Could this Vacheron & Constantin be non-magnetic?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Luca, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. Luca

    Luca Registered User

    Jan 19, 2004
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    Unusual looking hairspring and lever to this watch. Also some patent dates I have not seen before.

    Thoughts?

    Luca

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    I think I can answer my own question after researching just now...Charles-Auguste Paillard had a patent of May 15, 1888 (and I think Aug 21 '88) for non-magnetic balances and/or springs & other related parts. So I guess this is a non-magnetic Vacheron. First I've seen.

    Luca
     
  2. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Paillard's work goes back further than 1888. Ads appeared for the Non-Magnetic Watch Co. (of which, Paillard was a priciple) as early as January 1887 and he had been marketing his balance and spring prior to that to the Fredonia Watch Co. and others.

    That's a nice watch!
    What size is it?
    How many Jewels?
    How is it set?

    Thanks,
     
  3. Luca

    Luca Registered User

    Jan 19, 2004
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    Hi Kent,
    I admit to not looking further back than the dates on my movement. :p

    It is lever set, hunting case. Movement diameter approx. 43mm. Dial is nice and with the same name. Not sure how many jewels as I haven't had the dial off.

    I appreciate your comments.

    Luca
     
  4. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Thanks!
     
  5. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    Super lovely movement, Luca :) I have two V&Cs dated c1900 and they have exactly the same shape of barrel and winding wheel bridges, but they're dignificantly different from yours. Could that be because yours is a PL? Or did V&C use a variety of bridges?
     
  6. Luca

    Luca Registered User

    Jan 19, 2004
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    Marty,
    Interesting question. I have another movement (made for US retailer) that looks identical to this one (though it doesn't have the non-mag treatment). So it might be conceivable that some export market movements had a different layout. Guess we'll have to look at a greater sampling. Are yours fully signed for Vacheron?

    Luca
     
  7. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    Both fully signed (apologies for the dark and dirty one - must get that cleaned up a bit!) ... 82598.jpg 82599.jpg
     
  8. Luca

    Luca Registered User

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    Ah, very nice. So, looks like maybe a link to destination, layout / shape of bridges, and signature. You should make it your new research project. :)

    BTW, really like the high grade one - must be 20-21 jewels?

    In gold case?

    Luca
     
  9. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    I need to finish at least one of my many old research projects first. :D

    21 it is ! Can you tell the high grade from the escapement bridge, or can you really the count the jewels from the photos? :confused:

    Mais naturellement - 18K ;)
     
  10. Luca

    Luca Registered User

    Jan 19, 2004
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    From the jewels and from the regulator which is I believe for high grade Vacherons.

    Luca
     
  11. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    You're absolutely right, of course :D The other one, by the way, is 17 jewels.
     
  12. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    Hi Luca: here is another example from my photo files, with same retailer and 295xxx movement number. I have pics of other private label V&C movements with numbers between the two without this feature and wonder if it was a special order for Hamann & Koch. 82671.jpg
     
  13. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Here is another similar V&C, signed "W.C. Potter" on the dial. I has the Elgin-like regulator of Marty's "high grade" example, but might be a bit less high grade. 82682.jpg
     
  14. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I agree the first example is non-magnetic. I think its lever is aluminum bronze.

    If you are going to make the balance spring non-magnetic it makes sense to make the lever non-magnetic too.

    I have seen both regulator forms in what I consider high grade V&C's.

    All the competition V&C's I have seen have the whiplash regulator but I have also seen it in watches of lower quality than those than have the screw driving the point regulator.
     
  15. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    The regulator with the screw carrying the index tip was patented first in 1884 (U.S. Patent 291,780) and then a Swiss patent (#31052) in 1904. I have seen both patent dates on these watches. In one V&C catalog that I have seen the whiplash regulator is shown on an 18-jewel movement and the patent regulator is on a 20-jewel movement. I do not know if that is a reliable guage of the grade association of this feature.

    Luca - I love your non-magnetic watch. Really neat! View attachment 443319 View attachment 443320 View attachment 443321
     
  16. Luca

    Luca Registered User

    Jan 19, 2004
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    Tick Talk, I can't quite see whether your watch has the non-mag hairspring & lever. I'm assuming it would if the patent dates are for Paillard. Though I guess these were sometimes changed out over time due to repairs.

    Yours appears a higher grade watch with more jeweling. It would be great to see a closer picture.

    Thanks to everyone for contributing!

    L
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    Ethan, your watch looks high grade to me. Do you think screw down jeweling indicates higher grade? Or are there other characteristics that might set one apart from the other?

    L
     
  17. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Marty:

    Thanks for posting the pictures!

    As you're probably aware, Ed and I are trying to keep track of such things:
    Are these both hunting?
    What size are they?
    Setting means?
    276214 has 21 jewels, what about 265909?



    Ethan:

    The same questions apply, please share this with us?


    tick talk:

    If this is serial number 295343, I think Ed or I saw it on eBay in June 2009.

    What size is it?
    Did you count the jewels?

    Thanks guys,
     
  18. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    Yes, that is where I obtained the picture and the s/n is 295343. Unfortunately, I had to enlarge it just to post here.
     
