Once upon a time, when watches were not yet powered by quartz movement, solar energy had to be wound by hand!
Nowadays you see fewer and fewer watches with handwinder movement. But there are plenty of reasons to do a watch with this. Handwinder movement is thinner and therefore a watch can be made considerably thinner. In addition, handwinder timepieces have fewer parts and as a result much less can break.
The ETA / Peseux 7001 is a handwinder timepiece. With a simple construction. You can find this timepiece in watches from different brands, from Blancpain, Glasshutte, Tissot to Invicta. With some brands you even see that they have created their own modified version such as Omega with their caliber 651 in the "De Ville" collection. There are also other brands that manufacture their own variant such as Junghans with their J815 or Blancpain with the Caliber 64-1.
Peseux who devised this timepiece derived its name from its hometown in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. Founded in 1923 as an ébauche maker by the local Charles Berner, the company was best known for producing handwinder timepieces. Eleven years after its founding, in 1933, Berner appeared to manufacture more than 215,000 timepieces a year.
The design of the 7001 was completed in the early 1970s and from the beginning it had a reputation for being a solid and reliable timepiece. Is thin with its 10.5 millimeters, 17 jewels, incabloc shock system and 42 hours power reserve.
When you look at the timepiece of a watch with a 7001, it is striking how simple it looks. Simple is the best in most cases. There are only three bridges - one for the escapement, one for the moving train and the third for the drive and winding mechanism. At 21,600 bph, the timepiece is higher than the average Swiss timepiece, which often has 18,000 beats.
The basic model of the 7001 is not exactly beautifully finished. Then we also see what is included with the Invicta in the timepiece, for example. It has sharp edges for the bridges, no plating, no stripes or other finish. It is not beautiful, but functional. But having said this, the timepiece can be decorated quite easily like the many high end brands do.
In the 70s, watches were usually smaller than 38 millimeters. Everything above was seen as oversized. This timepiece is designed with the idea that watches should not be too large. It is therefore not only an ideal timepiece because it is thin, but also because it is small in size. With its 23.3 mm. This was a solution for watches from that time. It gives watchmakers the opportunity to produce very small and thinner watches. The only drawback is that it is less suitable for watches larger than 38 mm.
Nomos is probably the best known who uses the 7001. When Roland Schwertner wanted to breathe new life into Nomos in 1991, he had to keep development costs low. He did this by using a generic timepiece such as the Peseux 7001. Only in 1997 did Nomos start developing their own timepiece. In 2005, Nomos came up with its own timepiece that does not immediately look like the 7001. But they share a joint design method.
Nomos took the Bauhaus route with this timepiece, while the Blancpain went a different way with this timepiece. Blancpain gave this timepiece a makeover with a nice finish, and she also added complications to this timepiece such as day, date and also a moon phase.
We are now almost 50 years further. Does it still have a place in today's watch shop? The simplicity and the size could come back again when smaller sized watches came back into fashion. Currently, large watches with Tourbillons are in demand, but in recent years we have seen in the design of many brands that watches are being made smaller again. We see more and more watches with a size of 38-40 mm. But as soon as brands want to produce watches below 38 millimeters, they could fall back on this elegant and robust timepiece.