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Trench Watch

Colorado68

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Mar 18, 2012
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Arvada, CO
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Hello,
I just started collecting watches and seem to be attracted to the early wristwatches of the teens and 20's, this is my first post. I just picked up this trench watch and am trying to find outmore about it. Doing a search for Narcisse Watch Co. doesn’t come up with much. Its 34mm in width (case) and 28.8mm in movement dia. Lugs are 13.75mm inside. Says 15 jewels, 3 Adjustments, Swiss made.
Appears the watch belonged to Wesley R. Childs who was the Postmaster for Kansas City around 1908. This may have been given to him years later. Not sure what year this is from... anyone have an idea?
It seems to run fine and keeps good time for the last several hours.
Now I need to find a band :)

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Magnum Wheel Man

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Jan 25, 2012
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southern MN
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new collector here, & I have reciently picked up a couple trench watches myself... one runs well, but needs the second hand placed back on, one maybe needs a main spring... both of mine have sterling cases... one looks swiss, one looks british, but as a new collector I'm not positive... I have book marked several sources for watch bands for the wire loop watches... my trouble, is I need extra long... I've found some of those, but they seem to command top dollar... if no one turns you towards bands, I can put up a couple links... you'll need to know how many mm for your band... guessing, is yours 12 mm ?? mine are both 10 mm
 

Colorado68

Registered User
Mar 18, 2012
6
0
1
Arvada, CO
Country
new collector here, & I have reciently picked up a couple trench watches myself... one runs well, but needs the second hand placed back on, one maybe needs a main spring... both of mine have sterling cases... one looks swiss, one looks british, but as a new collector I'm not positive... I have book marked several sources for watch bands for the wire loop watches... my trouble, is I need extra long... I've found some of those, but they seem to command top dollar... if no one turns you towards bands, I can put up a couple links... you'll need to know how many mm for your band... guessing, is yours 12 mm ?? mine are both 10 mm
Thanks for the offer on Bands, but I did find a guy in England
http://vintagewatchstraps.com/
who makes bands for WWI Trench Watches and ordered that today. The lugs are 14 MM, so had to do a special order, should arrive stateside in a month or so. He was extremely helpful when I asked questions and even informed me that Narcisse Watch Co. was a registered name of Kurth Freres of Grenchen and Solothurn. The watch above dates to around 1916.
 

Kevin W.

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Apr 11, 2002
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Nice looking trench watch. Did you look up the name on the case back.
 

Colorado68

Registered User
Mar 18, 2012
6
0
1
Arvada, CO
Country
Nice looking trench watch. Did you look up the name on the case back.
Funny you ask... yes, I did. I also found a living grandson who is 83 and spoke with him this weekend. He confirmed the watch belonged to his grandfather and that he went to Fance during WWI. He survived the war and lived in Kansas City until 1941 when he passed. We traded phone numbers and I emailed him pictures of the watch. I let him know if he our any of his grandchildern were interested in the watch, Id be happy send it back to the family if they just cover my costs.
 

Colorado68

Registered User
Mar 18, 2012
6
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1
Arvada, CO
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Just had to follow up with pictures after servicing and the new band. I'm really happy how this turned out and the work done by Matt Becher who serviced the watch and David Boettcher who made the band. Excellent work by both.
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Magnum Wheel Man

Registered User
Jan 25, 2012
198
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southern MN
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congrats on finishing I really like how that turned out... nice scrapnel guard BTW... I've picked up a couple of them so far & have one that fits nicely on one of my 3 watches... still don't know if I like them better with or without :???: I have more trouble with the bands, since I have big wrists & need extra long straps
 

Colorado68

Registered User
Mar 18, 2012
6
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1
Arvada, CO
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I had to follow up with a little history of the previous owners of this watch.

Wesley R. Childs (inscription of owner on back) was given the watch by W. B. Davis (Father of Major Murray Davis)
Major Murray Davis and Wesley were stationed in France together in 1918 at the battle of Argonne. Davis was killed in action on Sept 29th, 1918. W. B. Davis gave his sons watch to Wesley Childs as a memento of their service together.
The watch had been returned to the states sometime in Nov 1918 with the rest of the belongings and serviced in December of 1918 as inscribed in the back cover. Sometime in early 1919 the watch was given to W. R. Childs.
No way of knowing if the watch was on the Major at the time of his death, but is an interesting story. I've since acquired a book written on the 35th division that talks about eyewitness to Major Murray Davis's death. At about 10:30 AM on the 29th he was shot by a German machine gun burst while advancing on Exermont, France.
I was able to find over 30 newspaper articles that talks about the events and aftermath, a couple of which are posted below.
Just thought I'd add this trivial information to close out my Trench Watch post.


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MartyR

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Dec 16, 2008
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That's a great piece of research, and the newspaper stuff is as good as you could find! You have a museum exhibit there, Colorado :)
 

imwatching

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Feb 23, 2013
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Perth, Western Australia
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Love the watch and love the finished article.
Fantastic bit of research on your part, makes very interesting reading, it's amazing what a little bit of research can produce.
I also am researching a Narcisse watch I have.
 

ChrisGM

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Sep 19, 2012
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Malaga
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That is a fantastic piece of history a beautiful watch and a great restoration. Kudos on your research and the very nice gesture of your offer to return the watch to the family. That in itself outshines everything else. I wish more collectors would take the time and consideration that you have shown. My hat off to you sir :)

Chris
 

Adam Harris

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Moore NWCM Award
May 3, 2012
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highercailber.com
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That is a fantastic piece of history a beautiful watch and a great restoration. Kudos on your research and the very nice gesture of your offer to return the watch to the family. That in itself outshines everything else. I wish more collectors would take the time and consideration that you have shown. My hat off to you sir :)

Chris
Chris
Thanks for re-raising this thread - I concur what you say.

My view
'Owning a great watch is fantastic - understanding its place o Horology, is magnificent'
 
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