Pencron Pocket Watch

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Leslie H, Jul 18, 2012.

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  1. Leslie H

    Leslie H Registered User

    Jul 10, 2012
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    Hello all,

    I dug through some of my old things and came up with a Pencron pocket watch from circa 1975 and after winding it I was amazed to discover it still keeps near perfect time having only lost about 30 seconds in the last couple of weeks.

    I know the year it was sold because it was given to me as a gift when leaving the employ of JC Penny Co in that very year by a group of fellow employees. I carried it until 1988 when it was put away. I've long since lost the box and any info sheet it contained.

    It has a flip open cover with a raised image, it is of a forest setting with a dog chasing a stag and a hunter aiming a rifle at the deer. It is heavy and I believe the case is some type of cast metal and looks to be gold plated with the gold worn off slightly on the images and on the rear cover which I believe snaps off.

    It is a side winder and has Pencron on the dial face above a horseshoe shaped wreath of three pink/orange flowers with leaves. Below the wreath it is lettered "17 Jewels" with the word "Incabloc" below that. On either side of the numeral 6 are the words "Swiss Made".

    Can anyone possibly shed light on just which Swiss Company may have produced it and any other interesting info about it if any ?

    Les H.

     
  2. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    You worked for J C Penney. And the watch they presented to you has the name PENCRON on the dial. That just has to be a private label name owned by Penney, and applied to their house brand watches. This watch will prove to be Swiss.
     
  3. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Leslie.
    I moved your question to the European section becase it is a Swiss watch.
    Thanks
     
  4. Leslie H

    Leslie H Registered User

    Jul 10, 2012
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    Jim,

    Makes sense, one of these days I promise to get something right :).

    Les
     
  5. Leslie H

    Leslie H Registered User

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    Doug,

    I was just wondering if anyone might know which Swiss Watchmaker produced it for Penney's.

    Les
     
  6. Larry Treiman

    Larry Treiman Registered User

    Jan 18, 2009
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    #6 Larry Treiman, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
    And we meet again!

    Your watch falls into a category In would call "novelty" watches or modern watches that are sometimes made to look like older watches. As I recall, these were popular in the 1960s and 1970s (and maybe before and after that. They were apparently popular with the general public, who wanted something a little different to wear, but not with collectors.

    These watches varied widely in quality and price, and were often sold at watch and jewelry departments in department stores (like J.C. Penney Co.), discounters, drug stores, catalog outlets and as trading-stamp redemption stores (remember those, like Green Stamps?). Some had really cheap, un-jeweled or one-jewel pin-lever movements. Others used jeweled-lever movements of varying quality, often from Switzerland, France, Germany or ??. Sometimes the pocket watches had full-size pocket watch movements; some of the better ones had pocket watch movements by Unitas, now part of Eta, which in turn is one of many well known brands that are part of the now all-encompassing "Swatch Group." Other watches used wrist watch movements in a larger pocket watch case. These often had center (sweep) seconds hands or no seconds hand.

    From the markings, we know that your Pencron is Swiss, has Incabloc shock protection for the balance pivots, and has 17 jewels, which means that the important mechanical points of wear are jeweled. What we don't know is whether it is a pocket watch movement or a wrist watch movement, or who made it. There might be some clue inside the back of the case as to who made the case, but most likely we'll never know. We might be able to recognize the maker of the movement (especially if it is Unitas) from a photo of the movement. We'll likely never know who put the case and movement together, put Penney's private label name on the dial and sold it to them. Photos, including a photo of the movement, are always the key, unless you are asking about something like a Ball 998, the image of which railroad watch nuts like me have indelibly-etched in our minds.

    I should add that novelty watches are still made today for sale to the general public, and maybe to less-discriminating collectors. The current crop now usually have inexpensive battery-powered quartz movements.

    Larry Treiman

    [EDIT] Just out of curiosity and to verify spelling, I did a Google search for Pencron Watch. It brought up a lot of hits. Although I didn't have the patience to look carefully, a quick look didn't reveal anything to support the obvious conclusion that it is a J.C. Penney private label. It is your watch and maybe you would have more patience to look for something in all those hits that would confirm a connection between Pencron and JCP. For now, my opinion is "Duh! I don't know!"

    LT
     
  7. Leslie H

    Leslie H Registered User

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    Ah Larry,

    You are so right again. Your post got my curiosity up and I popped the back off ( rather easily I might add ) and behold, a pocket watch movement marked JC Penny Co and nothing to indicate who made it despite looking with a bright light and magnifying glass, which only revealed that it was indeed, 17 jewel, (probably synthetic rubys), swiss made, and a case of base metal.

    S
    till it runs perfectly after all these years (13 or so in daily use) AND most importantly is of great sentimental value due to the person who gave it to me, not the company itself. The weight comes from the brass the movement is encased in. Ha Ha, the joke is on me, but that is OK for the reasons I just stated.

    Les H

     
  8. Leslie H

    Leslie H Registered User

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    Larry,

    OOp's to late to edit, but what I meant to type was that it was indeed a wristwatch movement as you said many private labels were.

    Les H
     
  9. Larry Treiman

    Larry Treiman Registered User

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    #9 Larry Treiman, Jul 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
    Well, I'm glad you confirmed that it was definitely made for JCP. It seemed only logical, but I was surprised not to see a reference on "Google" to connect the trademark with Penney's. Maybe if I had read a little more.....nah, not a chance!

    If you could post a photo of the movement, there are people here who might be able to ID the maker of the movement by the shape of the plates. Sometimes there is a symbol either partly obscured under the balance wheel or, even worse, under the dial, who just made the "ebauche"or rough, unfinished movement and sold it to an anonymous finisher, who finished the ebauche to the customer's specifications. A lot of people can get involved.

    Larry
     
  10. Mikrolisk

    Mikrolisk Registered User

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