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Thread: An unusual case

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Dec 2001
    New Hampshire

    Default An unusual case

    I recently acquired this watch in an open face 18K case.

    It looks to be fairly standard English 'crystal" open face case but it is hallmarked for Edinburgh 1943.

    The movement is by Louis Audemars and is an independent seconds movement. I believe I got it at a fairly low priced because it was regarded as a re-case.

    I suspect that it may not have been cased at all until this case was made in 1943 but the case is not marked at completely as I would have expected.

    The back cover has the full hallmark set as shown

    Here is a closer view of the marks

    The inner cuvette is not fullv marked

    The bow is marked as shown

    The case itself has a serial number very different from the movement number which is 9384. The seller date the movement manufacture to 1864.

    I suspect that either teh case was purpose made for the movement or that the backs were replacement for those on an the original case body which may have been made in Switzerland, to english style.

    There are some minor dial repairs which may be the result of being kept as an uncased movement for a long time.

    It is also possible that it just was not fully marked as there was a War going on in 1943. The 1943 mark seems unmistakable.

    Also any leads on the casemaker "CN"?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: An unusual case

    Dr Jon I don't think it is an Edinburgh assay mark - it's an acorn not a thistle. I believe the acorn was used after 1907 on imported items that were assayed in Chester. On that basis this would date the case to 1913 and the makers mark would be Charles Nicholet a watch importer based at 13 Charterhouse Street, Holborn Circus, London. The mark registered 13/12/1906.

    Last edited by John Matthews; 05-30-2017 at 01:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
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    Default Re: An unusual case (By: John Matthews)

    Hi Dr. John,

    John is right, this is a Chester import mark from 1913, and Charles Nicholet (or Nicolet), was the owner of Stauffer Son & Co. in London from 1879.



    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  4. #4
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    Dec 2001
    New Hampshire

    Default Re: An unusual case (By: John Matthews)

    Thanks, that makes a lot more sense than Edinburgh 1943.

  5. #5

    Default Re: An unusual case (By: Dr. Jon)

    I think this may be a similar situation to my own LA watch - a movement which had been stripped from its original case in the "great meltdown" and was then re-cased later by someone who appreciated the importance of the movement.
    To my - admittedly completely unqualified - mind there is little doubt that the "internal" clicks on the winding train indicate this is an LA movement.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2001
    New Hampshire

    Default Re: An unusual case (By: Audemars)

    The movement is signed "L. Audemars". It also has their signature bar over the second motion wheel and the shepherd's crook lever affix.

    It is possible it was not previously cased. The independent seconds is more complex and much less useful than the Nichol's start, stop, and reset chronograph which came at about the time this movement was made.

  7. #7

    Default Re: An unusual case (By: Dr. Jon)

    Are we sure about the spelling of Nichole / Nicholet? There is a possiblity it may be Charles ("Charly") Nicole who was operating in London at the time and had a very close cooperation with the Audemars (in fact he married Suzanne, sister of Louis Audemars-Valette and was therefore, by marriage, my great-great uncle....).
    I have just sent a PM to Jon about the movement serial number which appears in the archive, but sadly the entry does not refer to this movement but to a cheap watch sourced by the Audemars' London depot from Matthey-Doret. An unfortunate coincidence.
    There is however no doubt in my mind about the authenticity of Jon's movement.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2001
    New Hampshire

    Default Re: An unusual case (By: Audemars)

    Thanks for the replies. The Charles Nicolet firm is pretty well documented at this link http://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/stauffer.php They are certainly the people who imported the case in 1916 but this movement may not have been in it then.

    My watchmaking mentor looked at it and pointed out to me that the case was made for another watch and has the dreaded extra screw marks.(These are on the back ring while the movement now in teh case has its screws on teh front ring of the case) It also does not match the dimensions of the outer plate circle and has a notch not part of the fit of this movement to the case.

    It is very well executed change.

    This raises the question of whether Nicolet had anything to do with this watch.

    It remains a possibility if the refit was done in Switzerland and the import marks were placed there when the recased watch was returned to if it had not been so marked before. The practice of assaying foreign precious metal was stopped for a period ending in 1907 due to massive bad practice and this case may have been imported with a different movement before 1907 and not marked.

    The change could have been recent too.

  9. #9

    Default Re: An unusual case (By: Dr. Jon)

    Very high grade independent jump central second pocket watch, might from La

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