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Forum Home > Non-Seiko 7Axx Discussion Area (Re-branded mvmt's) > FRED Force 10 - another French Fashion Faux Pas, perhaps ?

Seiko7A38
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I suppose I could have added these posts onto the existing thread: Yema (C.G.H.) N7's and N8's rebranded as 'Fashion Watches'


But I deliberately haven’t, for a couple of reasons:

1) Although very likely, as yet I have no proof that the watch was actually manufactured by C.G.H. and

2) I suspect that questions raised by this short topic will remain unanswered for the foreseeable future.


  FRED are a French fashion jewellers founded in 1936 by Fred Samuel. ‘Force 10’ is a 'more accessible' (inferred ‘affordable’) FRED sub-brand.

                                                                                      

Here’s some general background reading for anyone who might be interested:


http://www.fred.com/en/universe-of-fred

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Joaillier

http://forumamontres.forumactif.com/t9821-deces-du-joaillier-fred-samuel (2006)

http://www.lvmh.com/the-group/lvmh-companies-and-brands/watches-jewelry/fred


FRED are probably best remembered in popular culture for having supplied the ‘only on loan’ $250K ruby and diamond, white gold necklace, which was specially created for and worn by Julia Roberts in the 1990 ‘Pretty Woman’ movie's night at the opera scenes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNYalWdtPSA




Although FRED isn’t actually mentioned during these sequences, 5 minutes from the end of the film, when Richard Gere is checking out of the Beverly Wilshire hotel, as he hands the box containing the necklace over the Reception desk, he says to the manager:

One last thing. If you could possibly... return this to Fred's for me, please. (full transcript of movie script found here)


  ....That'll be Fred's on Rodeo Drive then.


FRED Joaillier's was originally sited at 465 North Rodeo Drive, but by 1990 they'd moved to number 401, almost directly opposite the Regent Beverly Wilshire. Indeed in an earlier scene, 47 minutes into the film, when Julia Roberts returns from her second successful shopping expedition with the black cocktail dress, the FRED boutique's signs are briefly visible from the hotel's reception lobby.*




*Belated Anorak Fact Footnote:


However, if what LA movie location 'stalker' Lindsay Blake wrote on her well-researched blog (further down this page), is correct:


On a Pretty Woman side-note – While scanning through the flick a couple of weeks back, I was knock-me-over-with-a-feather-shocked to discover that the lobby scenes were not filmed inside of the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills or on a soundstage at Disney Studios, as countless websites and books have suggested over the years.

Amazingly, the lobby scenes from Pretty Woman were actually shot at the since-demolished Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.


Then what we may be seeing, in reality, are set backdrops and some very subtle 'product placement' at the behest of FRED.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In recent years super-model waif coke-bloated passé spoiled brat Kate Moss has featured in Fred’s Force 10 advertising campaign.



She also had her own FRED collection in 2011: http://www.thejewelleryeditor.com/2011/11/kate-moss-for-fred-collection/

       


Note the change of logo (as now used on store fronts) - but FRED continue to use a variation of the original logo on their website:

                                                                                                                                                                           

June 22, 2014 at 4:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 8910

This older online article gives a detailed insight into Henri Samuel's involvement in his now late father’s company (Fred died in 2006):


http://www.exero.com/mastergate/secured/fashion/fred.htm


It begins:


FRED is an odd name to bestow on one of the most costly and exquisite jewellery boutiques in the world. But despite the moniker lacking in semantic pulchritude, Fred Joaillerie is nonetheless a sought after feature of the big screen scene. Produced and directed by father and son team, Fred and Henri Samuel, this international blockbuster attraction has its centre stage on Paris' renowned landmark, the Rue Royale.


Other extracts include:


When Henri Samuel became President and Chairman of FRED Joaillier in 1976, he heralded a coming year in which he affirmed the long held association with artists from varying mediums but likeminded creativity ….

