Unsigned repeater/chronograph

Discussion in 'Complicated Watches' started by Jerry Treiman, Jul 28, 2019.

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  1. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    A friend of mine brought an old family watch to me to look at and tell him what he had. I was able to tell him a few basics, but would like to know more. It is a minute repeater with simple start/stop/flyback chronograph. I have not seen a movement layout like this one before. The only marking that is visible is an outlined cross under the balance wheel with the number "4252" inside. The case bears 18 carat Swiss markings and was assayed at Le Locle, but has no other marks except a 4-digit serial number.

    Is the movement distinctive to a particular maker? Am I correct in interpreting the marks around the edge of the dial as counting in 5ths of a second? What would have been the purpose to that?

    movement2.jpg 4252.jpg dial.jpg
     
  2. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Jan 8, 2006
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    Jerry, your friend's watch likely was made by Meylan Truan et Fils near the end of the 19th Century.

    As proof, here is a link to a very similar one, reportedly circa 1892, sold at a Heritage Auction. The Heritage watch isn't signed but Heritage attributed it to Meylan Truan and said that it had the "oval, oak leaves and star trademark Concise Brevitas for Meylan-Truan."

    https://jewelry.ha.com/itm/timepieces/pocket-pre-1900-/meylan-truan-fine-gold-minute-repeater-with-chronograph-circa-1892/a/5242-56174.

    The Heritage watch also bears the 4252 stamp that your friend's watch bears. That refers to an 1892 repeater/chronograph movement patent issued to Meylan Truan et Fils. See Espacenet - Bibliographic data
     
  3. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    Thanks, Ethan. That was quick. The referenced auction watch is a little higher grade, at least as suggested by additional jeweling, but otherwise appears identical in all essential details.
     
  4. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    It is a common European usage seen also on English watches that shows the actual beats of the balance. i.e. 5 beats per second.
     

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