BUTTON WATCHES

Jerzy Ganczarczyk

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Feb 25, 2003
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Recently I had an opportunity to inspect a small collection of the Swiss button watches (see pictures). They differed in quality, makers, and somewhat in size. Mostly, they were anonymous, and were equipped with cylinder escapements. Most of them were housed in gun metal cases. However, one of the items had a good, gold filled case with additional wire lugs, quality Swiss lever, and 15 jewels. This button watch could be also used as a wristwatch. One watch movement was signed by Homberger, and another by Didisheim-Goldschmidt & Fils.

Was this type of watches a subject of a specialized publication? It would be nice to know when they were popular (mid-1920's?). Any comments and additional information on the subject would be appreciated.
 

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RonD.

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Jun 21, 2005
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Cool watches. I have never seen one before. How were they worn as buttons, on a lapel? Do you think the one with lugs had them originally?

Ron
 

Jerzy Ganczarczyk

Registered User
Feb 25, 2003
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Thank you RonD. for your interest in the presented button watches. They were also known as lapel or buttonhole watches. It appears that they were worn by women as buttons on a lapel. It is likely that lugs on one of them were original for the case and not a later addition. Even more likely is that a wristwatch case was converted into a buttonhole watch case.

After submitting this query to the MB, I did some more research on the subject. Search in the eBay shops revealed two such watches. They were emphasized as very rare, but no specific information about them was given. However, in an auction catalogue from the house INEICHEN in Zurich (November 2007) also two such Swiss made watches were offered. They were dated for circa 1910.
 

jkfabulos

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Aug 21, 2001
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I have collected these for a few years. Here are some photos. They range from fancy enamel bezel to real plain nickel plated cases. One is 0.800 silver. The gold filled ones all have mother of pearl backs.
 

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Jerzy Ganczarczyk

Registered User
Feb 25, 2003
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'jkfabulos',

I am duly impressed by your collection of lapel/buttonhole watches. Thank you for showing it to us. Do you have any specific information about the makers of these watches and the period when they were manufactured and used?
 

Redundant

Registered User
Dec 30, 2007
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JKF,
As Jersey G. says, we are impressed. Great collection. What, Where, when, what is all this? Button watches ?
Ok, give it up. How many, who manufactured, what period, any important manufacturers, and were they worn by women, men or both?
Thanks, Marty
 

jkfabulos

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Aug 21, 2001
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I have no information as to the origin or specific use of these watches. They are all low grade cylinder style movements. I have been told by old time collectors that both genders used them in their suit lapel button holes. This information may be just hearsay and with no basis in fact. Maybe they were just a fashion accessory?
Very few are marked with any significant information as to maker or time period of manufacture.
I have never seen any original advertising material relating to them.
 
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