• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Minute Repeater Chronograph Movement Maker?

truenewbie

Registered User
Feb 5, 2015
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Greeting all, does anyone know who might be the ebauche maker for this watch I recently acquired? I am new to the world of complicated pocket watches and was told this layout was once produced from both L. Audemars and Lecoultre. Accordingly I understand that these two makers were somewhat related and attribution of Swiss movement to a particular maker is tricky. But in any event, I am open for any clues.

A little info about the watch: it is signed by James Picard, a finisher. The lever is balanced with counter post in circular shape. The finished work is pretty much (to me) in line with the general appearance of those made in Vallee de Joux. There is nothing signed under the hammers.

Thanks in advance.
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Ethan Lipsig

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Jan 8, 2006
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Lovely watch, truenewbie. I don't know which firm "made" your watch, but I can help rule out several possibilities.

Louis Audemars, which was wholly unrelated to LeCoultre as far as I know, likely did not make your watch. I looked at all the minute repeaters and all the repeater chronographs in Zantke's book on Louis Audemars without finding one that was similar to your watch. (Zantke does not provide an index that facilitates such a comparison, so I made one of my own some time ago. See https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/louis-audemars-zantkes-book.169784/.)

I maintain databases on C.H. Meylan and Touchon. Your watch does not resemble any of their repeaters or repeater chronographs, nor does it resemble my Haas Neveux minute repeater/rattrapante, my B. Haas repeater/perpetual calendar, or my DuBois repeater/perpetual calendar/astronomic. It is somewhat similar to my Nonmagnetic repeater/perpetual calendar/chronograph/astronomic, but there are substantial differences..

These maker quests usually are fruitless at least in part because more than one maker likely was involved. For example, the basic repeater ebauche might have come from Maker A. The chronograph mechanism might have come from Maker B. Maker C might have assembled and finished the watch for Maker D, whose name is stamped on the movement.
 

truenewbie

Registered User
Feb 5, 2015
8
5
3
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Lovely watch, truenewbie. I don't know which firm "made" your watch, but I can help rule out several possibilities.

Louis Audemars, which was wholly unrelated to LeCoultre as far as I know, likely did not make your watch. I looked at all the minute repeaters and all the repeater chronographs in Zantke's book on Louis Audemars without finding one that was similar to your watch. (Zantke does not provide an index that facilitates such a comparison, so I made one of my own some time ago. See https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/louis-audemars-zantkes-book.169784/.)

I maintain databases on C.H. Meylan and Touchon. Your watch does not resemble any of their repeaters or repeater chronographs, nor does it resemble my Haas Neveux minute repeater/rattrapante, my B. Haas repeater/perpetual calendar, or my DuBois repeater/perpetual calendar/astronomic. It is somewhat similar to my Nonmagnetic repeater/perpetual calendar/chronograph/astronomic, but there are substantial differences..

These maker quests usually are fruitless at least in part because more than one maker likely was involved. For example, the basic repeater ebauche might have come from Maker A. The chronograph mechanism might have come from Maker B. Maker C might have assembled and finished the watch for Maker D, whose name is stamped on the movement.
Thanks for your input Ethan. Hence we may never know the true maker of the ebauche.... Humm, I never expect a movement can go unidentified, provided there may be other examples to compare with. But my internet search in finding identical ones went fruitless.

Z.
 

Dr. Jon

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Dec 14, 2001
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The most likely maker is the one who signed it, Picard. He did not do all the work but he very likely bought in the ebauche and contraceted it out to various specialists. I suspect they used parts on hand as evidenced by the whiplash spring which extends outside the balance cock. This is not a major flaw but it s bad form. Other than that the watch finish is first class.

It is also likely that much of the work was done outside Geneva since the watch does not have a Geneva seal but looks to be of similar quality, but this is conjecture.

One more rabbit hole to explore is Louis Elisse Piguet, (LEP) of La Brsasus. The book I have on the firm shows much more complicated watches, so they could have done this this. Also the ledge page illustrade whiws watche with serial numbers in the 4000 range, for this time period.

I await Phil's judgement.
 

truenewbie

Registered User
Feb 5, 2015
8
5
3
Country
The most likely maker is the one who signed it, Picard. He did not do all the work but he very likely bought in the ebauche and contraceted it out to various specialists. I suspect they used parts on hand as evidenced by the whiplash spring which extends outside the balance cock. This is not a major flaw but it s bad form. Other than that the watch finish is first class.

It is also likely that much of the work was done outside Geneva since the watch does not have a Geneva seal but looks to be of similar quality, but this is conjecture.

One more rabbit hole to explore is Louis Elisse Piguet, (LEP) of La Brsasus. The book I have on the firm shows much more complicated watches, so they could have done this this. Also the ledge page illustrade whiws watche with serial numbers in the 4000 range, for this time period.

I await Phil's judgement.
Hi Jon, thanks for the new direction. The whiplash does look sub quality, especially the shape of the curve. I have seen a couple sub quality whiplash on Charles Piguet repeaters. Not sure why they do not always look right on this type of watch. This watch appears to have been serviced when I got it. So it would not be viable to check the under dial serial number, sadly.

Z.
 

John Cote

Director
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Aug 26, 2000
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One more rabbit hole to explore is Louis Elisse Piguet, (LEP) of La Brsasus. The book I have on the firm shows much more complicated watches, so they could have done this this. Also the ledge page illustrade whiws watche with serial numbers in the 4000 range, for this time period.
I like this explanation, Louis Elisse Piguet, for at least most of the ebauche...and I too await Phil's judgement.
 

Telelucă Cristian

Registered User
Feb 9, 2020
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This is a beautiful pocket watch and in mint condition. I think the raw movement its based on LeCoultre caliber 47

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