Need info/help identifying this... Louis Remond Locle/Savoye Freres?

jdeclanflynn

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Acquired this piece recently. I'm new to pocket watches, so please forgive me. Looks vintage, late 1800s maybe. Aside from the obvious names "Louis Reymond" and "Savoye Freres" made in Locle, France, I assume. See images. I would love info on this, manufacturer, dates, metal, etc., and any history would be awesome, too. I haven't attempted to look at the movement, yet so, the images do not include that. Not sure how, really :( Thanks in advance. I really appreciate forums like this. Cheers!

2022-08-14 16_09_19-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png 2022-08-14 16_09_56-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png 2022-08-14 16_10_09-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png 2022-08-14 16_10_20-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png 2022-08-14 16_10_34-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png 2022-08-14 16_10_48-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png 2022-08-14 16_11_06-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png 2022-08-14 16_11_25-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png
 

Dr. Jon

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It looks like a nice watch. We can tell more if you can open the inner cover. Stye looks 1850-1860's but the movement will tell more.

It llooks like it has had some rough handling. The dial looks chipped and bits of the hour hand are missing, but what remains looks original.
 
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jdeclanflynn

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It looks like a nice watch. We can tell more if you can open the inner cover. Stye looks 1850-1860's but the movement will tell more. It llooks like it has had some rough handling. The dial looks chipped and bits of the hour hand are missing, but what remains looks original.

Dr. Jon - thanks for your comments. I was able to to crack open the backside to reveal the inner-workings. I hope the images help to determine what this watch is, etc.

2022-08-15 11_06_16-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png 2022-08-15 11_06_46-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png
 

jdeclanflynn

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Aug 14, 2022
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Acquired this piece recently. I'm new to pocket watches, so please forgive me. Looks vintage, late 1800s maybe. Aside from the obvious names "Louis Reymond" and "Savoye Freres" made in Locle, France, I assume. See images. I would love info on this, manufacturer, dates, metal, etc., and any history would be awesome, too. I haven't attempted to look at the movement, yet so, the images do not include that. Not sure how, really :( Thanks in advance. I really appreciate forums like this. Cheers!

View attachment 721380 View attachment 721381 View attachment 721382 View attachment 721383 View attachment 721384 View attachment 721385 View attachment 721386 View attachment 721387
More photos...

2022-08-15 11_06_16-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png 2022-08-15 11_06_46-Pocket watches - Google Drive.png
 

Dr. Jon

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The movement layout dates it to 1840-1850. Typical of this era is its balance wheel. Note that it is fake cut balance. It has a slot instead of full fut rim which would enable it to correct for temperature. This is snow most of these watches were made.

In addition to teh general layout the lever is a "right angle" type, meaning that the pivots for the escape wheel lever and balance for a right triangle. By about 1850 or so they went to a straight line arrangement called a line or Swiss style lever.

Locle is a small city in Switzerland very much in the watchmaking area.
 

jdeclanflynn

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Okay, so from that I learned that the movement dates from the era of 1840-1850, which makes it officially the oldest treasure I own, which is cool, o_O and the piece was made in a city in Switzerland, which makes it Swiss and not French like I first thought. That's great. But you had me at "fake" when you wrote "fake cut balance." I sort of stopped there and had to read your response three times - LOL! I hope you don't mean fake as in your watch is a fake. As for your explanation - totally over my head, but I'm still learning.

One thing that stood out to me is the color of the gold. It almost looks like a rose gold but not rose gold, if that makes sense. Perhaps it's the patena over time, considering its age and perhaps the way gold was processed in the mid 19th Century vs today... (?)

Thank you Dr. Jon for your time, which I value, and your information. Thank you!
 

gmorse

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Hi jdeclanflynn,
I sort of stopped there and had to read your response three times - LOL! I hope you don't mean fake as in your watch is a fake. As for your explanation - totally over my head, but I'm still learning.
Perhaps I can help here about the balance.