 

…. The glitter and notoriety of such occasions belie the careful evolution of FRED's fortunes and status, which have been masterminded by a forward thinking but practical Henri. Diversification has since taken the form of watches, special collections in "FRED" de FRED and a more accessible range of jewels in Force 10.

 

In fact, the creation of FRED's Force 10 line grew out of Henri's love of the ocean and through his years as a sailing champion. Initially designed in 1978, the Force 10 range is an exclusive collection of jewellery and watches for men and women made of stainless steel, nautical cable and 18 ct gold. The steel cable becomes a precious metal as well as the integral feature enhanced by diamonds and a precious stones with matching bracelets, earrings and necklaces, it is modern, dressy yet casually so and designed for active chic. Force 10 today, makes up 15% of FRED's total sales.


This short paragraph, towards the end of that article, particularly intrigued me:

 

Understudies in 1988 to the Force 10 troupe were the first pair of sunglasses and the prototype of the first chronograph.

A dramatic introduction, they were worn by the famous rally world champion, Ari Vatanen, during the difficult Paris-Dakar race.

With the force of ten, the road to stardom was also another road victory for both driver and eyewear.


Perhaps a moral, if not deserved outright victory in that year's event - Ari Vatanen was subsequently disqualified. :/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QVYgVwRPUg


http://www.motorsportretro.com/2014/01/ Dakar 1988 - the year the leading car was stolen during the race !




Still, It appears that the 'kidnappers' didn’t steal Vatanen’s watch - he was still wearing it at the 'victory celebrations'. :)


Funnily enough, in the same year, 1988, Vatanen published his autobiography, entitled: every second counts.



 

Perhaps a more apt title might have been: every tenth of a second counts. But I digress. Enough of the preamble(s), methinks ....


June 22, 2014 at 5:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 8910

It would appear, like French parfumier Loris Azzaro and fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, that exclusive jeweller to the stars, FRED, also dabbled in the not-quite-so-exclusive world of Seiko-based quartz chronographs - specifically a FRED Force 10 branded 7A38.

 

Earlier in the week, I was searching on Yema on eBay France. I spotted two listings by a French seller for NOS dials ....

for a Yema N8 OP896: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331231785997 and a N7 1X33: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331231783802

The majority of the other NOS dials the seller was listing were for N945’s, by Yema and Pulsar and for various Seiko 7Txx’s.

I was about to navigate away from the page when I spotted another listing for a NOS dial with the all-too-familiar 7A38 layout. 


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331231775487


Cadran de la montre chronographe FRED diamètre 31mm, les pieds 4 min - 34 min. est absolument neuf vient du vieux stock d'horlogerie.

 

Apart from the obvious day / date / sub-dial layout, the stated diameter of 31.0mm and dial feet @ ‘4’ and ‘34’ ....

The familiar dial mounting screw holes @ ‘5’ and ’35’ may be obscured by the Tachymeter dial spacer ring in the seller’s photo ....

but as he correctly observed, the vestigal dial feet of any 7Axx dial are indeed to be found very close by at ‘4’ and ‘34’ ....

That more or less clinched it for me: the existence of another 'previously undiscovered' and potentially very rare 7A38.

 

Here’s a slightly lightened cropped version of the seller’s only rather dingy listing photo. FRED and Force 10 logos clearly visible.



It’s distinctive; certainly not what I’d personally class as an attractive design, even when compared to most ‘lesser’ ordinary 7A38’s. :/

The toothed outer dial motif sort of reminded me of the Rotary Club logo. Perhaps one should just be polite and call it Avant Garde. :P

 

Needless to say, since I spotted it, I’ve been googling like a man possessed, in an effort to find an online image of the complete watch.

Plenty of modern Fred Force 10 quartz chrono’s, but nothing even vaguely resembling a 7A38, let alone one with this dial, so far ....


I thought I might have got lucky when I stumbled across this French auction site: http://catalogue.drouot.com (searching on 'FRED') ....

