J. E. Caldwell Railly Mov't - need info

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by PWR_family, Aug 7, 2020.

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  1. PWR_family

    PWR_family Registered User

    Jun 5, 2016
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    I found this lovely pendant watch in running condition in my Dad's collection.

    J. E. Caldwell on dial -- a high end Philadelphia jewelery store

    Movement appears to be RAILLY - FRANCE [I never heard of them]

    Case appears to be BAILLY - FRANCE -- so wierd the similar names!

    The outer side of the back has a epoxy? surrounding a central gold figure

    I cannot determine the markings on the inside of the case but I do see a small wolf head stamp?

    The movement is keeping great time but I know little about it.

    Any info would be appreciated as you guys are so knowledgeable!

    Steve

    IMG_4681.JPG IMG_4682.JPG IMG_4683.JPG IMG_4684.JPG
     
  2. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Jan 8, 2006
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    I am completely unfamiliar with the Bailly brand, but I can tell you a few things about your watch.
    I think the name on the movement really is Bailly, although I concede that the initial letter does resemble an "R" as much as a "B".

    The movement appears to be a LeCoultre Kaliber 6, or based on a LeCoultre Kaliber 6 ebauche. This is a good or even fine quality lever movement seen quite often in higher-end Swiss ladies watches.

    Your watch probably dates back to the 1890-1910 period.

    The hallmark on the case, which appears to be a left-facing horse head, probably indicates that the case is 18k gold. I am not a French hallmark expert, but a right-facing horse-head hallmark was used in France from 1838-1919 to denote 18k gold. See explanation on the horse head hallmark by adin antique vintage and estate jewelry

    The blue "epoxy" on the case is enamel, not epoxy.

    All-in-all, you have a nice ladies watch worth perhaps $300-$1000 depending on whether you restore it. I hope you'll keep it. If you do, I recommend getting the chipped enamel restored (start a "conversation" with me if you need a enamel restorer recommendation). The movement looks dingy. It probably hasn't been cleaned for years. I would recommend that you have it serviced if you are keeping it. Restoring the enamel and servicing the watch would probably cost $250-400 unless you can do these things yourself and do not value your time highly. In my experience, one almost never recovers restoration and servicing expenses when selling a watch. Therefore, if you plan to sell it you might net more selling the watch as is, rather than pay to have it restored and serviced.
     
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  3. PWR_family

    PWR_family Registered User

    Jun 5, 2016
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    thank you for all your insight! It does appear the watch was serviced by PWR [my Dad's shop] in 1974. I'm sure it needs a good cleaning!
     
  4. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    In addition to Ethan's information the watch is marked for 3 adjustments, making it a faairly expensive item when sold. he US had a specia; tariff on adjusted watches. 8 adjustments is top of the line but 3 for a pendant watch is very good.

    J. E Caldwell was a top retailer. The French hallmark is a "limited" waranty, meaning it is a touchstone test rather than a full assay, but it how most French gold is hallmarked.
     
  5. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Like Ethan, I am no expert on French hallmarks, however, I am sceptical that he mark being referred to is a genuine assay mark. As Ethan says ...

    I have enlarged the mark ...

    upload_2020-8-8_16-43-32.png

    and these are the marks from the Act of 30 June 1835 which were used from 10 May, 1838 to which Ethan refers ...

    upload_2020-8-8_16-48-4.png

    This does not mean that the case is not gold, but it would be worth having it tested.

    John
     
  6. eri231

    eri231 Registered User

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    the French hallmarks were small in size precisely to counteract forgery
    regards enrico
     
  7. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    This morning, quite coincidentally, I saw an eBay listing for what is described as an 18k watch, the only hallmark on which was a left-facing horse similar to the one on the watch under discussion here. That would tend to corroborate that the hallmark is for 18k gold or, if the mark is counterfeit, show that it was used by others.

    s-l1600.jpg
     
  8. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Ethan - your post has caused me to reconsider ...

    I had tried rotating the mark on the Caldwell signed watch through 180 degrees and I still couldn't convince myself that it was a genuine mark. With small marks, there really is no substitute to viewing the marks in the hand using a loupe. However, now I look more carefully, I am wavering, perhaps it is a genuine mark that has been worn.

    So for comparison here is a sequence of photographs, viz. a genuine 18K mark from a Besancon watch, the Caldwell mark rotated 180 degrees and the mark you posted also rotated 180 degree.

    upload_2020-8-8_18-50-49.png upload_2020-8-8_18-51-22.png upload_2020-8-8_18-49-54.png

    John
     
    Ethan Lipsig likes this.
  9. viclip

    viclip Registered User
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    I often see cases marked SG with a key in the middle on the French eBay site, said to be 18K solid gold cases; often housing high-end movements having been certified by the Besancon Observatory as chronometers. Indeed I own one.

    I've never been able to figure out what the tiny mark depicts however French sellers on eBay have described it as the "poinçon tète de cheval" i.e. horse's head signifying 18K gold.

    I know nothing about the SG case maker. Their mark is listed by Mikrolisk as per the following link:

    Mikrolisk - The horological trade mark index
     

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