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Key wind watch with a carved movement

Z

ZackBortolot

I recently purchased a beautiful key wind watch in which the movement plates have been cut into the form of a deer. Here are links to pictures of it:

Movement: http://filebox.vt.edu/users/zbortolo/watches/Pocket_Watch_Movement.jpg

Front (in the picture it is inside the outer case): http://filebox.vt.edu/users/zbortolo/watches/Pocket_Watch_front.jpg

Back: http://filebox.vt.edu/users/zbortolo/watches/Pocket_watch_back.jpg

I was wondering if any of you can give me some information on it. Specific questions I have are:

1. I have heard people refer to this type of watch as a 'Chinese watch.' Were most of these watches sold in China or were they popular in Europe and the US as well?

2. Does anyone have any idea which company made it?

3. The inside dust cover says that the watch has fifteen jewels. Can anyone tell me how they are distributed? The lever is not jeweled, so I'm really curious how they got such a high jewel count.

4. Inside the dust cover there are a lot of cleaning marks, and I'm not sure how to read them. The marks are: 1270, 6616, 8766, ??01, 686 and 7876. I am guessing that the first one or two numbers are the month and in some cases day, and that the second two number are the year, but I was wondering if someone could tell me for sure. Based on the way the numbers are written, I am guessing that the watchmakers were all continental European.

Thanks in advance for any information!

Zack
 
Z

ZackBortolot

I recently purchased a beautiful key wind watch in which the movement plates have been cut into the form of a deer. Here are links to pictures of it:

Movement: http://filebox.vt.edu/users/zbortolo/watches/Pocket_Watch_Movement.jpg

Front (in the picture it is inside the outer case): http://filebox.vt.edu/users/zbortolo/watches/Pocket_Watch_front.jpg

Back: http://filebox.vt.edu/users/zbortolo/watches/Pocket_watch_back.jpg

I was wondering if any of you can give me some information on it. Specific questions I have are:

1. I have heard people refer to this type of watch as a 'Chinese watch.' Were most of these watches sold in China or were they popular in Europe and the US as well?

2. Does anyone have any idea which company made it?

3. The inside dust cover says that the watch has fifteen jewels. Can anyone tell me how they are distributed? The lever is not jeweled, so I'm really curious how they got such a high jewel count.

4. Inside the dust cover there are a lot of cleaning marks, and I'm not sure how to read them. The marks are: 1270, 6616, 8766, ??01, 686 and 7876. I am guessing that the first one or two numbers are the month and in some cases day, and that the second two number are the year, but I was wondering if someone could tell me for sure. Based on the way the numbers are written, I am guessing that the watchmakers were all continental European.

Thanks in advance for any information!

Zack
 
C

cogito

Zack,

It's much more likely that your watch is Continential in origin...I'd venture it's Swiss or Bavarian, given the dial and reverse of the watch case. Carved movements like yours were quite popular in the late 19th century from the Continential regions as "grand tour" souvineer timepieces.

Hope this helps,
Jeff
 
S

Steve Maddox

I used to have a very similar watch, except that the top plate on mine was in the shape of a butterfly, and I gave it to a friend a few years ago. I never really knew a lot about mine either, but I'm certain it was Swiss, and of relatively "moderate" quality (at best).

I think your watch probably started out being a conventionally jeweled 15j model, but it appears as though a few jewels may have been replaced with bushings over the years. As for the pallet lever, however, I'd say the jewels in it are probably inset into the center so that they're not readily visible from the top, like they are in later watches. This was standard practice in European watchmaking of the 18th and 19th centuries.

I doubt that you'll be able to glean much info from the watchmakers' marks in the case. Some watchmakers used dates, but others used all sorts of different numerical systems, including starting at 1, and continuing to add one number for every watch repaired throughout an entire career. To me, the numbers in your watch appear to be just typical "repair" numbers, with no particular significance.

Hope this helps!


------------------
Steve Maddox
President, NAWCC Chapter #62
North Little Rock, Arkansas
 
Z

ZackBortolot

Jeff and Steve,

Thanks for the information! I really appreciate it. That's really interesting about the lever actually being jeweled. I'll have to take a closer look at it. It's too bad that the watchmaker's marks don't necessarily give the cleaning dates, since that would be really great information to add to my acquisition book.

Zack
 

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