But even though there were a couple of sold lots which teasingly included the magic words: 'quartz chronographe à trois compteurs',

this was the best I could come up with: http://catalogue.drouot.com/ref-drouot/lot-ventes-aux-encheres-drouot.jsp?id=2864256 


  .... another fairly hideous-looking tasteless modern FRED creation.

June 22, 2014 at 5:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 8910

Now I've won the auction for the dial, I'm going to try emailing Fred's Paris HQ, asking if they can provide me an image of the complete watch from their archives - but I'm not anticipating any kind of helpful or positive response. :/ Short of a watch miraculously turning up on eBay or LeBonCoin, probably the best chance of getting an idea of what it looked like ‘in toto’ would be from a period catalogue illustration (I'm presuming late 1980’s - early 1990’s). To which end, I’d scoured eBay and found this catalogue listed by a US seller:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111332530012


When I first saw the listing, the seller had only included the first 3 images: the cover, one side of the price list and one double page. As it looked like the right kind of period, particularly from the watches shown in the third photo, I asked the seller if they knew what year it was printed and if there was an illustration of a chronograph, like I was looking for, on any of the other pages. The seller subsequently uploaded another half a dozen photos of the other pages, but alas, no joy. :(


June 22, 2014 at 5:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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This morning I've sent emails to:

FRED's in ParisGerald Roden (Marketing Manager C.G.H. 1988-1992) and the prototype owner rally driver Ari Vatanen.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for a reply from any of them  - but as the saying goes: if you don't ask, you don't get .... :P

June 23, 2014 at 5:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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A couple of updates to the above; the first rather brief:


To my suprise, 3 days ago, I received a reply from Fred. Athough it was written on headed paper (electronically), from the reply return address given, it's not from Fred themselves, but an external Paris-based customer relations agency they employ: http://laligneverte.fr



I replied, attaching the photo of the dial as requested. I guess much depends whether these people have access to Fred's archives.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Possibly better news is that late last night I received a reply from Ari Vatanen ! :D

I'm not building my hopes up too much, because I haven't yet established that we're talking about the same Fred Force 10 chrono' ....

But Ari's email included:


Thank you for your interesting mail.

I like watches as well, thanks to Fred!

Yes, I do still have (of course!) the Fred Force 10 watch.


The prominent collar patch in this photo of Ari, taken in January 1989 copyright Getty Images / Bob Thomas speaks for itself ....




However, if you google 'Ari Vatanen wrist watch collection' as I did, you won't find very much in the way of meaningful / relevant results.

It's not something he's known for. I found an unrelated article, penned in 2010, on The Prodigal Guide - a Watches and Cars blog site:

http://www.theprodigalguide.com/2010/06/29/close-your-mouth-finland-powerslides-across-pikes-peak/


It begins (I found the second sentence mildly amusing in the circumstances):


We’re tired from the long hours of our daytime jobs. Exhausted from the endless amount of online drivel that we and you continue to spew in utterly unabated fashion. Oh, and we’ve also been focusing far too much on those hunks of metal and their nylon straps that dangle from our wrists, however damned impressive they look!

So it’s time, boys and girls, to share with you one of the greatest pieces of driving on one of the most surreal and fucking dangerous roads (if you can call it a road) we’ve come across.


.... and ends with Climb Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEuZG37gFdM - Ari's memorable Pikes Peak drive, filmed in 1988.




The $64K question being: was Ari wearing the Fred Force 10 '7A38' (underneath his Nomex gloves) during his record-breaking run ?




Or hidden deeper, under the cuff of his racing overalls ? :/ Those might be the Fred sunglasses hanging around his neck, though. 8)


June 28, 2014 at 4:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

PHK
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Posts: 222

Paul. Is the Tachymeter ring separate or is that a one piece dial?




