Rolex Eaton Trench Watch ? ? ?

Literustyfan

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Oct 22, 2010
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I bought a junk lot of watches for some parts that I needed and this trench watch was part of the lot. It's a size 0s with 17 jewels, gold center wheel and jewel settings. It reads "The T Eaton Company Limited", this was a Canadian department store back in the day and I read that they had private label watch movements made for them, possibly by Rolex. The movement was set inside a gold filled Fortune trench watch case (Canadian). The dial is double sunk with an "E" near the center. The serial number on the movement is 81502 and it is stamped Made in Switzerland. I don't know that much about Swiss watches, I am an Elgin and Waltham man so any help would be great.
http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/180978_1785728758565_1099892532_32107662_6932387_n.jpg
http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/180978_1785728798566_1099892532_32107663_4734470_n.jpg
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/180978_1785728838567_1099892532_32107664_2830441_n.jpg
 

doug sinclair

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Aug 27, 2000
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As early as circa 1935, Eatons had Rolex producing 1/4 Century watches for presentation to long time employees. It was part of an awards program that gave choices as to award, and many men chose the 1/4 Century watch with the distinctive dial. I don't know just when Eatons instituted the use of the SOLAR name on their house brand watches, but the Solar name was used on watches from many sources as early as the late 1930s. Solar watches from Rolex were called Solar Aqua! At the time of your watch, Rolex was using movements from Aegler, Rebberg, and Gruen. I suspect the movement in your watch is Gallet. The E in the daimond on the dial sort of tells me it is not a Rolex. However, I would say it was a better than average watch of its type for the era. 17-jewels, patent regulator, double-sunk vitreous enamel dial. Might have been a karat gold case to boot!:0:

I had a nearly identical watch cross my desk in '10. I didn't keep a picture of the movement or dial, but I have a picture of it in its original 14 karat yellow gold hunter case. One small difference was that the one in the image I have uploaded was marked Adjusted to Five Positions. Aside from that the movement was identical. 84332.jpg
 
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Cary Hurt

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Jules Aegler produced movements for both Rolex and Gruen.

Here are the 15 jewel 13 ligne Gruen (hunter configuration), and 7 jewel 10 1/2 ligne Rolex (open face configuration) versions of the basic movement. Similar layout, but the escape wheel is set farther towards the edge. Same maker?

Perhaps Aegler also produced for Gallet? View attachment 444650
 

doug sinclair

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Stanlet,

If you look closely, you'll see an apostrphe in front of the '10. It was 2010 that I posted those pictures. Not 10 years ago! Now you have an idea as to what your Eaton watch possibly looked like at one time. If it is indeed a hunter movement, fixed up and put into a wrist watch case would make a great watch to start you on a Swiss wrist watch collection. For that era, this is a good one!
 

Grauerj

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doug sinclair;531821 said:
As early as circa 1935, Eatons had Rolex producing 1/4 Century watches for presentation to long time employees. It was part of an awards program that gave choices as to award, and many men chose the 1/4 Century watch with the distinctive dial.
Doug, I believe it was in approximately 1935, possibly a little earlier, that Eaton's began contracting with Rolex to produce Princes in 14k cases with customized dials signed "Eaton", and with the numerals replaced by 1/4 C E N T U R Y C L U B. But before starting this relationship with Rolex, Eatons used other manufacturers for its 1/4 century club watches, in pocket watch form. I think the Rolex Prince was the first wristwatch version.

Later, certainly by the 1950s, the customized Prince had been replaced with the less expensive customized Oyster Perpetual Precision.

For fun, I attach a couple of photos of my 1/4 Century Club Prince.

Chris 84432.jpg 84434.jpg
 

4thdimension

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This is an open face version of the same watch. Its 21 jewels and adjusted to 5 positions. 84576.jpg
 

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