A once important watch brand, whose name has been almost completely forgotten, is about to return: Nivada Grenchen. This should be great news, especially for fans of vintage chronographs.
The Swiss brand, which was founded in the late 1870s, made a name for itself in its early days with high-quality chronographs and diving watches. The Chronomaster line in particular was always met with great acclaim and turned out to be a true crowd-pleaser.
Following a legal dispute with Movado over a name similarity, however, the dials for the US market were soon given the label “Croton” or “Croton Nivada” to counteract this. Croton was once the brand’s North American distributor from New York. As a result, Nivada watches are known to this day amongst collectors by their nickname “Croton”.
Like so many other Swiss watch manufacturers, Nivada fell victim to the quartz crisis and ended up in nirvana. At least for the most part, because strictly speaking the brand had not completely disappeared from the scene. Even worse, as it was banished to the Mexican market as a marketing brand, which is really not a dignified parting for an once so illustrious company.
That’s what the two French businessmen Guillaume Laidet and Remi Chabrat thought as well, recognizing the enormous potential of the brand in a deep sleep. After a prompt acquisition of the rights, the idea was born to launch an updated version of the Chronomaster and Antarctic collections. Said and done: Sales will begin in June and the first watches will leave Switzerland in December 2020.
According to official information, the newly launched models will make use of Sellita calibers for two reasons: To come as close as possible to the original watches but also to guarantee affordable prices. The three-hand watches will have a 38 mm diameter and a case height of 11.5 mm while prices start at 705 USD. The stainless steel chronographs will be priced at 1,738 USD (for the manual winding version at 39 mm x 14.25 mm) and 1,955 USD (for the automatic version at 39 mm x 16.25 mm). If the relaunch is successful, Nivada takes re-issues of Depthmaster, Datomaster and Travelmaster models into consideration as well.