Patek Philippe circa 1845-60?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by charlieboy747, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. charlieboy747

    charlieboy747 Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    7
    0
    0
    Hello, I recently inherited a PP from my mother, and am wondering whether anyone here can shed some light onto the markings for me? I tried to photograph them to show on here but unfortunately my camera lacks the necessaries to produce such minute pictures, I can however describe them to you. The watch looks like it has been converted as it just doesn't look quite right, so perhaps an old nurses or pocket watch at one time?
    On the inside of the case on the actual back of the watch is inscribed "no 145347 Patek Philippe & Co Geneve" and on the inside of the case at the top is a strange insignia resembling an inverted "s" or a snake, underneath which is a 14k inside an oval, underneath which is something resembling a snowflake underneath which are the numbers 260804. There are also quite a few barely visible etchings that look like they could be signatures and numbers at random places around the case.
    I called PP in Bond St, and they have advised me to send off to Geneva for an archive extract, and to get a proper valuation from someone reputable such as Christies or Bonhams which I shall do shortly, but if anyone can cure my curiosity at least a little bit then I should be eternally grateful.
    Thanks in advance

    http://bermudatraveldeals.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/CIMG9719.jpg
     
  2. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
    14,364
    53
    48
    Calgary, Alberta
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Welcome,

    If the serial number 145347 is off the `works`of the watch, my date table indicates the year to be circa 1905. IMHO, the style and size of this watch would not be consistent with an 1845-1860 date. That`s what the serial number list says. However! The watch is `pin-set`which means the hands are set by depressing the pin on the edge of the case near the 11:00, and turning the crown. IIRC, the modern `stem-set`system that has been in use for well over a century was devised by Phillippe of the firm. If this watch is 20th century as the serial number would seem to imply, why does the watch have a 19th century pin-set feature on it. I`m no PP expert, but I`m certain there will be one along forthwith to correct me!

    The tiny hand lettered markings you refer to are likely watch repairer`s marks.
     
  3. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    10,997
    290
    83
    UK
    Country Flag:
    Firstly, I agree with Doug about the date. This is nowhere near 1850 in date, and I would date it (based on style) to no earlier than 1890, and anywhere up to 1920. I'm content with Doug's date of 1905.

    I have never seen a PP in anything less than an 18K case, while yours seems to be 14K. Nevertheless, if your "snowflake" looks like the one in the photo below, that is a PP casemark. I have no idea what the "snake" might be without a photo.

    The apparent conversion to wristwatch is sad, as it destroys most of the value of the watch, and I have never seen this done to a PP before :eek:

    You will gather that I have reservations about your watch, and I'd really like to see a photo of the movement.

    DO NOT "send off to Geneva" for a copy of the archive. I have heard that PP charge an exorbitant fee for this service which might even be greater than the value of the watch. By all means get a valuation from Christies or Bonhams - they sell hundreds of PPs every year, although they may never have seen a conversion before. My instinct is that they may not value it for that reason, but by all means try. 86819.jpg
     
  4. charlieboy747

    charlieboy747 Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    7
    0
    0
    Thanks very much. The snowflake is indeed the same as the one pictured, and as soon as I can I will post some pictures of the movement.
    Kind regards
     
  5. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
    14,364
    53
    48
    Calgary, Alberta
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #5 doug sinclair, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
    The case appears to lack the Geneva Seal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_seal

    Does anyone know when PP started touse the Geneva Seal? Is it my failing eyesight, or does the case back have an 18 karat stamp in it? Being a Patek, I would expect it to be 18!
     
