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My Marvin Wristwatches

I’ve started a small collection of vintage wristwatches. I actually stopped wearing wristwatches about 10 or 15 years ago when I started carrying a cell phone because it seemed redundant to have a phone on me all the time where I could see what time it was. But recently, for some unknown reason, I’ve become interested in these small mechanical marvels. It’s become a small obsession really. There is something about all of the tiny gears, pinions, jewels and springs of a fine Swiss timepiece that when put into motion, plays the smooth song of time with the precision of a professional orchestra playing a classical classic. No one can make a watch like the Swiss.

The Marvin watch company can be dated back to 1850. Rather than re-write an article on their rich history, I’ll defer to two resources that have already done a great job of it. One is at Matt Baily’s blog and the other is on the Marvin watch company’s website.

Debbie’s watch (pictured above) is the first Marvin that I purchased. It is in mint condition and It came from a watch maker’s personal collection in Hungary. It was manufactured in the early 1970’s and has obviously been treasured and meticulously cared for for the past 40+ years. I have no idea what this watch would have cost back in the 70’s, but I paid $116.48 for it. It had already been recently serviced. It looks and runs like a brand new watch.

The next Marvin I purchased was a 1960’s something model for myself. It has a beautiful silver colored dial and the quick set date, with second hand, 17 jewels, crown and dial signed by Marvin, and it has the original plastic sticker affixed at the back to protect the watch case. The hands and hours glow in the dark. This was a New Old Stock piece that a collector bought from a watchmaker’s estate in the UK. I don’t believe that this watch had ever been worn until I bought it. I’ve worn it about 5 times so far. I paid $223 for it. While it is in new condition, I’ll need to send it to my watch maker to have it serviced since it’s been sitting dormant for so long and I don’t want to run it too much without a fresh oiling.

And last but not least, I’ve just received my white faced 17 jewel Marvin dress watch. I don’t know much about this one. Judging from the style, size, and signing of this watch, I think it’s from late 50’s to the early 60’s. It has a textured dial around the outside where the position markers are and the inside circle of the dial is smooth. The dial is bright white and the hour and minute hands glow in the dark. It is in excellent condition with a brand new leather band. While it runs perfectly, I will have to send this one off to my watchmaker to have it serviced as well because I do not know it’s history. I paid $51.25 for this one and will pay another $60 to to have it cleaned and serviced.