  19. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Kent

    I don't know whether you have this one. It has a definite Railroad look to it and it runs very and would readily pass RR standards today. I think I may have posted this before and if so I apologize.
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    This time with pictures.

    S/N 294018 51426.jpg 51427.jpg
     
  20. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Thanks, I hadn't seen that one before. Is it 16-size? Lever-set? Number of jewels?
     
  21. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Here's one with a much higher serial number and a whipspring regulator. 82748.jpg
     
  22. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    I wasn't aware, Kent. What are "such things" because I may have more of those :D

    276214: Huntin g case lever set
    265909: 17 jewel hunting case lever set

    I guess they're both 16 size, although they might be 18. I dont' record movement diameter in my database, and I don't have the watches at home right now. The external case diameters are 52m and 50mm respectively.
     
  23. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    It is 16 size. I have it listed as 21J but it could also be 20. I think it's pendant set.

    It is in a 14K J&S case with matching serial number so it was probably not bought for Railroad service.
     
  24. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    "Such things" are watches that could have been used in North American railroad time service and other interesting and high grade watches, such as appeal to Ed or I.

    We've been capturing V&C data for a long time now, as well as that of Zenith, Agassiz, Omega and Longines (just to name a few of the more well-known Swiss makes). We're also capturing data on Gallet (and other) watches made for T. Eaton in Toronto.

    We'd appreciate it if you frequent posters would form the habit to mention the size, setting means, movement type (OF or HC) and number of jewels when you post pictures of these nice watches.

    Thanks for your cooperation, and thanks to Dr. Jon as well for taking the trouble to post the data,
     
  25. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Kent, the V&C I posted is a 16-size hunter, case diameter 52mm, pendent set watch in a 14k A.W.CO. case. with a Nov. 1909 inscription.

    I have about another dozen V&C's plus a number of Longines, Omegas & Zeniths. What information about them do you want?
     
  26. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Kent,

    I have another 16 size 21 J Lever set 336088. It is in a 14K case so this too probably was not bought by a railroad guy, unless an executive. I have had this one apart and it is 21 jewels. I recall that one was pendant set and the other lever set so 294018 is pendant set.

    I had 336088 apart many years ago and it was memorable. The fit of the parts was unique. They go together tight, no slop. You get it right or it breaks. Scary stuff.

    When I tested the train by putting power in the mainspring it recoiled many times. For those who don't work on watches this is a test of gear train freedom from friction. The train should run down and then briefly reverse (With the lever out of the watch). This watch was way better than anything I had ever worked on, except for a split plate Howard.

    I don't have a photo handy but it looks a lot like the other I posted right to the dial and regulator.

    I have seen a few of these marked "semi chronometer". I susppect V&C took back the ones they could not sell to the Railroad executives, ran them through a short observatory test and sold them that way in Europe and South America.

    These are very special watches.
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  27. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Ethan and Dr. Jon:

    Thanks for the data!

    What Ed and I record about watches in general is listed below. Most can usually be seen in the pictues. It is data that are not obvious from the pictures that we would appreciate it if posters would think to mention them.

    Maker
    Serial number
    Movement Size
    Number of jewels
    Type: HC or OF
    Setting means
    Regulator: Plain or Patent (specific type if unusual or significant)
    Exact marking of adjustment
    Exact other movement markings
    Significant/special movement features (helical hairspring, wolf's tooth winding, etc.)
    Exact dial marking
    Dial type & hour figures
    Case data if factory & original

    If everybody looked though their collection and posted all of the descriptions, I'd probably go into information overload It would be a lot of work for both them and us. All that I am asking is that when somebody posts a picture of a watch as part of a discussion, they take an additional moment to mention the facts that can't be seen in the picture(s).

    Thanks again for your cooperation,
     
  28. Luca

    Luca Registered User

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    #28 Luca, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
    Kent, here is a mvt I just sold. Also I have another on the way to me that I'll give you data on when in hand. This one below not marked for Vacheron but I'm sure it was made by them. Hunting case lever set, diameter about 43mm. Jeweling was 16 or 17. Dial same marking as movement. Arabic.

    Luca

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    Also some other serial numbers if it helps but the movements no longer in hand so can't measure them. These 2 below sold on eBay so maybe you saw and recorded already.

    2S79088. Much like the one pictured above. Hunting case with lever set. About 16 or 17 jewels. Made for McAlllaster & Humbergh Rochester NY. Roman numerals. Not marked for V&C but exactly same as above pictured mvt. Plain pointer regulator (not complicated) same as above pictured watch.

    297361. Adjusted Made specially for RA Heggie & Bro. More like 18 or 19 jewels as the escape is capped. Open Face. Arabic Numerals. Marked for V&C. Missing balance cock ;-(

    I think both of these are similar size probably in same range as the 43mm I show pictured above.

    Luca
     
  29. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Thanks Luca!
     
  30. RFW

    RFW Registered User

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    I have a V&C movement that was made for Henry J. Howe of Syracuse New York. Can any of you tell me something about this watch movement. 115249.jpg
     

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