  6. charlieboy747

    charlieboy747 Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    7
    0
    0
  7. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    10,997
    290
    83
    UK
    Country Flag:
    I assume you're talking about my watch here, Doug? :)

    Mine is indeed 18K, and you make the same point about Charlie's watch that I did. Every Patek watch I've ever seen was in an 18K case, whereas Charlie's is apparently marked 14K :eek: But Charlie has confirmed that his watch has the Patek logo which appears on mine. Very puzzling :confused:

    On the subject of the Geneva Seal, Patek only put these on their highest grade watches. I have no information on what proportion of their watches got the Seal, but just by observation I'd guess 10% or less. I have always seen the seal uthree times on a watch - the movement back plate, one of the bridges, and the case.
     
  8. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    5,490
    327
    83
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The Geneva Seal is a very high standard applied to watch movements. It is not appled ot cases.

    The "snowflake" is the "Calatrava Cross" a Patek Philippe trademerk.

    If the watch has been converted to wire lugs for wrist wear, then the pendant was also removed. This is the only place on the watch as pictured where a Geneva or Swiss hall mark would be visible.

    If there are 14K hallmarks in the usual other places, back covers ,and on the case body, case is Swiss made.

    This watch is very unusual in that it is pin set. Patek's are almost never pin set. Philippe's patents on stem setting were a major factor in founding the company. Pin setting is possible but very odd.

    Patek, like most companies made what customers ordered and if someone wanted pin set or a 14K case, that is what they made.

    The hands are mismatched. When the hour hand is Breguet style, the minute hand almost always is also. The second hand looks wrong to me also with the center part too large.

    One possibility is that the stem setting broke and pin setting was installed as a cheaper fix. Patek parts have always been hard to get. I recently was involved in another repair where we decided to do this for another old watch. This watch was not a Patek, its maker is defunct and replacement parts are not available.

    Replacements would have had to be have been made at costs far exceeding the value of the watch. We discussed this with the owner, who after having time to think it over, agreed to this.

    I suspect it is a genuine Patek with a lot of after market work done to it and at a level pretty far below Patek factory standard.

    The evidence is
    1) 14K case, suspicious but still possible Patek factory work especially with the Caletrava Cross
    2) pin setting, also suspicious but possible Patek factory work
    3) Mismatched hands not Patek factrory wirk

    More pictures would help.

    BTW the Geneva Seal was available when this watch was and and it could even have one. I have seen a small Patek with a Geneval Seal under the dial.

    I suspect that if it went back to Patek they would recommend extensive and expensive restoration. I have seen some amazing auction prices for Patek wrist watches so it is possible that the watch could be worth that cost.

    If it were mine I would weigh the improvements over keeping it the way your benefactor had it. I'd get it serviced and good appraisal for insurance purposes but I would probably not do more restoration than that.
     
  9. charlieboy747

    charlieboy747 Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    7
    0
    0
    Thanks very much all for your input. I will see an expert tomorrow, and will keep it posted in here as to the outcome. I will also add more pictures when I am able to do so. I must say I find this all fascinating. I have since found two more ladies gold swiss watches, but have yet to find out anything about them, but I believe they belonged to my grandmother. One has similar marks to the PP but also has D & R" engraved above some other markings that I have yet to make out, so more investigations afoot I think!
    Speak to you all soon.
    Regards Charlie
     
  10. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,981
    277
    83
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Contrary to popular belief that Patek did not make factory PP 14k cases, I can tell you that they indeed DID make a few.

    Certainly, it could be some kind of contract case but if we are to take the gentleman rather specific description seriously, i would opt for the opinion that it is one of those RARE 14k factory cased Pateks converted to a wrist watch.

    Looking forward to new pics!

    Cheeers!

    Jeff
     
  11. charlieboy747

    charlieboy747 Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    7
    0
    0
    Hi all, sorry to have taken so long to get these up, and they are far from professional quality, but should show enough detail. See what you make of
    them.:)
    http://bermudatraveldeals.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/CIMG9757.jpg
    http://bermudatraveldeals.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/CIMG9756.jpg
    http://bermudatraveldeals.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/CIMG9752.jpg
    http://bermudatraveldeals.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/CIMG9749.jpg
     
  12. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    10,997
    290
    83
    UK
    Country Flag:
    The case marks and signature all look perfectly right to me, Charlie, and I just realised what your "inverted snake" is .... it's a squirrel's tail :D The squirrel is the Swiss national assay mark for 14K gold!!!

