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  1. #1

    Default ANCRE Ligne Droite, 15 Rubis, 18k: Unknown watchmaker -looking for information

    First of all my greetings from Spain, and please, excuse my broken english, it's not as good as I would like.
    I inherited a family watch a while ago and I'm trying to determine its origin and seek information about it. It's a pocket watch, four caps with one detached, 18k gold, from the city of Chaux-de-Fonds (I think), and I estimate it belongs to ~1900. The inscriptions on the back says:
    Ligne Droite
    15 Rubis
    T. Jacot Baron & Cie (I suspect that this is the watchmaker, but I find no information about him. I found some info from a Jacot-Baron family, apparently Swiss)
    N. 43243

    In one of the outer covers there is a small handwritten note, I don't know what could be (seen in the tenth image). It's written, I think:


    Do you know what this could be?
    I have little idea of the world of collecting watches, could you tell me anything about this watch I inherited? I haven't found any information about the watchmaker, and I have no idea what could be its approximate value, nor its exact historical time, nor the mechanism it uses. I have no intention of selling it (only you would in case of extreme necessity, it has been in my family for some generations), but I wonder what value it could have. By the way, is not working and the glass cover is broken or detached (seen in the second image).
    I greatly appreciate any information that you may give me about this piece, I have an immense curiosity and barely know anything about it. Is it a piece of category? I will sincerely appreciate anything you could tell me about it.
    Thank you very much and greetings.


  2. #2
    Registered user. Squite's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Seattle, WA, USA

    Default Re: ANCRE Ligne Droite, 15 Rubis, 18k: Unknown watchmaker -looking for information (By: prome)

    The maker's name is Fritz Jacot-Baron of La Chaux-de-Fonds. I found a court document with his involvement in March 1972. It appears to be an appeal of a verdict in a previous trial, unrelated to the watch industry from what I gather (it's in French, and I didn't take the time to translate it all).

    It seems he's attributed to some fairly nice watches, based on a quick online auction house search. Your straight-ligne lever (ancre ligne droite) movement is a more modest example, and it and its case probably date to somewhere between 1870-1910, I would guess.

    The scratched marks are of little value to us. They are usually watchmaker's service notes on jobs performed on the watch long ago.
    The serial numbers are also of less value than on American watches, and are usually difficult, if not impossible to trace on most Swiss examples, save the very well known prominent makers that are still around.

    Oh, and I should mention values aren't given here, per the rules of the forum. You'd need to post on a separate board for a valuation, called "What's this Watch Worth?".
    Last edited by Squite; 02-18-2013 at 06:59 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: ANCRE Ligne Droite, 15 Rubis, 18k: Unknown watchmaker -looking for information (By: prome)

    Hello Prome and welcome to the board

    Let me start off by trying to add to Squite's excellent detective work.

    Pritchard (the major reference work for Swiss watches) gives the firm Jacot Freres in Le Locle and Geneva which she says "may possibly have been" founded by Fritz Jacot (born 1832 died 1891) and his brother Gustave Jacot (born 1830). Fuirther, she mentions a patent granted in the USA to F Jacot in 1874 (for a watch key).

    The information is confusing because your watch is clearly marked Chaux de Fonds but Pritchard implies that Fritz was based in Le Locle. Pritchard may just be incorrect in assuming that Jacot Freres and Fritz were connected.

    Quote Originally Posted by prome View Post
    By the way ... the glass cover is broken or detached (seen in the second image).
    The glass (known as a "crystal") fits into that golden ring known as the "bezel") which in turn clips on to the from of the watch. Putting these back on the watch is often a tricky process which requires a lot of practice, and you might cause damage trying to do it yourself. I suggest you ask a watch repairer to do this for you - it will probably take him less than a minute!
    Martin Rosen

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