Roamer Stingray Chrono Diver - c.1970 - Valjoux 23 Movement
A Very Collectable and Very Retro Roamer Stingray Chronograph Diver With a Valjoux 23 Movement. In Superb Vintage Condition, Issued c.1970. A Rare Find!
Roamer was founded by Fritz Meyer in Solothurn, Switzerland, in 1888. The company originally concentrated on manufacturing cylinder escapements. Within only seven years, the company grew to sixty employees and started producing complete watches.
In 1905, Meyer joined fellow watchmaker Johann Studeli to form the partnership Meyer and Studeli (MST). In the same year, Meyer won a bronze medal at the Liège World Fair. The partnership continued to develop new calibres and enter them into more world fairs, winning silver medals at the Milan Fair in 1906 and Brussels Fair in 1910.
In 1917 they purchased fellow Solothurn watchmaker L Tieche Gammeter (LTG). LTG had previously registered the brand "Roamer" in 1908. In 1918 the partnership incorporated Meyer & Studeli SA into the company.
By 1923, production grew to one million units. The jewelled lever-escapement watches were sold under the brand "Roamer". In 1932 the company started its own dial production line. In 1952 Meyer and Studeli officially changed its name to Roamer Watch Co. SA.
In 1955 Roamer patented the Anfibio watertight watchcase, which proved to be a commercial success. The company launched its first quartz movement in 1972.
In 2003, Roamer returned to manufacturing mechanical watches. In 2013, its 125th year, Roamer launched a limited new edition of the Stingray Chrono Diver watch.
What’s On Offer
The epitome of a retro-cool Chrono Diver, this meaty Roamer Stingray is a gem of a find with its Valjoux 23 movement. Reportedly after only one year of production, Roamer chose to lower cost with a move to the cam-lever Valjoux 7733, making this example much more sought after, especially since it is also supplied with its original Gay Freres bracelet.
The watch sports a front-loading stainless case, the movement pops out of the case with the caseback and crown/pushers still attached. The case is unique in shape with a signed crown, pointed crown guards and two aptly sized pushers. The dial is a somewhat 3D affair with an inner minutes bezel which is spaced between the R-signed crystal and the dial. Unfortunately, it looks as though someone historically has decided to polish the case back markings off so the case back is now void of any markings!
The applied red Roamer logo corresponds with the red on the bold bidirectional bezel, hashes found on the inner bezel, the minutes register hand, the Roamer trademark red slash at 20 minutes on the sub-register, and the sharp centrally mounted chronograph seconds hand. These details punch from a rich black dial with white font and hands.
The lume on the hour indices has aged beautifully to a nice deep caramel colour and the lume on the hands is a lighter buttery hue.
This is a rare and collectable watch with bags of character. A great find, and running extremely well after a complete strip-down and service, having just returned from our watchmaker in the last few days!
Case: Stainless Steel
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Movement Type: Mechanical
Calibre: Valjoux 23
Power reserve: 48hrs
Model Reference: 023-9120.900
Date of issue: c.1970
Warranty: 12 Months by VWS
Width (without crown): 42mm
Lug width: 20mm
Lug height: (lug to lug) 43mm
Wrist size: 185mm approx