Wristwatch restoration, servicing and repair

Le Jour Jurvac (ETA Cal. 2452)…

Just to keep life interesting I’ve picked up a few quirky vintage diving watches lately, the first being this Le Jour Jurvac.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

Although Le Jour started trading in 1965, they aren’t a particularly well known brand. They had a number of solid looking chronograph models over the years with good quality Valjoux movements, but seemed to slip into obscurity during the 1980’s.

One of the Le Jour models which you still see from time to time is this PVD coated chronograph which bears more than a striking resemblance to a model by Orfina/Porsche Design.

Getting back to the subject of this post, the first thing to notice is that has a very solid one piece case, which means the watch must be opened by removing the glass. The second thing to notice is the text on the back which reads “Vacuum sealed with Argon”.

Argon is a noble or inert gas, and the principle behind using it inside watch cases is that it is a completely dry gas which contains no humidity. This means that there is no chance of condensation ever forming inside the case due to temperature changes and causing corrosion to the dial, hands or movement. Cases filled with Argon are still a feature for a number of watch companies, Sinn being one of them.

Being from the late 1960’s or early 70’s this watch must have been serviced in the past, so I wasn’t expecting a face full of Argon on removing the crystal. I knew from the dial that it had a 17 jewel automatic calibre but I didn’t know what to expect, so once inside I was pleased to see an ETA cal. 2452. It wasn’t running, but after a service it looked much better, and started right up.

Cosmetically the watch was pretty good. The crystal was scratched all over, and being mineral glass I had no choice but to have another one cut. I also relumed the hands and cleaned the dial before recasing.

As you can imagine I don’t have much spare Argon knocking around, or a vacuum chamber… but I think it will be ok!


5 Responses to “Le Jour Jurvac (ETA Cal. 2452)…”

  1. Harry Bishop Says:

    Nice Rich, and another brand I’ve not heard of before!

    I like this watch, even through it’s not obviously a diver other than the crystal … the dial, hour markers and hands remind me of several nicer 1970s sport/dress watches, a look I really like.

    Where are you purchasing watches from these days? I’m not buying right now but hope that changes later this year, I’d be interested to know how you determine what are good prices for these “off the beaten path” brands? (the obvious answer being low-ball bids on eBay to see what you can catch, but without having my own repair skills I’d miss out on opportunities like this where simple repair can get you a great catch).

    Cheers from Canada

  2. Rich Says:

    Hi Harry,

    I guess it’s debatable whether this watch is a diver, but with a one piece case, mineral crystal and rated to 10 ATM it is more robust than a ‘regular’ watch.

    I picked this one up from eBay, where, to use your term, a ‘low-ball’ bid secured the win.

    Valuing such watches is never easy. While the movement inside and the general quality of the watch is exactly the same as the bigger brands, the name on the dial makes all the difference. I’d put this one in the US$100-150 bracket… in other words, a bargain!


  3. Guido Says:

    Hi Rich!

    very nice watch! I do have a passion for the mono-block ss case, much stronger and reliable if you submerge them.

    All my vintage Viet era watch are similar such as Benrus DTU 2A/p and the first Hamilton GG-W-113 issue 1969.

    I do like your watch and I would like to ask both diameter w/out the crown and lug to lug width measure in mm.

    Is the crown a screw down type?

    Unfortunately if you spend a few hour sun behaving and then you go for a scubadiving, you could get some condensation, the Argo was a very nice free piece of mind, and reseal your watch like before will cost a head’s eye, in addition where you send your watch to do that?

    The key is the watch has to cool down before to do so, and it would be just great!

    Please, let me know, I would greatly appreciate your time



  4. Rich Says:

    Hi Guido,

    Good to hear from you.

    It is an interesting model that’s for sure! To answer your questions, the case is 36mm (excl crown) and 43mm lug to lug. The crown doesn’t screw down which I must say surprised me as everything else points to it being a divers watch (monobloc case, thick crystal, argon etc).

    I believe the crown to be original to the watch too as I didn’t see any signs of the case tube having been replaced.

    I hope that helps,


  5. Tonya Peterson Says:

    I have a lejour jurvac that looks almost like the one above, but it has an an enscription on the back and a date of June 23, 1963.