Internet Horology Club 185
Question about CLIVE brand Swiss Wristwatches

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June 20, 2017, 13:24
Jim Hester
Question about CLIVE brand Swiss Wristwatches
Hello everyone. I normally hang out over on the Military timepiece area, but I have a question about a wristwatch that was left to me by my father. It is marked with its maker's name "CLIVE" and at the bottom edge it says "SWISS". This has a black dial with radium painted numbers and hands, and a red second hand. The dial is also marked "17 JEWEL", "WATERPROOF, and "SHOCK PROTECTED". The overall size of the case is small, but typical for watches of the WW 2 or soon after WW 2 time period when this was made. The outer diameter of the case, excluding the crown is 1 1/8 inches (28mm). excluding the crown. The back of the case is blank except for an engraving to my father who was with Pan American Airways at the time - it has his name and P.A.A. on it.

I have not been able to find out anything about this Swiss wristwatch maker - CLIVE - by searching around this forum or on the internet, nor has anyone I have spoken to yet known about this watchmaker. I am hoping some of the wristwatch experts here might be able to tell me something about this wristwatch and its maker.

Here is a photo of the dial of this wristwatch:

July 08, 2017, 21:55
Jim Hester
Have I stumped the experts? Has anyone heard of the Swiss watchmaker CLIVE? This is a very well made wristwatch. It even has a hacking function.
July 09, 2017, 01:21
Bila Wirriganwalters
Are you sure Jim that the name "Clive" is not an after sale add-on? Looks to be of a different type of application to the rest of the dial and extremely cramped. As are the 13-24 hour markers(they also are different to the name).
July 09, 2017, 08:22
Dan Carter
A view of the movement might prove useful to determining more about this watch. I agree with Bila on the font on the dial. To be sure though the dial layout, minus the 24hour marks and "CLIVE", would look familiar to someone in the group?
July 11, 2017, 02:48
Jim Hester
The CLIVE is the same paint/ink as the 13 - 24 hour markings. As to whether they were added afterwards I am pretty sure they were not as the paint/ink does have age in keeping with the rest of the markings and I personally know the original owner to whom it was issued by Pan Am I know that the CLIVE and numbers were there along with all of the other markings from the very first day it was issued. Perhaps the entire set of dial markings could have been special ordered by Pan Am Airways from CLIVE when they purchased these wristwatches for their senior staff back then?

I do not have the proper tool to open the back at this time, but I will try to see if I can find a local jeweler who might be able to do it so I can take a photo of the movement inside. This might take a few days, though.
July 11, 2017, 07:32
Mark Cross
Reminds me of my Dad's 1943 Lipton, which is considered a 'Canadian Rolex', and was popular during the late 30's through the 1940's

Mine has a 17j Rolex movement, and Rolex sold them with a multitude of dials and company names and sold them overseas in Canada and the U. S.

They were smaller watches, and advertised as perfect graduation gifts for the high school and college student of the day.

I won't be surprised if you find a Rolex under the hood if it falls into that group. It sure looks like one. Does it have a screw down crown?

Regards! Mark
July 15, 2017, 12:55
Jim Hester
Thanks for the idea, Mark. This is a possibility since it was purchased by Pan American Airways and I doubt that they would have been buying dollar watches for their senior employees to use.

Over the past few days I have taken this to 4 watch shops and one watchmaker and none of them could figure out how to open it up or have said they do not want to for fear of something going wrong and their not wanting to be responsible. I have not yet taken it to a master watchmaker but I am thinking of doing that.

On the back behind each of the 4 lugs there is a worm screw angling slightly inwards. The watchmaker I showed it to tried taking them out and sliding the back with the movement out as one assembly, but he was not able to wiggle it out easily with just his fingers and so he did not try to force it out and he put the worm screws back in. I am guessing that this might be the way it does open up given that you can see there is a small cutaway into which the winding stem is laid into the case.

Can anyone recommend a skilled watchmaker in the Maryland area who has fair prices and quality work? I am thinking that I should go ahead and have an expert clean and overhaul this watch even though I know it will not be inexpensive.

July 16, 2017, 17:56
Dan Carter
Could this come up through the front? Perhaps the crystal comes off and allows you to alight the split stem and remove the movement that way? My Certina is like that. Never seen the angled screw though...
July 18, 2017, 02:03
Jim Hester
Thanks, Dan. Possibly the way it comes apart is like that. By the way, there are 4 worm screws - one at each of the 4 corners next to each lug. This shows just 1 of the 4. I guess the watchmaker really wanted to ensure it did not accidentally come apart or perhaps ensure no dust or moisture could get in?

Today I took it to a very experienced 3rd generation watchmaker who was trained in watchmaking and repair in Switzerland to have it fully serviced to ensure it lasts a long time and can be run without worries. It should take several weeks to get it back and I asked him to please let me know what kind of movement it has inside once he can get it apart and disassembled can cleaned and oiled and any worn out parts replaced. I will report back once this is completed.