Minerva VD712 Chronograph
About This Watch:The Minvera Watch Company has been in business for over 160 years, producing several notable timepieces, including the VD12 Chronograph with the legendary Valjoux 72 movement during the mid-1950s through the 1970s. The Valjoux 72 is arguably the finest manual-wind movement ever produced, utilized in several notable timepieces such as the Rolex Daytona, the Heuer Carrera, and the Breitling Navitimer timepieces of the same era. Designed for military use, the VD12 has the classic three sub-register dial configuration at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, blued hands, and a screw-down case back.
The History: Minerva Watch Company was founded by two brothers, Charles & Hyppolite Robert, in 1858, under the name “H. & C. Robert.” Based in Villeret, Switzerland, the brothers began constructing pocket watches utilizing components from neighboring manufacturers until 1908, when the company produced its own stopwatch and chronograph movements. Branding themselves as “Minerva” in 1923, the company was taken over from the Robert family in 1934 by Jacques Pelot and Charles Haussener, whose leadership brought Minerva Watch Company’s appointment as the official time-keepers of the 1936 Winter Olympic skiing events.
The Watch: This Minerva VD12 Chronograph has a 36mm stainless steel case with a solid screw-down case back and an acrylic crystal. The white dial features three sub-registers at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, with blued sub-dial hands, blued hour and minute hands filled with lume, and a blued chronograph second hand. The hour markers are lumed Arabic-style numerals. The movement for the VD12 is a manual-wind Valjoux 72.
The Details: This Minerva VD12 Chronograph case appears to be unpolished, with sharp lines still present throughout. The lume on the hour markers and hands has developed a patina visible in the photographs. This timepiece comes with an aftermarket brown leather strap with stainless steel tang-style buckle.