anouther repeater question

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by vandd, Oct 17, 2008.

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  1. vandd

    vandd Registered User

    Jan 26, 2008
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    i believe this not to be american, but does anyone have a clue what is it? i will be posting this twice so both sites will see it. now back to the info, i bought this from a guy in NJ he said the balance wheel will move freely but did not know if it works. well i bought a key since i lost my universal set and wound it up and it went. but it has to be upside down to run. so i put tape acrose the 12-6 and 9-4 marks on the dial.(note the dial has no inside.) now when i inspect it i only see two words and i am bad at reading cursive but i believe they are france Retardo. this movement meausres 2 inches in diamiter. any help would help me wonder what was the past of this sweet watch.
    thanks much all
    vandd4621
     

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  2. pwrudy

    pwrudy Registered User
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    Nov 7, 2002
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    Duisburg, Germany
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    I would say this is a french quarter repeater about 1780/90, perhaps even a little bit earlier (certainly NOT before 1760). Unfortunately, the original dial (and hands) is gone which would give a clue towards the date of manufacture and the maker. Is it a cylinder escapement or is it a verge? I cannot see between the plates. Sometimes, they added an even more interesting escapement like a Debaufre or a Double-Virgule. To tell what it is exactly, you need to remove the balance and post a picture of the balance staff and the 'scape wheel.

    You will find a similar setup for the repeating mechanism in Adolphe Chapiro, Taschenuhren aus vier Jahrhunderten, München 1995, 121.
    The inscription on the silver regulation dial reads: 'Avance' and 'Retard' for Fast and Slow.

    From what I can see, the steel work on the dial plate seem to be well executed. There is no crude workmanship. This also applies to the pierced balance bridge and the little cock next to it, so it might be well worthy of Julien Le Roy or any other great maker. What about the steel gongs? Do they sound well?
     
  3. vandd

    vandd Registered User

    Jan 26, 2008
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    #3 vandd, Oct 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2008
    i am going to have to try and do what you said (when its not running) its been running for over14 hrs with a strate tick. but back to one of the q's the higher pitch sounds great, but the lower is more like a bump bump, that is at least when i move them with a small needle. but to tell you the truth, if this watch is really as old as you say it might be, i am some what affarid to take it appart. maybe i will have to talk to john p who lives near me and see if he can do it.
    thanks much so far. i will try to later post pictures if i can open it. also though, i do not have the part that pushes on the metal to make the repeater part work. do you think i need to make a peice to do so or just use a screwdriver and push down?? all helps
    thanks
     
  4. pwrudy

    pwrudy Registered User
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    Nov 7, 2002
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    I would not tamper too much which such an old piece. You basically have a bare movement, not a complete watch. As far as I can see, the strike is on steel gongs which points to a later date of manufacture, i.e. 1780/90. I really would not advocate 1800 or even a later date (1810), because of the full plate construction and the repeating mechanism which uses a little chain. s I said, Julien Le Roy used exactly this type in 1768! It may also be a repetition à toc, which means that it is a dumb repeater using a hammer on the case, not on gongs.
    You could really help me with more pics of the
    1) repeating hammer(s)
    2) gongs (if there are any)
    3) escapement (if you can get close enough with your camera without disassembling the whole piece)
    4) area between the plates (to see the staffs and the steelwork)
    Thanks a lot,
    Rudolf
     
  5. vandd

    vandd Registered User

    Jan 26, 2008
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    let me know if this helps
     

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  6. vandd

    vandd Registered User

    Jan 26, 2008
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    let me know if these pictures help you
    thanks
     
  7. pwrudy

    pwrudy Registered User
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    Nov 7, 2002
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    This helps a lot indeed, thank you!
    As far as I can see, this is a verge watch, so the 'usual' escapement for this period. Virgule and Cylinder are ruled out because of the crown wheel. Debaufre still is possible but very rare and thus unlikely.

    They constructed the watch it as slim as possible, with very plain pillars, pointing to the latest possible date of manufacture, i.e. in the late 1790s. About at the turn of the century, slim watches came in fashion which boosted the usage of the cylinder esacpement which was by that time in use for more than 50 years (attributed to Thomas Tompion, but perfected by G. Graham in the second decade of the 18th century).

    Chime is on two steel gongs, as we have seen (Breguet invention of the mid-1790s). A very interesting watch!
     
  8. vandd

    vandd Registered User

    Jan 26, 2008
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    this would be considered a pump repeater right? i am getting a case that might fit for it soon.
     
  9. pwrudy

    pwrudy Registered User
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    Nov 7, 2002
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    Yes, I guess this is the correct expression even if I would prefer to speak of a push repeater. One had to depress the pendant to activate the repeating mechanism.
    In a strict sense, there was no 'pumping' with this construction; the pendant came up automatically during the repeating process. A pump wind for example had to be wound by actually pumping a little knob on top of the pendant.
     

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