Here are some Art Deco wristwatches to dream about. Wouldn’t it be lovely to find one of these “Parisienne” Designer watches in your Christmas Stocking, or in a gift box on your plate at breakfast some morning?
These Elgin watches, for the summer of 1929, are designed by Callot Soeurs (June ad) and Lucien Lelong (May ad) — just in time for graduation and wedding gifts.
The watches designed by Callot Soeurs have diamonds on their faces, and cost $75.00 each.
“Bright with the frozen fire of fine selected diamonds . . . set in solid 14 karat gold . . . three new Elgins whose cases are Callot-designed. One of the greatest style names of Paris, one of its most exclusive houses. . . . Exquisite jewelry, but more than that. Accurate, unfailing, time-true. Paris on the face of it, but each a true American watch at heart. . . . Besides these Callot models there are other Parisiennes both plain and enamel at $35 designed by all the important Paris couturieres. And other diamond watches ascending to the glory of 20 diamonds at $250.”
Callot Soeurs was a long-established House (since 1895,) and their watches are more conservative and less like costume jewelry than the enameled Elgin watches by other designers. In May, Elgin advertised designer watches by Lucien Lelong. They cost $35.00 — no diamonds.
The Lelong watches came in “red and blue or black and ivory enamel;” the last watch shown above has a geometric, Art Deco case, but is not enameled. Back in 1928, Elgin sold Designer watches (“Parisiennes”) by several of the most famous couturier houses: Lanvin, Molyneux, louiseboulanger, Jenny, Agnes (famous for her hats,) and Premet.
$35.00 was a week’s income for a man (or two weeks’ income for a woman) in 1925. (If you have a yen — or many thousands of yen) two of these watches are for sale from Strickland Vintage Watches. The Premet now costs about $1300 and a later version of the Molyneux, about $2000. Browsing through the Strickland collection, I found many lovely things…. They’re not $35.00 any more, of course, but one of these watches in working condition is much rarer now than it was in 1929!
These same six “Parisienne” watches were shown in a color advertisement in the December, 1928, Delineator magazine, along with many other Elgins for men and women. Click here to see that entire ad in detail. The louiseboulanger watch looks quite different in color! I wish we could see the full color range of all of them. What a collection that would be!