Excelsior Park always gave me the impression of being a younger watch maker until I read a little about the history of this fine watch brand. In fact the company was started over 130 years ago by a young Swiss gentleman by the name of Jules-Frederic Jeanneret. Jeaneret was fascinated by all things horological in nature, but was especially interested in measuring periods of time, and of course he wanted to incorporate this feature into his watch designs.
It would appear that Jeaneret's sons were just as enthusiastic as their Father and in 1891 Excelsior Park produced their first chronograph watch. Two years later his three sons had all but taken over the running of the company from their ageing Father, and soon the company was producing a very large range of wrist watches, most of which incorporated a timing mechanism.
Their range of watches proved to be very attractive and popular with the buying public during the early and mid part of the 1900s and included many chronographs, including a split-seconds model. The high quality of Excelsior Park movements is well known and they have even been compared with Patek Philippe movements, a rare and impressive statement for this fine brand.
Unfortunately the company fell victim to the quartz watch boom in the mid 1980s and despite many attempts to keep the company alive it was placed in to liquidation. It is a shame for the company but for collectors, it does mean that these wonderful watches are no longer being made and therefore rarity plays an important part in values today and in the future.
For the collector, there really are some great watches from the 1940s and 50s that are still available at very realistic prices. For a complicated watch including chronograph and stop watch functions, expect to pay around $3000, but that is for a watch in excellent condition. As you can see there are still bargains to be had!
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