New watch identification needed please.

mravery

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Sep 17, 2011
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Hello everyone,

My first thread with the nawcc, however some of you may know me from the other watch forums floating around in virtual space :) (same user name)

I've dabbled from time to time with pocket watches, and I'm learning that it's kind of like eating Doritos.... you can't stop at just one..... I'm a little curious about my most recent pickup and was wondering if you guys could give me more details.

First, what I think I know......

1) The movement is unsigned but the case states 'Pateck' among other things and from what I have researched this means it's a Patek forgery.
2) Size appears to be a s14
3) No second hand
4) Case is not stamped 'silver' but has silver hallmarks
5) Runs like a champ and keep awesome time :D
6) Key size is a #3

Now.... some of my questions:

1) Approximate era for the watch
2) This is my first s14 (I'm an s18 guy)... were these for men or woman?
3) Who made these?

And any other information that anyone can think of.......

And.... pictures are worth a thousand words.... so.... here they are

Cheers and thanks!
Mark
 

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Dr. Jon

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Welcome to the NAWCC mesage board. Since no one has touched this for a while I'll make a few guesses.

Determining the maker of the rough movement is nearly impossible. It is a good grade movement.

Shugarts book Complete Price Guide to Watches has a picture of a very similar model made by Assmann, a Glasshutte German maker and dated to 1875. Assmann was a very good and highly regarded maker. BTW since you are getting started you should buy a copy of this book. New, its good investment and you can get copies few years old for even less. The information accumulates and I can tell you from personal experience, corrections offered by collectors do not get added. You do not need the latest especially to get started.

A lot of the value of a watch is in its final finishing and adjusting so looks can be decieving but yours looks to have been a good movement with some very "funny" things on its casing. The technical description seems accurate. It is a 15 jewel level watch.

Pateck may have been a retailer or jobber who shared a name with the more famous person and by 1875 Pateck Philippe was the name and it was not so widely renown as today so if it was a counterfeit it would not have fooled anyone moderately knowledgeable and most buyers then were pretty well educated on watches. It does not look like anything they were doing and, since the founding concept of Pateck Philippe was stem winding and stem setting, why fake a watch and make it a key wind? Also the watch is fairly good.

To me the interesting aspect that makes honest dealing doubtful are the psdeudo English hall marks. The "K" looks like the English date letter for 1865 which is also a reasonable date. Why anyone would do this beats me.

The best I can come up with is that it was aimded at an English buyer and the name Pateck was to throw off pursuit by any authorities concerned about faking English hallmarks, which carried a pretty serious penalty. I hasten to add that I am not convinced of this. it is just the best I can come up with
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Pritchard's account may throw some light of this. She reports that sas soon as Patek Philippe "began producing watches, forgeries appeared on the market, as early as 1850." She reports that PP filed suits in the 1880s and 1890s to stop this practice, "particularly agains the firm of ARMAND SCHWOB & FRERE: that firm was forbidden to used the names 'Patek' or 'Pateck' in any form. The trial cause a great public sensation."

Pritchard further states that a witness in the trial said that Schwob had beenengraving the PATEK names on watchs for 50 years.
 

mravery

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Sep 17, 2011
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Doc Jon and Ethan,

Thank you for the quick responses and info....

I am an avid believer in reference material (have about 1500 reference books on various subjects now) and I shall add this book soon.

Your responses bring questions..... Since the movement is not named at all and from what I understand is that the buyer chooses his movement and case separately from the jeweler.... I would think that this might eliminate the case against it being a forgery of a Patek (just throwing it out there).

Jon, you mentioned that the hallmarks look weird, do you think that the case is not silver then (appears to be silver and not silverine etc) and was tarnished when I received it. Why else would the case have fake English hallmarks?

Also, was a s14 watch considered a man's watch or ladies back then?