Usually '60' is at 12:00 o'clock and not at 4:30. (I don't know, must be a French thing) 8)


June 28, 2014 at 4:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 8910

Looking at the overall general mis-alignment I'm hoping it's separate, Paul ! :lol: 

June 28, 2014 at 4:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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I'm sure we both really knew it wasn't meant to be (mis-)aligned like that - and that seller had just dropped it in place for the purposes of the photo. And boy, his dingy lacklustre photo certainly didn't do the dial any favours. The little package from France containing the 2 NOS Yema N8 dials and the Fred Force 10 dial, which I'd been waiting for so impatiently for the last week, arrived this morning. :D

I've just rattled off a few Q&D photos myself - and to be honest my own really aren't that much better; they still don't do it justice. :/


Here's the dial without the Tachymetre ring in place. The few grubby handling marks (as received) should clean up quite easily.




What that photo doesn't capture particularly well is is the surprising amount of inlaid gold detailing:




As the seller wrote in his description and I commented on, unlike most Seiko dials, this one does have 'proper' dial feet @ 4 and 34:




Needless to say, just as I'd expected it would, it all lines up perfectly with a Seiko p/n 105.726 dial / 7A38 movement spacer:



The Tachymetre ring, which also needs a few grubby handling marks cleaning, has 6 equally spaced cut-outs around the periphery:




Four of them are clearly designed to clear the crown tube and pushers during assembly, but the other two @ '60' and '120' ?? :/


Rather than common or garden plastic as used in most Seiko 7Axx's, the FRED Tachymetre ring is painted machined cast brass:




The shallow drillings @ positions corresponding to '5' and '35' on the dial are presumably to clear the heads of the dial fixing screws.

Note also the single locating dowel (between '75' and '80' on the Tachymetre scale) to facilitate correct alignment with the dial. ;)




I'll try and take a better photo when I've given both dial and Tachymetre ring a careful cleaning. 


July 2, 2014 at 7:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 8910

Still no photo (or catalogue image) of the complete Fred Force 10 watch, as yet. :(

But in a subsequent reply to my follow-up email on Sunday, Ari Vatanen wrote back:


I'm in Finland now and the watch is in France but your dial looks identical to mine as far as I can remember.

And I do remember the dial well.


Perhaps you can see why now. :)


July 2, 2014 at 8:09 AM Flag Quote & Reply

fmc000
Member
Posts: 54

Well, I'm sure that you have a spare movement and a gold tone spare case to pair with this dial, along with a light brown leather strap... (HINT, HINT)

--

My Seiko chronos: SPV002 - SDX008J1 - SFA005J1 - PSZ006P1

July 2, 2014 at 11:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 8910

You can hint all you like Fabio, but despite my initial misgivings about that Italian market gold-tone 7A38-706B, which you helped me to source, I'm not planning to sacrifice that watch, just for the sake of mounting the Fred dial in a Seiko 7A38 case.  Yes it would be an easy matter to slice the locating pips off the bottom of the plastic Tachymeter ring. But if I do mount it in a Seiko 7A38 case, it's much more likely to be a stainless / gold two-tone, rather than an all gold plated case. I've been toying with a couple of ideas already ....


Firstly my original 7A38-724A (which isn't entirely 'original') that I've owned for a few years, which has dis-coloured stained sub-dials:




Since I obtained another much better condition example, a matter of six weeks ago, this one has been ear-marked for 'the chop'. 

It would be a logical straight swap, because my chances of ever finding a replacement 719L dial for this watch are slim to none. :(

The same set of gold hands and pearly white Tachymeter ring of the 7A28-724A would probably work well with the Fred Force 10 dial.


But I think the Fred Force 10 dial with its 12 toothed ring motif / gold pip detailing might work rather better in this Franken 7A38-702x:




This was my first 'split dial' Franken 7A38 creation, so it won't be lost. No fear. ;) First I'll try it and see if the Fred Force 10 dial 'works' (with a white Tachymeter ring, naturally). If it does, I've got another 'lesser' two-tone 7A38-7020 I can re-house this dial / movement in.


