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Shall I give this watch some love ?

in2it

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We stumbled across this watch in the clean up from a deceased estate. The past owner and his wife have passed, leaving no known kin. I'm wondering whether I should invest some time, money and love to bring it back to life - it would be a great memory of the couple. They were wonderful people.
I can read that it is a Dennison Moon Case, serial number 260224
The movement is stamped, Swiss Made, with a stamped number of 48174
I find it interesting that the face shows numbering 0 to 300 around the perimeter of the face - what is that about ?
Also, the two minor dials indicate what ? The 0 to 30 is date ? The 0 to 60 is ......? I want to say seconds or minutes, but the main dial has both a minutes and IMG20210919134659[1].jpg IMG20210919134652[1].jpg IMG20210919134836[1].jpg IMG20210919134854[1].jpg seconds arm.

Thanks for your time.
 

Benjamin E.

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You have a chronograph with a seconds and minute register, meaning it can record up to 30 minutes in this particular case. The center seconds hand and the small minutes (1-30) are part of the timer, the small seconds (1-60) along with the center hour and minute hand are the regular running time. Aaron L. Dennison was part of the earlier iterations of Waltham and later moved to England where he started a very successful casemaking business, of which you have an example. I think it would be worth it to have the watch cleaned and running in memory of your friends.
 

in2it

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Thank you for your responses. So much for me to learn about time pieces.
I will get it serviced and operational, as my guess is that it hasn't been serviced for 30 years. Is it a reliable mechanism and will it keep reasonable time, should I carry it and use it, or present it as a household decoration, or simply keep it locked away.

Great forum, thank you.
 

Dr. Jon

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Once it is serviced, carry it, if you like. There is something magisterial about taking out a hunter cased watch and popping it open to see the time.

If you do carry it and use it be sure to press in the crown when you close it. These preserves the catch that holds the cover closed. Once serviced it should be good for up to five years of near constant carry.

You will need a vest or trousers with a watch pocket an investment many here consider well worth making.
 

in2it

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If I'm going to display it publicly people are going to ask me questions about it.
I can say that it was mass produced chronograph made by Heuer from a factory in Bienne sometime after 1887 (patents approved for the oscillating pinion). When did they cease making chronograph watches of this type ? Will the service/repairer be able to discover the trademark if one exists ?
It was fitted into a Dennison Case (which came from England) that is 10Ct gold plated.
Whats it doing in Australia ? I can guess, I know the owner served as a Signalman in WWII and he served in Europe, so I assume it was obtained during that time.

With thanks.
 

Dr. Jon

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The Heuer company is still operating. They stopped making watches like one some time ago but they may still be makig pocket watch size stop watches, which are like yours except the3y do not have a regular time telling capability.

They went in to wrist watches and their wrist chronomgraphs are highly souhgt after and a few command very high prices. Today they are much better known as TAG Heuer.
 

John Matthews

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You may wish to look at this thread and this.

If your watch is in its original case, the Dennison serial number of 260224 corresponds to a date of manufacture ~1930. (see Philip Prestley's publication on AF Dennison). You say that it was owned by someone who served in WWII, given the date of the case, it might well be the original and the watch was made in the 1930s.

I find it difficult to date early Heuer chronographs particularly those produced prior to 1900. In my experience, those from the C19th have serial numbers less than #10,000, although there is some evidence that movements (possibly old stock) were re-numbered (see last post on the first thread). The two that I own, I believe are ~1890. These, and the re-numbered example, unlike later examples have all of the chronograph mechanism beneath the dial.

Heuer built raw movements for other manufacturers..
Enrico (eri231) - for clarification -

A Charles Hahn ébauche was used by Heuer on the chronographs with the under dial mechanisms, do you have any evidence of that Heuer built other movements from scratch?

