Charles Jacot August Saltzmann and Frederick Nicoud

Dr. Jon

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I would like to use this thread to pull together information on these makers and their relationship.

What I have found leads me to theorize that Jacot had most of the ideas on watchmaking, and filed the patents, which were assigned to Saltzmann. Saltzmann put up the capital and Nicoud joined and may have contributed the signature gold and blue steel hands.

My first example supports the idea that Jacot and Saltzmann were partners once Jacot returned to Switzerland and begn exporting watches.

This is a 22-24 size pivoted detent chronometer.

Dial_1.png

The dial originall had two feet which have been ground off. It is not rim attached and seems to have been on the watch from its origin.

There are no holes for feet in the dial plate.

Under dial.png

the watch number 499 is engraved along with S&B Co which I believe to be Saltzmann and Jacot. Saltzmann's name is first because, I believe, he was the senior partner. There are not holes for dial feet sp the dial seems have been rim attached and is probably original. There are not a lot of 20-22 size rim dials around and it has some minor damage.

The movement is almost certainly from Louis Audemars.
Movement.png

This very unusual detent chronometer with helical balance spring shows up in Zantkes book. The example shown has a different balance cock and is free sprung. A balance cock very similar to this is on another helical spring pivoted detent example in the Zantke book.

The case is silver but marked only with the watch number and a trademark.

Inner back marks.png

The crown mark is very similar to the trademark roistered by Jacot in partnership with Courvoisier, when he worked in New York.

upload_2020-7-1_1-37-19.png
Obviously this is not a gold case but there were no laws against using this mark on a silver case in the US.

I suspect this is an early example from the Jacot-Saltzmann partnership and if the hands are original and they seem to be, the precede bringing Nicoud into the group. Case+_Mark.png
 

Jerry Treiman

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I don't have any information to add except what might be gleaned from my Saltzman movement, which measures 17 lignes across the dial. I have seen another Saltzman movement with very similar bridges, but it has a right-angle lever escapement and lacks the stem-wind modification (which I think is a later addition).
Saltzman_d.jpg Saltzman_ud.jpg Saltzman.jpg
 

Jerry Treiman

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I don't know if this is of interest or maybe a Saltzman feature but I thought I might look at the escapement for anything notable. It seems to be an unremarkable, even low-grade, single-roller escapement except perhaps for the banking. It appears to have a separate ring (steel?) inserted in the milled recess for the balance on which the fork banks.
Saltzman_bankingring.jpg
 

Dr. Jon

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That is a very interesting escapement to me and remarkable on three counts:
1) it is knife edge single roller
2) Side mounted jewels, assuming tha pallets are jeweled
3) The collar looks like enables some adjustment of banking.

The Swiss were very much against adjustable banking pins as used in English and American watches but solid banking did not allow reducing the drop if over cut.

This example leads nicely into the Jacot example which is typical of the form I hope to explore in this thread.

Dial.png
Jacot now has the two color hands we usually see on Jacot, Nicoud and Saltzmann watches.

This is a 6 size hunter case key wind ket from the back as the cuvette shows.

cuvette2.png
The signature in Jacot's Superfine Straight line lever, almost as if he owns the watch!

The case is Swiss but he wants the buyer also to understand that it is hallmarked.

Gold mark.png

The movement is now in the form patented in 1859.

Movement2.png The patent is on the arrangement of the plate that holds the click wining and three wheel bearings, It is flat and held by three screws. The patent mentions the cuts to allow access the the three wheels it holds in place.

Saltzmann watches are of this type are nearly the same except that the click spring is outside of the plate, The rest of the layout is the same as is the font for the information in the watch.

Jacot points out all the features of this movement but avoids stating that it s adjusted.

The escapement is is unusual and in a way carries on from Jerry's' example.

escapement 2.png
The magenta arrow show the unusual way the lower plate is cut out. The banking is solid against the cut in the plate but relieved to get the same idea as Saltzmann's collar, The back cut allows the "solid" banking to be bent slightly to reduce the banking although this would require a lot of force to do.

The lever arm (indicated by the blue arrow) appears to be aluminum bronze with the fork pallet frame and counterpoise pressed on to it. The thinking seems have been that this approach would minimize mass for a poised lever. The escape wheel teeth have raised tips.

The jewel count is mysterious to me, Without caps on the lever pivots it seems to a 19 jewel movement unless the mainspring barrel is also jeweled, I would have to take down the watch to check this. Movement2.png
 

Jerry Treiman

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That is a very interesting escapement to me and remarkable on three counts:
1) it is knife edge single roller
2) Side mounted jewels, assuming tha pallets are jeweled
3) The collar looks like enables some adjustment of banking.
As you can see, the fork on my Saltzman (post #4) had only a rudimentary finish. It does have pallet jewels that are set English style. By the way, the second hand on this watch does have a two-color finish - gold and blue. (The hour and minute hand are just blue and likely a replacement set).