July 5, 2014 at 5:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 8910

That said, I'm in absolutely no hurry to try out either of the above permutations - whatsoever. Apart from the fact that I've already got dozens of other unfinished projects on the go, whatever I install it in, I'd really like to utilise the Fred dial's own Tachymeter ring with it.

That is going to add a certain level of difficulty - not only because its outer diameter will dictate the case options, but how do I hide the six cut-outs around the periphery of the Tachymeter ring ?


So I'm waiting until I've seen a photo of the complete Fred watch - hopefully one showing where these six cut-outs are engaged and filled by some kind of protusions from the inner circumference of the presumably non-rotating bezel. Hope you're following my drift. 


I'd done a bit more googling during the week and found a photo of another 1988 vintage Fred Force 10 quartz watch (which I'd suspect was probably also Seiko powered), whose dial has the same 12-toothed ring motif and inlaid gold pip detailing as the Fred 7A38 dial.

It perfectly follows the Force 10 design ethos cited in that old online article, which I'd included a few quotes from in my second post:


Initially designed in 1978, the Force 10 range is an exclusive collection of jewellery and watches for men and women made of stainless steel, nautical cable and 18 ct gold. The steel cable becomes a precious metal as well as the integral feature enhanced by diamonds and a precious stones with matching bracelets, earrings and necklaces, it is modern, dressy yet casually so and designed for active chic.


Pretty or tasteful it ain't ! 



See: http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/14272110_fred-of-paris-force-10-watch

FRED OF PARIS FORCE 10 WATCH. Stainless steel and 18 karat yellow gold. Reverse of face is stamped 88897. Diameter: 33mm


Nor it seems was it deemed particularly desirable. Sold Susanin's auction Chicago, IL December 2012 (Lot 7054) for a mere $400.

The next lot was a pair of equally hideous matching cufflinks:


July 5, 2014 at 6:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Excuse my wittering on - you can always ignore my non-Seiko musings. After all, nobody's forcing you to read this, are they ? :P 

But this afternoon, while attempting to hand polish a crystal, I've been giving some more thought to the Fred Tachymeter ring:


Especially with regard to: but how do I hide the six cut-outs around the periphery of the Tachymeter ring ?


Just because the NOS (but slightly grubby) Tachymeter ring, which came supplied with the dial was painted on all surfaces, apart from underneath, that doesn't neccessarily mean that all of its upper surfaces - including those 6 cut-outs, were visible through the crystal.

What if, when it's fitted in the Fred Force 10 '7A38', all you could see through the crystal was the inner part which I've ringed in red ....




.... and the rest of it was actually hidden under the bezel ? :/


What had also been bugging me, was where I'd seen that TACHYMETRE script and Times Roman-esque scale numbering before.

So when I took a break, I had a quick browse through my Yema photo folder and found this shot I look last year of my NOS N81W63:




My apologies if the 'angle of incidence' isn't quite identical, but hopefully you can see what I'm getting at.



July 5, 2014 at 1:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Seiko7A38 at June 22, 2014 at 4:57 PM

I suppose I could have added these posts onto the existing thread: Yema (C.G.H.) N7's and N8's rebranded as 'Fashion Watches'


But I deliberately haven’t, for a couple of reasons:

1) Although very likely, as yet I have no proof that the watch was actually manufactured by C.G.H. ....


Without so much as a photo of the complete Fred Force 10 watch, let alone one of a Shimauchi Ltd. V906 signed movement, or C.G.H. stamped inside the case-back (neither of which I honestly ever expect to see in my lifetime), I already have the makings of a case. :)


In fact, one piece of evidence was staring me in the face all the time. Maybe not quite so obvious in the eBay seller's iffy photo. :lol:

Whoever tampo printed the Yema N81W63's TACHYMETRE scale was also responsible for printing that of the FRED Force 10's. 

I'm not about to pull one apart to show you, but take my word for it that the Yema N81W63 also uses a painted metal Tachymeter ring. From memory, it also looks quite a bit larger in diameter from inside the watch case than what is actually visible through the crystal. However I do remember that they're not held in place by (any number of) 'keyways', simply centre-punched in place.


