Hoddell Full Plate with dust cap in Baldwin Case

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Tom McIntyre, Jan 7, 2020.

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  1. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    #1 Tom McIntyre, Jan 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
    I have had had this watch for a few years. I bought it from the Brad Ross estate with the movement in pretty bad shape and had taken it to Denis Carignan last spring to have it serviced.

    I do not know how I overlooked this other thread in June 2019 but I was very busy at the time and did not see it. 1860~ James HODDELL & Co single roller fusee in 18K BALDWIN & CO convertible case

    This one is running vigorously but the balance was in such bad shape and likely a replacement that it was decided to "make it run" and not be concerned about the timekeeping.

    I have been looking at it for several hours this evening and I have not been able to figure out how to reconfigure the case. Denis had it for about 9 months and said that it did convert between HC and OF, but I have not yet sorted it out. I would appreciate any suggestions.

    B40237CA-91ED-4BFA-BEB6-C3E645D18159.jpeg 648DDFC3-1EF8-41B4-9BD9-86719D6E7FEE.jpeg 215D9ED2-FF92-4EAD-B028-C0F74B5659F6.jpeg 561823EE-1B09-4684-B8D4-0A44AE0C0618.jpeg AA96B49A-F473-481E-8E73-7436DC2AD244.jpeg 34DE5951-39E3-4036-A714-C4E6A640457E.jpeg B66518F7-5303-4234-ADA1-C3E9BFEC8352.jpeg 32E3D592-5E23-46CF-B093-FC3CF3BB16E7.jpeg AE43B21A-3790-4754-BF7D-CCE194F86B05.jpeg A8F45E5F-5D4E-4A5D-BB09-C39915C3F2B8.jpeg 017952B4-61F0-4019-B257-EADE44C3A6AD.jpeg
     
  2. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Tom - if you compare this

    upload_2020-1-8_7-33-4.png

    with your first photograph it should help.

    If Denis has confirmed that it will convert, then the inner, that cannot be loose, is probably just a very good fit, but if the design is as mine, then you should be able to rotate it when you have opened it up as my photograph shows. The patent diagrams on my post might also help.

    John
     
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  3. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I looked at your picture and I suppose the pendant should be usable as a handle for rotation, but the full plate with cap is rather thicker and my hands are not nearly as strong as Denis'. I wish I could be certain of the direction of rotation.
     
  4. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Tom - I m about to leave - but I do not use the pendant to rotate the body - I gently push the circumference of the inner while holding the outer. I would not suggest you use the pendant. I will look at the watch this afternoon - my time.

    John
     
  5. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Tom - for my example this is what I did ...

    Starting from the open face configuration
    1. depress the button to open the back cover
    2. swing open the unglazed front bezel
    3. apply gentle pressure at the VI position of the watch (rather than attempting to use the pendant)
    4. rotate the inner watch through 180 degrees, with the back, and inner bezel supporting the crystal, closed
    5. close the 'back cover' (which by the rotation has become the hunter cover) and unglazed bezel to achieve the hunter configuration
    Starting from the hunter configuration
    1. depress the button to open the hunter cover (was the back cover)
    2. swing open the unglazed back bezel (was the front bezel)
    3. apply gentle pressure at the XII position of the watch (rather than attempting to use the pendant)
    4. rotate the inner watch through 180 degrees, with the back and inner bezel supporting the crystal, closed
    5. close the 'hunter cover' (which by the rotation has become the back cover) and unglazed bezel to achieve the open face configuration
    In fact in my example, and yours is possibly the same, the inner watch can be rotated in either direction, with no appreciable resistance. My advice is, from the open face position, try as I suggested light pressure initially at VI, but if that does not result in any movement, try at XII, before using increased pressure at VI. Mine only requires light pressure, excessive pressure shouldn't be required. When assembled, in either position, rotation is not possible when the unglazed bezel and back/hunter cover are in position. So although the fitting is not loose, when these are opened, it should be relatively easy to rotate.

    Hope that helps.

    John
     
  6. Tom McIntyre

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    #6 Tom McIntyre, Jan 8, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
    There is a difference between the two watches. In mine the pendant is at 12:00 in the open face position. I have taken that to mean that the pivot is still at the pendant, so the rotation point would be 3:00 or 9:00. Pushing as hard as I am able with care not to touch the crystal, I can feel a little bit of yield at maybe the 1 mm or .5 mm level but it certainly does not move freely. That got me looking for a release catch of some kind.

    All I can find are the standard catch to allow the movement to be swung out of the inner case and the hack lever to stop the balance for synchronizing with a time standard.

    As you can see in the first picture, there are a lot more case pieces in this example than in the 3/4 plate example. There are 7 separate parts including the cap.

    AHA!
    Writing the above cleared the scales from my eyes. It turns out the pendant button releases the inner ring when the covers are open and the inner ring pivots at 2:30 and 7:30.

    I think that means that it conforms to the Durand patent rather than the Bliss patent. That gives a bit more to think about in the succession of partnerships.


     
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  7. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Here are the pictures I just took of my Durand patent watch case.

