An unusual watch recently came my way.

Greg Frauenhoff

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An unusual watch recently came my way. Unusual for a few reasons including the jewelling. Below is a view of the pillar plate. Cap jewels and a jeweled barrel. I'll post more later.

View attachment 719773
Besides having a finely finished pillar plate (and steel work), the underside of under the barrel bridge is also finely finished. Note the upper barrel arbor jewel. The barrel is also a beauty, and has narrow "pivots" for the arbor so as to fit the barrel arbor jewels. This piece is still apart. More pics to follow.

img229.jpg img230.jpg img231.jpg
 

musicguy

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Bila

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Columbus, yes. 25 jewels? Not quite. Any guesses as to the grade name?
Now that sounds very interesting Greg, the jeweling has me intrigued. My original thoughts were a "25 Jewel Railway King", but that is now out the window. Is that capped on the escape wheel and pallet or just the pallet, a little hard for my eyes to see in that last lot of photos? Or possibly not jeweled on the dial-side of the 2nd wheel (center-wheel) or even a cap jewel on the upper mainspring barrel-arbor?
 
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Greg Frauenhoff

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Now that sounds very interesting Greg, the jeweling has me intrigued. My original thoughts were a "25 Jewel Railway King", but that is now out the window. Is that capped on the escape wheel and pallet or just the pallet, a little hard for my eyes to see in that last lot of photos? Or possibly not jeweled on the dial-side of the 2nd wheel (center-wheel) or even a cap jewel on the upper mainspring barrel-arbor?
Bila,

Thanks for playing along with this one. I will get it together and post more pictures soon.

Greg
 
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luvsthetick

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Columbus, yes. 25 jewels? Not quite.
Since barrel bridge only has 2 screws holding the jewel in place it must be a 21 jewel watch. My guess would be a tu-tone Time King 21 jewel. Don't think you could get a Columbus King or Railway King tu-tone.
 
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Bila

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Since barrel bridge only has 2 screws holding the jewel in place it must be a 21 jewel watch. My guess would be a tu-tone Time King 21 jewel. Don't think you could get a Columbus King or Railway King tu-tone.
I have read & heard previously that the 2 screws should have just a metal bushing in the Barrel-bridge, and if they have jewels some have mentioned it has been an after factory fitment (not original), but I am starting to think maybe not all the time. I have seen other reports that mentioned the 2 screw barrel-bridge having jewels in some watches as well. When you look at the lower barrel-arbor hole in the dial plate on Greg's watch that jewel fitment looks Factory to these old eyes. It will be interesting when Greg divulges what his is:)
 
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Greg Frauenhoff

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I have read & heard previously that the 2 screws should have just a metal bushing in the Barrel-bridge, and if they have jewels some have mentioned it has been an after factory fitment (not original), but I am starting to think maybe not all the time. I have seen other reports that mentioned the 2 screw barrel-bridge having jewels in some watches as well. When you look at the lower barrel-arbor hole in the dial plate on Greg's watch that jewel fitment looks Factory to these old eyes. It will be interesting when Greg divulges what his is:)
Bila,

I too recall reports of a 21 jewel Time King or Columbus King having a jewel for the upper barrel arbor, rather than simply a bushing. And I agree that the jewels for both ends of the barrel arbor on my watch look factory because of the fit, color match of both the jewels and settings, etc.. Also, the barrel arbor "pivots" are decided smaller than those seen on mvts with just a bushing (I will post a pic of one soon to show the difference). As for two screws, this is, as you note, typical for the bushings on the 21 jewel Columbus mvts whereas on the 23 and 25 jewel mvts, which have jewels for the barrel arbor, this feature generally has three screws. In event, since my watch has cap jewels for both ends of the pallet arbor and escape pinion, and two jewels for the barrel arbor, it is a 23 jewel Columbus. (Note: the 25 jewel Columbus mvts have an extra pair of jewels internally on the barrel).

As luvsthetick surmised, it is a two-tone movement (gold flashing on undersides of barrel and balance bridges are a give away), so this would seem to exclude a Columbus King or Railway King (21 or 23j version that is) and suggest rather a Time King (although the Time King has 21 not 23 jewels).

I hope to post more pics soon (it's been busy around here, being summer ya know).

Greg
 

luvsthetick

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I have seen other reports that mentioned the 2 screw barrel-bridge having jewels in some watches as well.
Correct Bila, I know of two 21 jewel watches with jewels.

Since Greg's watch only has two screws I assumed it was also a 21 jewel watch based on the watches I have or have seen with more than 21 jewels have 3 screws in the barrel bridge.

Greg's watch will only prove watch companies did whatever they wanted.
 
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Greg Frauenhoff

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Here's a note from our message board in 2001. Note that the "extra" jewel is an cap jewel on the barrel arbor not a hole jewel. Also, my recollection is that the cap jewel is only on the upper end of the barrel arbor.

"Greg,

I mentioned a 21j Columbus in the related thread some days back. (I showed you this watch). I was able to inspect the watch again today. It is:

505620-CK-21-Htg

BUT, it does have 22 jewels. I pulled the dial and carefully inspected both plates. The layout is standard for an 18s 21 jewel with cap jewels on both ends of the pallet and escape arbors. The center wheel is jeweled on both arbors. The extra jewel is a cap jewel on the end of the barrel arbor and looks completely original to me.

Larry"
 
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Greg Frauenhoff

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One of the beneficial aspects of the internet age is the widespread availability of watch movement and dial images. In the "old days" one might describe a dial as "Double Sunk with Arabic numerals signed xxxx". But today we can easily go deeper into stylistic differences. For example, the 21j Columbus Time King, introduced in 1894/95, can sometimes have a DS Arabic numeral dial, and the numerals invariably look like those on this piece (from a Jones-Horan auction):

https://www.auctions.jones-horan.com/200521/images/39821_02.jpg

For want of a better diagnostic I will call this one a "closed 2" variant.

The 21j, 23j and 25j Columbus King and Railway King mvts, which were in introduced in 1899 or so (after the Time King had been discontinued) which have Arabic numeral dials have an "open 2", such as this one posted on our message board by okiejohn:

1660421907412.png

Here is the style on my new acquisition:

img236.jpg

It is the "open 2" variant and is consistent with the style of Arabic numerals seen on double sunk dials for the 21j (etc.) Columbus King and Railway Kings. So, assuming it's original to the mvt, this should give us an approx. date of 1899 or later for the piece. More pics to follow as it will soon be all together again.
 

thesnark17

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Very nice watch! I'm looking forward to seeing this 23 jewel Columbus King two-tone movement come back together.
 
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PatH

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Do you think it's a prototype? It is beautiful!
 
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Greg Frauenhoff

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Greg, lunch box special possibly.
In my opinion, the overall finish, workmanship, etc., is better than that expected for a piece assembled from misappropriated parts. Also, whoever finished this piece knew what they were doing on a whole variety levels (there's nothing slipshod about it), so a "common" watch employee as the "maker" seems unlikely. But who knows. In the end we're all guessing.

BTW, the dial is rather uncommon since it is double sunk, has "open 2" Arabic numerals and is signed just "Columbus Watch Co.". In searching pics on the internet I was unable to locate another similar one. If other such dials such exist they are certainly uncommon, which seems to be another strike against a lunch box special.
 

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