Today on #TBT we’ll discuss a special chronograph in the Excelsior Park Monte Carlo. As you’ll come to see, the watch is more than the amount of its parts. That is an outstanding assertion since this EP is really a watch made of parts; consider it the actual consequence of the familiar proverb, “when life you gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Except for this situation, the lemonade was made because of extra lemons discovered somewhere else. Befuddled? Peruse on…
Here on Fratello, we’ve invested energy examining Excelsior Park . We’ve covered a watch marked with the name, however we’ve invested more energy seeing watches created by the brand for other people, in particular Gallet. To recap, Excelsior Park was a memorable watchmaker that created its own developments. They did retail their own watches yet additionally fabricated pieces for Girard-Perregaux, Zenith, and, indeed, Gallet. In 1983, the noteworthy company ran into genuine monetary issues as the quartz emergency grabbed hold and they were before long bankrupt. A German concern, Flume, bought the name with an end goal to once again introduce the brand.
The Excelsior Park Monte Carlo you see here notwithstanding a dark dialed variation is the fleeting aftereffect of that adventure. Tragically, this item didn’t demonstrate exceptionally fruitful and we’ve not seen anything new from the EP name since.
Aside from the actual brand, the Excelsior Park Monte Carlo is really a wild mixture of components from past watches. In case you’re an understudy of the vintage game, you could very well perceive the case and bezel. Maybe a dark dialed Monte Carlo would make things more self-evident, yet you are taking a gander at a similar case and an elaborately comparative turning bezel (the Zenith was painted versus the trim on the EP) from the popular Italian military chronograph that was given in the 1960’s. It’s intriguing on the grounds that most placed the EP’s age in the mid-late 1980’s, however no doubt about it, the case is basically the equivalent. It’s completely done in hardened steel and comes in at a solid 43mm in measurement with a length of 52mm. 13.5mm is the thickness from the screw on the off chance that back to the highest point of the flush fitting, scarcely rising acrylic crystal.
As you can see, the Excelsior Park Monte Carlo looks incredible on the wrist and conveys some genuine presence. It looks great on an assortment of lashes and I’ve seen it a few times on everything from lattice to a Breitling-marked shellfish wristband (here’s one available to be purchased – and more on Breitling later).
Interestingly, the Excelsior Park Monte Carlo implies itself as to some degree a jumping chronograph in spite of 50m of water opposition. We’ve referenced the rock solid case back, however the minutes bezel proceeds down the jumping way with its uni-directional usefulness and 60 ticks. The crown further concretes its motivation as it screws into the case. Regardless of its exemplary chronograph looks, there’s no uncertainty that it’s somewhat nutty with its undersea goals. The solitary other watch inside my assortment that I can suitably compare it to is the fiercely unconventional Bulova Sea Hunter chronograph that we two or three years back – and remember the Bulova name as I will specify them again later. That Sea Hunter, incidentally, was likewise created during this peculiar period.
Looking at the dial, the Excelsior Park Monte Carlo utilizes an oar bolt tipped focal chronograph hand and principle hour/minutes hands that are additionally cribbed plan astute from the old Cairelli. The actual dial has a matte white foundation with dazzling tritium lume Arabic numerals at the hours and a dark section ring demonstrating the minutes. The three sub registers are done in a brilliant white and contain the essential scored surfacing that we’re so used to seeing on chronographs to help make clear difference. It’s a damn gorgeous, decipherable, and deliberate chronograph and positions as one of the better Pentecostal endeavors that I’ve come across (I’m taking a gander at you Universal Geneve). Yet, at that point the eye stops at around the 4:30 imprint and spies a boxed date window. One’s fringe vision at that point sees that the most reduced sub register is ticking away with the seconds. What the heck is inside this watch?
We’re happy you asked on the grounds that the Excelsior Park Monte Carlo is controlled by a development that is infrequently seen. Indeed, we would now be able to say that on Fratello Watches, we’ve surveyed a watch with the to some degree uncommon, and unquestionably “weirdo”, Valjoux 7740. The development is a type 11/12-based manual wind unit and it is unique. Here, rather than a little rotor, we are blessed to receive one more sub register at 6:00. As referenced, it contains a date wheel (non quickset shockingly), a 12-hour register, running seconds at 6:00 and 30-minute register. It’s an intriguing little piece of horological history that had recently been utilized by Breitling in a portion of its Navitimer models (the 7806) and Bullhead during the 1970’s. Heuer utilized a variation too. Jeff Stein composed a decent on the advancement of the model here.
So, how did such a development end up in the Excelsior Park Monte Carlo? Breitling, regardless of its present achievement, went down a similar way as Excelsior Park and was basically bankrupt in 1979. Accordingly, there was a liquidation of developments and different components. The previous Breitling it appears, possessed the 7740’s found inside the Monte Carlos. We accept this in light of the fact that the scaffolds on all the Monte Carlos have been machined to delete Breitling name. Beside the insane history, the 7740 is really a pleasant development to work – and in my book, significantly more fulfilling than any type 11-based automatic.
Trying to bits together extra data on the Excelsior Park Monte Carlo is troublesome, best case scenario. There are anecdotes about all out creation runs of 50 or 100 for each dial tone, however I battle to discover those reports indisputable. Bulova – indeed, I referenced the name would return – additionally showcased a Marine Star utilizing a similar case with either a dark or white dial utilizing a Valjoux 7731 (some 7740’s are referred to exist also), yet I have been not able to see if they and the EP’s were collected in similar workshops. LouS composed a comparing the Bulova and EP to the acclaimed Zenith.
Looking for an Excelsior Park Monte Carlo can be troublesome, yet they appear to spring up in waves. As of now, there are a number available to be purchased right now on chrono24. For reasons unknown, most Monte Carlos will in general be in decent condition. I do see some with marks and scratches attributable to their bigger size, yet there’s little motivation to agree to a fair model. Valuing is something entertaining on these chronographs as they range from generally $3,000 to above $5,000. I don’t know whether many sell at that upper level, however the size, peculiarity, and blended family in any event highlight a watch that should collect intrigue in the future.
The Excelsior Park Monte Carlo is an uncommon neo-vintage chronograph that should check a ton of boxes for gatherers. It’s enormous, steel, contains a manual breeze development, and flaunts a decipherable dial with heaps of tritium lume. It’s additionally moderately reasonable in the event that one can be found on the lower end of the scale and ought to give fair space to increase after some time. Most amazing aspect all, however, the Monte Carlo was made utilizing some critical pieces from brands past to make an incredible looking end result. Until sometime later…