Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver

Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver

Part of our raison d'etre here at 10:25 Vintage is to shed some light on little known watches and brands that, for some reason or another, are overlooked or underrated. The world of vintage timepieces is truly vast, and even in the era of the internet, there are still a ton of brands that fly under the radar of the average collector or enthusiast- for now.

Nivada is one such brand that is only starting to catch the attention of the community as a whole. Nivada traces its roots back to the year 1879 and the horological hotbed of Grenchen, Switzerland (still home to the likes of Breitling, ETA, and Etena among others). Thanks to a trademark lawsuit (because Nivada sounds like Movado, right?), they were commonly branded under the Croton name in the U.S., a nod to their North American distributor in Upstate New York.

Croton, Nivada, or Nivada Grenchen: by whatever name they go by, these watches were meant to handle anything. No model of Nivada's typifies this more than the Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver. Not only is it a chronograph (a chronomaster, even), it can be used at sea and in the air.

Perhaps their most well known model to modern collectors, the Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver was introduced in 1963 and produced until 1978. It came in many different flavors throughout its fifteen-year run. The most common iteration, featured on this watch, has a 40mm steel case, rotating bezel, and black on black chronograph registers at 3 and 9 o'clock, with a red triangle in the 30 minute subdial for timing regattas. Nivada used broad arrow hands during the 1960s before transitioning to stick hands in the 1970s; it's the latter style that you see here.

It is perhaps on the inside where Chronomasters differed the most, having been powered by a variety of hand wound chronograph movements, from the Valjoux 92 and 7733 to the Landeron 248. This example has the superlative Valjoux 23, that column-wheel movement that powered chronographs by Rolex and Heuer, among others.

We are constantly asked for our recommendations for a reliable, verstatile vintage chronograph in a modern, wearable size- whichever variant you end up with, the Nivada Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver makes the short list.


Stainless steel case is approximately 38.5mm (excluding the crown). Valjoux 23 hand-wound chronograph movement. Circa 1970.

Overall Condition: Steel case is in great condition with light, even wear from from age and use and no signs of overpolishing. Matte black dial is in good condition with even patination across the luminescent elements as is the handset. Screw-down caseback shows light tool marks. Unsigned crown.

Includes two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

SKU: TT01091.

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