    As Jeff has said (and much to my surprise) Patek obviously did make 14K cases.

    It would still be noce to see a photo of the complete movement, but the partial photo you have posted shows the clasic wolfs' tooth wheels, and the signature there looks fine. What a shame that someone converted it to a wristwatch :(
     
  13. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    5,490
    327
    83
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I agree with Marty up to the point of lamenting conversion to a wrist watch.

    If that is what its owner wanted that is a perfectly legitimate way to change an ornament into a more useful timepiece.

    It may also have been made that way by the factory.

    That is how they did it when this watch was made.

    What I lament is the loss of a hand, which is not hard to replace.

    Wrist watches of the 1880 to 1890 era are rare and not well documented.

    I also agree the marks are probably right.
     
  14. Audemars

    Audemars Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 6, 2010
    1,017
    79
    48
    Male
    Retired
    Somerset, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Ah, well,

    That is interesting,

    I had always assumed in my profound ignorance that wristwatches were a phenomenon of the early 20C and that the first ones were converted pocket watches.

    I was recently contacted by someone who has been watching this site but who is a bit shy about doing anything on it, who has a "wristwatch" signed "Georges Mermod" - NOT Mermod Freres.

    The guy has done an enormous amount of research and is convinced his watch is an original 19C wristwatch.
    The best expert (professional) advice I have obtained is that it is a well effected 20C conversion.

    Thoughts, anyone?

    I'll try and get a shot of it and do a synopsis of the e-mails he has been sending me.

    P
    -> posts merged by system <-
    here you go............ 87521.jpg 87522.jpg
     
  15. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    5,490
    327
    83
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #15 Dr. Jon, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
    Wrist watches developed during the 1880's (more precisely, began their evolution to modern form). I can not tell an 1880 one from one before about 1910 or so. So far as I have seen there are few, if any well dated and authenticated examples.

    I have seen ads for wrist watch straps in 1880's trade journals, which is why I date them that early.

    When my son became engaged I gave his fiance a wrist watch that has an inscription from the original owner's mother datint it to 1892. It looked all original to me but most gold smiths are skillfull enough that I never be able to tell an original configuration from a conversion.

    To put this in context, I also have an Englis half hunter watch which was originally a full hunter. The evidence for thsi conversion is that the hour hand is a bit different fro usual hal hunter hands, and I have the work shop ledger from its maker which recorded the conversion a few years later.

    The industry had a lot of skilled goldsmith who did watch case work and an owner could get anything they wanted done at a high level of skill. This blurs the line between original and conversion. My view is that anything an original owner or a descendent did to use the watch i sstill original, compared to switching and diddling for later marketing. The Mermod from what I can see could be either a factrory or an owner conversion and it really does not matter very much. It is a very nice item and a very rare exampel of a very early wrist watch.

    I suspect that as women became more active and demanding of legal rights they started moving away from pendant to wrist watches. Pendant watchs may have been converted to make them more useful. As such, my opinion is that they are part of history
     
  16. charlieboy747

    charlieboy747 Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    7
    0
    0
    A very valid point too! Thank you:)
     
  17. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

    Sep 16, 2008
    570
    78
    28
    Country Flag:
    Just to add a bit to Dr. J's info...Vacheron & Constantin has been credited by Antiquorum as having the first series-produced wristwatches. In 1889, a series of 25 ladies bangle-type wrist watches were commissioned by the French jeweler Gustave Sandoz for the Paris Exposition. These were manufactured by V&C with extraordinary workmanship and, according to Antiquorum at least, were the first timepieces made "in the modern concept and spirit of wristwatches". 87992.jpg
     

Share This Page