Regina Pocket Watch Background

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by srmackie, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. srmackie

    srmackie Registered User

    Feb 9, 2019
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    I am trying to find out more about my grandfather's Regina pocket watch (photos attached). I have done some online research but haven't found much more than the history of the Regina/Omega company and the age of the watch. He passed away in 1935 so the 5,000,000 series date range of 1916 to 1927 makes sense.

    The watch has a crest-shape on the back. Is this just space for possible engraving?

    The watch chain has a small skull and crossbones with coloured stones for eyes on one end. What is the significance of this?

    It has the original box and guarantee booklet. I don't understand the six-digit number in the booklet (#371927). Would this be the movement number?

    Any other comments on the history, background, or research sources would be appreciated.

    Regina Watch 1.jpg Regina Watch 2.jpg Regina Watch 3.jpg Regina Watch 4.jpg Regina Watch 5.jpg Regina Watch 6.jpg Regina Watch 7.jpg
     
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  2. viclip

    viclip Registered User
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    Jul 20, 2018
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    Welcome aboard!

    The Regina sub-brand of Omega seems to have targetted the Canadian market primarily. You're very fortunate to have such a fantastic family heirloom consisting of the watch, original box & certificate booklet.

    The number handwritten on the front of the certificate is the case number as distinct from the movement number, at least if one assumes that the certificate was filled out correctly. The movement number spot to the left is blank (unless the ink has completely faded). The age of the watch can be gotten from the serial number on the movement only, for as far as I'm aware there's no resource correlating case numbers to production dates.

    The number on the back of the certificate booklet seems way too low to be that of the movement. According to the listing of Omega/Regina serial numbers, which begins at 1,000,000, the watch would have been made prior to 1895 which is probably pretty unlikely using #371927.

    Accordingly if you know how to open the case, please do so & advise us of the movement's number & indeed post a photo of it.
     
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  3. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Great looking Regina watch and you received some great info on it too. Interesting fob the skull and cross bones, any idea as to that fob. Thanks for sharing a nice heirloom.
     
  4. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
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    Dec 16, 2008
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    Welcome to the board, srmackie :)

    Just to answer two of your questions ... the shield on the back of the case (called a cartouche) is indeed designed to have the owner's initials (called a monogram) engraved in it; and the chain and fob will have been bought quite separately from the watch, and are entirely decorative.

    It is essential that you show us a photo of the movement. I can see no sign of hinges in the rim of the case, so it may be that the back is a pressure fit clip-on back. Look for a lug around the rim, which would show you where to insert (very carefully) a thin blade to prise off the back. If you're not comfortable with this, post again with photos of the rim to see if we can help you further.
     
  5. srmackie

    srmackie Registered User

    Feb 9, 2019
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    I don't see any lug on the rim. Given the orientation of the back (the crest) to the winding mechanism (it is slightly skewed clockwise as shown in the photo of the back) I suspect the back screws/twists off somehow (?). Might this be the case?
     
  6. viclip

    viclip Registered User
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    Yes screw-back cases are very common. Try unscrewing it first with your fingers, if that doesn't work try some sort of gooey rubber device such as commonly used to open jar lids etc. My favorite high-tech device for the purpose is an under-inflated squishy rubber ball.
     
  7. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

    Apr 10, 2008
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    I usually use the palm of my hand to unscrew a watch back
    That works on most of them
     
  8. srmackie

    srmackie Registered User

    Feb 9, 2019
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    Regarding the certificate booklet, I don't see any evidence of a faded number for the movement number. The handwritten number next to case number is in pencil. I'm wondering if this might be the movement number as it is a 5,xxx,xxx format.

    With regard to the case, I haven't found a way to open the back by twisting to unscrew it. I've tried using rubber bands, etc. to create friction but no luck. I'm not sure if the separation between the removable portion and fixed portion includes the area with the floral detail or not (the red arrow or the yellow area in the photo 1a). I think it's the red arrow. Also, I think it may be over-tightened based on the angle between the crown and the details on the back (as shown by the red lines in photo 3a).

    On the positive front, I wound the crown slightly and the watch still runs!

    Watch 1a.jpg Watch 3a.jpg
     
  9. srmackie

    srmackie Registered User

    Feb 9, 2019
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    Breakthough! After persisting, the back screwed of between my palms. It appears the number on the certificate booklet is the movement number (5826683 circled in red in the photo), not the case number (see photo). It is a 17 jewel adjusted movement 2 positions. There is also a number (circled in blue in the photo) It looks like 17 L16SPN.

    The inside of the back cover (photo) is inscribed with "BANNER," a leaf with an "E" in it, and "GOL Filled" and a number (303819). There also appears to be an inscription below this number that is very small and difficult to read. It looks like "9 24-12 60 w" or something similar.

    Any insights on this information are appreciated!

    Watch Back.jpg Watch Movement 2.jpg
     
  10. viclip

    viclip Registered User
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    Jul 20, 2018
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    Great news!

    You have an excellent quality fully jewelled movement which, based on its serial number in the 5.8 million range, dates to 1921/1922.

    Your case was made by the P.W. Ellis & Co. of Toronto (the "E" inside the maple leaf signifies Ellis). The "Banner" name signifies that the case model was of gold-filled construction. Cases generally cannot be dated by their serial number however we know that by the end of the 1920s, Ellis had been absorbed by the Henry Birks jewellers outfit. Thus your case manufacture date is consistent with the movement's manufacture date & further it appears to be original to your watch in so far as I don't see any evidence of other case screw marks.

    I'm unaware of the significance of the number "17 L16SPN" on the movement, possibly it's a model number. It could also be a Canadian importation code used for customs purposes; just conjecturing here, I know that the USA used such codes so maybe Canada did too?

    Your watch appears to have been serviced, but likely years ago. The small inscription inside the back cover that you mention, would be an identifier used by the watchmaker, these inscriptions are usually indecipherible being personal to the watchmaker containing his/her mark in association with a work order number, a date, who knows. Anyways the marine mammal oils used back in the day by the servicing watchmaker are almost certainly dried out by now. I wouldn't run the watch any more however, such an exceptional family heirloom really deserves to be serviced & worn on special occasions. Heck it came with a chain ...
     
  11. srmackie

    srmackie Registered User

    Feb 9, 2019
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    Thanks for the great information! I did some more research and found a source that said PW Ellis inscribed their cases with the date. On closer inspection the number that I read as "9 24-12 60 w" could be the date (9-24-12) followed by letters (initials? bow). The most logical interpretation based on the year of the movement would be the case was made in 1924. My grandfather was married in 1928 so it could have been a wedding gift.
     
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