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I recently came across some old family watches (probably 1960's). One of them was this Germinal Voltaire, 17 Jewel Automatic.

Looks like there are a couple of handfuls on the swamp. Anyone know anything about the brand?

 

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The first is a landmark french novel by Zola, and the last is a french author. Without knowning anything of substance about the brand, it sounds to me like a rather contrived brand name to create an image of sophistication and elegance. What does the movement look like?
 

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There were possibly a couple hundred of small watch makers who disappeared by the 50s or 60s without leaving a trace of their existence. except for their watches.
Many would buy the different parts from all over, assemble them, and then place their own name on the dial. For one thing, this kept the Swiss farmers from going broke during the alpine winters. I wouldn't hesitate to guess that yours is an example from one of those long-lost watchmakers.

For those of us who appreciate the more conservative styles, your piece is quite handsome!
 
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