Some informations about the Geophysic " Cross Hair " dial.

Sep 19, 2013,07:46 AM

To say that the " Cross Hair " dial is a mystery is an euphemism.

Most of the Geophysics we know are coming with this dial:

Applied 12 and 6, as well as 5 minutes index markers, available in gold ( Ref dial 8067 / 5 ) or in stainless steel ( Ref dial 8067 / 9 ).

Here, in a stainless steel Geophysic:

This dial has been drawed first, on the 13th of January... 1957. Let's keep in mind that the Ref case E 168 was in production as soon as 1958, till 1961.

This version is also well known because it features in some documents, booklets, catalogs, and advertisings.

As well as another Geophysic, the Deluxe, Ref case 2985, which is shown in the Geophysic Brochure, in production for two years, only ( 1958-1959 ) for a total of 103 pieces.

The technical document of the dial ( Ref 8068 / 1 ) first drawed on the 13th of December 1957.

The Geophysic De Luxe:

Now, let's examine the most mysterious of the Geophysics, the " Cross Hair " dials.

We saw a few Geophysic using this dial, mostly in stainless steel, and only twice in colored gold.

I've searched in all the catalogs of the era, from 1958 to 1961, and I didn't find any evidence of its existence.

Same outcome with the advertisings I could find. The only Geophysics I could find were those with the dial reference 8067 and 8068.

Which is strange, as on the few I could see, I noticed that the case was the same ( E 168 ) than the one coming with the dial reference 8067, and pictured below:

And the inimitable case back:

The Yellow Gold Geophysic " Cross Hair " Dial, which is, as the stainless steel version, the property of the Heritage Gallery, and shown in the book " La Grande Maison ":

I contacted the Heritage Gallery and asked them if they found something in their documents, advertisings, catalogs, brochures.... They came back to me with the same negative outcome... Well, almost, as they found one interesting information, a technical drawing of this dial...

Let me introduce you the mighty 8085 ( its reference dial ) :

I started to wonder, before seeing this drawing, if this dial was not a service dial, which would explain that it is not featured in any " communication " document, but a detail tends to demonstrate that it is not the case.

Indeed, if you refer to the date of the initial drawing, it is written 14th of January 1958. A service dial would have probably been produced later.

The Heritage Gallery showed me something very interesting, a new old stock Cross Hair Dial!

As you can see, the conception of the dial is the same than the ref 8067, with this " skirt ", the same finish, made of soft swedish iron ( for amagnetic purposes ), only the design of the " face " of the dial changes.

The dial side:

The hidden side:

The diameter of the dials ref 8085 and 8067 is the same: 2, 85 cm. While the dial of the Geophysic De Luxe is a tad bigger: 3 cm, when its case is one millimete smaller ( 34 mm ).

Let's remind, too, that the only Geophysic which is not amagnetic is the De Luxe, but all three are Chronometers.

To be precise and complete, the Cross Hair dials came in stainless steel with the reference dial 8085/ 9, and in yellow gols, with the reference 8085/ 5.

The Heritage Gallery doesn't have track of the number of Geophysic Cross Hair made, which means that they are included in the production of the E 168 ( 1038 in stainless steel, 222 in yellow gold ), without any other precision.

We can only guess, from what we have seen during these years of watch collecting, that the Cross Hair is much less " common " than the " normal " Geophysic.


Nicolas. This message has been edited by amanico on 2013-09-19 22:44:01 This message has been edited by amanico on 2013-09-23 03:21:00

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I would be very happy to have any one of them

 By: 4Js : September 19th, 2013-09:43
But, I do love the cross hair look I can only continue to wish for a tribute Best, Joe

+1 4Js on all counts!

 By: Ares501 - Mr Green : September 19th, 2013-09:48
Something is telling me that tribute is in not so distant future Best D

Even Count Vlad? :)

 By: amanico : September 20th, 2013-07:04

Always!!! [nt]

 By: Ares501 - Mr Green : September 20th, 2013-12:02

Hmmmm! ;)

 By: amanico : September 20th, 2013-14:23

For the moment, we have an eye on the Past.

 By: amanico : September 20th, 2013-07:03
Which is not simple. Trying to guess the Future is more problematic. ;) Best, my friend. Nicolas

in a way your persistence paid off..

 By: DRMW : September 19th, 2013-10:17
While info is lacking, at least it lead you to the 8085 reference photo chart. When others read this, hopefully someone can come out and provide a little bit more. Thanks for exploring this mystery Nico. -MW

That is indeed the purpose of this article. Hope this will be helpful.

 By: amanico : September 20th, 2013-07:06
And I hope some will comes out from the wood, and share some additional informations, too! Best, Ming. Nicolas

Than you Nicolas

 By: Dje : September 20th, 2013-03:24
Hi Nico, Seemingly the past still has to be written.... This cross hair dial version is very tempting too. Fortunately I have enough with my "standard" Geophysic. Anyway thank you for sharing a little more of mistery with us. The Geophysic remains still m... 

I must confess that the idea of getting another Geophysic,

 By: amanico : September 20th, 2013-07:08
with this cross hair dial, came in my mind more than once... This dial is simply eye catching. Best, Jérôme. Nicolas

Great article again and enjoy reading. Thanks Nicolas.