John
 

eri231

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In 1878 Edouard Heuer was a partner of Fritz Lambelet and they had opened a branch in London but closed in 1881, then his son Charles-Auguste succeeds his father ( 1893 )and supplies raw movements to other manufacturers such as AEG Prima and Moeris.
Regards enrico
 

John Matthews

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In 1878 Edouard Heuer was a partner of Fritz Lambelet and they had opened a branch in London but closed in 1881, then his son Charles-Auguste succeeds his father ( 1893 )and supplies raw movements to other manufacturers such as AEG Prima and Moeris.
This part of the early history is covered here.

Enrico - do the movements of the period to which you refer (AEG Prima & Moeris) have these trademarks and do you have photographs?

1632142839196.png

John
 

eri231

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I think that the news provided by the site indicated by John comes from the site of Antonios Vassiliadis

Some photos from Joel Pynson's book "Le Chronographe de Poche Suisses"
in the photo a Moeris chronograph that the author of the book attributes to Heuer.

IMG_3512.jpg

this a chronograph signed Heuer & Lambelet preceding the oscillating pinion.
IMG_3510.jpg

another chronograph by Lip, dial patented by Lip.
IMG_3511.jpg

Last a Heuer chronograph but signed by AEG Prima
aeg prima.jpg

Regards enrico
 
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in2it

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Does the position of the winder tell us anything ?
On all other photographs of Face Plates that I've seen, the winder sits above the 12 o'clock indication. This one, the winder sits in the 3 o'clock position.
There is a button that sits in the 12 o'clock position, that does ?....(pop the front cover open, though the pin that does that appears to be missing). The only Heuer Chronograph that I've seen running is a youtube video, that shows all the chronograph control being done by sequential presses of the winder knob.
Until I get this pocket watch into a watchmaker/serviceman who should of handled many different types of pocket watches, I'm scared to fiddle with it. I've wound the winder knob 2 clicks and the spring pressure against the rotation is fairly light, but left it at that.

Thank you.
 

gmorse

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Hi in2it,
On all other photographs of Face Plates that I've seen, the winder sits above the 12 o'clock indication. This one, the winder sits in the 3 o'clock position.
The winder at 12 is an open face configuration, whereas with it at 3 is a hunter or hunting case, with a solid lid over the dial which you have to open to see the time, as yours has. There are also 'half-hunters' with a smaller crystal set in the centre of the front lid, so that you could see the time without opening the lid. They were designed to give the watch a little more protection in case one fell off one's horse during a hunt!

There is a button that sits in the 12 o'clock position, that does ?
That will be part of the chronograph controls, to start, stop and reset the sweep seconds hand to zero. Not all chronos were controlled through the winding crown. The small button at 4 o'clock is held in with a thumb nail to allow you to set the time by turning the winding crown.

If you take it to be serviced, make sure that the person is familiar with chronographs, they're rather special and not everyone is competent to overhaul them properly. You should also be prepared for a fairly large bill from the right person.

Regards,

Graham
 
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John Matthews

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Hi Enrico - thanks for posting the photographs of the movements.

Apart from the Heuer & Lambelet, I think the others are probably early C20th. I have tracked down the AEG Prima & Lip - they are both Kaliber 19''' Ref. 601+604. As far as I can determine these are ~1910.

Kaliber 19''' Ref. 601+604.JPG

I have not been able to identify the movement used in the Fritz Moeri chronograph, but given the signature according to this ...

1632217883172.png

it is also ~1910.

I would really like to find out more about the early Heuer & Lambelet chronographs. It would appear that is just the Heuer chronographs that used the Charles Hahn ébauche had the under dial mechanisms.

John
 
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Nick23

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This Dennison gold filled case does not have the Dennison Safety Bow that was introduced in 1912 to celebrate 100 years since the birth of A. L Dennison in 1812. Therefore it precedes 1912.
From the many recordings that I have made over the last few years, the serial number on the watchcase 260224 indicates that it was made towards the end 1910.
I hope that this is of some use to you.
 

