L.A.Bourquin, Bienne, 18 size American style movement

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by pmwas, Jul 18, 2020.

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  1. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    Not a common Swiss fake, even though the design is an obvious rip-off.


    Described b seller as 'runner', this movement would work only dial up, dial down it stopped, with a terrible rubbing sound, as the balance whould clearly hit something underneeth.
    Initial diagnosis - terrible endshake and I thought the low pivot was bad.
    Luckily - it was the cap jewel broken out...


    I've installed a modern, thick, friction fit cap jewel in the setting.
    Punched it in as it was just the right diameter.
    You can also see a pallet bridge with fixed banking pins, and a top plate pallet fork cut-out.

    The fork has a very, very Swiss look, it is a single roller straight line lever escapement.
    The balance is cut bi-metallic expansion balance, nicely crafted...


    The dial has two feet (Swiss), pinned type, and it has the serial No scratched on the underside.
    Single sunk with soldered sub-second bit.
    The nickel finish is very nice, with attractive (but shallow) damaskeening pattern.


    Also notice the nice, raised, screw-down jewel settings.
    I think the oxidation on the top side of the train gears might have been done purposely as well.
    All in all - this is a nicely done movement. It really is!

    Now back to the pallet fork cut-out.
    At first glance it has some resemblence to the Marion's design, but while Marion's cut-out only allowed to see the escapement parts, this has a separate pallet bridge allowing the pallet fork to be placed later on, with most movement already assembled.

    It has some advantages - makes assembling the plates together slightly easier and allows a run-down train and mainspring check while assembling.

    I've assumed that the palet fork CAN be inserted after the plates are joined together, and the retchet already in place and covered, and I was right, but it's not that easy...


    It takes some patience to slide the pallet fork counterpoise between the escape wheel and the top plate.
    And some more to find the jewel hole with the pivot. And then even more, to insert the other pivot into the separate pallet bridge bearing.

    So it fixes some problems and creates some new ones... I think it's quite equal, in fact,with the separate bridge or without...

    Balance complete...
    The curved balance cock is marked 'FULL RUBY JEWELLED', which - as center jewel was not mandatory at the time - is true.


    The slight disadvantage is the press-in hairspring stud. A screw down stud would be more classy.
    What is that?

    It has a striking resemblence to Elgin National Watch Co model 1.
    Straighten the curved balance cock and you have a BWR ;)

    I actually wonder if this watch and the Elgin fakes (mostly marked G.M.Wheeler) is the same ebauche? They look very, very alike...

    This one - however - is very nicely made.
    It's not just a few tricks to make it look better, it really is a well made, pretty high quality movement.

    I cased it in an English (or Swiss-English) base metal case.
    Had to drill a key hole, but otherwise it is a very fine match...




    And the movement again...


    Like I said - it is a good one.
    I'll have to glue the crystal in and make a pusher.
    But that can wait :)

    Thanks for looking :) !
  2. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
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    I do not believe it is fake. Bourquin was an importer of Swiss watches to America and the examples are always good quality.
    pmwas and Warwian like this.
  3. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    #3 pmwas, Jul 19, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
    No, not fake. Only that the design clearly takes after American movements, that’s all.

  4. eri231

    eri231 Registered User

    Jan 13, 2012
    torino italy
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    and if we move the balance cock to the other side of the mainspring bridge, do we have an english watch :???:;);););)
    regards enrico
    pmwas likes this.
  5. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    Almost. But you’d have to add a fusee ;)
    Then maybe the key hole would match...

    No - in fact if you move the angle lever Elgin model 2 balance cock to the other side of the barrel bridge you’ll get pretty much a Waltham model 57.
    Which was an English-derived movement.

    They were all alike, but I’m pretty sure the designer of this one was aware of Elgin’s design ;)
    zacandy and eri231 like this.

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