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DuBois et fils Bidynator

DuBois et fils Bidynator

Unless you’ve studied up on your horological history, you might not know the name Friedrich Meyer. Don’t worry; not that many collectors do, given that the invention to his name dates back to the 1940s and has been pretty much out of play for the last 70 years.

The invention I’m talking about was the first automatic movement with a double-sided winding rotor and it was built for FELSA. Dubbed the Bidynator, it put the otherwise small movement manufacture up there with the big boys like ETA.

Like all good things however, it didn’t last, despite being one of the finest movements of the era. Now it’s relegated to a few rare, vintage pieces and the occasional stash of forgotten movements – which is precisely where DuBois et fils found their own Bidynator supply.

Felsa watch movement

You can read more about DuBois et fils here but the long and short of it is that the brand is built around a goldmine of vintage movements, salvaged from some dark corner of Switzerland. Since finding it, the company has been recreating some fantastic pieces as an ode to the original creators.

The Bidynator is the latest in that line of horological tributes, with five new models in line with the movement’s incarnation from the 1950s. They all boast a solid 42mm case and domed sapphire crystal, both typical of the era. With the fine indexes and clean style, they’re about as classical as you can get.

While all the cases are steel, the movements are not necessarily. Sure there are two versions with clockwork steel movements covered with a silver or blue dial and each limited to 99 pieces. However, there’s also a triplet of pieces with rose gold-plated movements, complete with brown, blue or green dials.

DuBois et fils Bidynator watch

Given that the movement is the focus of the watch, it’s entire raison d’etre, making it the focal point with a flash of rose gold is a nice twist to the otherwise classical formula of the watch. More importantly though, this is quite possibly the last time a new watch will ever be built with the Bidynator. In short: this is one hell of a collector’s piece.

Thomas Steinemann of DuBois et fils will be presenting the Bidynator at the Watchmakers Club event on the 20th of November.

A full review to follow.

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