I also have a Charles Jacot movement, later than yours, that has banking like yours; my escape wheel is flat. (movement photo is old, but I have taken a new photo of the escapement). It has a double-roller escapement. The dial side of the pillar plate is stamped "J&G".
Jacot9133.jpg Jacot_9133_escape.jpg
 
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sternerp

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eri231

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thank you
I have long searched for a link for the 2008 article, without success.
regards enrico
 

sternerp

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Hi Enrico!
Previously the articles could be downloaded for free. Now i can't see which years are saved, but i have all the articles for quite a few years. If you interested another article, maybe i can help to you;-) If i'll be near
to my computer, i will write down which years i have in my possession.

Here is one site, where are listed the articles from classic uhren magazine:
Klassik Uhren Zeitschriften Klassische Uhren Zeitschrift Index

Regards! Peter
 

sternerp

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Hi Enrico!
It is in my possession: Klassik Uhren magazine from the 2003/03th copies to 2012/05th.
Regards! Peter
 

Keith R...

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Jon, I was never sure how to date old Saltzman, so I always guessed 1860.

Thanks for sharing.

Keith R...

salt3b (500x500).jpg 100_2631 (800x600).jpg 100_2658 (800x600).jpg 100_2635 (800x600).jpg
 
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Dr. Jon

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I believe it is later than 1860 perhaps late 1870's, which may also be your dating. Assuming teh serial numbers are consecutive this comes after the the watches using the Jacot click.
 
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Dr. Jon

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I have done a translation of Hans Weils article on Jacot.

Peter sent me text file translations of the two articles on Saltzman which I have not examined closely.

The Jacot paper is long and has many interesting details. I will probably offer my translation to the Watch and Clock Journal .

Here is a summary of the paper:

It starts with a a biography and family tree of Charles E. Jacot making reference ot many biographies of him. Weil takes teh voew that Jacot received his early training from the son of Abraham Louis Perrelt, also named Abraham Louis Perrelt. The famous one invented or was an early maker of self winding watches and supplied Breguet.

Jacot was related to the Perrelets through marriage. HIs mentors great grandmother was Jacot. There were enough Jacots that they took second names to distinguishe teh branches and our Charles Jacot was a Jacot Descombs. This is significant because his first patent listed Edward Jacot Descombs as the inventor and Charles E. Jacot as assignee. They are almost certainly the same person. The patent was issued in 1840 listing Jacot as living in Baltimore, MD. It was for a jumping seconds duplex escapement.

Wiel then describes the patents listing Jacot of which there are 11 US patents (Weil states there are 12 but lists 11 in his table. The 12th is probably the Gerard design patent. (See other thread on this)

These patents involve or were license by several makers Weil identifies:

Saltzman
B and P Laval
Nicoud

An interesting bit of history from the paper is that Charles Jacot returned to La Chaux du Fonds iin 1857 after Prussia relinquished control and the newly independent Canton of Neuchatel joined the Swiss confederation in 1857. He obtained US patents only until 1874. He resumed patenting in 1889 taking out Swiss patents, which did not exist until about that time. These were all with Eduard Bovy.

The article also mentions Nicoud and that the firm used Jacot designs and another 5 models.

Weil also includes Rozat whi seems to have been the only used to the Jacot patent system to ahve been involved with the chronometer ratings and trials.

The Weil paper is a tour de force but I wish it has information on dating the watches. I noticed several difference between the watches made by the various licensees which Wiel seems ot have missed or ignored. One intersting aspect of all the Jacot imported watches is that so far I have not seen any that are marked adjusted

Weil shows examples of the warantee cards included with watches By Jacot,Saltzman Gerard and Nicoud. Jacot's card asserts teh watch is "well regulated". Saltzman's card warrents the watch to be durable and to keep correct time, as does the Gerard-Jacot card. Nicoud warrants that the watch is durable and well regulated.

Weil refers to the Nicoud-Jacot modesl with helical balance spring s as lever chronometers. The watch itself has no rating claim other than the usual warrantee card asserting it to be well regulated.

Weils also discusses the spelling of Saltzman, in German the "t" is optional but it woudl have "nn" at the, as in Grossmann, and finally decides to use the spelling on the watches as Saltzman,

Weill also describes the later Jacot generations. He had one son John whi\o died childless ending his family line, Charles had two daughters, one who married George Favre Bullle who then changed his name to George Favre Jacot. He founded the Zenith watch company.

Another daughter married Alfred Jurgensen.

Another daughter married Louis Bourquin, who imported watches to the US under his name.
 

Dr. Jon

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I have read through and translated the two papers on Saltzman.

The first is by far the better and covers the career of August Saltzman form his birth in Carthage New York to his retirement in Paris as a very wealthy man.

It covers the variety of watch he sold which range form simple to very complicated with a strong preference for dead seconds foudroyte types, What they all have in common is very unusual movement styles.

The Saltzman, Jacot Laval Nicoud Gerard connections are discussed.

The second paper is about 1/3 genealogy and descendants, but also goes into some detail on the Jacot Gerard connection and shows that all if not most later Jacot watches were marked J&G on the dial plate (Jacot and Gerard).

