Is this a Patek?

PierceA

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Nov 12, 2020
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Hi all,

I've been on the hunt for an ID of this movement for a while now. I've contacted Vacheron & Constantin, Blancpain, Longines, Audemars Piguet, and they all said it wasn't theirs. Jaeger LeCoultre said it probably isn't theirs but can't be sure without looking through the archives (which would cost me). I've tried contacting Patek Philippe but they haven't responded. (I believe they would have given me a similar response to Jaeger LeCoultre anyway.)

My watch is an open face, private label inscribed with 'Howes Bros Clinton, Iowa' on the dial and movement. The movement is also marked 'SWITZLRLAND' (not Switzerland, which is interesting) and 'Adjusted.' The movement SN is 97996. The case SN is 484981.

One forum,
Identification Help (Private Label)
told me it was probably made circa 1900 and the case was possibly made by H. Muhr's Sons because of the Crown crest, which led me here
https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/h-muhrs-sons.50896/
but when I took it to a shop to get serviced, they said it's most likely solid gold and not gold-filled, so I'm reluctant to believe the case is H. Muhr's Sons.

Another forum,
https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/swiss-pocket-watch-identification.174045/#post-1415073
proposed it was an Agassiz. I found a very similar movement here:
A rare Agassiz 14k gold gent's pocket watch with central seconds with a fine Agassiz wooden box
which is an Agassiz with movement number 106272.

It would be amazing if someone could verify if this is a Patek or not, but also any help whatsoever is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Pierce

Swiss 2.JPG Swiss 1.JPG Swiss 3.JPG Swiss 5.jpg
 

PierceA

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Nov 12, 2020
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I wouldn't call me an authority but you saw what I said in the thread you linked. You also saw what everyone else said.
I did, and I do appreciate it. I was just hoping to check Patek off the list without having to pay them $400 to go into their archives.
 

roughbarked

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Dec 2, 2016
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There are many others here who are far better acquainted with the history of all these watchmakers mentioned.
I'm no horological historian nor collector.
My job was to make them work again.
Note; If you are so convinced it is from Patek, why not try searching this forum for examples that match?
 

PierceA

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Nov 12, 2020
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There are many others here who are far better acquainted with the history of all these watchmakers mentioned.
I'm no horological historian nor collector.
My job was to make them work again.
Note; If you are so convinced it is from Patek, why not try searching this forum for examples that match?
I'm actually leaning towards it being Agassiz. My intention of the post was to verify it's not a Patek without having to pay a ridiculous amount of money.
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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Jan 8, 2006
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I think it likely is an Agassiz based on a LeCoultre ebauche. I used to have a relatively similar one. They were a fairly commonly privately labeled in the US.

1614656004730.png
 

Dr. Jon

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I am leaning toward Agassiz. This watch is a private label, far outside New York so it probably came via a US distributor. The largest and most capable was Wittnauer and their maker of choice was Agassiz for step up grade watches.

The other thing to note is that the head of the micrometer screw has broken off, which indicates some rust on the movement.

It is a nice watch.
 

MrRoundel

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Dec 28, 2010
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I too am in the Agassiz camp. With it's wolf-tooth winding wheels I'd say it was one of their better offerings. One tip-off for me is that it has an unusual click-spring. I have a ladies movement that uses a click-spring of a similar design, at least where it contacts a pin on the click. After doing a bit of investigation on my own I came up with little aside from the same movement being used by Tiffany. Jerry Treiman ended up finding an image of an Agassiz movement that used that type of click/click-spring setup. Yours also has a similar plate finish, a diamond-plating design, that my little one has.

While I have seen the design of where the click-spring attaches to the barrel-bridge before, I can't recall what movement it was on. It may have actually been a Patek. Then again, maybe not.

An under-dial image may help. If it's an Agassiz, it may have their fish logo. I addition, there may be setting and finish characteristics that could tip someone off. But unless you are fairly proficient with working on watches, including hand and dial removal and replacement, I wouldn't mess with it. It might be worth paying to have a watchmaker pull the dial and take a picture of what lies beneath. It wouldn't cost $400 and you might get valuable info. Good luck.
 

4brokenow

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Jan 11, 2010
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Ethan's example and the unknown watch seem to have the same Swiss mark as well as this very unique shaped relief for the lever, which should definitively say they came from the same ebauche maker at least.
aggasiz.jpg
 
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PierceA

Registered User
Nov 12, 2020
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I am leaning toward Agassiz. This watch is a private label, far outside New York so it probably came via a US distributor. The largest and most capable was Wittnauer and their maker of choice was Agassiz for step up grade watches.

The other thing to note is that the head of the micrometer screw has broken off, which indicates some rust on the movement.

It is a nice watch.
Thank you for letting me know about the micrometer screw. I just got it serviced, and it doesn't look like they replaced it.
 

PierceA

Registered User
Nov 12, 2020
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I too am in the Agassiz camp. With it's wolf-tooth winding wheels I'd say it was one of their better offerings. One tip-off for me is that it has an unusual click-spring. I have a ladies movement that uses a click-spring of a similar design, at least where it contacts a pin on the click. After doing a bit of investigation on my own I came up with little aside from the same movement being used by Tiffany. Jerry Treiman ended up finding an image of an Agassiz movement that used that type of click/click-spring setup. Yours also has a similar plate finish, a diamond-plating design, that my little one has.

While I have seen the design of where the click-spring attaches to the barrel-bridge before, I can't recall what movement it was on. It may have actually been a Patek. Then again, maybe not.

An under-dial image may help. If it's an Agassiz, it may have their fish logo. I addition, there may be setting and finish characteristics that could tip someone off. But unless you are fairly proficient with working on watches, including hand and dial removal and replacement, I wouldn't mess with it. It might be worth paying to have a watchmaker pull the dial and take a picture of what lies beneath. It wouldn't cost $400 and you might get valuable info. Good luck.
During the service, the watchmaker took a picture of the movement behind the dial. I looked at it briefly and don't think I saw anything. I asked him to send the picture to me. Still waiting on it. He also found an Agassiz movement very similar to mine. Still waiting on a link for that too.
 
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PierceA

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Nov 12, 2020
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Ethan's example and the unknown watch seem to have the same Swiss mark as well as this very unique shaped relief for the lever, which should definitively say they came from the same ebauche maker at least.
View attachment 641071
Yeah, I noticed that too. Both mine and Ethan's say 'SWITZLRLAND' and not Switzerland. Wonder why it's an L and not an E?
 

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