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Interesting 56-H auction result from late 2013

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  • Interesting 56-H auction result from late 2013

    http://en.argusdesmontres.com/antiqu...55400_1288.php

    I stumbled across this listing from Antiquorum and though it worth sharing with the forum.
    All the goodies were included:
    Accompanied by the original warranty and COSC certificate and original fitted box
    B
    Last edited by Watch Carefully; 01-06-2014, 04:18 PM.

  • #2
    Gorgeous. Probably worth every penny. Did "we" know that Rado only built 911?
    Solve all your doubts through question mode.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Henry Krinkle View Post
      Did "we" know that Rado only built 911?
      Yes, it was published in Fritz Von Osterhausen's book Wristwatch Chronometers (Callwey Verlag, Munich, 1996):



      What "we" may not be sure of is whether this number includes the non-56-H models such as Ref. 11821 (with the Mido-like Chronometer appliqué on the dial). I suspect they are included in the 911 count, which makes the 56-H models rarer than I originally thought (eg. before we authenticated the others).

      Addendum: I would venture to guess that the 56-H models were produced in two series between '57 & '65 and the 11821 from thence until 1972. My reasoning is partially the information published above and also:
      • the early 56-H non-date models used AS 1361N movements (Mark I) and the later models used AS 1701 (Mark II)
      • all the paperwork I've seen for date model 56-Hs (like mine) indicate production/sales dates prior to 1966.
      • the case style of the 11821 is very similar to the Day-Night (post-1965) Ref. 11847 (IIRC)
      • the 1972 date is consistent with Rado ceasing to use 5-digit reference numbers


      The questions is still unanswered what 56-H stands for...because of the 1957 introduction is it possibly some reference to Sputnik (thus the shooting star above earth on 56-H case backs)? It's not a 56-hour power reserve.

      NOTE: addendum 2017-- this thread introduces some new information. It is clear now that 3 series of Chronometers were made:
      1957-1962 56-H with AS 1361N
      1962-1968 56-H with AS 1701
      1968-1972 Ref. 11821 with AS1858 or AS1901
      Last edited by Watch Carefully; 12-18-2017, 02:47 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I read sometime that (then) USSR made deck chronometers for their battleships and designated them 56-H. I haven't read what that refers to, though. I was thinking that the 'code' or 'model' was referring to a precise time measuring equipment (not necessarily the Rado or the Russian watch) during the era.

        One interesting note on the link's description:
        ...Straight line lever escapement...
        in reference to the AS 1700/01.

        Father once discussed to me that the arrangement of train wheels with the fourth wheel as sub-seconds wheel is the true 'straight-line' lever escapement as found in pocketwatch movements. According to him, it is the most efficient arrangement in terms of power delivery down to the escapement. I don't see any mechanical advantage on modern power train where the center wheel and the fourth wheel lie on the same axis, other than the advantage of simplifying the train, to eliminate the floating sub-seconds pinion to obtain the central sweep seconds placement and not actually straight-line.
        Tempus fugit...

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow that was a fantastic acquisition for some lucky individual. I hope the new owner has an appreciation for Rado.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Watch Carefully View Post
            Yes, it was published in Fritz Von Osterhausen's book Wristwatch Chronometers (Callwey Verlag, Munich, 1996):



            What "we" may not be sure of is whether this number includes the non-56-H models such as Ref. 11821 (with the Mido-like Chronometer appliqué on the dial). I suspect they are included in the 911 count, which makes the 56-H models rarer than I originally thought (eg. before we authenticated the others).

            Addendum: I would venture to guess that the 56-H models were produced in two series between '57 & '65 and the 11821 from thence until 1972. My reasoning is partially the information published above and also:
            • the early 56-H non-date models used Felsa movements (Series I) and the later models used Schild (Series II)
            • all the paperwork I've seen for date model 56-Hs (like mine) indicate production/sales dates prior to 1966.
            • the case style of the 11821 is very similar to the Day-Night (post-1965) Ref. 11847 (IIRC)
            • the 1972 date is consistent with Rado ceasing to use 5-digit reference numbers


            The questions is still unanswered what 56-H stands for...because of the 1957 introduction is it possibly some reference to Sputnik (thus the shooting star above earth on 56-H case backs)? It's not a 56-hour power reserve.
            Hi Brad!

            Never heard about a Felsa movement in a Rado 56-H chronometer. Following Von Osterhausen in his book and from what I know, Rado used AS-movements only: First the 1361N(from 1957), then the 1701 date(from 1962), then the 1858 date(from 1968).



            This is my AS 1361N chronometer movement from a 56-H. It still wears an "R-line"-logo, so 1957 should be right.



            The German 1962 catalogue shows a 56-H with date, so 1962 for the AS 1701 d should also be right.

            So I assume the two series of 56-H chronometers are the one with the AS 1361N and the one with the AS 1701 d.
            I don´t know how long the 56-Hs were made or sold. In the 1967 booklet they are still mentioned:



            The booklet came with the purchase of a CC MkI in 1967, but can be older.


            Indeed the account of 911 Rado chronometers before 1972 contains all of them, not only the 56-Hs. So the Japan chronometers and maybe DiaStar chronometers before 1972 are included which actually makes the 56-Hs even rarer.

