On a recent trip to Montreal I visited the Market St-Michel Flea market and discovered a vendor who had a nice collection of watches ranging from a 1920s Waltham to 1980s LCD models. As I scanned the assortment, however, it was this egg-shaped oddball that really caught my eye, the Jovial Vision 2000. I’d never heard of Jovial before (they’re still in business), but the watch was unique to say the least. The vendor was willing to give me what I considered a fair price, thanks to the exchange rate, so I snapped it up.

This space oddity is gold plated and in very good shape, with only minor scratches and one small ding on the left side of the case. It has a very thick crystal (how else to ward off the vacuum of space) and a Jovial-signed crown connected to a hand-wound movement. I’ll post pictures once I get the back off, which I’m going to do very, very carefully, as there won’t be any replacement parts just lying around for this guy.

The bulk of the information I’ve been able to find about the model is from the Watchismo blog, where the author had discovered some old Jovial advertisements that date the model to about 1970. After much searching, he was finally able to buy a sample of the watch. And there his story ended.

But mine has just begun. I’ve found a couple photos of similar Jovial watches on Instagram, and it seems like the model came in both chrome and gold. While the crystal is very thick, the case is extremely thin. (To reduce weight while achieving escape velocity from the earth’s pull, perhaps? Alas, we may never know.)

The watch measures 40mm wide not counting the crown and about 30mm high. It’s not exactly lug-less

but the lugs are small and don’t extend beyond the top and bottom of the case, which I’m guessing is some “base metal” alloy rather than stainless steel.

On the back, there’s a patent number (18.8352) which I haven’t been able to track down as yet. It claims to be “Swiss Made” and “Shockproof,” so once I do get it open, I expect to see some sort of suspension on the balance jewels.

It’s actually quite comfortable to wear, though with it’s hidden lugs acting like tiny legs for a lunar lander, it sticks up about 18mm from my wrist.

I’ve worn it a bit, and it still keeps good time. Displaying the time is another matter. The case certainly looks unique and gets lots of questions, but it also pretty effectively shields the dial from view unless you glance at just the right angle. But who cares, really? This is a watch George Jetson would have been proud to own, even if his kids did already have smartwatches.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Let me know!

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