Back to the Three Emperors' Corner again

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by pmwas, Feb 5, 2019.

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  1. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    My hometown of Sosnowiec, yes.

    Today I went to a small, lovely antique shop in the very centre, filled with old china, silverware, books, clocks, paintings… just whatever's your heart's desire :)

    DSCN0061 — kopia.JPG

    Not 200 meters away from the main railway station, built in the Russian times, in 1859 - among the first railway stations in Poland. Old picture, as we now have a beautiful winter here :)

    In there, I found a lovely, silver watch I just had to purchase, no doubt:


    Found in it's original box, the watch front lid has a nice 'WP' monogram, applied, not engraved…


    Both front and back have simple, but very elegant finish.


    Under the front lid...


    ...there is a lovely, art deco, pressed dial with elegant pattern.


    Silvana. The name rings a bell, but I've not yet made any sort of direct contact with Silvana watches.
    I don't usually buy Swiss watches - not my cup of tea, to be frank, but this is more than just a Swiss watch of the era:


    To Mr Vladislav Pazera for 25 years of service, the Hantke Modrzejow Company it says.
    This is a presentation watch for a large mining-ironworks company of Sosnowiec, Poland.

    The Hantke Modrzejow company was incorporated in 1920 (in the newly reborn state of Poland), but it's mines and ironwork plants operated since late XIX century, established in the Russian times.

    Such presentation notes from this period is nothing very special, you see one every once in a while, but this comes from my own city - most come from the neighboring Silesian region cities.

    Obviously - such souvenir form your own city is always a treat.
    I did not even look under the cuvette. Swiss movements of the time are often not very attractive and I was afraid it could discourage me.
    So the sound of swinging balance was quite enough for me.

    Back at home I - obviously - did open up the cuvette.


    This was a pleasant suprise :)


    A mid grade 15 jewel movement with cut expansion balance.
    Well finished, high quality. Looks like a Revue to me, but don't take that for granted.

    The movement started working in my pocket on the way home, obviously needs oiling, though.

    All in all - a great day. You don't get watches like this every day.
    Historical piece from my city and preserved in near-mint conditio, with minor wear, some tarnish and no significant damage to speak of.

    Splendid, I say :)
  2. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    And another beautiful piece, this time bought in the web - arrived in today's mail :)


    Paul Buhre, maker to the court of the Tsar of Russia - 8 day pocket watch.


    Base metal case...


    ...with typical late Buhre markings on the cuvette. It's likely made somewhere around 1910-1915.

    Inside - a Swiss 8 day movement, mid grade, looks to be 9 jewel, not very sophisticated in terms of finish.


    Close-up :)


    The thing is...

    IMG_3068.JPG's HUGE :)
    I do 't know how scarce or rare it is, first time I see one, so probably uncommon, but the size is something.


    That's compared to another Buhre, that one about 16 size, so no small watch itself :)

    Cool oversized watch, I think :)
    Keith R..., viclip and Tom McIntyre like this.
  3. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    Getting on with the watches form my own city - a Cyma...


    Young is dumb and I was too young to get this.

    I got this from my neighbour when I was 17, a long time ago.

    It came with a lovely (but busted) Zenith I've already shown, but long ago.

    The watches were family heritage, the Zenith once belonging to her grandfather (an important person in Sosnowiec) and the Cyma to her stepfather, a lawyer from Sosnowiec as well.

    Zenith was in worse, non working and missing parts condition, but it's a Zenith and it was Mr Anthony Baranski's watch, so I finally managed to restore the watch during the last 15 years.

    The Cyma, however, is a low grade watch in base metal case, with metal replacement dial and... all in all instead of restoring it, I scavenged the hands and crystal for use in 'better watches', and so the watch remained hidden in my drawer.

    Why do a thing like that? Well - like I said - young is dumb. When you're young you won't understand the value of 'family heritage' and a watche's unique story.
    I finally remembered the watch when the neighbour mentioned her Papa and... the watch he used to have.