            Of course, all of the chronometers before 1972 have no COSC-certification because the COSC was founded not before that year. I don´t know which observatory/ies Rado used before, maybe the one in Biel/Bienne, that would be the nearest to Lengnau/Longeau. But the differences between the Swiss observatories shouldn´t have been to large before the COSC came to norm the test procedure.

            I´m not sure if there was a DiaStar chronometer before COSC. Any ideas?

            I also still have no idea about the name 56-H. I searched for some Russian Marine chronometers in the www and found they had a power reserve of 56 h at that time: http://www.icollector.com/Russian-Tw...meter_i6154568. I doubt that the power reserve time of just a Russian Marine chronometer was seen as synonym for a very exact chronometer in the western world these days.
            The power reserve of the AS 1361N is 36 h, the one of the AS 1701 42 h. But the 56-H movements were modified to meet the chronometer test. Maybe they had a higher power reserve?
            @Jun - have you ever serviced a 56-H movement? Do they have a stronger main spring?
            Last edited by mike184; 01-07-2014, 01:55 PM.
            Best regards, Mike
            vintage-rado.de

            Comment


            • #7
              You are correct, of course. Mike. Thanks for pointing out my Felsa error, I was mixed up and meant the 1361N by Schild.

              Your point about the 911 chronometers including the early DS chronometers is a good one also. If true, then the 56-H models are indeed rare...as are each of the various chronometer models. Have you seen another steel one like mine? I have only seen the one I own, and perhaps have seen about 7-8 gold and gold-plated examples.

              Looking at some of the photos of the Ref. 11821 chronometers, I notice that the movement plate says 1902/03, while Von Osterhausen published 1858. I wonder if some used 1858 and other the later iteration, or if he was mistaken.

              Click for large format:

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Brad!


                I own Fritz Von Osterhausen´s book and from the German text and from the context in the book there´s no doubt that the acount of 911 chronometers means the complete chronometer production of Rado in 1957 - 1972.

                Your SS 56-H is the only one I´ve seen, all of the others were GP or 18kt.

                Obviously not all of the 56-Hs have the shooting star on the back. I know two different backs from AS 1361N-56-Hs, one GP and one 18 kt, probably the earliest versions:

                4 56-H a.JPG

                4 56-H back.JPG

                5 56-H 18kt a.JPG

                5 56-H 18kt back.JPG

                5 56-H 18kt back inside.JPG

                The pics come from visitors of my HP, who inherited the watches from their fathers(as first owners), so I have no doubt about the original condition.
                A later version of an AS-1361N-56 H in 18kt with the original 18kt bracelet then shows the shooting star on the back:

                3 56-H a.jpg

                3 56-H back.jpg

                The AS 1701-56-Hs I know show the shooting star, here on a 18kt back(18kt):

                2 56H a.jpg

                2 56H back.jpg

                and here on a SS bayonet back(GP), same as on your SS one:

                6 56-H b.jpg

                6 56-H back.jpg

                6 56-H back inside.jpg

                So there had been maybe 3 or more small production series of 56-Hs. Worth mentioning in this context is the different height of the 1361N(5,7 mm) and the 1701(5,2 mm), so the cases of the 1701-56-Hs are probably a bit flater.

                To the AS 1858 question . I was in contact with Roland Ranfft about this. In his opinion, there´s no remarkable difference between the 1858 and the 1902/3, that´s why the 1858 is not listed in his register. Nearly all of the parts were interchangable incl. the base plate and the caliber number 1858 was used just for a short interim period. And as we know, AS sometimes delivered caliber with identical but different marked base plates. I own a DiaStar with GP AS 1858 and a replaced Rhodium plated automatic bridge from a 1902/3. So if you accept that the 1858 and the 1902 are identical, there´s no disagreement in the information in Von Osterhausen´s book.
                Last edited by mike184; 01-07-2014, 04:06 PM.
                Best regards, Mike
                vintage-rado.de

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mike184 View Post


                  Hi Mike,
                  I believe that the gold-plated version you posted here is not original, but is re-cased. All the literature I've seen pertaining to the first series, show models only in 18k, with either dial color. The only G-P cased 56-H I have seen with a proper Rado case back (including shooting star), is one with date and bayonet back.
                  Have you any thoughts?
                  Brad
                  Last edited by Watch Carefully; 11-24-2019, 05:56 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Our friend and collector extraordinaire JohnPat has shared something with me that I believe you may find interesting...see the image below from an undated catalogue. According to John, it also includes the Diastar 0 and a 57-jewel Golden Horse De Luxe, so I assume the publication date is ca. 1962.

                    The price, ¥138,000, is equal to ¥694,035 or $6,363 today. Pretty dear for the model without the 18k bracelet. By comparison, the price in Germany for the updated 1962 automatic model on straps was 900DM, equivalent then to $225.56, which is $2,395.22 today. The model with the bracelet cost slightly more than twice that amount in Germany, which is still less than the cost of the strap model in Japan.

                    A friendly sort on TZ provided this translation:

                    RADO
                    Chronometer 56-H
                    Automatic. Completely waterproof
                    18K case (certificate of excellent result included)
                    25 jewel, leather strap included, (prices) from 138K Yen
                    Product code G-525


                    Image above courtesy JohnPat.
                    Image below courtesy Mike184.


                    Apologies for the watermarks from my hosting site--the images were provided to me as credited above.
                    B
                    Last edited by Watch Carefully; 12-11-2019, 05:03 PM.

                    Comment

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