magnificent and valuable addition to any collection.
Angelus continued its production of fine quality watches through the decades and in 1978 made another exceptional timepiece; a five-minute repeating wrist watch. Whether the company knew that its days were numbered when it produced this watch we may never know, but the age of the quartz watch was approaching.
As with any company, without adequate financial backing eventually something has to give. For Angelus the increase in popularity of quartz watches proved disastrous and the company closed its doors in the early 1980s.
For the collector, these watches represent excellent value for money. Many can be found still for sale with complicated movements and fine looking dials. Eight day watches, chronographs, day/date, moon phase and alarm functions can all be found on Angelus watches, and all mechanical movements at extremely modest prices.
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