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  1. #1

    Default WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture.

    Hi, firstly apologise if I'm in the wrong area to ask this question but having recently reawakened my interest in vintage watches and dusting off my collection I was delighted to come on this site which has already informed me about this particular watch. When I was first interested in watches this venue (i.e. The internet!!!) was not available!! Now thanks to the people on here I know this watch is from a sponsor named William Ehrhardt, case is sterling silver, from Birmingham England and made by a DJ Marcuson. I can't however pinpoint the date, I suspect from what I've gathered on Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	338741here that it might be connected some way to WW II or from that period at least. It has "M" marked on inside of case, though at first I thought it was a portcullis! Also the serial number is 137761. Thanks a lot in advance to anyone who can enlighten me on the date.Domi.

  2. #2

    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: Domi)

    Welcome to the board.

    I am not an expert on watches, but there are plenty here who are. However, I can tell you that your watch is a lot earlier than WW2, I would estimate 1880-90, but, again, others will know more surely.

    The hall marks on the case are rather odd - no town mark. The letter mark looks to be that of Chester 1875 but no Chester town mark.

    I am assuming that your reference to William Ehrhardt is based on the indistinct stamp on the case (looks more like W.F, but possible a badly stamped E).

    Anyway, soon there will be the watch experts along to help but these are just my initial thoughts.

    JTD

  3. #3

    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: JTD)

    Do any of the other sections of the case have a complete set of marks?
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  4. #4
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture.

    Hi Domi, and welcome,

    There should be a complete set of marks, including a town mark for the Assay Office, inside the outer lid. If it is Chester, (three sheaves of corn and a sword), that "m" stands for 1875, but the sponsor's mark "W.E" is most likely to be for William Ehrhardt at The Time Works, Barr Street, Hockley, Birmingham, who made both cases and movements, and would have used the Birmingham Assay Office, (an anchor). In which case, the Birmingham date letter "m" in this style is for 1886. The Assay Office mark will decide which when we see it.

    The name of Marcuson engraved on the top plate is for the retailer, who would have ordered the watch from Ehrhardt complete with case and engraved with whatever they wished. That serial number doesn't represent the number of watches sold by the retailer, it's much more likely to be an Ehrhardt job number. If the movement was made by Ehrhardt there should be a punched mark of a winged arrow on the pillar plate under the dial.

    PS, you are in the right place!

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  5. #5
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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: novicetimekeeper)

    I think that the stylized 'M' indicates a London assay date mark. See here (ignore the red oval): https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/...g&action=click

  6. #6

    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: stewey)

    The background cartouche (shield) is the wrong shape for London. I am fairly sure it is a Chester M, but there should be other marks as well.

    JTD

  7. #7
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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: JTD)

    Hi John,

    The shapes of all the cartouches except the sponsors' may vary quite legitimately from those in the hallmark reference books, but the sponsor's mark has to appear exactly as in the Assay Office registers. Sometimes it's the only way to differentiate two makers with the same initials.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  8. #8

    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: gmorse)

    Quote Originally Posted by gmorse View Post
    Hi John,

    The shapes of all the cartouches except the sponsors' may vary quite legitimately from those in the hallmark reference books, but the sponsor's mark has to appear exactly as in the Assay Office registers. Sometimes it's the only way to differentiate two makers with the same initials.

    Regards,

    Graham

    William Ehrhardt's mark 'W.E' incuse is only listed for Birmingham in Priestley - it may well be Birmingham 1896 rather than Chester.

    John

  9. #9
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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: gmorse)

    Why is the outer edge of the dial divided into 300 gradations?

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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture.

    Hi John,

    It's definitely an "m" for 1886 not a "w" for 1896. Good point about the Birmingham registration.

    Stewey, the watch has a sweep seconds hand which could act as a sort of stopwatch by sliding the piece in the band between II and III; this stopped the whole train, so it isn't a true chronograph.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  11. #11
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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: gmorse)

    Thanks, Graham...Interesting.

  12. #12

    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: gmorse)

    Quote Originally Posted by gmorse View Post
    Hi John,

    It's definitely an "m" for 1886 not a "w" for 1896. Good point about the Birmingham registration.

    Stewey, the watch has a sweep seconds hand which could act as a sort of stopwatch by sliding the piece in the band between II and III; this stopped the whole train, so it isn't a true chronograph.

    Regards,

    Graham
    Graham - you are correct, my mistake. I misused Bradbury. By 1896 Ehrhardt's Birmingham mark was in an oval cameo/cartouche. The Birmingham incuse mark was from 14/11/1867 to 22/12 1880.

    John

  13. #13
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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture.

    Hi John,

    I think we still have a problem; the incuse version of the mark is indeed listed in Birmingham between 1867 and 1880, after which it changes to an oval cartouche, but this date letter in Birmingham is for 1886. Another possibility is that the mark is not "W.E" but "W.F"; however there isn't a "W.F" incuse in any office in this date range, (ditto for "W.B" and "W.R"), and the only "W.E" incuse belongs to Ehrhardt.

    We must wait for the picture of the complete hallmarks.

    Regards,

    Graham
    Last edited by gmorse; 04-02-2017 at 02:50 PM.

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  14. #14

    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: gmorse)

    Hi everyone, thanks a million for the replies all very interesting. Sorry if my pics are not clear I hope these new ones are better and i suppose i should have put one up of the back of the watch. This is the first pic I'm adding here. Also a pic to show there are actually two cases to the back of this watch. The "WE" does look more like a "WF" here but i've got out the magnifying glass and i can just make out the line that should complete the F to make it an E! so i'm pretty sure its WE on both cases...finally all i can say to help is that the cartouche just under the lion to the left to me it looks like an anchor, at first i thought it was a flower of some kind but having seen other on here and comparing i'm pretty sure its an anchor though again not 100% on that..thanks again everyone, your insights into this are very interesting even if we never manage to definitively date it.
    Regards, Domi.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: Domi)

    Hi Domi,

    Thanks for posting these pictures, just what we needed! The Birmingham Assay Office mark is quite clear, so is the "m" for 1886, and the sponsor's mark is certainly "W.E" for William Ehrhardt. The discrepancy in dates noted earlier may be due to an error in recording or transcription; even Priestley, (the standard reference book for watch case hallmarks), isn't infallible!

    The inner back is known as a "cuvette" if it hinges (or snaps) open like this, and a "dome" if it's fixed, as it would be in many earlier English watches. These double backs were an attempt to keep some of the dust out of the movement, which was really a forlorn hope!

    The watch does appear to be a little battered, with a missing pillar screw, no bow on the pendant, a few hairline cracks in the dial, (pretty common), and replacement hour and minute hands, but the long, fragile seconds hand is still there. It's not a good idea to run the watch very much as it clearly hasn't been cleaned or serviced for some time, and old oil and dirt can make an effective grinding paste.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

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