The other glaringly obvious piece of evidence comes in the form of the dial itself, or should I say the outline of the dial plates:




Dial plates used in '7Axx's manufactured by C.G.H. all have the same cut-outs around the periphery - rounded off, with a larger one at 2 o'clock. This 'rule' holds good for Yema N7's and N8's, Jaz N8's and the Kamatz 51x000's. The latter two may have different drillings for their Tachymeter ring locating pins (because of their smaller diameter dial markings), but as you can see from the photo above, even the 38mm Yema Spationaute III N80A696 (which doesn't have a Tachymeter ring) has the same locating hole at 46 minutes.


Hence why I'd also written to Gerald Roden:

This morning I've sent emails to: FRED's in ParisGerald Roden (Marketing Manager C.G.H. 1988-1992) ....

It was he who'd supplied me with photos of the artist's pre-production drawings of the Yema N81W63, after all:


July 5, 2014 at 1:59 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Progress report (or perhaps lack of): something of an update. This morning I finally received a reply to my email from Gerald Roden.


The person in charge of OEM business for France at that time was Jean-Paul Zebouni. He might be the one to explain about Fred.


He also gave me an email address for J-P. I guess it's worth a try. :/


July 21, 2014 at 5:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Another (lack of) progress report. :roll:

I hadn't heard anything back from Fred's customer relations agency so after a couple of weeks had passed, I phoned them in mid-July.

I spoke with Sylvie Laverdant, the person who had replied to my original email enquiry. Sylvie told me that she'd forwarded my photo of the dial to someone in Fred's who should have access to their archives. But it is the holiday season, so I might have to wait a while.

I mentioned that I'd searched on Drouot.com

 

I thought I might have got lucky when I stumbled across this French auction site: http://catalogue.drouot.com (searching on 'FRED') ....

But even though there were a couple of sold lots which teasingly included the magic words: 'quartz chronographe à trois compteurs',

this was the best I could come up with: http://catalogue.drouot.com/ref-drouot/lot-ventes-aux-encheres-drouot.jsp?id=2864256


But she said Non, Non - you should be searching on www.Tajan.com - the auction house that Fred recommends their clients use.

I took a brief look on Tajan.com at the time and quickly realized it's a seriously upmarket auction house. Loadsamoney territory.

You can browse their past catalogues, going back as far as 2001, but unfortunately they're in .pdf format and take time to load.

http://www.tajan.com/en/asp/menu_catalogues.asp


After browsing a few 'Bijoux & Montres' auction catalogues, frankly I gave up. Most of the watches they handle are very 'high end':

I'm talking about brands like: Audemars Piquet, Blancpain, Breguet, Patek Philippe, Girard Perregaux, Vacheron Constantin, etc.

Then you've got the more common upmarket brands like Breitling, Cartier, Rolex, Omega, that they deign to flog from time to time.

This afternoon I had an idea. Rather than carry on wading through dozens more .pdf's, I tried a google site search on Tajan.com. 

Once again, I almost thought I might have got lucky. :/


http://www.tajan.com/pdf/2010/Ventes/9501.pdf


On page 37 of that 'Bijoux & Montres' auction catalogue from March 2010, I found this description of Lot # 501.



The last part of the text:

une montre "Force 10" chrono 3 compteurs en métal doré et acier (cordage sur la lunette), bracelet en cuir boucle ardillon, mouvement à quartz (écrin+boîte).

Translates as:

A watch "Force 10" chrono 3 sub-dials in steel and gold plate (rope on bezel), leather strap, buckle, quartz movement (case + box).


Unfortunately that Tajan catalogue didn't include an illustration of the lot (like many of their less important lots with low estimates).

