Need help identifying/dating heirloom Quarter Repeater Pocket Watch

Alebrije

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Mar 21, 2021
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Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum - this is my first post, and I’m thrilled to have found a place bursting with horology enthusiasts!

I’ve been a mechanical wristwatch lover all my life, but I am a novice when it comes to pocket watches...

I recently inherited my grandfather’s quarter repeater, and I was hoping to find out more about the timepiece.

So far I only discovered one hallmark on the stem, and a couple of numbers on the (silver) inner case back lid. Can anybody help me identifying the watch? I’m assuming it’s 18k yellow gold plated with an enamel dial?

Any thoughts regarding origins, date, and possible value would be very much appreciated.

 

Dr. Jon

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Welcome to this forum. I am pretty confident the regulars will be able to give you a lot of information.

It looks French to me. I do not see any hallmarks but French marks are very small.
 

aucaj

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Feb 2, 2021
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I believe it is either French or Swiss? In the early 1800s, the French hallmarks were animal heads. Do you see any marks like that? It is hard to determine the stem mark from the photos.
 

Alebrije

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Mar 21, 2021
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Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum - this is my first post, and I’m thrilled to have found a place bursting with horology enthusiasts!

I’ve been a mechanical wristwatch lover all my life, but I am a novice when it comes to pocket watches...

I recently inherited my grandfather’s quarter repeater, and I was hoping to find out more about the timepiece.

So far I only discovered one hallmark on the stem, and a couple of numbers on the (silver) inner case back lid. Can anybody help me identifying the watch? I’m assuming it’s 18k yellow gold plated with an enamel dial?

Any thoughts regarding origins, date, and possible value would be very much appreciated.

I believe it is either French or Swiss? In the early 1800s, the French hallmarks were animal heads. Do you see any marks like that? It is hard to determine the stem mark from the photos.
Thanks. Here’s another photo of the stem mark. Hard to tell if it’s some sort of animal head... Unfortunately I can’t find any other hallmarks in plain sight. E84033D0-623E-41CE-8DE1-8E04E39D21A6.jpeg
 

aucaj

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Feb 2, 2021
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I can only assume that the 'B' is a maker's mark. Usually, the French hallmarks are on the stem where you see this 'B;. It is possible there could be marks under the bell, but I wouldn't recommend removing it unless your experiences. Sometimes, the bell have to carefully squeezed in to get past the bezel of the case. This makes them even more difficult to remove.

It is a really nice continental repeater and looks as though it has been well-cared for.
 

Dr. Jon

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Themark on teh stem does not look like a French hall mark and if the case were hallmarked the mark would be in several places. The absence of other marks is strong argument but full conclusive indication that the stem punch is not a hallmark, at least neither Swiss or French.
 

agemo

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Hi,
I am French and for me this punch is in no way French. Is it possible to remove the screw and the bell of the bowl, there are perhaps punches in the bottom

Amicalement GG
 
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John Matthews

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Czechoslovakia the letter B identified Prague.
Enrico - do you have a reference?

All I can find is that 'B' was used as a location identifier for Prague between 1807 and 1866 associated with a hallmark like so ...

1617093332546.png

and that 'C' was used for Prague from 1867 to 1922.

John
 

Alebrije

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Mar 21, 2021
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Thank you everyone for your responses! I really appreciate all the research and leads so far. Like many of you I also thought that there might be additional marks on the inner case back, but I unfortunately my previous attempts to remove the bell were unsuccessful. Any suggestions on how to take that bell off? I was able to detach it by unscrewing the center blued screw, but once it’s loose I just can’t lift the bell through the bezel of the case. It seems like it was either pressure squeezed or tilted/twisted a certain way to stay in there.

Regarding the punch on the stem, I also think that it looks like a letter ‘B‘ mark. Thank you “eri231” for finding a Prague reference in one of your books! Knowing that my grandparents were of Austro-Hungarian / German-Bohemian descent, your discovery makes a lot of sense.

One more question - besides finding the appropriate hallmark, is there any other way to tell whether the case is solid gold vs. gold plated or gold filled?

