One for the mystery dial collectors and tonneau watch lovers. For sale we have an excellent piece of design from the 1940s by Election, one of their mystery dial watches, seemingly following the same design as the Marvin Gyroplan.
The slate grey dial is original, with central hour disc and outer minute disc. The white painted signing is clear and balanced, creating a stylish display. The tonneau case is formed of Steel and has a facetted design which catches the light. Inside is a manual wind Election calibre 306 movement which is recently serviced.
The mystery dial is known as such due to the un-conventional display of the hours and minutes. On this example, the minutes are indicated by a central disc which has a pointer towards the minutes. The outer disc has a different colour pointer which indicates the hours. The discs spin to demonstrate the time which is a novel and appealing technique.
The first mystery dial configuration was designed by 19th century Frenchman Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin who was known as the father of modern magic. Prior to his magic exploits, he followed his father’s footsteps as a watchmaker.
He designed a clock which he incorporated into his act, with the hands appearing to merely float, with the transparent dial. This was achieved using clear discs with concealed toothed edges, with the mechanism also hidden. Cartier also created the Model A Mystery clock in 1912.
Marvin manufactured the earliest mystery dial wristwatch with the Gyroplan in the late 1930s. Examples were also manufactured by Election in the same design, such as this.
It wasn’t until the 1940s that other makers applied the concept to wristwatches, first by Juvenia, known as the Mystere. It was also used by makers such as Longines, Le-Coultre, Vacheron Constantin, Election and Zodiac.
Examples by Election are quite uncommon and are some of the more stylish examples available. They tend to make use of rectangular and tonneau shaped cases, with this example having a Stainless-Steel case with facetted design. The dial is good and original, of a tonneau shape with pointed sides matching the top of the case. It measures 22mm x 29mm, with a lug-to-lug measurement of 36mm.
Full condition report below. Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
The dial is in good condition for the age. It has some slight wear to small touches of the white painted markers. It is a slate grey tone. It has some light areas of patination, along with some oxidisation in a bronze tone on the lower portion of the dial near 6 O’clock.
Hour & minute discs:
The hour disc is original, with original painted logo and arrow. The minute disc is original with original brushed silver tone finish. There is some loss of the black minute indicators paint.
The acrylic crystal is original and is in good condition with no noticeable marks.
The crown is original and is formed of Stainless Steel.
The case is Stainless Steel and is in good condition. It has a polished finish with light surface scratching associated with age. It is well preserved.
The snap on case back is formed of Stainless Steel. It is in good condition with brushed finish and light surface scratching associated with age.
The watch comes on modern Stainless Beads of rice bracelet, signed “Bear Center Vent”.
The movement is a Record calibre 306. It is a manual wind calibre, with a jewel count of 15. It has a frequency of 18,000 BPH.
The movement has been recently serviced. It keeps time to within +100 seconds a day, with an amplitude of 300 and a beat error of 2.6 m/s.
Case width: 22mm
Case width with crown: 24mm
Case length: 29mm
Case length lug to lug: 36mm
Case Depth: 6.7mm
Lug width: 15mm
top of page
Out of Stock
bottom of page