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The Leroy & the Aster Automatic Wristwatches

The Leroy & the Aster Automatic Wristwatches

 
L. Leroy & Cie Automatique - Aster Automatic

L. Leroy & Cie
The very earliest automatic wristwatch was created in 1922 by Léon Leroy, but saw very little if any commercial distribution. Interestingly, it was only patented in 1933 and then sold under the Aster trademark.
 
Aster
All of the rectangular pioneer automatic wristwatches today have become rare, and much sought after by collectors. However, one of the rarest amongst them has proven to be the Aster.

Created by Léon Leroy in 1922, it only was patented in 1933 and then commercialized under the Aster trademark by the Bulova and La Champagne watch factory. A further unusual aspect of the Aster Automatic is that the sub seconds track is situated immediately below "12 o’clock" on the dial, rather than in the more usual position directly above 6 o’clock.

The Aster movement, caliber 28-20, was tonneau shaped and equipped with a flat, pointed oval oscillating weight. A switching catch mechanism, directly integrated into the movement, in turn linked this weight to the gear train. As such, one of the contributing factors to the Aster’s particular rarity is that the heavy oscillating weight applied enormous force on the flimsy bearing pin to which it was attached, eventually causing the latter to fail.

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Added by:  Chronogeek

Date:  5th Mar 09

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Category:   Wristwatches

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