The balances in many watches are made so that changes in temperature don't affect their rate, because the frequency at which a balance oscillates determines whether it runs fast, slow or just right. When metals get warmer, they mostly expand, and if a balance wheel expands, it slows down, (think of a skater spinning on the ice). The rims of these balance wheels are made with two different metals, (usually brass and steel), arranged so that when the temperature rises, the balance rim curls inwards slightly because the outer layer of brass expands slightly more than the inner layer of steel, and it speeds up. When the temperature drops it curls outwards and slows. These effects work in conjunction with the fact that the balance spring (the 'hairspring') behaves more or less in the opposite way. These balances are known as 'temperature compensated' for this reason.

However, the balance can only do this if there are cuts through the rim near each of the spokes so that each portion of the rim is free to bend with changes in temperature. Dr. Jon is referring to the practice in many Swiss watches of making cuts half way through so that it looks like a compensated balance, but can't behave like one. Adjusting a compensated balance so that it responds properly to changes in temperature was a skilled task and would add to the cost of a watch. In this sense the balance can be regarded as 'fake' but only in the specific aspect that I've mentioned, and it doesn't apply to the whole watch.

Hope this clarifies things!

Regards,

Graham
 
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Dr. Jon

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"Fake" cut balances.

The high end watches of that time had a balance wheel with it rim a brass and steel bimetallic strip set up so that in head the free ends would bend inward reducing the radius and this the inertia of the balance wheel. This off set the weakening of the spring with heat. The screws were placed to optimize this. Adjusting these screws took a lot of time and required coolers and ovens. It was expensive and time consuming and it made the balance more fragile and more likely to get bent out of shape.

In the 1850 many Swiss were competing on price and using features to obscure some corners they cut and in this case did not cut. They frequently made a balance with a bimetallic rim and cut partially through it to make it look like a true compensating balance. Sometimes they even wrote compensated balance on the inner cover when it was not. (I have the misfortune of owning an example) .

In use your watch if well overhauled should give good service in wear since it willnot be exposed ot wide temperature variation but it does have a bit of fakery about it.

Your watch is not marked for gold content. The Swiss had a hallmarking system but it was optional. Many cases were marked witha caratage such as 18K which had no meaning or warrantee behind it. LAcking any marks it seems likely that it is low carat gold.
 
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VinSer

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Very nice watch! And the fob really stands out: congratulations. :)

Now to add to the confusion ... but this is one of the most interesting parts about collecting pocket watches :)

Savoye Frères & Cie is actually one of the first French companies founded in Besançon by Swiss emigrants, and quite a known one at that.

According to watch-wiki was founded in 1794 and changed name after 1870. For sure received a bronze medal at the World exposition of 1867 in Paris. It also had a subsidiary in Paris, that kept the original name.

The Savoye Fréres were from Locle (Switzerland) but their production was surely in Besançon. So why there is Locle inscribed on the cuvette of your watch is a good question, unless of course is another Savoy Frères ... :)

Ciao
 
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pmwas

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I wonder if such balance could be cut through and regulated on the expense of the owner? Was it offered as an option by the retailers?
For me it was always strange they would make a non-functional bi-metallic balance.

Maybe they wanted to advertise the watch as better, but wouldn’t it just be easier to cut the balance and not adjust it ;) ?
 

Chris Radek

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I wonder this too. Would cutting through and doing nothing else actually make the temperature performance worse? It seems like it would have to improve things, but would add no extra work since they already set up the cut.
 

Dr. Jon

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We will never have a full answer as to why they did not simply cut the balance but I suspect the thinking was that an uncut balance is more stable than a cut one. In wear the watch stays at nearly the same temperature, and accurate references to correct time were not readily available. An uncut balance worked better, and as long as the watch was reasonably accurate the owner was unlikely to notice the difference.

English watch adverts stated an uncut balance was preferred over a cut but un-adjusted one. The Swiss ones tended to be very light balances which made the watches more robust than one with a heavier balance. Cutting it would make it more fragile.
 
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