Mystery movement identification?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Roy Horrorlogic, Oct 6, 2017.

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  1. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    This looks like an extremely nice movement in very good condition. I can't see how to release the dial so my attempts to identify it have been restricted. Movement diameter 32.18 mm. Any suggestions appreciated.
    Roy

    MM-4-050011.JPG MM-4-050012.JPG
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Roy,

    Swiss movements of this quality often have snap-on dials, which do need some care in removing. See if there are any obvious places around the edge where you can fit a case knife in to gently lever it up.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    Thanks Graham. I have another movement here which releases easily in the manner you mention. Oddly it has no dial feet. This one shows no point at which anything could be inserted and the dial's nearly perfect so much caution required...
    Roy
     
  4. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Jan 8, 2006
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    Your movement and dial look very much like the Louis Audemars watch on pages 300-301 of Zantke's book on Louis Audemars. I also have a Louis Audemars that is substantially identical to the one in Zantke's book. The differences I see are: 1. The crown wheel of your watch has four screws surrounding the central screw, which my watch and Zantke's have three. 2. Your watch has a rounded dimple next to the jewel on the center bridge, while my watch and Zantke's are dimple-less. 3. The part of the ratchet assembly nearest the crown wheel is different from that part on my watch and Zantke's although the rest of the ratchet and spring look identical. 4. Your watch is lever-set while my watch and Zantke's are pin set. 5. Although the layout of your movement is identical to the layout of my watch and Zantke's, the dial shot shows your stem to be at 3 o'clock, as it should be for a hunter movement, while my watch and Zantke's are open-faced watches with their stems at 12 o'clock. I am wondering whether your dial is properly installed; if your movement is an open-face movement, the dial probably needs to be reoriented. Perhaps that's why it is difficult to remove. I can't help you with that. I have no watchmaking skills.

    Even though your watch closely resembles several Louis Audemars watches, that doesn't mean that your watch is a Louis Audemars. It and similar Louis Audemars may be related in sharing a common ebauche made by some other firm and just finished by Louis Audemars or, in the case of your watch, another finisher. However, I believe that matte finished winding wheels were a Louis Audemars finishing touch. Your watch has them.
     
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  5. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    Many thanks Ethan, very informative post. I'd really like to see the bottom plate if only I could remove the dial. You don't mention whether you have seen any identifying marks under the dial and maybe there's nothing conclusive but I'd like to look. Do you know of any web images of the Audemars movement like yours? I'm off to take a look...
    Roy
     
  6. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    I don't know of web images, but you could search for them. I don't have good photos of my similar Louis Audemars because it is a fairly recent acquisition that I had the seller ship directly to my watchmaker on the other side of the country. He hasn't overhauled the watch yet. I haven't yet seen it. When he gets to it, I can have him take an under-dial photo.
     
  7. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    Thank you Ethan. I haven't yet found anything relevant - mostly exotic examples. Now if only I can get that dial off without ruining perfect enamel.
    Roy
    No sooner had I written that than I encountered this ad. Whilst the snaps of the movement almost qualify as perverse, it resembles your description (three screws on the crown wheel) and the jewel cap on the escape bridge.
    AUDEMARS FRERES RUSSIAN MARKET WATCH
     
  8. Audemars

    Audemars Registered User
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    Roy,
    If you can come up with a serial number - probably under the dial - it might just be in my (very incomplete) archive. Who knows?
    P
     
  9. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    Hi. Can you make a suggestion on how to release the dial because I can't see any way of doing it.
    Roy
     
  10. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    You could try the slot where the lever to set the time is. Usually moving the lever provides a small opening to insert a small screw driver to lever the dial up... Becareful and use light pressure... sometimes using a flat peg wood works instead of a screw driver.. Ethan the movement is clearly a hunting movement as the seconds pinion is visable in the seconds bit..
     
  11. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

    Mar 14, 2008
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    You probably checked this but just in case:
    Have a look along the rim of the main plate. Sometimes two or three small screws hold the dial in place.They can be a bit hard to see specially if the screws are short and the head is a bit down in the hole.
     
  12. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    I finally managed to get the dial off. It's attached to a ring which is practically an interference fit on the movement. It's by B. Pvin - Bernard Poitevin. Confusingly (for me) he both supplied movements to Patek and Audemars and was a partner with M. Patek but also sourced other ebauches from elsewhere. I think... Here's the dial plate (sno 32630):

    B-Poitevin-100001.JPG
     
  13. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Roy, I am not surprised that your movement is "by" Poitevin, but I am surprised about the rest of the information you provide about that firm. Where did you find that information? It is inconsistent with what I had thought to be the case. It has always been my understanding that Poitevin was a retailer, not a maker. I had thought that Louis Audemars was one of Poitevin's suppliers, rather than vice versa. I hadn't heard of any connection between Poitevin and Patek Philippe, nor do I recall ever seeing a Poitevin with a Patek Philippe movement. I follow these issues because I have a modest collection of six Poitevins.
     
  14. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    Hi Ethan
    Re: Patek. I found a post on a forum where it was stated that Poitevin supplied a movement to Patek for inclusion in a piece made for the Russian Royal family. Also that he was in partnership with a Patek whose first names I forget - Noel? As for the other references I can't recall - I found a few which were inconsistent, hence my confusion. Searching for combinations of the above should arrive at some of those sources: which may be utterly wrong! How would you describe my movement in the light of your own knowledge and collection?
    Roy
     
  15. Audemars

    Audemars Registered User
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    As far as I am aware Poitevin was not a supplier to Louis Audemars ("LA"). There is no such reference in the archive.
    We know that LA were prime suppliers of ebauches and movements to very many 19thC makers and assemblers. So it is much more likely to have been the other way around.
    However neither does Poitevin feature in my - admittedly incomplete - list of LA clients.
    I will still be interested to know if there is a serial number anywhere on that movement.
    Paul
    audemars.co.uk
     
  16. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    Hi Audemars
    Yes, the serial number is 32630 - it can just be seen underneath the "B. Pvin" on the dial plate image. If you wish I can re-photograph a tighter macro shot for you to verify this. Please let me know what conclusions you draw in consequence of this number.
    Roy
     
  17. Audemars

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    32630

    Well it was worth a look, but unfortunately the only 326++ serial numbers in my archive refer to not-very-expensive watches bought in from Courvosier Freres by the Audemars' London depot and that number isn't among them.
    Sorry.
    Paul
     
  18. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    I'm still trying to work out the implications of that Paul... If the number isn't among them does that suggest that it isn't by Courvosier Freres? Or simply that your archive of that genus isn't complete - making it simply a missing example? Or did Courvosier Freres (of whom I had never heard) supply many houses with ebauches?
    Roy
     
  19. Audemars

    Audemars Registered User
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    1) The archive is not complete.

    2) Makers were quite capable of duplicating the serial numbers used by other makers. There was no central "clearing house" for serial numbers so coincidences abounded.

    3) I don't know if Courvoisier sold watches to a lot of people or not. I assume they did. We are talking here about relatively cheap, silver cased, complete watches which the Audemars London depot bought directly to pad out their sales at the time that the Swiss parent company was failing. Nothing to do with the story surrounding your movement.

    4) Yes, it might be an Audemars product - as already suggested by others - but my incomplete archive sheds no light on that possibility. I just thought it worth a look. Sorry it didn't work out. The experts who subscribe to this forum may have opinions about it.
    P
     
  20. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User

    Mar 7, 2017
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    Thanks for your attention to this matter. My only comment would be that for a "cheap" movement it looks pretty nice to me! But that says more about me than the movement.
    Roy
     
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