Uncommon case?- Lifted/latched bezel/O.F. Case

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Don From Mystic, Jul 17, 2017.

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  1. Don From Mystic

    Don From Mystic Registered User

    Nov 22, 2013
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    Shown here are photos of an 18size Waltham (on which the guilding succumbed to ammoniated cleaners). I am curious about the case, solid gold, heavy, and well made with a bezel that opens like a H.C. cover. I am familiar with the term "cut hunter" and have owned a few but this appears to have began life this way. Unfortunately, except for a serial number there are no other markings to indicate maker, metal content etc. There may be a partial mark over the serial number but it is illegible. I know its a long shot but I am hoping someone may recognize the case maker and shed light on something I've been curious about for a long time
     
  2. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 12, 2017
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    I have a few pocket watches where the front bezel is on a hinge.
    Mine snap closed.
    If you push the crown in on yours does it pop open?






    Rob
     
  3. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Don,

    Since there's a fly spring visible in the bezel joint, it seems very likely that this was originally a hunter case.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  4. Don From Mystic

    Don From Mystic Registered User

    Nov 22, 2013
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    This looks original - no evidence of disassembly/machine work. The watch is lever set. This arrangement would facilitate access to the set lever. There is no brand or trademark, typically found in virtually all mass produced American cases. Just as key winds may have a "snap" back or be latched and sprung the same could be true with this bezel
     
  5. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 18, 2001
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    It's hard to tell from here but it appears there is no room for a bezel under the front lid. The design of the lid seems like it was made to acommodate a crystal. If this is the original format it would certainly be an oddity. I've never seen one that worked that way.-Cort
     
  6. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Aug 25, 2000
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    Finishing features in the case make me want to guess that it was made by the Crescent Watch Case Co. They provided a lot of cases to Waltham.

    I am willing to believe it is an original configuration to make setting easier. ... a nice feature, I think.

    (Lovely dial, BTW)
     
  7. Don From Mystic

    Don From Mystic Registered User

    Nov 22, 2013
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    Thank you Jerry. Did Crescent make solid gold cases?
     
  8. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Aug 25, 2000
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    I don't believe that Crescent made solid gold cases. They did, however, make rather heavy gold filled cases. What makes you think your case is solid gold? Lack of any marking would make me suspicious.
     
  9. Don From Mystic

    Don From Mystic Registered User

    Nov 22, 2013
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    Over 50 years of serious collecting, subtle case makers file touch in the right places, case empty is over 2oz/T, No base metal where it would be otherwise. Like Roy E used to say "you can tell by the feel". Havent used the aqua regia and test needles in 30 years -
     
  10. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2000
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    I have an 18S 14K solid gold OF case on which the bezel is spring loaded and is released by pressing the crown. It would almost appear that this would be a way of opening the bezel to set a lever set watch. But my case houses an Elgin model 5 (Pendant set). The case has no cutout for a lever.

    The watch is at the bank, and I can't remember the case maker.

    Tom
     
  11. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 8, 2006
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    As best I can recall, I only have one watch with a spring-loaded front bezel. It is an American Watch Co. Model 1872 in a 14k Waltham-signed case. Because I'd never seen a watch with this feature before, I was stumped as to how to open the bezel to set the watch because there was no flange or groove to pry the bezel off. Although you cannot see it in the photo below, I am embarrassed to say that I had my jeweler add a perfect little 14k flange to the front cover, but it can be easily ground off to restore the case to its original condition.

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  12. Don From Mystic

    Don From Mystic Registered User

    Nov 22, 2013
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    Great watch (and photos) Ethan. My case has several similarities to yours. The bow is in sockets. The pendant does not have the popular step out under the bow. The locations of the screws to fasten the lift and latch springs look in about the same place. Latch width and position looks the same. My case seems to have a bit more pink/peach in the alloy which I have noticed in some Waltham marked cases. I am happy to learn there are at least some of these around. Some European cases have an arrow on the crown that you point at the lid you want to open. Double dial calenders were all made this way I believe. This case looks American to me.





    [​IMG]
     
  13. John Arrowood

    John Arrowood Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
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    [​IMG]Here are some photos of a V&C in an 18K Keystone case which has a bezel which flips up when the crown is pushed in. The watch is not lever set. The hinged back covers a cuvette and underneath that is a crystal so that the movement can be viewed without environmental exposure.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  14. John Arrowood

    John Arrowood Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
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    Here are some photos of a V&C, approximately 18s, in a Keystone 18k case. The bezel pops open when the crown is depressed. There are two covers underneath the back lid, a dust cover and underneath that a glass crystal to allow viewing of the movement.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  15. Don From Mystic

    Don From Mystic Registered User

    Nov 22, 2013
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    very nice and Jurgensen lips too - uncommon on an American case - so may variants, keeps it exciting!
     
  16. John Arrowood

    John Arrowood Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    592
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    Sorry about the duplication. I thought the first post didn't go through since I thought I went to another item before clicking on the submit button and don't know how to delete a post. Moderator, please delete one of the posts. Thanks!
     
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