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Investigating an Observatory Chronometre

tick talk

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My daughter is a great fan of Prezi presentation software and encouraged me to try it out. So, here is my first experiment using Prezi, hopefully demonstrating the sometimes convoluted nature of vintage watch research. Clicking on the image below will take you to the presentation. Go to "full screen" (button on lower right) and use your "right" keyboard arrow to progress forward with the slides. You can use your "left" keyboard arrow to go back to a previous slide. Please let me know what you think :)

http://photoshare.shaw.ca/image/f/f/6/283099/prezisnip-0.jpg?rev=0

Also, more details (although not as entertainingly packaged) can be found in my blog article on the Crausaz Bimetallic Balance.
 

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tick talk

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Hold the presses! Our dear friend enrico suggests the inscription is actually for "Jaccard" not Paccard. Serves me right for accepting, without question, Antiquorum descriptions ;-)
Further investigations to follow, of course.

Can someone please fill me in on what Pritchard has on Jaccard? I understand there were quite a few :-0
 
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itspcb

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Nice tool! I shall be showing to my wife who has more need than I.
Peter
 

tick talk

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Please, do not apologize. The old script writing is very tricky and your instinct was worth exploring. Thanks for helping!

cuvette inscription close.jpg
Paul Jaccard Geneva.JPG
JA Jaccard Ste Croix.JPG
 

Dr. Jon

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It might get more interesting. There was a regleur named Helene Jacard who adjusted watches for V&C competition and she won a lot of awards and this from when she was active (and kicking a lot of butt). It this is from her company and one one of hers you have something very special. She was listed a M. M. Helene Jaccard. I have been trying to learn more about her so this is a nice possible lead.
 

G_Z

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Fine watch ; good research and nice presentation but takes a little getting used to.

Not sure about the inscription. Jaccard is possibly right. There were many Jaccards related to watchmaking.
Helene Jaccard was later (1931 - 1934 adjusting for V&C).
The inscription is M.M. . That could be Madame et Monsieur 'Madam and Mister' . MM. would be Monsieurs (pl. 'Misters')

Gerald
 

tick talk

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Thanks for all the great input! Dr. Jon has found a rather glaring typo that has been corrected. "Paccard" or "Jaccard" remains to be decided, however, I am presently operating on these assumptions: M.M. was traditionally used in corporate titles to signify a partnership as, G_Z mentioned "Monsieurs". As far as reading fancy cursive script writing, the final flourish is usually quite large and depending on which side of the vertical stroke it appears will distinguish between a "J" or "P", so I'm still leaning towards "Paccard". Here is a closer look at the 1888 advertisement with Paccard & Cie on the far right.

1888 Paccard et Cie.jpg

OTOH, Jaccard has a great history in Swiss horology so it wouldn't hurt my feelings, or the story, to have this provenance established either. However, the dates of my inscription 1888 to 1913 would eliminate those too old or too new. Here is a translation of what WorldTempus' Dictionnaire des Horlogers has on the name:

JACCARD
Repasseur, watchmaker . Mentioned in Geneva in 1835.

JACCARD & CIE.
Watchmaker. Geneva. Mentioned in Geneva Towards 1852. Complicated watches, very good . About 1870-1880.

JACCARD (Y) E.V. CIE.
Geneva. Second half of the nineteenth early twentieth century . Predecessors Perusset & Ditisheim . Manufacture of complicated watches and chronometers. Works for the Latin American market.

JACCARD A.
Famous watch régleur works for Omega Geneva, Louis Brandt and Brothers in Biel (Switzerland). Director of Omega Geneva, obtained in 1931, in the series B, the first prize in the Geneva Observatory, with Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Six first prizes in 1932 for deck watches, eight first prizes for chronometers small format. Receives in 1948 the first prize chronometer at Neuchâtel (Switzerland) for the best thermal compensation. Has an anchor chronometer tourbillon 30 mm in diameter and six chronometers, lever escapement with Guillaume balance, Breguet balance spring steel, all getting the first prize.

JACCARD GROS GENEVA
Geneva registered trademark.

JACCARD E. H. & CIE.
Founded in 1850 in Geneva. Simple and complicated watches, pocket chronometers with Bulletins from Geneva Observatory. Specialized in watches and dual escapements tourbillons, astronomical watches.

GENEVA JACCARD
Geneva registered trademark.

HELEN JACCARD
Famous régleuse Geneva . Received the second prize at adjusting chronometers in 1932, Vacheron Constantin. Note for Dr. J: I've also tried researching this pioneering woman but even the archives of Vacheron Constantin are rather parsimonious, revealing only that she worked for them from 1931 to 1934 and, in 1932, a movement she regulated for V&C won First Prize at Geneva trials.

JACCARD HORACE
Geneva watchmaker. Late nineteenth century.

JACCARD L.
Watchmaker. Mentioned in Geneva in 1874.

JACCARD P. R.
Geneva, impulse chronometers. Carried out in 1940, after 12 years of research, a motor mechanism of constant force. Present in 1941 a rotary escapement powered by the spring. This system highlights: 1. The balance, absolutely free from all contact, can describe very large amplitude oscillations. 2 . Defects inherent in other escapements are eliminated in relation to tripping, knocking and reversing. 3. The operation of this escapement does not require very meticulous tuning, is very robust. 4. The constant movement of the whole system cancels principle differences of rate in different vertical positions.

