Ed Koehn - Edouard Koehn

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Kevin Neathery, Sep 9, 2019.

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  1. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    #1 Kevin Neathery, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    The info on Ed Koehn seems to be vary sparse. I just picked up a thin Caldwell with a Ed Koehn movement. Case is 14k and the case is marked by Caldwell and Koehn.

    I do understand that Ed Koehn Sr worked his way up in Patek from a watchmaker to a Director. I am aware that Koehn bought Ekegren and that they produced watches under both names but after the death of Koehn Sr his son Ed Koehn Jr took over. But the company seems to vanish in the 1930s.

    So what happened? Is there any ref to go by for the movements made by Ed Koehn/Ekegren?

    It is a 19j 7adj 10/12s

    20190909_122611.jpg

    20190909_122641.jpg

    20190908_185219.jpg

    20190908_185149.jpg

    20190909_122710.jpg
     
  2. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    To my knowledge, no has written books are even articles about Ed Koehn watches. Chamberlain's classic, It's About Time has a nice write up.

    Pritchard,'s Swiss Timepiece Makers 1775-1975 has a short article stating that they were last listed in 1933 but I think that is a bit early since Chamberlain is later and has writes a lot about his interaction with Ed Koehn, the son,

    Oscar Waldan bought the Ekegren names and used it on some nice wrist watches.

    The best place in know to look for information on Koehn Ekegren movement is in sold archives of auction houses and posts on this board.

    Yours is a very nice but entry level Koehn, a very fine watch but they made higher grade watches.

    Caldwell was a major dealer for them and brought in a lot of very high grade Koehn and Ekegren watches. OYurs is unusual in being 14K. They are typically in 18K cases.
     
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  3. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    I was noticing that when it came to Koehn movements it seemed to be based on jewel and adjustment. 21j being the top for the Koehn marked ones then going 20 and then 19. But it all also depends on the era made. Pre-Ekegren or not. So the Sr or Jr eras.

    I will check out the ref to the books you mention. Thanks!
     
  4. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    It seems like there are grades all the way down to a slim gilt one with no markings for jewels or adjustments. That one did not have a PL dial but rather an Ed Koehn dial. Most do seem to be 18k. Tiffany appears to have been another large retailer that ordered them. I saw one that is a 19j 8adj. I may be able to build a list of designs of time only movements.

    A platinum regulator style that sold through Heritage has the same movement, but 8 adj instead of 7 adj.

    Well I will add Koehn to my list to dig up on while digging for Appleton and Cheshire. Good to have a Swiss one in the mix sometimes.
     
  5. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    I do take it back...there is a 16j 5adj gilt. Back to digging.
     
  6. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    After Koehn took over, the top grades were labeled Ekegren made by Koehn. These are very special, but even entry level Koehn is a very fine watch. Jewel count is a facor but there are other factors. My view is that any 8 adjustment watch is very high grade regardless of jewel count . Welcome to the world of Koehn fanciers!
     
  7. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    I have pulled 26 serials so far. Koehn movements with different retailers. The Ekegen time only movements are the same as the Koehn movements but sometimes more regulated or not. For example S# 88135 is a 19j 7adj for Caldwell. S# 88185 is a 19j 8adj marked Ekegren. Same design in every way but one more adjustment. I identified 8 styles of movements. This includes the freestanding mainspring barrel type. I did identify a movement style that matches closely to the earlier Ekegren movements without the Koehn marks. I would say that they were earlier but the serial range I have is 70971 to 88486.

    I did note that it was stated that Ekegren serial jump around. I think this depends on the view of it all. Pre-Koehn Ekegren movements would not jump around as it was 1 company. Using the Ekegren name as a Koehn product would cause jumping.

    Of all the movement styles that I found more common I did find a range of quality per style. Such as 4 of a style had examples that were 17j 7adj and 19j 8adj. I believe the lowest I found was a gilt 16j 5 adj. The rest were 17, 19 or 21j with a few 20j. Besides the one 5 adj they were all either 7 or 8 adj.

    The 2 styles most similar to the older Ekegren movements were not the thin style. By thin I am referring to the style of companies trying to make ultra flat movements. They would still have been considered thin by their contemporary counterparts. One you enter into the observations of the "thin" style movements you find that the Ekegren by Koehn and the Koehn movements are the same with the exception of the adjustments and if they do or don't have a micrometric regulation.

