The Valjoux 23: A Masterpiece of Mechanical Movement Produced for 60 Years

About the Valjoux 23


The Valjoux 23 is a manual winding chronograph that began production in 1916. This model is a movement created around the time when watches on the market were transitioning from pocket watches to mechanical wristwatches, and since its development it has undergone many improvements and has produced various successors, making it a model that has continued to be used for many years.
Some watch experts say that the Valjoux 23 is one of the top five movements for manual-wound chronographs, and it is such a popular movement that it is said that any watch collector who does not have a Valjoux 23 cannot be called a true collector.

Features of the Valjoux 23

The main functions of the Valjoux 23 include a subdial that displays seconds, and a 30- or 45-minute measurement function, and the hand-wound power reserve function allows for 48 hours of continuous operation.

Measuring 13 lignes (29.5 mm) in diameter and 5.82 mm thick, early models had a single pusher at the 2 o'clock position on the dial, which controlled the chronograph.
Models from 1938 onwards are equipped with two pushers: the pusher at the 2 o'clock position starts and stops the timing function, and the pusher at the 4 o'clock position resets it.
Later models used Breguet hairsprings and had a precision adjustment system called Triovis. There are also many derivatives of the Valjoux 23, including some with flyback functions (note 1), calendar displays, and moon phase displays.
The most famous movement bearing the Valjoux name is the Valjoux 72, which is a model based on the Valjoux 23. The Valjoux 72 is characterized by the fact that it has three subdials and a time measurement function of more than one hour at the 6 o'clock position on the dial.

The Widely Used Valjoux 23

Due to its excellent performance, the Valjoux 23 is used in the watches of many famous manufacturers, for example, Rolex and Longines use the Valjoux 23 in their movements. Longines used the Valjoux 23 in the watch they made to commemorate the 1972 Munich Olympics, and Rolex uses the Valjoux 23 in their products such as the model 3525.
The Rolex Model 3525, equipped with the Valjoux 23, was produced from 1939 until 1945. This watch was one of the first to feature the famous Oyster case, and was a high-performance watch equipped with a tachymeter (note 1) and telemeter (note 2). It had a unique color scheme, but a very sophisticated design, and was painted with radium to make the dial easier to read at night. However, the use of radium in watchmaking declined after the dangers of radium came into question, and the use of radium as a luminous paint was banned in Switzerland in 1963.

The Valjoux 23 is the successor to the Valjoux 22, and there are many movements that have been derived from the Valjoux 23.
For example, the Valjoux 230 is a model that has a flyback function on the Valjoux 23, and there is also the Valjoux 232, which is a model with a smaller crown than the Valjoux 23. The Valjoux 23c has two subdials like the 23, and adds a calendar display function to it. The famous Valjoux 72 is a model with three subdials, and there is also the Valjoux 720, which is a 72 with a flyback function.
One of the more unusual models is the Valjoux 88, which features a moon phase function in addition to its basic functions, making it extremely rare.
As such, the Valjoux 23 is a movement with excellent performance and many derivatives, and is a popular model that was produced for approximately 60 years, from 1916 to 1974. If you see a product equipped with a Valjoux 23, be sure to pick it up and experience its excellent performance for yourself.
(Note 1) Flyback function: A function that allows you to reset and restart measurements by simply pressing a button once. This function is ideal for piloting an aircraft, sailing a ship, scuba diving, etc.

(Note 2) Tachometer: A meter used to measure speed. It calculates speed per hour based on the time it takes to travel 1 kilometer.

(Note 3) Telemeter: A meter for measuring distance. It calculates distance by utilizing the difference in the speed of light and sound.
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