 By: terenceho : September 20th, 2013-08:49
The journey to realize, find, share and wear vintage watches are really what most vintage watch lovers enjoy. Thanks again for sharing about iconic pieces with interesting information again. Have a good weekend.

As you can guess, the pleasure of investigating on such a topic is

 By: amanico : September 20th, 2013-14:37
Really huge. Thanks for your kind words, my dear Terence. Nicolas

charming cross hair...

 By: Stefan : September 22nd, 2013-09:26
... cross hair has been also most used in other brands, e.g. Omega and UG. but this is the most charming one! thanks for sharing such interesting history, Nico. stefan

The "Cross Hair" dial is ...

 By: small-luxury-world : September 23rd, 2013-01:07
pure, odd, simple, sophisticated ..... just gorgeous! Very interesting and informative report. Thanks, Nicolas! Oliver

Thank you for a great post, Nicolas!

 By: blomman Mr Blue : September 23rd, 2013-12:25
Stunning watch and very interesting read, my friend! :) Best Blomman

And I thought I was done with the Geophysic

 By: Dje : February 1st, 2014-01:33
Hi Nico, I thought I was done, I had mine, I could be quiet and serene. Now an hopeless search has begun..... :-) Shall I say thank you? :-) This cross hair is gorgeous. Best Dje

Chonometer Cross

 By: HerrK : February 6th, 2014-03:25
I did read somewhere some time ago - unfortunately I cannot remember where and when - that what you call "Cross Hair" was actually a "Chronometer Cross". JLC used the cross on some of it's Geophysics and the textile dial of the "funky" Ref. 24000 Chronome... 

You mean the article in Watch Time about JLC Chronometers?

 By: amanico : February 6th, 2014-03:40
You are right about the 24000 / 24001 / 24002: The Chronometer mention was written not on the dial, but on the case back: Best, Nicolas ...  

I know, I know, I know ;-)

 By: HerrK : February 6th, 2014-04:26
There were indeed several references that had the cross on their dial. But the use of the cross on not chronometric watches does not necessarily rule out the possibility that the cross originated on Chronometers - or does it? Just beeing curious. Christia... 

That theory may well be good IF ...

 By: amanico : February 6th, 2014-04:57
The Geophysic first came with the " Cross Hair " dial... But we know that the Cross Hair dial came one year after the " regular " dial. Passionate discussion! Best, Nicolas

Not necessarily!

 By: HerrK : February 9th, 2014-08:17
Dear Nicolas, cross hair / chronometer cross dials may have their origin in chronometers from other manufacturers. And t he solution may be Marine Chronometers: In the field of nautical (and aeronautical) communication there is a thing called "radio silen... 

It may well be,

 By: HerrK : February 6th, 2014-04:19
that it was Mehltretter's article that I had in mind. That you for your efforts to nudge my memory, Nicolas! ;-) I did notice that the watches in the thread had "Chronometre" engraved on their backs. But why do only some of the Ref. 24000 watches have the... 

I don't have any guess on that.

 By: amanico : February 6th, 2014-04:53
I always thought that the word Chronometer engraved on the case back was enough. And made a relation with the Zenith Cal 135, which, on a few watches, didn't have the Chronometer mention, for a good reason: They were not! Not offcially certified by who yo... 

Thanks for the great read

 By: E168 : February 23rd, 2014-02:51
Now I can appreciate mine Uli ...  

Yes [nt]

 By: E168 : February 23rd, 2014-03:43

Congratulations. I long time thought about bidding on this one.

 By: amanico : February 23rd, 2014-03:49
Feel free to post more pics of this beauty. The auction house pictures were very poor, and the informations provided were not correct, since they referenced it as a Geophysic De Luxe, while it is, indeed, a E 168. I am very happy to see that it went in a ... 


 By: E168 : February 23rd, 2014-10:01
Dear Nicolas, You are right. The description and the pictures have been poor and not correct. Fortunately this watch have been presented in several articles with much better pictures incl. the soft iron cage, therefore I felt quite comfortable to make a b...  


 By: amanico : February 23rd, 2014-12:35
You got a very rare version, with the Cross Hair, but now that you read the article, you know. As for the Mark 11, it can be considered as a Military Chronometer, and I will soon explain why. Bravo. It is a pleasure to welcome a Geophysic Fan! Nicolas.


 By: sfoskett : February 25th, 2014-13:10
I was quite disappointed by Auctionata's listings. I would have thought Herr Pfeiffer-Belli would have corrected the numerous inaccuracies considering it was his personal collection! I actually bid on that same watch but it went too high for my taste (or ... 


 By: HerrK : February 26th, 2014-02:51
If my Memory serves me right, they sold a ref. 24000-42 at the same time without mentioning the reference nor disclosing that the bracelet - which is an integral part of the watch - was made up. At best they simply do not know what they are selling. Chris... 

Late, but hopefully to too late.. A very nice post.. Of a seemingly rare but noble bird !

 By: hs111 : March 5th, 2014-04:20
.. I think I've read and re-read this article several times ; It is apparently a rare exception, with lots of charm and noble beauty ! All Geophysics are rare pleasures - also when I've been lucky to see & touch one.. Thanks for once more putting light in... 

Thanks, hs. I will try to post a compilation of Geophysics, one day.

 By: amanico : March 5th, 2014-04:29
The Watch is Worth some " noise ". ;) Best, Nicolas