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Swiss Pocket Watch Identification

piercea

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Nov 12, 2020
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Hello,

I've been passed down a Swiss pocket watch that doesn't say who made the movement. I've been told that it was probably made around 1900 give or take a decade. The movement serial number is 97996 and the case serial number is 484981 that is probably an H. Muhr's Sons case Crown edition. There's a private label inscribed on the dial and movement of "Howes Bros, Clinton Iowa". I've contacted Longines and they said it's most likely not theirs. Jaeger LeCoultre said it's probably not theirs but they can't be sure without going through the archives. Can anyone tell who made the movement?

Thanks,

Pierce

Swiss 1.JPG Swiss 2.JPG Swiss 3.JPG
 

Ethan Lipsig

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I'll stick my neck out: I think it's an Agassiz based on a LeCoultre ebauche.
 
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John Pavlik

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Not being much help in identifying the maker, here is a hunter version that I have been trying to ID for years, without much luck..

04F1E5F1-3E15-4993-B75F-4247F10029D1.jpeg ACB0920D-B677-4188-9F35-7CD83CCA037F.jpeg
 

roughbarked

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Dec 2, 2016
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Can't find the exact example easily but it certainly does look like an Agassiz.
However, from Ranfft;
hook-lever regulator
ebauche probably Agassiz
Pritchard: Touchon & Cie, Genève, Sécheron, Petit-Sconnex, Carouge;
1901 founded; cooperation with Agassiz, Angelus, Longines, and Wittnauer; since 1921 associated with Wittnauer.
 
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piercea

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Nov 12, 2020
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Can't find the exact example easily but it certainly does look like an Agassiz.
However, from Ranfft;
hook-lever regulator
ebauche probably Agassiz
Pritchard: Touchon & Cie, Genève, Sécheron, Petit-Sconnex, Carouge;
1901 founded; cooperation with Agassiz, Angelus, Longines, and Wittnauer; since 1921 associated with Wittnauer.
Could you tell me a little more about Agassiz? I'd never heard of them until Ethan mentioned them.
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Rooughbarked, the reference to Touchons in your posting intrigued me because it never occurred to me that piercea's and John's watches might be Touchons. I am still doubtful that they are, but I know a lot more about Touchons than I do about Agassiz. In my personal classification scheme for Touchons, there are Types TO9 and T09A that resembles piercea's OF movement, although there are differences. I have only seen one example of each type. Both were private labels, but one was stamped "Touchon & Co" under the dial. It would be wonderful if pierca or John would look under the dial of their watches to see if the pillar plate is stamped. Search for Types TO9 and TO9A on Touchon Serial Numbers.doc

As I have often said about Swiss watches, many watches signed by, e.g., Company X, were either made by another firm or based on another firm's ebauche. Thus, even if Touchon stamped its name on a few watches like piercea's or John's, that doesn't mean that it made them. Because I have only seen one example of each of Type TO9 and TO9A, there's all the more reason to doubt that Touchon had much to do with their manufacture.
 

piercea

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Nov 12, 2020
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Rooughbarked, the reference to Touchons in your posting intrigued me because it never occurred to me that piercea's and John's watches might be Touchons. I am still doubtful that they are, but I know a lot more about Touchons than I do about Agassiz. In my personal classification scheme for Touchons, there are Types TO9 and T09A that resembles piercea's OF movement, although there are differences. I have only seen one example of each type. Both were private labels, but one was stamped "Touchon & Co" under the dial. It would be wonderful if pierca or John would look under the dial of their watches to see if the pillar plate is stamped. Search for Types TO9 and TO9A on Touchon Serial Numbers.doc

As I have often said about Swiss watches, many watches signed by, e.g., Company X, were either made by another firm or based on another firm's ebauche. Thus, even if Touchon stamped its name on a few watches like piercea's or John's, that doesn't mean that it made them. Because I have only seen one example of each of Type TO9 and TO9A, there's all the more reason to doubt that Touchon had much to do with their manufacture.
How do you look under the dial? If I only have to unscrew a few screws without taking apart the movement, I'll do it, but I'm no expert in pocket watches and don't really want to mess with the movement.
 

Chris Radek

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Even getting the bezel and glass off and back on without breaking it is difficult on a case like this. I don't recommend any amateur try to take the hands and dial off a watch without being shown how to do it once or twice first, and obtaining the correct tools. Removing hands safely requires special tools.
 

piercea

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Nov 12, 2020
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Even getting the bezel and glass off and back on without breaking it is difficult on a case like this. I don't recommend any amateur try to take the hands and dial off a watch without being shown how to do it once or twice first, and obtaining the correct tools. Removing hands safely requires special tools.
I just watched a video of how to take off the dial and I was like "Yeah, I don't feel comfortable doing this"
 
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