    The fine regulator with whip spring can be found on 18, 19 and 21j movements. They can be found on both 7 and 8 adjustment movements as well.

    All of this though does not take into account any of the complected movements. No retrograde, chronograph, or repeaters. This is only a look at the time only movements.

    Cases varied from 14k, 18k and platinum. The majority being 18k. Based on the serial range I would not expect production to have been more than 20,000 across the life of the Ed Koehn company. If we assume the start in 1891 and a end date (uncertain still) of 1931 we have a 40 year span with an annual output of 500. All movement markings appear to have been engraved by hand from the beginning to the end.

    Obviously more observations are needed to confirm all of this.
     
  8. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    Translated from the original French was this entry recorded under the year 1932 from the Annales Vacheron et Constantin, Sixieme Epoque 1914-1938:

    "Mr. Ed. Koehn, a former watchmaking manufacturer, whose company had not been able to withstand the crisis, took on the responsibility of managing the repairs department."
     
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  9. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    "I have pulled 26 serials so far. Koehn movements with different retailers. The Ekegen time only movements are the same as the Koehn movements but sometimes more regulated or not."

    If this statement is true, it probably only is true with respect to a specific time period. I looked at my 5 Koehns and 6 Ekegrens. No Koehn movement was similar to any Ekegren movement. My Koehn minute repeater did not resemble my Ekegren minute repeater. My Koehn time-onlys did not resembled any of my Ekegren time-onlys. Neither of my Ekegren chronographs resembled each other. I do not have any Koehn chronographs.
     
  10. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    Serials I gathered are on time only movement watches. The range was 70194 to 88547 (added some more and up to 40).

    Matching PL/Koehn/Ekegren grouped by movement design

    88135 19j 7adj Caldwell
    88185 19j 8adj Ekegren
    83258 20j 7adj Tiffany
    88243 19j 7adj Tiffany
    87801 21j 8adj Koehn Caldwell

    86748 21j 8adj Ekegren
    85038 21j 7adj Tiffany
    75107 No Markings on gilt movement Koehn Dial
    83150 20j 7adj Tiffany
    84951 21j 7adj Koehn
    85042 21j 7adj Koehn
    84276 21j adj Birks
    86744 21j 8adj Caldwell Ekegren
    86059 21j 7adj Tiffany
    85027 21j 7adj Tiffany
    84616 18j 7adj Koehn

    88486 19j 8adj Ekegren
    88466 19j 8adj Caldwell
    ##### 17j 7adj Van Dusen


    Anything Caldwell is marked Koehn unless otherwise noted. The above is just an example of how they are grouping. I have identified a total of 12 movement designs. I have nothing to base the identification to a factory grade as they were not marked with any calibre numbers and I can find no catalogs as of yet to identify them. Tiffany had "the New Tiffany Watch" but that is not a designation by the factory as that same movement was used for companies like Caldwell and Birks. They operated as a regular factory would. Specialty pieces like repeaters and chronographs were most likely completed on a different line than the time only movements. The "standard" time only movements were of a certain group of calibres/designs and they produced them and sold to whom would buy. Some may have been set by to have the Ekegren name that tested out better than the rest or were set aside to be more finely adjusted.

    I have not taken apart any of these movements and cannot attest to if there are any fininshing differences that I cannot see. Based on what I have seen the only differences seem to be the adjustments. It is scarce to see an 8 adj Koehn but most Ekegren are adjusted to this. Any private label marked 8adj would be assumed to have gone through the same process as an Ekegren. But again it is scarce to see an Ekegren with a Private label along side it in the naming.

    Still working on it.
     
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  11. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    I love these kinds of clues. Thank you!
     
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  12. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Kevin, I wasn't questioning your conclusions. I was just saying they weren't reflected in my modest Koehn and Ekegren collections.

