Help identifying Swiss watch maker

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by rstephan, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. rstephan

    rstephan Registered User

    Aug 3, 2007
    6
    0
    0
    I'm having a little trouble ID'ing my old pocket watch. I purchased the 2007 version of the "Complete Price Guide to Watches" in which I found your ad.

    So far, I have identified it as a Le Coultre or a Patek, Philippe, of which I know Le Coultre made movements for PP & Co. I came to this conclusion from the illustrations on pg.448 (matches almost exactly) showing the bridges for Le Coultre as well as pg.536, showing an illustration of a PP & Co. However, there are no signatures on my watch.

    The insciptions on the case read exactly "Ancre Ligne droite" ,straight line escapement. Then Odemar Geneve, I assume the jeweler. "19 Rubis" then "Levees Visibles Spiral Breguet" and "Balencier Compense' " Which I know compensates for heat variations.

    The serial number (50441) I think, dates it 1875-1880, but my watch is a key wind which I think is a little late in the era for a key wind.

    The case is believe, is 18K gold, I think size 18 Hunting Case. The Maker's Mark I believe is 56, and the regulator most closely resembles Jules Jurgensen on pg 58.

    Can anyone give me any leads on identifing this watch ?

    Thanks

    Rick Stephan; Ph. 765-438-0630https://mb.nawcc.org/https://mb.nawcc.org/
     

    Attached Files:

    • 1.jpg
      File size:
      52.1 KB
      Views:
      127
    • 2.jpg
      File size:
      44.8 KB
      Views:
      119
    • 3.jpg
      File size:
      42.1 KB
      Views:
      116
    • 4.jpg
      File size:
      42.3 KB
      Views:
      98
    • 5.jpg
      File size:
      38.2 KB
      Views:
      85
  2. RON in PA

    RON in PA Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 18, 2005
    1,913
    10
    38
    Retired Neuroscientist
    S.E. PA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The Swiss bar movement of your watch is rather common and almost impossible to ID. I'd pursue "Odemar" as a possible maker. Does your case have any hallmarks?
     
  3. CZHACK

    CZHACK Registered User

    Apr 28, 2005
    710
    2
    18
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Rick,

    Ron is correct. Also, it will have a hallmark if gold and Odemar is not listed in Swiss Timepiece Makers 1775-1975 by Pritchard which means your search for a maker just got a lot more difficult. Good luck.

    Mike
     
  4. Don Dahlberg

    Don Dahlberg Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    3,425
    15
    38
    Common Swiss watches were not produced in the same way US watches were produced. In the US one company made most of the watch and put it together.

    In Switzerland a few companies produced incomplete movements called ebauche movements. These often did not have a mainspring barrel or an espcapement. The plates were not well finished or jeweled. These ebauche movements were then purchased by any of thousands of companies or individuals who then finished the movement and cased it. They often purchased the parts to finish it from yet other companies. They could finish an ebauche to a high, medium or low level depending on the time and money they wanted to put into it. They might finish some to a high level and enter them in contests to win medals. They would then show these medals on all the watches they produced, even the low level ones. They then sold these watches under a variety of names or labeled them according to the needs of a retail customer, "private label". Thus it is nearly impossible to determine who made such a watch. I am not sure the concept has meaning in the Swiss ebauche system.

    Even today, you have a few companies producing ebauche movements, but these are at least running movements. These are then purchased by a variety of companies who may just case the movement or may refinish the movement to a higher level. For example, Breitling does not "make" watches. They buy ebauche movements and contract other companies to put complications on these movements. They are sort of a "general contractor" of watches. Of course, they do much of the design and set the standards, but they don't "make" much of anything.

    Don
     
  5. rstephan

    rstephan Registered User

    Aug 3, 2007
    6
    0
    0
    Thanks for everyone's help so far. A couple of you asked about a Hallmark. I have added a photo, the quality is not the greatest, but its the best I could do. There appears to be a stamp with the letters "PM & I" right above the serial # on the inside of the back cover. I am pretty sure about the PM &, not sure about the last letter or digit.

    Can anyone give me any leads on "Odemar" as a watch maker?
     

