Alpina Francois Borgel (FB) Waterproof Tank SOLD
Style: Art Deco
Case: Rare Francois Borgel early tank style "waterproof" design with 3 slide in clips that squeeze the case, crystal and gaskets firmly together. Signed inside the back with the FB key symbol, Brevet, No. 207378, Alpina, Acier Inoxydable. Measures 23mm by 38.5mm excluding the crown. 16mm strap.
Dial: Original factory printed two tone dial with black numbers and small seconds at 6:00. Signed Alpina, Swiss Made.
Movement: Beautiful form style in house designed and manufactured manual wind movement caliber 490 with incabloc, signed Alpina, 15 Jewels, Swiss. Recently serviced and in excellent working condition.
An extremely rare example of Francois Borgels early tank style waterproof design in good overall condition housing a top quality Alpina movement. This ingenious case design caught the attention of many of the top houses in Switzerland in the 1940's. Used by numerous companies such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron & Constantin, Movado, and Cartier, these watches are highly sought after and rare to find as although the design is wonderfully creative, it was quickly discovered that it was not very effective in waterproofing the watch so not many were produced. While the dial on this example is relatively good, you can see it was exposed to moisture at some point and therefore has developed a patina with age. Alpina was an excellent designer and manufacture of movements in the first half of the 20th Century and this caliber 490 is no exception. The last picture on the page shows how the clips located on the side of the case slide out towards the lugs allowing it to be opened.