Thanks again for all the help!
Regards, Alex.
 

aucaj

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Hi Alex,

That was really good research by eri231. I don't have a copy of Tardy's " Poincons d'Argent", but I do know that 'argent' is French for silver. So it seems your watch is gold plated silver, sorry. Tardy does have a book "Poincons d'Or" which would be the gold hallmarks. The good news is that the plating appears to be in really good condition!

Regards,
Chris
 
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Alebrije

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Mar 21, 2021
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Hi Alex,

That was really good research by eri231. I don't have a copy of Tardy's " Poincons d'Argent", but I do know that 'argent' is French for silver. So it seems your watch is gold plated silver, sorry. Tardy does have a book "Poincons d'Or" which would be the gold hallmarks. The good news is that the plating appears to be in really good condition!

Regards,
Chris
thanks Chris,

yes, I’m glad my mother kept the watch in a safe deposit box all those years, so the overall condition is really good (both the movement and chiming mechanism are still workIng fine).
The emotional attachment outweighs any material value for this heirloom piece, and it’s a great feeling knowing that one day my son will treasure the watch the same way I do now...
 
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Philip Poniz

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The “B” is one of the Confederation of Rhine’s “re-stamping” marks for small silver and gold objects.

Bohemia Restamp 1806-9.JPG

Bohemia (now Czech Republic), which was part of the Holy Roman Empire, became a part of the Confederation of Rhine in 1806. The “B” stands for Bohemia with its capitol in Prague. The watch was re-stamped there between 1806 and 1809. 1806 was the last year of the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II, lost to Napoleon in the battle of Austerlitz (1805) and abdicated as an Emperor in 1806 when Napoleon created the Confederation of the Rhine.

In 1806 the rights to mark precious metals were taken from guilds and given to the state and most of the marks were redesigned. In 1810 Francis agreed for the marriage of his daughter Marie Louise to Napoleon and, as king of Bohemia, among other changes, changed the marks again. This particular one was changed into a vertical oval.

The re-stamping might have been for probate, importations, etc.

This type of repeaters were made on both sides of the Swiss-French border from ca 1785 to ca 1810. Without seeing inside the back cover and the cadrature (under the dial work), it would be tough to determine from which side of the border the watch came from.

If the bell’s OD is bigger than the case’s opening, the rim into which the movement is locked can be removed from the case. Sometimes they are of snap-on type (and hinged), sometimes secured by screws and sometimes by pins, which are the most difficult to remove. Sometimes they can only be removed after pushing the hinge pin out. Eri231 is right that inside the back cover, most likely, you will find identification marks.

Philip Poniz
 

Alebrije

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Mar 21, 2021
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The “B” is one of the Confederation of Rhine’s “re-stamping” marks for small silver and gold objects.

View attachment 647078

Bohemia (now Czech Republic), which was part of the Holy Roman Empire, became a part of the Confederation of Rhine in 1806. The “B” stands for Bohemia with its capitol in Prague. The watch was re-stamped there between 1806 and 1809. 1806 was the last year of the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II, lost to Napoleon in the battle of Austerlitz (1805) and abdicated as an Emperor in 1806 when Napoleon created the Confederation of the Rhine.

In 1806 the rights to mark precious metals were taken from guilds and given to the state and most of the marks were redesigned. In 1810 Francis agreed for the marriage of his daughter Marie Louise to Napoleon and, as king of Bohemia, among other changes, changed the marks again. This particular one was changed into a vertical oval.

The re-stamping might have been for probate, importations, etc.

This type of repeaters were made on both sides of the Swiss-French border from ca 1785 to ca 1810. Without seeing inside the back cover and the cadrature (under the dial work), it would be tough to determine from which side of the border the watch came from.

If the bell’s OD is bigger than the case’s opening, the rim into which the movement is locked can be removed from the case. Sometimes they are of snap-on type (and hinged), sometimes secured by screws and sometimes by pins, which are the most difficult to remove. Sometimes they can only be removed after pushing the hinge pin out. Eri231 is right that inside the back cover, most likely, you will find identification marks.

Philip Poniz
Incredible, that is some excellent detailed information! Thank you Philip!
I think I will give it another try and see if I can remove that bell. I might post more pictures along the way, in case I have additional questions...
Thanks again for all your help and advice!

Regards, Alex
 

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