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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have a Wakmann two register chronograph with the Valjoux 7734
movement. The movement is signed "Charles Gigandet".
Does this fact make the watch any more rare or collectible?
Thanks, Jim
 

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Sorry. Gigandet movements are normal for Wakmann watches.

Charles Gigandet is a company, not a person. Technically, it was Charles Gigandet SA of Tramelan, Switzerland. They started in 1959 and were a private label company making movements for others, and had Breitling among their clients. Wakmann has been described as a junior company of Breitling, much like Tudor is to Rolex.
It would seem that around 1998 Charles Gigandet somehow morphed into the Blanchefontaine Watch Company.

HISTORY
1959 The Charles Gigandet SA company is founded in Tramelan, in the canton of Bern.
1989 Jean-François Muller becomes the Manager and then Owner of Charles Gigandet SA.
1994 Sébastien Muller joins the Charles Gigandet SA family company and takes charge of the R&D department.
1997 Christiane Muller joins the company as a Microtechnology Designer and Technical Manager.
1998 The Muller family sells its production company to the Victorinox AG group, based in the canton of Schwyz.
1998 Sébastien Muller becomes the Manager of Victorinox Watch SA and Christiane Muller becomes Quality Manager.
1998 Creation of Blanchefontaine SA, specialising in Private Label business, 100% owned by the Muller family.
2008 New business strategy, new concept and new business position.
2010 Sébastien Muller leaves the Victorinox group and returns to work at the family business.
2011 Christiane Muller joins the Blanchefontaine SA family business as a Designer in charge of new product development.
Source: The Blanchefontaine website history page

At times, watches with Gigandet movements, especially Wakmanns, are readily available on eBay. They do not realize unusually large sale prices and one can almost call them "affordable. But they are good dependable watches and should not be
dismissed lightly. Yours is worth taking care of!

BTW- if you'd care to throw us a couple pics of your watch (and that movement) we'd love to see them!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wakmann Gigandet Photos

Here are a couple of pix of my new Wakmann. I found it last Sunday in a box of junk at a local flea market. I had never heard of Wakmann, so I thought that I was purchasing a cheap project watch. It was pretty scratched, the chrono feature didn't work, and one of the small hands had come off. I got it running and polished up and am rather pleased with it.
Anyway, I asked the guy how much he wanted for it.
He said "Two bucks".
I said "O.K."
I was sort of surprised when I went online and found out it was a somewhat desirable piece. I guess the $2 was a good investment.:)
Thanks for the response, Jim Watch Brown Analog watch Clock Watch accessory
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Clock Font
 

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Great anecdote.
To quote a line from National Treasure: "Why does this never happen to me"?

Thanks for the pics...enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your Basic Hobbyist

Yeah, I do all my own watch stuff. I have a really crummy old staking set, and some rather disreputable screwdrivers, but I get by.
At the same flea market two years ago, I found a Zodiac Olympos for the same price: two bucks. It has the 70-72 movement which had a few problems including a slipping offset cannon pinion, but I got it working well.
Unfortunately, someone took what looks to be the original Olympos dial and had it refinished in red and had it signed Glorious. The hands are also incorrect for an Olympos. But, I figure a good Zodiac movement and gold case for $2 isn't so bad.
They have the flea market every Sunday, so maybe tomorrow I'll find something else.
A month ago, I passed up a Nivada Grenchen rectangular watch marked Antarctic. It wasn't exactly pristine and they wanted $10.
Did I make a mistake by not buying that one?
Thanks again for the comments, Jim in occupied Seattle
 

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"Mistake" is too harsh a term to use. Although worth more than that ten dollar price tag, Nivada was just one of over two hundred + small private watchmaking firms that emerged from Switzerland over the years and flourished, only to die at the beginning of quartz technology. You'd literally go crazy (and broke) if you worried about every watch like that one. I'd rather see you wait until you find one that truly appeals to your heart instead of the urge to snag a mere bargain.

I speak of Nivada in the past tense because even though there's Nivada Watch Company in existence right now, they're really not the same. As I said, Nivada disappeared and some company in Mexico bought the rights to the Nivada name around the year 2000.
 
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