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Mystery Pocket watch given to me by grandpa

revelstoked

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Nov 30, 2010
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I was given a watch by my grandfather and have had a hard time identifying it. The only markings I have found on it say J.M. Robinson Elgin, Man...anybody know anything about it? It is a silver pocketwatch, with roman numerals and still works, I can't find any other markings that can help identify it. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Oldfathertime

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The name Robinson would be the retailer, Elgin would be the maker and Man would be Manchester (UK). The movement is probably Swiss. If the case is silver it should carry Assay markings/stamps, usually found inside and under the rear opening of the case, it would be helpful if you could post some clear pictures of these marks also the movement and dial which would help us date it by the letter in the lozenge in the Assay stamps. Knowing wheather it is wound by a top winder or inserted seperate key would also help.
 

rrwatch

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We are really going to need sharp, close-up photos of the dial, the movement itself and the inside of the case back to determine exactly what you have.
My guess is that J. M. Robinson was a jeweler in Elgin, Manitoba, Canada.
 

revelstoked

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It is a top wound watch... it seems to have been assembled through the face of the watch as the silver body is one solid piece and there is no way to open it except if one were to take off the front glass. I'll post some pictures of it as soon as I can.
 

Oldfathertime

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The back of the case should come off, like the back of a wristwatch, look around the edge of the back and if there's a groove around it, there may be a little lip as well, you should be able to prise it off with a thin blade or proper tool for the job. If the case is silver, as I said, there should be some assay markings on it, these are usually found inside the rear of the case. If you can get the back off look under it to read the marks of which will tell you where the case was made or assay'd (tested for silver content) and you should see, stamped in little lozenges, some initials, (case maker) the assay office mark, (for example an anchor is Birmingham, leopard is Sheffield) and finaly a single letter which, if you look up in the book of British hallmarks will give you the date to the exact year. If the case is continental silver, a lot of cases were imported, then you will only have the import mark and the silver content mark (such as 9.25) 9.25 which is the Sterling standard, this marking system applies to all precious metal items.
 

Mechmusicmuseum

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rrwatch;510648 said:
We are really going to need sharp, close-up photos of the dial, the movement itself and the inside of the case back to determine exactly what you have.
My guess is that J. M. Robinson was a jeweler in Elgin, Manitoba, Canada.
I have examined the above watch. It is signed J M Robinson, Elgin, Man. on the white enamel dial. I think the above is corect - Robinson probably was a jeweller in Elgin, Manitoba. The watch is not silver - the case is by the Philadelphia Watch Case Co and is marked 'Silverode', apparently with a high nickel content. I have seen many cases like this on American watches. The case has screw-off back and front bezel. They are very well made and the joint at the back is almost invisible! The movement does not conform to any Elgin ebauche - it looks more like a Rockford model, but not identical. The barrel bridge is inscribed 'Robinson's Extra' and is numbered 1868257. It is a 15-jewel movement with engraved and damascened finish, keyless (stem-wound) and stem set. Removing the bezel shows that the case has a slot adjacent to 2 oçlock for a pullout lever for time setting, but the movement does not have provision for this. The hairspring stud is very like Elgin watch co work, but nothing else is! If the serial number were Elgin Watch Co, it would be 1885, which is a bit early for a stem-set watch.

It remains to be seen if anything can be found out about Robinson. If he had his own watch calibre he must have been in business in a reasonably large way.

Any comments, anyone?
 

Kent

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It is very difficult to identify the manufacturer of a private label watch without seeing a clear, sharp picture of the movement.

However, if you can't post a picture, my guess would be either Swiss or, if American, a watch made by the Illinois Watch Company. Perhaps you could check it against pictures of Illinois movements.

Yes, Silverode is a trade mark of the Philadelphia Watch Case Co. for their nickel cases.

good luck,
 

Kevin W.

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There were many Swiss made movements in private label watches in Canada, pictures will tell the story.
 

Mechmusicmuseum

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Kent;625327 said:
It is very difficult to identify the manufacturer of a private label watch without seeing a clear, sharp picture of the movement.

However, if you can't post a picture, my guess would be either Swiss or, if American, a watch made by the Illinois Watch Company. Perhaps you could check it against pictures of Illinois movements.

Yes, Silverode is a trade mark of the Philadelphia Watch Case Co. for their nickel cases.

good luck,
I have now acquired this watch from the former owner and have photographed it. Does anyone recognise the calibre? I have looked at a number of Illinois movements but haven't found one like this. Robinson's Extra engraved on it seems a bit odd for a jeweller who was present in Elgin, Manitoba, for two years, 1902-3, according to the Provincial library of Manitoba. After that he probably wisely became a realtor!

Thanks for any additional information.

David Evans 147816.jpg
 

Kevin W.

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It is a Swiss made movement, nice watch.
 

Mechmusicmuseum

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RON in PA;722655 said:
Looks like an Omega movement.
Could well be. The serial number, in the 1,800,000 region, more or less fits in with the Omega numbering (on the Omega forum) at about 1902 - 1904. The regulator having both R & A and S & F certainly could suggest a European origin.

Thank you for the suggestion.

Regards

David

PS Sorry about the corruption of the image, which I didn't notice until it was uploaded. Something must have happened en route....
 

Squite

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No question it's Swiss. The adjustment index would not need to be dual language otherwise. It's Swiss made for the English speaking market.
 

Tom McIntyre

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I have the impression from some Canadian advertizements that Omega sold these through the Regina name and most of their private labels were from Regina to establish a little distance from the Omega and Brandt lines.
 

Mechmusicmuseum

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Squite;726001 said:
No question it's Swiss. The adjustment index would not need to be dual language otherwise. It's Swiss made for the English speaking market.
I consulted my colleague (and ex-business partner) Noel Evans in UK, who has specialised in Swiss watches for many years. He comments:

Yes it is undoubtedly Omega. This calibre was the founding calibre for omega in the late 19th century and was in various forms made and exported to a number of countries and was , I think discontinued in the 1930s. Most of this I gleaned, in haste from a book I have on Omega covering start to 3 years ago. The naming for this one is as you say odd and maybe that makes it slightly more interesting I can’t find any numbers relating to quantity produced but my guess it ran into poss millions.

He also commented that he has parts for it!

Thanks for all your contributions on this matter.

David
 

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