Welcome to October, and welcome back to our Historical Horology series. Today, we”re going to have another look at the ever-present Valjoux 7750, and some of the quirks of it”s early development.
These days, many recognize the 7750 as a great movement, and it shows up in a variety of different makes and models. When it was released in the early Seventies, it was one of the first movements coming to the market that was aided in its creation by a computer. This computer usage resulted in a movement that was reliable and quite durable. It also saw the complicated column wheel replaced in favor of a simpler (though less aesthetically-pleasing) cam system for the chronograph.
But, wait! you say – the 7750″s I see today have column wheels! And that is indeed true, for the most part – the column wheel, though technically a step back in some regards, has gotten back into the 7750, as it”s a sign of watchmaking prowess, given how precisely the piece has to be made. It”s also a design decision, as the three-dimensional column wheel certainly looks much nicer (and more impressive) than the more utilitarian, stamped, cam design.
The creator of the 7750, Edmond Capt, wasn”t concerned with the aesthetics, however – he was looking for a robust movement that could be affordably made. By removing the complex column wheel from the equation, he managed to hit the mark that was set for him. And, sure, the cam may not look attractive, but apparently the 7750 was never intended to be a luxury movement – those inside the industry apparently refer to it as a “tractor” movement. Since it”s introduction, however, the finishing and appearance of the 7750 have been greatly improved, and the column wheel has made a comeback in the movement, resulting in what we”re more familiar with today.
If you”d like to get a more in-depth look at this topic, as well as some musings on tradition versus innovation, head on over to WatchProjects.com and check out the article.
All images courtesy of WatchProjects