Cheers and thanks
Mark
 

MartyR

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I am an avid believer in reference material (have about 1500 reference books on various subjects now) and I shall add this book soon.
If you're referring to Kathleen Pritchard's book Swiss Timepiece Makers 1775-1975 to which Ethan refers, be aware that it is an extremely rare out-of-print book, and correspondingly very expensive. But it is the finest horological reference book I have ever come across ;)

Since the movement is not named at all and from what I understand is that the buyer chooses his movement and case separately from the jeweler.... I would think that this might eliminate the case against it being a forgery of a Patek (just throwing it out there).
The separate purchase of case and movement is an American custom with American watches. As far as I know, a Patek Philippe case would only have been sold containing a Patek Philippe movement in America , although a Patek Philippe movement supplied to a PL retailer in America would often have been cased in a similarly PL case.

The name on your cuvette (containing the "c" in Pateck) says this is not a Patek or Patek Philippe case.

Jon, you mentioned that the hallmarks look weird, do you think that the case is not silver then (appears to be silver and not silverine etc) and was tarnished when I received it. Why else would the case have fake English hallmarks?
The "hallmarks" are simply wrong for English hallmark, where the lion would indicate silver but that number with the crown above (is that 18?) would indicate gold. The "k" purports to be a date mark, bit it is not one of the fonts used for English hallmarks. English hallmarks would have to include a maker's mark. So they are clearly not English hallmarks, but they are equally clearly intended to deceive someone into believing they are :D

I have never understood how fakers managed to get hallmarks so badly wrong - maybe they didn't have access to the right reference books then :rolleyes: As to why they would try to put fake English hallmarks on a fake Swiss maker's watch ... that is equally puzzling to me.

Incidentally, there is doubt as to whether "Pateck" was a real watchmaker, or simply an attempt to forge a "Patek". For me, the fact that this one has deliberately deceptive hallmarks leads me to believe that the name too was deliberately deceptive.
 

mravery

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Sep 17, 2011
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Hey Marty,

Regarding reference books.... I pick up what I can when they become available. I checked one of my global best sites for out of print books for Pritchard's and your right, none are listed :(

The number is actually a '13' under the crown and not an 18... so does that make it even more odd?

Also, this watch has no second hand, was this common for the Swiss watches of the mid-19th century?

Cheers
Mark
 

Ethan Lipsig

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I paid $275 for a new two-volume Pritchard set around 5 years ago. It is a unique, but flawed work, that I can only recommend with reservations.

The work is essentially an alphabetically-arranged listing of most if not almost all Swiss watchmakers and brands from 1775-1975, but 99% of the listings are a phrase or sentence, e.g., RENARD, JEAN, Geneve Master watchmaker, active ca. 1602." Most entries provide more of the illusion of information than anything really useful.

Pritchard's entries on well-known names are, of course, much longer, but also frustrating. Most of them do not provide truly coherent histories, nor does Pritchard include any material analysis of watchmakers' products or useful information. For example, even for the best known names, Pritchard rarely includes any information that would help one identify calibres or original combinations of cases, dials, hands, etc., nor does she include material information about serial numbers. E.g., her entry for Patek Philippe is illustrated only by two diagrams of its keyless winding mechanisms.

Nevertheless, there is nothing else quite like Pritchard. It's indispensible and disappointing at the same time.
 

MartyR

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The number is actually a '13' under the crown and not an 18... so does that make it even more odd?
Either the faker had bad eyesight and misread the 18 in a real hallmark, or else he wanted to be just cute enough in court to claim that this wasn't an attempt to deceive because any fool would know there was no such thing as 13 karat gold :D

Also, this watch has no second hand, was this common for the Swiss watches of the mid-19th century?
Interesting question :rolleyes: My random memory says it's not common, but I have seen quite a few without seconds hands.
 

jfl

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A couple of comments: Your watch's cuvette looks identical to others I have seen on ebay perusal of kw or keywind swiss might help you find a duplicate cuvette. Your hallmarks are on a picture of a watch that is .800 silver with a knight on horseback with an emblem with the initials of FR C (space intentional). I think that these hallmarks were put on to look like a Sheffield produced case for the oriental market. The knight emblem should help to identify the casemaker of the watch which due to the lack of a second hand I believe to be an older ladies watch. Those are my best guesses, let's see if I'm close. JFL
 
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