Undeterred, I googled the French text and found:


http://www.artfinding.com/Auction/Fred-ensemble-comprenant-une-paire-de-lunettes-force-10-etui+ecrin-une-pendulette/32890.html



Close, but no cigar (and certainly no elusive Fred '7A38') once again. :(


August 2, 2014 at 3:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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My frustration continues unabated.

Earlier in the week, I'd sent Ari Vatanen a polite 'chaser' email (asking again if he could kindly supply some photos of his Fred '7A38').

I'd noticed from his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/VatanenAri that on 27th July, he'd written:


Last Sunday, I was lucky enough to follow the Gap-Nimes étape with the Tour de France boss, Christian Prudhomme, my pal from Dakar.


Indeed, Ari was photographed on the podium, congratulating yellow jersey holder Vincenzo Nibali, wearing an eye-catching chrono'.




So I'd assumed that he was back home (Ari has a farmhouse and winery in the south of France). Apparently not. :/ He wrote back:


It is not that easy. I'm in Finland for the summer and the watch is in France.

You need to be patient...

Kind regards,

Ari.


But patience isn't a virtue that I'm known for.  I suspect now that he won't be back home until the grape harvest in mid-September.

Meantime, I've carried on scouring eBay (and everywhere else), turning up all kinds of FRED branded crap, including a cigar cutter.

Quite a few FRED quartz watches too, mostly women's, including this rough example which was listed on eBay in the Philippines:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111425230454


The only reason I've bothered mentioning this one, which I reckon dates from 1981, is the dial motif:



On this particular ladies watch, it's clearly meant to represent a yacht's steering wheel.


It appears to have morphed into a somewhat more abstract form by the time they introduced the FRED Force 10 '7A38' in 1988 ....

.... and hence my earlier comment:


The toothed outer dial motif sort of reminded me of the Rotary Club logo. Perhaps one should just be polite and call it Avant Garde.


August 9, 2014 at 6:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Meanwhile, I've resisted the temptation (so far) to build my NOS Fred Force 10 dial onto a movement, but last weekend I did try it (just loose, without hands) in my original 7A38-724A (the one with the stained sub-dials, posted earlier in this thread). It didn't look too bad.


Earlier, I'd also messaged the French eBay seller I'd bought the dial from, asking if he had any more watch case parts that he could identify as belonging to the Fred Force 10. I was thinking about the bezel. He said he didn't have. I guess he lied (technically). 


.... Because earlier in the week, he listed two more dials:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331296423157


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331299806669

The dingy photo is the same one he'd used in his original listing, but note the slightly amended title in these two listings. 


August 31, 2014 at 7:59 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 8910

Despite the continued lack of any image of the complete FRED Force 10 '7A38', I've carried on with my research into FRED Joaillers.

I had previously thought about trying to contact Henri Samuel (the erstwhile President and Chairman of Fred from 1976 to 1996).

Instead, today I googled him once more and came up with this presentation, which he gave at the Sorbonne in December 2011.


http://www.cati.paris-sorbonne.fr/LGB/paris-sorbonne/lea/contributions/h-samuel/h-samuel.pdf


Here's a few of the slides, which provide back up to my first 2 posts:



I 'struck paydirt' with slide # 18.




Vindication at last. :D


Of course we knew that Hattori Seiko (in the form of Seiko France) bought out ailing Yema, creating Compagnie Générale Horlogère (C.G.H.) in 1988 - the same year the first Fred Force 10 chronograph was introduced - which would have facilitated 'a joint venture'.


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Indeed, researching Henri Samuel is logically the next direction to follow. Having been at the helm of FRED until 1996, no doubt he holds all the answers. However, getting in contact with him may be another thing altogether. But I may have found something else.


In their June 1992 Nº 7 'Summer Special' issue, La Revue Des Montres - a French watch magazine, published an article about him.

http://www.journaux-collection.com/fiche.php?id=769813 




It's entitled: Henri Samuel - Du Côté de Chez Fred and starts on page 96  and possibly runs for 4 pages.


September 4, 2014 at 6:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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