Hand engraved eagle and gold miners maker 'NB and co' with weird UK hallmarks

scarkat

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Mar 25, 2023
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Hi there I was wondering if anyone had seen a watch case like this? I haven't confirmed whether it is gold, gold plated silver or brass yet I have a few differing opinions. the engraving seems too good to just be a trinket. It is marked NB and Co weird chester mark x 2 lion passant 18 with other random numbers and also had about 8 service engravings. the gold miners look really California style and the eagle seems early all hand engraved. It looks to me that the hall marks are not real but who would go to all that trouble to engrave a crappy watch case if not gold or silver. I love it anyway, I
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just cant find out anything about it. thanks
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi scarkat, and welcome to the forum,
It looks to me that the hall marks are not real but who would go to all that trouble to engrave a crappy watch case if not gold or silver.

You're quite right, these aren't genuine UK hallmarks which someone has struck to give the impression that it's an English case. Only one town mark is necessary and these two are only approximately like Chester's. The engraving on the case was done by hand. It's hard to tell from the pictures what colour the case is.

Is there a movement in the case? Many uncased movements were exported to the US from Liverpool in the 19th century and cased locally on arrival, to avoid the higher customs duties on watches in precious metal cases. There are many instances of US made cases with similar faux hallmarks.

Regards,

Graham
 

scarkat

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could it still be gold? I will get tested this week it just screams gold to me and there are scratches in it that go deep
 

gmorse

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Hi scarkat,

In most gold-cased watches, the greater part of the value lies in the gold, not the movement.

Regards,

Graham
 

topspin

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Dec 14, 2014
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I would be surprised if it is solid gold, because, well, why would a solid gold case be given badly-done pretend silver hallmarks (plus a wonky "NB & Co" plus "18") instead of something to indicate (18K) gold?

I propose that this case would make a great new home for your favourite Swiss Fake orphan.
 

hc3

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Aug 29, 2000
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I suspect that it's very low carat gold, which would shine up and pass long enough to be sold.

The engraving is really great and has a Swiss feel to it. Of course Swiss engravers worked all around the world.
 
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