2 gold pocket watches

Mattijs

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Dec 28, 2012
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Hello

As the title already says, I recently found 2 old pocket watches while roaming through the house.
They are both 18K gold, and they still function: the bigger one without problems, the smaller one's larger clock-hand is loose, but it still ticks. The smaller one is most likely a model worn by women.

The smallest one looks like this: P1000576.jpg P1000577.jpg P1000578.jpg P1000579.jpg

I have no clue on the manufacturer but there are some inscriptions on the cap: It has a stamp of a lady in profile, a serial number I suppose and another number that I can't read.

The larger one looks like this: P1000570.jpg P1000571.jpg P1000572.jpg P1000573.jpg P1000575.jpg
The manufacturer is Mistral and it was made in 1900. French, I suppose. It says: Ancre levées visibles double plateau 15 rubis.

If the pictures aren't clear or detailed enough, I can make drawings of the inscriptions on the hood..

I hope you can help me with this.

Thank you
Mattijs
 

MartyR

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Dec 16, 2008
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Welcome to the board, Mattijs :)

Mistral is a trademark registered by L & A Ditesheim (founders of Movado) in 1902 and your watch looks to be of good quality and in excellent condition. The watch is Swiss and not French. It would be useful to see a photo of any casemarks. I would date it to 1920s but I'm interested to know how you have dated it to 1900?

I can't make out much of the other because the photos are so small. This watch is much earlier, perhaps dating to the early 1800s. The movement pattern is very unusual. The main interest is in the blue enameling over the guilloche (engine-turned) case and inset pearls. The case has a very French look to it and it would be helpful to see larger sharp photos of the casmarks inside the back cover.
 

Squite

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Jun 26, 2012
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The date on the cuvette of the 2nd watch is not it's manufacture date. It shows a date for the maker to have been exhibited in a 'world's fair' type exhibition where they may (or may not) have won a medal in 1900. Sometimes, this type of inscription was used as a form showmanship-type advertising for customer appeal, and no medals were really won at all.

The maker is Swiss. It is probably just branded Mistral for sale abroad. I agree with Marty for the date to be between 1900-1920.

The inscription on that cuvette tell you about the details of the mechanism: Ancre visibles levees = visible lever (it's an anchor-shaped lever escapement), double plateau = double table roller, 15 rubis = 15 jewels.
 
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Mattijs

Registered User
Dec 28, 2012
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Martin

Have you tried clicking the photos? Becaus if I do that, I get an enlarged version of them :).
If that still doesn't work, I have some larger photos here: The blue and pearl back: P1000584.jpg
The inside back cover of the same one: P1000586.jpg

And the back cover of the Mistral: P1000589.jpg

I don't exactly know what you mean by 'casemarks', so I just took some more photos of the inside of the cover, where some 'marks' are shown.
And i thought the Mistral watch could date from 1900 because on the inner back cover it says: exposition universelle, Paris 1900
 

Squite

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Jun 26, 2012
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The last 2 photos show the casemarks that Marty was looking for. Those are the best photos to show when looking to date a piece, generally. Those, and photos of the mechanisms themselves. The woman's head on the small watch case is the Helvetia, Swiss standard for 18K gold used after 1881.
 
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Mattijs

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Dec 28, 2012
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Ok, thank you Squite.

Is it possible to find the maker of the small watch?
If so, that would be very usefull.

Mattijs
 

Squite

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Jun 26, 2012
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It's next to impossible on unmarked Swiss watches. Most of these firms worked in anonymity. Even the larger watch you can't say for sure that the maker is known, just who registered the brand name.
 

MartyR

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Dec 16, 2008
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Thanks for the later (and better) photos Mattijs :)

I think we have identified the maker of the Mistral watch. It's an unusual tradmark and I doubt that any other maker might have used it. Also the dates seem right, and the quality of the watch is in keeping with what I understand of that maker.

The lady's watch as I said earlier has a very unusual movement pattern - I have never seen that combined main/winding wheel bridge before (that's the plate at the bottom of your photo) and it is possible that someone here may recognise it and identify a maker.

From your new photo I can see that the blue enamel is badly damaged, and probably not able to be repaired. That's a shame because that hugely reduces its financial value.
 

Mattijs

Registered User
Dec 28, 2012
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My thanks to both of you, now I know a lot more.
For an estimation of the price I have to make a new thread, don't I?

And about the blue enamel, that damage was already present when I found the watch, so that is indeed quite a shame.
I still don't really understand what you mean by 'combined main/winding wheel bridge' but don't try to explain, I am a novice when it comes to watches :).

And you said we had found the maker of the Mistral watch, so we can suppose it was manufactured by Mistral?

Mattijs

 

Squite

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Jun 26, 2012
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L & A Ditesheim would be the name of the firm, and I didn't mean to imply that I didn't think they they made it, because I do, but you can't say without a doubt that they made it, just that they branded it, and that in all likelihood they had a hand in making it.
 

Mattijs

Registered User
Dec 28, 2012
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Ok Squite, I understand, thanks a lot!
 

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