The second paper suggests that Saltzman and Jacot may have attended the same watch making school as they were in Switzerland at the same time. It seems to me that both were fluent in French, Jacot emigrated from French Switzerland and Saltzman's parent were French by backgraound and his middle name was Napolean, and he did retire to Paris, but I suspect Jacot was more attuned to French Swiss culture than Saltzman so they probably decided to have Jacot handle the Swiss end of the business. Also, Saltzman had family holdings in the US.

The second paper argues that watches with what they called a twin cock, I would call a Siamese twin cock as seen in Longines watches are from Jacot. I think that Longines may have copied the idea or even Jacot copied from them but I think the paper makes more of it than I think justified.

I suspect Jacot may have set up a small shop to finish all the watches for the group. The three articles comment on the nickel finish but fail to mention the very unusual sector damascening pattern on all the watches I have seen. It is difficult to photograph but it is on all of them and this is not something comes on an ebauch.

Jacot may have made batches in various factories rather than setting up a separate one but I doubt he needed any special tooling except for rose engine to finish the plates. He could have bought rough parts dial and hands from numerous sources. The finish and and adjusting require very little machinery but very skilled labor in abundant supply in Neuchatel.

The Saltzman dead seconds foudroytes have the La Brassus click design but do not look like Louis Audemars work, but may be by Aubert or Louis Elisee Piguet. That and the detent chronometer I posted show that he certainly knew where La Brassus is, but by the 1870's they were doing mostly their own design movements almost entirely for the US market, where they had patent protection not available in Switzerland until the late 1880's.
 
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Dr. Jon

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Here is a Frederick Nicoud which I hope you will find as intersting as I have.

517395-efff10ef7acdab094f3f363da5f129e3.jpg

The hands are decent, well matched but I suspect are replacements. the tiny gold boss in the center of the minute hand is common on replacement hands.

The dial signature is a Japanese Company.

The watch has two setting tabs one to out it in set mode and the other to release it to run. This is different from the Jacot Saltzman patents. Nicoud seems to have liked Jacot and Saltzman but was also independent, The Klassik Uhren article states that Nocoud imported five different models of watches of which only one uses the Saltzman Jacot patent construction.

The case is gold plated but clearly marked silver with Neuchatel hallmarking,

The back opens on pressing the crown and has spring lift to show a crystal covered movement.

Mvt_full.png

The watch has a helical balance spring and is signed by both Fred Nicoud and J. Colomb.

J. Colomb shows up in the 1874 Yokohama Hing list of the Japan Gazette, a business directory, He was listed in the Swiss rifle club so he was probably Swiss bringing watches into Japan early during the Meiji restoration when Japan was looking around for technologies to develop for themselves.

This watch has few miles on it.

Dial.jpg
 

sternerp

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Hi Keith and dr. Jon!

It may be an interesting question: who make this ebauche, that shown by Keith?
A. Saltzman or B. Laval (there is an example in an second article)
Or someone else?

Here are some examples of similar movements (picture 1-6)

Other relationships with Saltzman: Victor Vuillaume, Benedict Brothers, Thomas M. Fadden, Sanders Schenectady, Queen City Watch. (picture 7-14)

Finally, if someone looks at it well, these Tissot movements they were made from perhaps the same ebauche, as the Saltzmans (pict 15-17)

auguste saltzman 102_1.jpg charles lange.jpg Chautauqua.jpg Ed Coudray.jpg j r richards.jpg perret & co 1_1.jpg auguste saltzman 98_1.jpg auguste saltzman 111_1.jpg benedict brothers by saltzman 1_1.jpg queen city watch by saltzman & vuille 1_1.jpg sanders schenectady by saltzman & vuille.jpg thomas m fadden by saltzman & vuille 1_2.jpg victor vuillaume  by saltzman & vuille 1_1.jpg victor vuillaume  by saltzman & vuille 1_4.jpg auguste saltzman 23_1.jpg ch f tissot similar to saltzman 1_1.jpg ch f tissot similar to saltzman 2_1.jpg
 

Dr. Jon

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Here are my guesses:

Examples 1-6 are probably finished by whoever did Saltzman's watches and are not made in the manner Saltzmann and Jacot patented. My best candidate, and it is not a strong belief, is that they may be by the Longines factory. They made watches in that style and they were a large operation and made a lot of watches.

Example 7 is a typical Jurgenson La Brassus/Locle style movement. Louis Audemars made some of these as did Loius Elisee Piguet among others.

8 is marked Saltzman and was made according to the Saltzman/Jacot patent. It does not have the Saltzman click type but it may be missing as are other parts.

9 is Saltzman, Benedict Bro's was a large New York jeweler and this is a Saltzman private label.

10 Signed Landers Schenectady is also marked Saltzman and probably has the same Saltzman click as #8

11 is not Saltzman/Jacot but rather more typical Locle/Brassus style as #7

The two Ch. F. Tissots are copied from Jacot at some point. They look to be are constructed in the Saltzman/Jacot patent form and have Jacot's click style (return spring inside the inner plate), but they are not. They do not have the patented removable top plate feature and are not marked with his patent. They also do not have the same regulator layout. They are not quite counterfeits but they seem to be made to look like Jacot Saltzman watches and made for the US market, to undersell them.
 
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