Swiss Watch Maker

Jerzy Ganczarczyk

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Feb 25, 2003
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A good gold Swiss hunter watch, possibly of ca. 1880-1890, is marked only inside the front dome of its case. The marks, in addition to the watch serial number, show an 'Imperial Crown', the number '56' and '14K' (see picture). '56' is an old Russian measure for the quality of gold, equivalent to 14K. Its presence may indicate only that watches manufactured by this 'factory' were also exported to Russia. Is the 'Imperial Crown' a trade mark of the case manufacturer (and likely also the finisher of the movement)? If so, who may be this person or organization? Any information and comments on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Dr. Jon

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Dec 14, 2001
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As you probably know 14k is 58.5%. So far as I know 56% for 14K would have been legal only in the US and, thanks to you in Russia. It would not been legal standard in the UK, France and most of the rest of Europe.

I checked through Tardy's marks on Gold Platinum and Palladium and did not find this mark. It is probably not a hallmark.
 

Cary Hurt

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Dec 16, 2005
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Jerzy,

Unfortunately, I don't know the maker who used this mark. I do believe it to be the mark of either a Russian or Eastern European casemaker. If it were Swiss or German, I would expect to see other hallmarks or export stamps, and the transposition of the "K" is something I've occasionally seen on Eastern pieces.

Dr. Jon, "56" is not intended as a percentage, rather it's an old Russian purity mark standing for 56/96 "Zlotniks" which would equal .58333 purity. Much closer to the accepted standard for 14K.

Regards,

Cary
 

Jerzy Ganczarczyk

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Feb 25, 2003
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Cary,

Thank you for your valuable comments. You are also right that 'K' (in karats/carats) likely originated from Cyrillic alphabet. All these information have allowed me to revise my initial observation. Now, it appears to me that everything shown on my picture is a Tsarist Russian hallmark for imported gold. However, I have not been able to prove this hypothesis. There is a lot information on the internet on Russian silver hallmarks, but I couldn't find anything on imported gold hallmarking in the pre-revolution Russia.

Regards,

Jerzy
 
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