Smuggled! - MuDu "Doublematic" 25 Jewel Gold Plated Gentlemans Watch
A quite beautiful Gentlemans Watch from the 1960s - A really rare example, with the gold dial . There is only slight visible loss on the gold plating and the entire watch looks excellent. Gold on Brass case 33mm x 42mm the movement runs well, and we have replaced the crystal and the strap.
MuDu's amazing history:
1955 -the name is registered in Switzerland on 5 July 1957. It is listed as belonging to Brevinex SA/Kurt Dubach, Geneva Switzerland. In the registration of the MuDu name, the manufacturer is stated as also making clocks, chronometers, and stopwatches. It is thought that the name is a shortening of name of Muller and Durbach in Geneva.
The 'Illegal' Brand There is a rumour that MuDu watches were actually made as a secondary brand of Blancpain watches, with another theory that Blancpain workers made the watches out-of-hours, and a third that disgruntled ex-employees walked out with suitcases full of movements and cases and started up a new manufacture. All extremely unlikely. This strange alternative back-story is inspired no doubt by the illegal manner in which MuDu watches entered Britain.
From the mid 1950s and through the whole of the 1960s, MuDu watches were smuggled into the UK through various ports of entry on the southern coast of England, including Southampton and the old City of Bristol docks. They were then sold in pubs and other "unofficial" outlets, with no retail shops selling them. When the watches were smuggled in, probably to avoid the high duties imposed post-War on imported goods and precious metals like gold, they had no straps or boxes. The UK was the main export market for MuDu watches and they are rarely found in other countries.
There is one story of smuggled goods being seized from a well-know London gangster in 1961 which has been confirmed. It is reported that a large number of MuDu watches were in the haul. On on watch forum (Christopher Ward) a member said ' I purchased a MuDu 25 jewel doublematic for about £5 from a Customs & Excise sale of seized goods in 1961.' No doubt a lot of watches seen today came from this notable source.
The Swiss-made watches were of pretty decent quality and often had multi-jewel movements. They are sometimes seen engraved as long-service or retirement gifts from companies located in Southern England.
Case size: 33mm
Case colour: Gold on brass
Strap colour: Brown leather
Dial: 12 hour dial in gold.
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