John Matthews

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Nick - I revisited Priestley's table. I think my statement ..

Dennison serial number of 260224 corresponds to a date of manufacture ~1930
was incorrect. I was too hasty, in that the table shows two anomalous dates #227303 - 1927 movement & #282419 - 1936, so I stand corrected. Here's the table ...

1632320606681.png

1910 as far as I can tell is compatible with the Heuer serial number of #48174 and the Kaliber 19''' Ref. 601+604 movement.

1632321743330.png

John
 

in2it

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Thank you all for the time and effort you have given. It is reinforcing my belief that I should get it checked and serviced, then treasure it.

In that vein, I have approached a jeweler over here that advertises vintage work. In Perth, Western Australia I can't see a lot of choice. I've been quoted A$900 to get it serviced, as long as no parts are needed.

Is this a realistic number ? It's made me suck my breath in a tad.
Is there any NAWCC members reading this that can offer me any (or better) Australian alternative. I will happily send it to Sydney or Melbourne on your recommendation.

Being that the Case has offered you a glimpse of the past, I'll add a couple of Photo's - that of the outside rear cover and rear dust cover that provides the Dennison detail.
IMG20210923132330[1].jpg IMG20210923132401[1].jpg
 

gmorse

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Hi in2it,
You should also be prepared for a fairly large bill from the right person.
Is this a realistic number ? It's made me suck my breath in a tad.
I don't know how the watch repair trade works in your area, but that does seem a little on the high side, (about £480 in UK pounds). Have you asked for references and examples of their past work? As I mentioned, this type of watch requires specialist skills and knowledge, so I should wait and see if there are any recommendations from other members in Australia.

Regards,

Graham
 

Nick23

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Hi in2it,

With regard to the second photo showing the details of the inner dust cover. Below the serial number are the digits 10 and the letter M. The 10 is the year of manufacture 1910 and the letter M is the initial of the joint or hinge maker. Some of the hinge makers names are known, but M remains a mystery.
In the photos below are details of cases and movements I have recorded for 1910. Some with the letter M, some with the letter F(for E.F. Furneaux). Some have neither. Some do not have the year digits below the serial number, but as the lists grow longer, things become clearer, so that serial numbers can be put into correct year order.

DSCF0217 (3).JPG DSCF0218 (3).JPG
 

John Matthews

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I have to admit I have never paid much attention to Dennison serial numbers in the past, but this thread, and particularly Nick's mention of the safety ball-bearing bow, has caused me to devote a little time this morning. Here is an example of the bow.

1632388999625.png

Introduced as Nick said in 1912, although it was based on the 1857 patent taken out by J W Benson.

This is the watch to which the bow belongs ..

1632388690276.png

It belonged to my Father and as can be seen the movement is a Waltham Traveler in a rolled gold (10 year Star brand) Dennison case. The movement serial number #27706566 which dates the movement to 1932. Interestingly, the Dennison serial number is #225452. It seems that some Dennison cases with serial numbers in the range 225xxx to 282xxx were used in the late 1920s and the 1930s to house Waltham movements. Can anyone shed any light?

John

Edit - posted in parallel with Nick
 
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Chris Radek

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I've heard so many sad stories that tell me if you take a watch to a jeweler and pay for a service, you will usually receive back a huge bill, and a badly serviced or badly broken watch and sad excuses. Sometimes the movement will be replaced with another one, or parts will be gone, or lord knows what. Sometimes it will be all gouged up because they didn't even know how to open it safely. Sometimes you will still get the huge bill but the watch returned with no work done at all and an excuse that they "can't get parts" because it's old.

Please get recommendations from NAWCC members and send it to someone whose work they recommend. Please don't take it to a jeweler after seeing their advertisement. That worked in 1921 but is not how to get a watch serviced in 2021.

Some jewelers send these watches to the few of us who can competently do the work, and then mark it up. That's much better, but still probably not what you want.
 

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