The watch arrived last week, there was good news and bad,good news first: what I had thought to be rust is in fact just a sticky deposit, probably just accumulated sweat, dust and general dirt – ugh – but relatively easy to remove. A clean with an old toothbrush and a disinfectant wipe removed most of it. The glass although dirty is less scratched than it looks in the photos and again cleaning has made a huge difference. Best news of all, the watch is working and keeps perfect time. Now for the less good news, although the auction house valuers assure me that it is a genuine Georg Jensen/Vivianna watch there are no makers marks at all on either the watch casing or the bangle. This is very unusual as Georg Jensen pieces normally have the Georg Jensen oval stamp at the very least. Even tiny earrings have it. I have the auction house letter of authenticity, when the watch is being worn the marks aren’t visible anyway and most importantly I love the style and design, they are what matters rather than a stamped mark. The other concern is that the rear case is clipped onto the casing
, other examples I’ve seen have four screws holding it in place, note there is no makers mark on the back casing of this example either but the bracelet is stamped.
The dial is very dirty/stained, it should be a silver mirrored finish but is almost copper coloured. I took it to a Jeweller yesterday who is going to send the dial off to a dial restorer to get his opinion about cleaning it. This involves taking the watch apart to remove the dial so my watch will be away for at least a couple of weeks. Once the dial restorer assesses it I will get a quote for restoration and move on from there.
So how do I feel about the watch? Despite some slight concerns about its provenance I love it, when all the cleaning is done I’ll have a beautifully designed watch that looks elegant and keeps good time.
I have loved the designs of Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe for many years, I’ve looked longingly at jewellers’ windows and coveted the watches in particular the bangle watches, the necklaces and the earrings. Actually the watches have been a constant obsession since I saw a very elegant friend wearing one many years ago. I’ve told myself many times that I would have a Vivianna watch for this or that occasion.Now and again I’ve saved up some money but then inevitably other needs took priority and the savings would be spent on necessities. This year I reached the milestone of being 60, a number of friends and family asked what I’d like but I didn’t feel that asking for a present costing thousands of pounds was reasonable. Just after my birthday I spotted a vintage Vivianna watch for sale in an online auction house in Denmark. Calling it vintage is being kind, really it is a very old very well used watch
that is going to need some serious restoration but it’s price was well within reach so I bid on it fully expecting someone to outbid me by the closing date, today.
When I got in this afternoon there was an email waiting to say that the poor old battered Vivianna is mine. It should arrive in about 10 days and then the work will have to begin… but I am finally the owner of a Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe watch and I can’t wait to start restoring it to its former glory. Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe had quite unusual views about watches, she didn’t like the idea of watching the progress of time so most of the watches she designed had mirror faces to reflect the present instead. They don’t have numbers on the dials and sometimes only had a second hand and no minute or hour hands. Thankfully this watch has both minute and hour hands and currently the mirror face reflects nothing but dirt and rust. It is apparently in working order though so the damage is surface damage only.