    I reinstalled another crystal, Installed a set of hands similar to the ones the watch used to have (the minute one was non-original anyway, as 15 years ago I had my watchmaker replace it with a nicer one) and went on with servicing the movement. Here goes:


    The watch disassembled.
    It's a nicely finished, but just 10 jewel Cyma in base metal case. Nothing particularly special, but well made piece.
    Keyless works:


    And the patented balance spring regulator:


    There is nothing very special about it, except that instead of a traditional single arm it has an arm made of two pieces.
    So you can roughly adjust the rate by moving just the short hairspring end (the long arm still centered) and then use the regulator arm itself for 'fine tuning'.
    It's nothing significant, but with a very long piece of Breguet overcoil shaped for regulation, this watch allows a great deal of adjustment on hairspring only, without the need to move the regulator arm out of scale.
    If that's a good idea or no... Such large amount of hairspring regulation range might impair accuracy at some point, perhaps, but then again - for a lower grade watch like this it ight ust make things simple.

    The gear train and winding gears for you:


    The train regained some beautiful gloss after cleaning. The large winding gear is badly scratched all over and I think it was not my young me doing this (I'd probably not remove the gear back then and damaged the plate around it ;) ), but the linear scratches on the top plate close to the center wheel might be in fact mine (rings a bell, somehow…).

    Anyway, the plates show some wear, but did clean up nicely.

    Getting on with the escapement, I find this:


    The pallets and the roller are blueish or slightly violet in tone, with unusual gloss making them look like polished metal (!).
    In fact for years I thought the pallets were steel, even though it did seem ridiculous.
    I wonder if the pallets are sapphire, but sapphire does not usually have such strange gloss.
    Is this garnet? Is it possible thy used garnets? I just don't know - never seen ones like this.

    The balance staff shows signs of lower pivot repair and the pallet bridge had been filed down to clear the balance. I don't like it, but it used to be a common repair at the time.

    On with assembling - case and dial:


    The watch has a very simple nickel case (just one back cover), that is an original factory case, as the little logo inside tells us.
    The dial is a replacement, and not a perfect replacement as well (slightly off center second sub-dial), and it had once been attached to the movement with a pair of screws.
    I won't say no to that - that's how I got this watch and that how his owner liked it.


    Back in once piece and keeping time again.


    Not very high grade, but good looking and fine quality movement.

    All in all - it takes time to understand the true value of such possessions is something else than what I'd get on eBay.
    It's a near-worthless watch - I doubt anyone would give thirty bucks for it, but obviously it's more than what's it worth in zloty or dollars.

    BTW - it's funny how in the end I got this watch a spade minute hand, because that's exactly what I wanted my watchmaker to do, only he did not get the point ;)

    Keith R... likes this.
  4. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    Another Imperial Russia buy.
    A nice Georges Facre Jacot watch...


    I bought it recently - attracted by the nickel finished cylinder escapement movement...


    It is a nice, all original watch in GFJ silver case:


    (the front lid is a bit bent, but the finish is in nice condition).



    GFJ marked caseback and both lids...


    ...which are also stamped with Russian ‚84’ silver hallmark.

    Now - when I opened the envelope, there was a large bundle of buble wrap around pretty much... nothing.

    It was way inside that bundle, more difficult to spot, as it is...


    ...a ladies watch!!!

    Am I disappointed? Well - no :)
    Actually, good GFJ ladies watches are harder to aquire than gents’ pieces :)
    Ethan Lipsig, Keith R... and viclip like this.
  5. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    Retired Sr. Proj. mgr,
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    Paul..............Good thread.

    Keith R...

    JJ765 (800x600).jpg JJ766 (800x600).jpg JJ764 (800x600).jpg
    eri231, viclip and pmwas like this.
  6. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    Nice :) !!!
    Keith R... likes this.
  7. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    Next watch (currently under repairs) is this gunmetal Buhre:


    It is large (case looks like American 18s), made of oxidated steel.


    There is this Russian eagle on the cuvette, so late Imperial period...


    The movement is 13 jewel, ticks.


    It is dirty and the case has corrosion spots that need attention...


    Also it needs a crystal.

    Nice watch already :)
    Ethan Lipsig and viclip like this.

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