I’ve been collecting Dugena chronographs from the 70s for the last 5-6 years and I finally landed one of my more sought-after references. I recently acquired this 1970s Dugena Racing “Carrera” chronograph (reference 73321) in October of 2020.
Equipped with the standard workhorse Valjoux 7733, it’s 35.9 mm chrome plated case, usually a major negative for me, is in almost flawless condition. Lug to lug length, likely the most telling measurement of how a watch will wear to me, measures in at a comfy (for my sub-7-inch wrist) 42.5 mm. It’s only 12 mm thick with 18 mm lugs and light as a feather at 45 grams without the strap.
Dugena was established in 1917, and in its hay day functioned as a group of brands that had many manufactures within its network. BWC, Fortis, and Alpina all were a part. Alpina forms part of the consortium’s name, Deutsche Uhrmacher Genossenschaft Alpina, or DUGENA.
The reason I longed for this one is because I almost bought this reference nearly two years prior (in February-March of 2020) from a dealer in London. However, as sometimes happens in collecting, I was too, let’s say “frugal” with my offers and when I came back to agree to a deal a week later, it was sold and gone. The ones that got away are the only ones that I think about. I rarely if ever regret selling something, but the ones I just missed, they linger.
About 6 months later, another example of the same reference popped up in the Netherlands. The asking price was higher than before and I regrettably still didn’t pull the trigger because of the high ask. I figured I had really screwed up now, being a miser twice. For the next year, I didn’t see a single example. Then, the exact collector who bought the watch from the Netherlands when I passed on it, now a year later, was selling and I saw his ad for it on IG and Reddit. I knew three strikes and you’re out so I immediately contacted the seller in Canada and ended up with the exact watch I had passed on the year earlier. As an added benefit, I somehow negotiated the cost back to the initial amount I wanted to spend two years earlier.