JACCARD VEUVE (WIDOW)
Manufacturer and marketer of watches . Mentioned in Geneva in 1866.

JACCARD-ALLÉOUD
Manufacturer and marketer of watches. Mentioned in Geneva in 1862.

Here are the 1932 Geneva Observatory results, featuring both Hélène and Alfred Jaccard as régleur/régleuse, both scoring top prize:

1932 Trials Results Jaccard.JPG
 

tick talk

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Stop the presses....again! Just heard back from the efficient people at VC's Heritage Department, through the auspices of the wonderfully titled "Customer Care" manager at the NY boutique. They are preparing an Extract from the Archives document that I've ordered and took the time to answer my supplementary question:

"I heard back from our Heritage Department today and they have confirmed that, according to our archives, the timepiece was sold to Paccard & Co and not to Jaccard & Co."
 

Omexa

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Hi, I could not understand why a "J" was swapped for no reason for a "P" in a very well written and spelled document. I thought in a light hearted manner about the famous play; Much Ado About Nothing. It is a comedic play by William Shakespear thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599. (Whoops I have left the "e"off his name). Regards Ray
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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It is my understanding that observatory-bound watches had to have their serial numbers on the dial plate instead of the bridges. as with Tick Talk's V&C, and one example in my collection. If my understanding is correct, does that mean that every V&C that has its serial number on the dial plate was an observatory-tested watch? I think it may have been the case up through a certain date, but I am not sure when V&C started putting serial numbers of "ordinary" watches on the dial plate.

In looking through my collection of 16 V&C pocket watches, the only ones that had serial numbers on the dial plate were (1) my observatory watch, and (2) three watches with similar movements dating no earlier than the late thirties, one marked 439/6, another marked 439/7C.
 

tick talk

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It is my understanding that observatory-bound watches had to have their serial numbers on the dial plate instead of the bridges. as with Tick Talk's V&C, and one example in my collection. If my understanding is correct, does that mean that every V&C that has its serial number on the dial plate was an observatory-tested watch? I think it may have been the case up through a certain date, but I am not sure when V&C started putting serial numbers of "ordinary" watches on the dial plate.

In looking through my collection of 16 V&C pocket watches, the only ones that had serial numbers on the dial plate were (1) my observatory watch, and (2) three watches with similar movements dating no earlier than the late thirties, one marked 439/6, another marked 439/7C.
Interesting observation, Ethan. I've certainly seen on Nardin, for example, the movement serial number for Observatory watches on two places; a bridge and the mainplate. However, I've only seen one example from V&C, dated 1907, of dual serial numbers on a confirmed Observatory movement:

CR Observatory mvmt close.JPG

Otherwise, my photo collection show just as you've mentioned; pieces prepared for First Class competition have their serial numbers on the plate, not the bridge, regardless of year. OTOH, that seems to have also been common, although inconsistent, practice for many of their Lepine-style pockets and even carried over to wrists...so IMHO I don't think one can infer Observatory rating from the placement of the s/n (except perhaps the dual numbers), but one can support the authenticity of a piece with confirmed Observatory s/n from this detail. Does this make sense?
 

tick talk

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Hi, I could not understand why a "J" was swapped for no reason for a "P" in a very well written and spelled document. I thought in a light hearted manner about the famous play; Much Ado About Nothing. It is a comedic play by William Shakespear thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599. (Whoops I have left the "e"off his name). Regards Ray
I'm sorry Omexa, but I don't understand your point - please elaborate. As the OP, I welcome all those who comment and view them as an assist...certainly not "much ado about nothing". But, I thank you too for the contribution ;-)

Edit: I've just returned for a relaxing jog (LOL, amazing how contemplative one gets at -20C in a snow storm) and thought to add further comments about the value of non-linear thought. The "Jaccard" angle, for me, was worthy of exploring for at least two reasons; firstly I had PM's on the matter from two people I respect greatly, which has increased my sense of collegiality with them and this board, and 2) I'm pleased to learn that Dr. Jon and I share a common interest in learning more about that amazing regleuse, Helene Jaccard, so in the future we may share knowledge. In fact, the ability to illustrate the organized chaos involved in researching a timepiece is what I find most attractive about the Prezi format!
 
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ej46

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I have a Paul Jaccard pocket watch, made 1891 or prior. Both the 14k case and movement have the same 4 digit # under 10,000. There is no serial on the dial. Then also on the inner and outer back case lids are various dates and sets of numbers with and without letters written in various places.

Does anyone have a reference for the movement serial #s of this maker in order to try and put a date of manufacture on it?

I'll try putting up some images next... Thanks!
 

tick talk

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Best if you start a new thread to avoid confusion with the original topic. Also, post your pics to this site if possible as many will not click on external links for security reasons.
 

Kevin Scott

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P1000916.jpg

Neat layout, but how is it relevant to this thread? Notice the J in Jacot and the P in Patented.

Seems to me it would eliminate any doubt about whether the discussed watch is Paccard or Jaccard. Even though this watch was engraved 30? years earlier.