    Attached Files:

    • 7.jpg
      File size:
      31 KB
      Views:
      103
  6. watchfriends

    watchfriends Registered User

    Jul 23, 2007
    82
    0
    0
    Odemar = audemars ? There are a number "56?" The watch has a fantastic quality für this time:thumb:
     
  7. rstephan

    rstephan Registered User

    Aug 3, 2007
    6
    0
    0
    If this watch was to be "audemar", the serial # would date it to the 1940's. I thought the watch dated back to the 1870's due to the KW/KS. Any insight on this anybody?

    OK, so far I have gathered that it has a generic Swiss bar movement that was sold to another company to finish and case it. Why can't I find anything on Odemar? Do the numbers 56 or 15 that are stamped in the case have any signifigance? Or the stamp "PM & I"?
     
  8. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    82,990
    1,713
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I think you should not feel frustrated in not finding information on a company that may have been in business for as short as a year 160 years ago.

    There were hundreds of these jewelers or small finishers that thought they could succeed in business but did not.

    The same is true today.
     
  9. rstephan

    rstephan Registered User

    Aug 3, 2007
    6
    0
    0
    Thanks for everyone's help to date. My mother told me that she had this watch appraised about 40 years ago. Supposedly it was worth $5000 back then because of when it was made and who made it. Given that, I have been trying to confirm it's value.

    Everything I have come up with so far has been consistent
    *generic Swiss movement
    * probably sold to an independent or retailer to be cased
    * Nothing on "Odemar Geneve"

    Could the Serial # 50441 on the case be the serial # for the case? There is nothing stamped on the movement itself.
     
  10. conradin

    conradin Registered User

    Oct 18, 2007
    27
    0
    0
    Oakland, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Its very generic Swiss bar. Not a poor grade though. Hands totally mismatched. The case is probably worths the most for its gold value.:)
     
  11. purplasage

    purplasage Registered User

    Oct 29, 2007
    10
    0
    0
    [whisper uid=6684]

    Enter private whisper here

    [/whisper] Hi I have found very great similarities for you: Jean Jaques Odermar was apprenticed in 1638 (probably at the age of seven which was common in those days) to Jean Baptiste Duboule Swiss horologist in Geneve (born 1615-died 1694 cannot find anymore than that, Odermar's death date would help a lot, if he lived as long as his mentor (79) that would put his productive life between say 1659-early 1700's .

    Not sure about when this sort of watch came into use it is obviously a very high class timepiece, possibly he had his own shop and the name was used after his demise. Are you absolutely sure there are no markings on the gold as I have a very good database for hallmarks and an even better one for makers names.

    The Swiss ran very good business registries even in those days but the searches cost money and the less of that we spend the better.

    Hope this helps you and you can find any missing links.

    I have found out more about my carriage clock and now I need to go about restoring it any tips on restoration of brass and enamel and stripping off old gilt?

    Chris
     
  12. purplasage

    purplasage Registered User

    Oct 29, 2007
    10
    0
    0
    [whisper uid=6684]

    Enter private whisper here

    [/whisper] Oh PPS just read your message about value I also have good valuation sources I may be new to this but I have an extensive database that I have built up for a number of years now, my fascination being primarily for gold and silver but I have got the horology bug now my tatty clock should realize around £3000 to £4000 when restored in a good auction house.
     
  13. purplasage

    purplasage Registered User

    Oct 29, 2007
    10
    0
    0
    [whisper uid=6684]

    Enter private whisper here

    [/whisper]Hello me again found out a little more on hallmarks from Switzerland for you they were not compulsory until 1831 they have never and still do not recognize .375 9ct as gold but it was common for makers to mark the goods themselves usually like this 18k = .720~.750
    14k = (.560 ~.573) - (.580 ~ .583). however they often abbreviated them to 56 or 57 etc that would make your watch 14 carat which would account for its redness I may not be 100% correct but it sounds feasible to me 18ct is a bit soft for an everyday object like a watch. Oh and makers first started using purity numbers in 1424 and Geneva was the first Town to start marking the gold as an assurance of its quality. which all sounds good for your watch and as we all know Geneva was the birthplace of the small fine quality watch and they were and still are super rich.
     
  14. rstephan

    rstephan Registered User

    Aug 3, 2007
    6
    0
    0
    Thanks for the leads. Does your data base have anything on the "PM & I" stamped above the serial number?
     

Share This Page