Please help identify a Locle Courvoisier Pocket Watch

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by 1234glass, May 20, 2007.

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  1. 1234glass

    1234glass Guest

    I recently purchased a nice collection of pocket watches. I have been able to identify most of them, but this one is giving me trouble.
    On the face cover (in a banner) it reads: Warranted Fine Gold and then towards the bottom it has the number 63.
    On the first back cover it has the numbers 16285 and then (in a banner) Warranted Fine Gold. Lightly inscribed it reads 11-17-68 and then 1-3 Made. Towards the bottom it has 463 with an 8 under it.
    On the second back cover it has the a script N that swoops over into an oval. In the oval it reads: 463. Under this it has in script: T. Courvoisier, then Locle in an emblem.
    The only thing that I can find on the movement is fast and slow.
    It comes in an old burlwood felt lined case with the words on the inside top: L. Reymond Locle.

    Thank you for any information you can give me.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    Swiss Bar Mvmt is about as close as I can come to identifying the mvmt. The rest you have already ided.
     
  3. 1234glass

    1234glass Guest

     
  4. 1234glass

    1234glass Guest

    I am sorry that I was not specific enough in my questions.
    I don't know what Warranted Fine Gold means, it is filled or 10 K 14k or 18k?
    There are so many names on the watch and the box.
    Who made it?
    Is Locle just a place?
    Why does the box say L Reymond?
    Is Cousvoiser the maker?
    It seems to have a date, 11-17-68 Is that 1868?
    What does 1-3 Made, mean? Are there only three like these made?
    As you can tell, I am a novice.
    Terri
     
  5. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Dec 14, 2001
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    Nice watch

    From the style and jeweling 1868 is a possible date, but I think that is a coincidence. It could be from as early as the late 1850's to the early 1870's.

    If this is lightly scribed it is more likely to be repair mark put there in 1968 by a watchmaker who repaired or overhauled it. It is an early stem winder. The other lightly scratched marks are repair notations corresponding to the journal of the watchmaker who did the work. Unless you can determine who that was and look at the journal, their meaning is lost.

    "Warranted Fine" gold by itself has almost no meaning. Swiss gold cases are hallmarked. Look for a very small stamped mark at most 2 mm across. Locle is a town in the Neuchatel area of Switzerland where a lot of watches were and are made. It had its own hallmarks at that time. The covers and case body should all have these small marks. "Warranted fine gold" along with the markings, "fast" and "slow" indicate that it was made for the American market, or possibly English.


    Couvoisier was a large, well known family of makers. There is a lot of information on them in "Swiss Timepiece Makers" 1775-1975 by Kathleen Pritchard ,published by the NAWCC and available from the library if you are a member. It has too much to summarize here.

    The number 16285 is likely the case serial number. There may also be some initials or a symblic makers mark stamped by the gold smith. There are no readily available records of Swiss Goldsmiths so you would have to find the records of the Goldsmith's guild and identify that maker. The makers mark like the hallmark will be small and you have to know the marks to know which is which.

    The 483 over 8 is probably the watch movement serial number. I would have to see pictures of these marks to be sure.

    "L Reymand" could be the retailer or it could be a box from another watch. There is nothing on this name in Pritchard's book. Boxes and watches get switched around so there may be no connection.

    The details of the balance are not clear. If it is cut it is a lot better than if not. With the balance stopped you can tell if the rims has two cuts through it. These let the ends move in and out to compensate for temperature. On many Swiss watches they made fake cut balances. Either they did not cut it at all or they notched it. If it is a fake temperature compensated its lower grade.

    Overall, it is a very nice watch made for the upper 1/3 of the market, not top grade but very fine.
     
  6. 1234glass

    1234glass Guest

     
  7. 1234glass

    1234glass Guest

    Thank you, Dr. John, for all of your help.
    I still have a few question that I was hoping you could answer.

    I have attached three pictures.

    You said you would need a picture of the 483 over 8 to tell if it is the serial number of the movement.

    I took a picture of the balance hoping you could tell if it were cut or not.

    I added a picture of the 11-17-68 and the 1-3 Made to see if you could tell me if this means anything.

    I did find, which appears to be, 18K under one of the banners, but it is very hard to distinguish.

    Thank you for your expert knowledge and time.
    Terri
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I think the 463 which appears over the signature and the 463 over 8 are the movement number for Courousier. The 8 may correspond to a digit I can not read over the signature or it may be another number to indicate a series of watches.

    From your picture of the balance it looks to be notched rather than cut, but I am far for sure on this. The balance arms have holes in them near the rim and that is often a sign of a good watch.

    I do not see any hallmarks and you have enough that I probably would see them if they were there.

    The gold marking is not standard and it was not hallmarked. I recently read an article in the British trade journal of that period in which the English complained that many Swiss cases did not test to their marked purity and I think your case may be below the standard. It is probably about 16K but DO NOT TEST IT. Cutting into it is a bad thing to do. US gold was allowed to be 1/2 carat under. Things were a bit fast and loose then. Being short on a hallmarked piece was a serious offense but non standard mark was accepted to mean "buyer beware".

    I still think its a good watch but it has some signs of being a bit deceptive. The balance is suspicious and the case markings suggest lower than standard for the gold. The case work is very fine even if they did cheat on the metal.

    If you are going to buy more watches from Switzerland you will do well to learn the hallmarks. "Poincoin" who posts on this board is very expert in these and has posted some material here and on hisblog. Here is a link to a particularly relevant part of his site http://poincon.blogspot.com/2005/07/old-official-swiss-hallmarks-circa.html
     
  9. 1234glass

    1234glass Guest

    Hello, Dr. Jon, you have helped me very much.
    Thank you!
    Terri
     

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