    Here are my four Koehn time-only watches, in serial number order:

    #34,434,17j/7adj.
    IMG_6641_edited.JPG

    #77,555, ?j/?adj
    IMG_0648_edited.JPG

    #86,864, 16j/5adj.
    IMG_8134_edited.JPG

    #88,135, 19j/7adj. retailed by J.E. Caldwell PL. It is substantially similar to the preceding watch.
    IMG_0592_edited.JPG

    In contrast, here are my time-only Ekegren watches, in serial number order:

    No visible serial number. 21?j/?adj J.E. Caldwell retailed it. This is a pre-Koehn Ekegren
    IMG_0204_edited.JPG

    #15,851 20j?/?adj. This also pre-Koehn
    IMG_2826.JPG

    #70,509, 21j?/?adj retailed by J.E. Caldwell. This is a Koehn-era Ekegren, but it is substantially the first Ekegren shown above
    IMG_8619_edited.JPG
     
  13. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    No worries. :)

    May I get a double check on the serial of the first one? It is a new variation and It may be a transitional period watch. Ekegren may have produced it but it was labeled Koehn prior to the new designs.

    I appreciate the info and serials!

    I can post some of the model pictures I have from the J&H site, with permission. I want to give people a visual of what the different ones are and how I identify them in my numbering.
     
  14. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    Interesting notes here. Your pre-Koehn made by Ekegren retailed by Caldwell actually matches very closely to ser# 81700. Other than modification to the keyless works section with the stem it is an exact match and is marked Koehn.

    So they show a progression or modification of the Ekegren designs after Koehn took over.
     
  15. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    #15 Dr. Jon, Sep 11, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    I believe there are several thinks going on. Ekegren serial numbers go to about 18K and jump the 70K range with Koehn the same owner, Except for the jump they seem consecutive with the usual variation for long held stock. 18K and under Ekegrens used a wide variety of ebauches and are usually lever set.

    Koehn era watches are almost always stem set, and they largely standardized on ebauche types. I have a Tiffany signed Ekegren number 18803 which I think was ordered before Koehn took over and delivered afterward. Its case has a strong front bezel,which goes around the crystal signed Tiffany. The watch stem sets. I believe Koehn changed this movement but Tiffany had already had the case made for a more typical Ekegren watch with a bezel suited for lever setting. It is a very unusual case.


    An Ekegran marked Koehn even when a simple watch always has some outstanding feature. For example, some Ekegren/Koehn watches have the same adjustment, layout, and jewel count, as 8 adjustment Koehn watches but have blue sapphires for jewels.
     
  16. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Here is the watch thag I think is transitional.[

    ATTACH]548387[/ATTACH]

    DSC00036.JPG DSC00036_s.jpg
     
  17. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    To follow up on what Dr. Jon said, both of my pre-Koehn Ekegrens shown in post #12 have different setting mechanisms than my Koehn-era Ekegren shown in that post. Both are lever set. The lever is under the back cover. The lever returns to the winding position when you close the back cover. The Koehn-era Ekegren is stem set.
     
  18. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I bought the slim Koehn Ekegren in the Jones & Horan June 2nd sale. I had not examined it, but it looked really nice on the screen and I thought it was a little cheap. It is an "ultrathin" platinum pendant set.retailed by Caldwell. It is marked 18 jewels 8 adjustments (which I take to be 5 positions). It has a simple regulator. sn85722. It has a "presentation" inscription with just the year 1902 and a very plain dial without a seconds bit. here are two pictures from the sale. The rest are on the J&H site.

    img.jpg img.jpg
     
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  19. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Tom, I remember seeing that watch in the June 2 sale. I wondered about the HR Ekegren logo on the dial. I have never seen it so flamboyantly displayed before. I passed on the watch for that reason and because I already had the platinum J.E. Caldwell PL Vacheron & Constantin watch shown below. It has the same movement as the Ekegren. I believe LeCoultre made the underlying ebauches or perhaps the finished movement for both your Ekegren and my V&C.

    DSC04997.JPG IMG_5040.JPG IMG_5035a.JPG
     
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  20. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    Tom that is one of the watches I have in my list. It is also the only one like it I have come across so far. Awesome watch!
     
  21. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    #21 Tom McIntyre, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
    I looked for it in the list above, but did not see it. The dial is very funky, but I will be very surprised if is not original to the watch. That kind of funk is usually from the 20's and early 30's but there are no rules about graphic arts.
    ————————-
    A day later it occurs to me that the EK in Ekegren was Ed Koehn. It’s signed with both names on the dial.
     

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