Let's Talk About Nivada Grenchen/Croton

Nivada/Nivada Grenchen/Croton - Is it Nivada, Nivada Grenchen or Croton? Yes - depending on location and year of issue. Founded in 1926 in Grenchen, Switzerland a famous watchmaking home to brands such as Breitling, Certina, Eterna, Fortis and movement makers ETA and A Schild. Founded by Otto Wullimann, Hermand Schlindler, and Jacob Schneider the brand was very similar to other Swiss brands of its time developing dress watches, sports watches and chronographs. Movements were sourced from the major Swiss ebauche producers such as A Schild, ETA, Landeron, Valjoux and Venus. Nivada entered into a partnership with NY-based Croton Watch Company in 1939 for US distribution. This was due to Movado taking successful legal action against Nivada using its name in the US market - as sounding too similar to Movado (surprising but true). So the same models branded Nivada or Nivada Grenchen in Europe were branded Croton in the US. This has led to much confusion for collectors between the models labeled Nivada, Nivada Grenchen, Croton, Croton Nivada, and Croton Nivada Grenchen. Nivada's peak production was in the 1960s and its most famous model released in 1963 was the Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver, previously Nivada's most popular model was the Antarctic dive watch in the 1950s. Another company brought to its knees by the quartz crisis of the 1970s, the brand has now been revived to its former glory when in 2018, under new ownership, it released the revival of the Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver, then in 2020 the Antarctic, and subsequently in 2021 the Depthmaster ans 2022 the Datomaster. These new models stay very true to the original designs and functions of the historical models.

A great article from Fratello can be found here: A Brief History Of Time: Nivada Grenchen's Complete Brand History

Here are some vintage and modern examples from my collection:

Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (1960s) ref. 85004 Movement: Manual Valjoux 23 Case size: 38mm

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Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (1960s) ref. 85001 Movement: Manual Valjoux 92 Case size: 38mm Condition: Vintage NOS including original vintage black Tropic rubber strap

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Nivada Chronoking / Chronomaster (1970) ref. 85017/4773 Movement: Manual Valjoux 23 Case size: 38mm 

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Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (2020) ref. 86001A04 Movement: Automatic Sellita SW510 BH B Case size: 38.3mm 

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Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (2021) ref. 86012M Movement: Manual Sellita SW510 M BH B Case size: 38.3mm 

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Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (2020) ref. 860011WM01 Movement: Manual Sellita SW510 M BH B Case size: 38.3mm 

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Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver Paul Newman "Panda" (2021) Movement: Manual Valjoux 23 VZ (NOS vintage Valjoux movement) Case size: 38mm 

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Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Valjoux 23 "Big Eye" (2021) ref. 85006 Tribute Movement: Manual Valjoux 23 VZ (NOS vintage Valjoux movement) Case size: 38mm 

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Nivada Grenchen Datomaster Mecaquartz (2022) ref. 88001Q04 Movement: Mecaquartz Seiko VK64 Case size: 36mm 

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The definitive book on the Nivada/Nivada Grenchen/Croton Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver models:

Chronomaster Only: The Super-Chronograph by Nivada and Croton: Rossier,  Gregoire, Marquie, Anthony: 9782940506255: Amazon.com: Books

Croton 1878 Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (1969) ref. 107-37198 Movement: Manual Landeron 248 Case size: 38mm Condition: Very good - all original including original box & papers and original tropic rubber strap

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Croton Super Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (1960s) ref. 105-63072 Movement: Manual Valjoux 23 Case size: 38mm Condition: Very good - all original except replacement strap includes original box

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Croton 1878 Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (1978) ref. 105B-953022 Movement: Manual Valjoux 7733 Case size: 38mm 

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Croton Super Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (1970s) ref. 106-903011 Movement: Manual Landeron 248 Case size: 38mm 

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Croton 1878 Computer Tachymetre Chronograph (1970s) ref. 95012-103 Movement: Manual Valjoux 7733 Case size: 36mm 

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Croton Chronograph (1970s) ref. 29959 / 903009 109A Movement: Manual  Case size: 36mm Condition: Very good - all original with original bracelet

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Y E S ! Thank you. 

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Needing an Antarctic, it’s been on the radar for a while.

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Wow!  What a collection!

I found this review to be a lot of fun.  Hope you do too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZYMm7mTmgg

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HotWatchChick69

Wow!  What a collection!

I found this review to be a lot of fun.  Hope you do too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZYMm7mTmgg

Yes - I really enjoy IDGuy's videos and he has done a really nice job on the Nivada Grenchen reissues. There are also some other good videos on YT recently as NG seems to be spending more money promoting the brand in media.

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Great reference and photos. A Chronoking is on my short list

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What a collection! congratulations! 
could you please tell me, if the Chronoking is also featured in the book?

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Chronomaster

What a collection! congratulations! 
could you please tell me, if the Chronoking is also featured in the book?

Thank you!

Yes - the ref. 85017/4773 is featured on pages 92/93. There is also an index in the front which shows all of the references featured in the book.

This book is truly the most comprehensive, important and essential reference if you plan to collect Nivada Grenchen/Croton Chronomasters.

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BTW - I was just reading James Michener's novel Caribbean and in it he discusses the famous plant of the Caribbean islands the "Croton" - who new they named the brand after the plant.

CARIBBEAN STAR - Palmpedia - Palm Grower's Guide
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ChronoGuy

Thank you!

Yes - the ref. 85017/4773 is featured on pages 92/93. There is also an index in the front which shows all of the references featured in the book.

This book is truly the most comprehensive, important and essential reference if you plan to collect Nivada Grenchen/Croton Chronomasters.

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Thank you for your detailed reply. I really appreciate it! However what I meant with Chronokin, was the reference 87033. The one with the date at 12. It is not listed in the picture you took from the index, so I guess it is not in the book. after all it is called “Chronomaster only” 😜

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Chronomaster

Thank you for your detailed reply. I really appreciate it! However what I meant with Chronokin, was the reference 87033. The one with the date at 12. It is not listed in the picture you took from the index, so I guess it is not in the book. after all it is called “Chronomaster only” 😜

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Wow! I had not seen that variety before. Just went over to the Nivada Grenchen web site and saw that they had reissued the Chronoking 87033. I looked again through the book and could not find a reference for the 87033 in the book. Sounds like a part two is needed. Thanks again!