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  1. DavidBoettcher

    Help! I bought a dud! (English Lever)

    “It was perfectly legal at the time for foreign gold or silver watch cases to be assayed and hallmarked in a British assay office. In fact. it was required by British law that all gold and silver items should be hallmarked before being put on sale. But for many years gold and silver watches had...
  2. DavidBoettcher

    Robert Roskell Numbers File.

    A correspondent wrote to me asking about the hallmarks in the case of this watch with the movement marked RobtRoskell 35485. He has given me permission to post these images. The case is approximately 1.87 inches in diameter, or 47.5 mm. The watch case has Chester Assay Office hallmarks for 18...
  3. DavidBoettcher

    Solvil pocketwatch - Looking for information

    Ditisheim founded Solvil. He was a perfectionist and wanted to make observatory grade watches, which made them very expensive, and he fell out with the other directors when they wanted to take the company in a more commercial direction. He moved to Paris in 1924 and resigned from Solvil in 1929...
  4. DavidBoettcher

    Solvil pocketwatch - Looking for information

    This watch has an interesting balance, which I have just written about in an article in the November 2021 Horological Journal that is currently being printed. The balance spring is Elinvar and the balance is later than Ditisheim's Affix balances, but was designed with the same purpose in mind...
  5. DavidBoettcher

    Is this a Rolex Rebberg movement?

    I don't know too much about matters on the other side of the pond, but Henry Birks was a Canadian, born to parents who had emigrated from Yorkshire, England before his conception. Henry Birks opened a jewellery shop in 1879 in Montreal. In 1893 he took his three sons into partnership. Birks &...
  6. DavidBoettcher

    Is this a Rolex Rebberg movement?

    Just wanting to pour a bit of oil on waters before they get too stormy, there are Rolex with 7 jewel Aegler Rebberg movements; Dowling & Hess comments about this (2ed, Chap. 19, p 315: "The Rebberg was produced in two different grades, 15 and 7 jewels ...") and it is mentioned on my Rolex page...
  7. DavidBoettcher

    'Anomalous' Birmingham hallmarks in the latter part of the C19th (Cycle V)

    Philip visited all the UK assay offices to get new data for the extended date range of his latest book. I drew this to his attention before he visited the Birmingham Assay Office. Consequently his new book says In 1845, perhaps linked to the Customs Act of 1842, Birmingham started to use...
  8. DavidBoettcher

    What is the small dial for?

    I think I might have led you astray by mentioning that this type of watch *used* to be called a Dutch fake. It is now thought that they were made in England from movements that were brought from Geneva and put into English made cases. The name Wicksteed and Oswestry on the dial is likely to...
  9. DavidBoettcher

    What is the small dial for?

    John, it's a good job you keep your wits about you, I had meekly accepted that it was T·P without considering any other possibilities. Grimwade has the same mark (710), although it looks quite different from the one in Jackson. Interestingly, the mark in the latest edition of Jackson doesn't...
  10. DavidBoettcher

    What is the small dial for?

    Dave contacted me to ask if I could identify the sponsor's mark. I can, but first a few observations on the watch itself. It is of a type that used to be called Dutch fakes or Dutch forgeries. The dial has an arcaded minute track that was popular in Holland at the time and hence such watches...
  11. DavidBoettcher

    Tavannes Submarine Commander

    The long number 3305913 is seen in all Submarine watch cases and seems to be the case design reference number. There is usually one shorter number, which I take to be the production serial number of the watch. This one is unusual in that it has two short numbers, 244 and 436. I don't know why...
  12. DavidBoettcher

    Tavannes Submarine Commander

    I have never noticed discolouration of vitreous enamel of dials like this due to radium burns like you see in plastic crystals, I think what you are seeing is more likely to be due to lighting or photographic limitations of the images. I wouldn't say the dial has been 'reworked' as such, just...
  13. DavidBoettcher

    Tavannes Submarine Commander

    I have looked at a few of these now so I think I can explain what has happened here. The black and the white parts of the dial are all original. The way that these dials were made is that first a layer of white vitreous enamel was fired onto the copper dial plate, covering it with a plain white...
  14. DavidBoettcher

    Hamilton 992 Elinvar Technical Bulletin

    Hi Jim, Thanks, I knew that. But you need to be on the board to do that . . . . Regards, David
  15. DavidBoettcher

    Hamilton 992 Elinvar Technical Bulletin

    I have only just found these updates, for some reason I wasn't being notified about updates. Thanks to Terry and Robert for uploading the technical bulletins. To answer Tom's implied query as to why this thread has fizzled back into life, I am working on an article about the development of...
  16. DavidBoettcher

    Hamilton 992 Elinvar Technical Bulletin

    Unfortunately the links in this old thread to the Hamilton Technical Bulletins on Elinvar and Elinvar Extra appear to be dead. Can anyone provide working links or upload copies of these Bulletins?
  17. DavidBoettcher

    Oil cap jewel on pallet fork

    Only the end of the pivot bears on the end stone so there is hardly any friction, like a spinning top, so there is even less need to oil than with regular pallet fork pivot jewels. The end stone might not be seated properly, allowing too much end float and a shoulder on the pivot to contact the...
  18. DavidBoettcher

    L&R Tempo 400 jars; what are they, where can I get some screw lids?

    Hi Dave and Mark, thanks. I am sure the L&R jars are branded versions of a US wide mouth canning jar, but unfortunately these are not readily available in grocery stores in England, I have tried. I will try L&R, but I was hoping to find a make of jar with a lid that would fit that I can get...
  19. DavidBoettcher

    L&R Tempo 400 jars; what are they, where can I get some screw lids?

    I would like to put screw lids on my L&R Tempo 400 solution jars when the machine is not in use. The jars are branded with the L&R logo, circa 1 litre capacity, about 95mm diameter and have a single spiral thread for a lid. Does anyone know what sort of jars they are based on, e.g, Mason jars...
  20. DavidBoettcher

    MARCKS & co ltd bombay and poona

    The hands should be a style called "poire squelette", skeleton hands that take lume to match the luminous numbers. I am not sure of the origin of the "poire", I think it might mean the pear shaped swelling at the end of the hour hand. There is an example at...

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Hard Life for Wristwatches by Roy Gardner