    27A9EFE7-A2A0-4709-89B5-5258AD0DEC53.jpeg C8F7B454-7F11-435B-A0A7-D5ADFD435BD2.jpeg
     
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  8. John Matthews

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    #8 John Matthews, Jan 8, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
    Here is diagrams from the two patents. They clearly shows the different pivot points and the patent dates ...

    upload_2020-1-8_17-21-2.png

    I made comment on the two patent here.

    According to the Bliss patent ....

    I asked David Penney, whether an attempt was made to rotate the inner case within the outer ring (as described), when the watch was serviced. He replied in the negative and I have not attempted to do so.


    John

    EDIT Tom can you please post clearer photographs of the markings on the case so that we can compare the two watches. Thanks
     
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  9. Tom McIntyre

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    John, I will try to get some better pictures this evening. On your watch, I wonder if "rotate in the ring" just means to loosen the case screw and turn the movement with its attached inner back and winding hole, to the new position. The inner back is attached to the movement isn't it?

    The spring latches that keep the inner ring from rotating on my watch are sort of elegant and the two depressions in the ring where they hold it in place are visible in the pictures. I will try to get a picture of the catches and springs also.
     
  10. Tom McIntyre

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    Trying for details of latch assembly and the case marks with patent and company name.

    casemark.png patentmark.png caselatch1.png caselatch2.png caselatch3.png caselatch4.png
     
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  11. John Matthews

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    Tom - my thanks for posting the additional photographs.

    The patent stamps, although different in style, both have the same date of 13 April 1858, although yours, as you say, follows the Durand patent of June 1858.

    upload_2020-1-9_15-8-39.png

    If the movement/case serial numbers are in chronological sequence, then one might infer that your watch is earlier. I note that yours has the stamp of Louis Strite Fellows and Schell who were in operation in the Civil War, and known to be importers of James Hoddell & Co.

    upload_2020-1-9_15-35-27.png

    I have just spent ~1 hour comparing the Bliss patent with my watch. Specifically the portion of the patent I quoted above. While I can identify the outer and innerrings, I can detect no differential movement between them which I apply reasonable pressure (both with and without the button being depressed). I am not prepared to apply any more pressure than I have, for fear of causing damage. The two rings are an extremely tight fit and as the patent implies that there may be variation in design ...

    I do not confine myself to this precise arrangement or their connection With each other, of the two rings of the interior case, as they are susceptible of many modifications, and still admit of the body of the Watch being turned in the plane of the dial. The outer ring instead of being slotted may be grooved in interior surface to receive and cover the head of the stop Which limits the range of motion of the body of the Watch. Recesses may be cut at both ends and at right angles to the slot or groove, into which the stop enters and prevent the body of the Watch from slipping back after it is adjusted to the pendant. The bezel holding the glass may form one of the flanges for holding the outer to the inner ring if thought best.
    to proceed further I think would be ill-advised.

    John
     
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  12. Tom McIntyre

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    John, the Durand patent figure 5 shows the inner body with the back and front cover attached. I have had a number of Jacot & Saltzmann watches where the cuvette and the movement were a piece that could be removed from the case.

    If the movement were removed from your case completely, would the cuvette remain attached to it? If it were it could be put back in the case turned by 90 degrees in the plane of the movement. I would not expect the person converting it to try to rotate it while it was still in the outer case, but taking it out, rotating it and putting it back seems reasonable.
     
  13. John Matthews

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    Tom - I am certain that the essential feature of the Bliss patent is to avoid having to separate the movement from the case. This is what the patent states ...

    My improvement in watch cases, relates to that class known in the trade as magic cases, and which consist of two cases; an outer and an inner: the inner for holding the body of the watch, and the outer arranged to contain the inner and admit of its being reversed, so as to form either an open faced or hunting
    watch. The usual mode adopted to reverse the inner case is to take it from the outer when open, turn it over, and put it back with the dial facing in the opposite direction. ....

    My invention consists, first, in attaching the body of the watch permanently to the outer case by means of the pendant, and by a pivot placed directly opposite it, so that the body of the watch can be reversed in the outer case by turning it on the pivots as a center by means of the pendant. Second, in
    arranging the body of the watch so that it can be turned in a plane parallel to its face, while at the same time it is pivoted to the outer case, by which means, when it is reversed in the outer case, the figure 12, of the dial plate is brought in the right position for a hunting or open faced watch.

    The cuvette is hinged on the inner ring in which the movement is mounted. Hence rotation the inner ring (as described in the patent) will rotate the movement and the cuvette - essential to maintain the holes in the cuvette aligned with the winding and setting arbors. The back is hinged on the outer ring and the back cover/hunter cover and the unglazed bezel are hinged on the outer case.

    John
     
  14. Tom McIntyre

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    It has been a long time since the patent was written and the use of the word rotate may have been taken in a different context back then. It is hard for me to imagine a low enough friction between the inner and outer elements of the movement with inner covers and the ring it resides in that has the pendant attached to it, to allow it to be rotated in place in the plane of the movement.
     

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