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SFRA or SAFR - what make is this?

afs

New User
Feb 23, 2010
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I have seen an old (presumably over 80 years old) "no name on the face of it" ladies wrist watch with the following letters inside the mechanism and in the following order:

S F
R A

Additionally there are some signs under the R and the A which look like this, respectively:
- a cross inside a square and
- two parallel lines with 2 perpendicular lines, one in the centre and one on the right hand side.

The watch is numbered.

In an auction sites the letters, in the following order, SRFA appear for a watch as being "made in France". Unfortunately I found no references in the internet to this potential French watch maker.

Can anyone help identify its maker and origin?

Thanks
afs
 

Cary Hurt

NAWCC Member
Dec 16, 2005
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afs,

These markings do not refer to the maker of the movement. They typically occur on watches made in Switzerland but exported to English speaking countries. They are found on the balance cock, and show the direction that the regulator should be moved to speed up or slow down the movement.

"S" stands for "Slow", "F" for "Fast", "R" stands for "Retard" (which is French for "delay"), while "A" stands for the French word "Avance" (which means "advance").

Alternately, some report the "A" stands for the French word "Accélérer" (which means "speed up"), while "R" stands for "Ralentir" (which is French for "slow down").

I assume the other markings you've observed are the scale for keeping track of the movement of the regulator.

If you can post clear photos of the movement, we may be able to offer an opinion as to it's age and maker.
 

afs

New User
Feb 23, 2010
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Thank you for the prompt reply.

I have received a few photos of the watch and hopefully I will be able to attach them.

As you will see it is in 18kt gold (that much can be seen clearly), there is a hallmark (which I presume relates to the gold) and a number.

Any information will be welcome as the owner is keen to know more about this heirloom.

Thank you and best regards
afs
 

Attachments

Cary Hurt

NAWCC Member
Dec 16, 2005
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The movement is a cylinder escapement, and it's pin set, both of which are European features, and suggest a date from perhaps as early as 1910 to as late as 1925 or so.

Based upon the styling, I'd say it's 1915 to 1920.

The movement was likely made by A. Schild, though I don't know a specific caliber reference.
 

afs

New User
Feb 23, 2010
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Once again thank you for the rapid response as well as the invaluable information provided.

From my subsequent internet search these movements could have been used by A Schild on one of his own watches or could have been used by another watchmaker. Correct? Why would a name not be put on its face? Could it be elsewhere in the mechanism?

For staters I am presuming the prior and have sent an e-mail to Eterna (hopefully they have the old historical records of the Schild company). Would this be the way to go or can you suggest alternative routes, sites, whatever?

Once again thank you for opening up this most interesting field of investigation for me.

afs
 

Cary Hurt

NAWCC Member
Dec 16, 2005
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It is rare to see a makers name on the dial of a watch from this era, and names on the dial tended to be more of an American convention than a European one. Manufacturers names on the dial don't become common until the early 1920s. Since the retailer (or even the "maker" of the watch) didn't actually make the movement, there was no reason for an ebauche maker to sign his work.

Adolf Schild was one of the most prolific makers of ebauches (basic movements) used by other makers, from their founding in 1856 until they were finally incorporated into the ETA family in 1978. ETA is now a division of the Swatch group, and was originally Eterna's movement producing division, but I doubt Eterna would have any of the old Schild records today.

I don't think I've ever seen an authentic watch signed A. Schild on the dial (although I've seen some with refinished dials that say it), and the movement marking usually consists of the trademark, a shield with the AS initials inside. There is a different "Schild & Co." that apparently marketed complete watches.
 

afs

New User
Feb 23, 2010
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Cary Hurt,

Thank you for the information. I have transmitted it to the owners. They want to appraise it for insurance purposes and have asked me to try to obtain details as to where this can be done in Europe.

Can you recommend someone - UK, Portugal, Spain, France? Would it require a personal viewing or would they be able to give an estimate based on photos? What would this normally cost?

Thank you once again.

Best regards
afs
 

Thomasbolton

New User
Sep 13, 2021
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Cary Hurt,

Thank you for the information. I have transmitted it to the owners. They want to appraise it for insurance purposes and have asked me to try to obtain details as to where this can be done in Europe.

Can you recommend someone - UK, Portugal, Spain, France? Would it require a personal viewing or would they be able to give an estimate based on photos? What would this normally cost?

Thank you once again.

Best regards
afs
Hello

I am new to this blog but I have also acquired a watch with the letters S F
R A

And I was holding somebody maybe able to help identify it? It has no other markings that I can see
A967A3FD-DC20-40E9-8D06-A8B8BA760B0A.jpeg 2E4A6B63-053A-4E45-92BB-C389388A589C.png 8215B5C6-9599-4506-B1FA-0E0FC837E541.jpeg B30B89D5-6B2B-477A-87CB-D26FED5A25E0.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

EscapeWheel

Registered User
Mar 19, 2003
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Now, that's a beautiful watch! Sorry I can't help with an ID. The case back has something on it that I can't read. The scratched-on numbers are repair notations. Have you had the stones looked at by a jeweler?
 

Thomasbolton

New User
Sep 13, 2021
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Now, that's a beautiful watch! Sorry I can't help with an ID. The case back has something on it that I can't read. The scratched-on numbers are repair notations. Have you had the stones looked at by a jeweler?
thanks guys. Yes I have they say are not diamonds and it’s platinum plated although when I have taken the mechanism out of the case the case spells out the words ALL PLATINUM so I may get a second opinion. What’s really disappointing is when I acquired the watch it was in a very old Tudor by Rolex box although there are no markings whatsoever showing it to be Tudor
 

Thomasbolton

New User
Sep 13, 2021
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Looks like the Kurth 87C to me.
If you take the dial off it could be easier to pin down.
[/QUOTEN

thanks so much guys I can’t believe you have figured that out from the pictures.

Not sure I’d be too confident to take the face off as not sure I’d be able to get the hands back on. So to recap this is an imported Swiss movement possibly by Kurth that came to Britain and was then put into a case / dial / strap from a local British jewellers? From

Is there any value attached to an unmarked watch such as this? I’m gussing it’s simply down to whether or not it is platinum and/or diamonds vs marcosite… ?

the watch seems to keep time will and looks stunning.

cheers

Tom

/QUOTE]
 

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