Waiting for Alfred Gerard movement.

MrRoundel

Donor
Dec 28, 2010
2,470
972
113
Country
Region
Greetings all,

I ended up buying what I think is a rather interesting Swiss movement the other day. It's on the way now so all I can do is supply the auction link. I'll take my own "postable" images once I get the movement.

When I saw the movement it reminded me of a design I've seen used by a Charles Jacot. I did some research on the right spelling of the name on the watch, Gerard. The auction called it "Girard". Under the dial there is a marking for "Vuille & Fer". A quick search for that name brought me to a possible relationship between that maker and one named Rosellet, which is slightly familiar to me.

Anyway, I do see that there are few very interesting threads on links between Jacot, Saltzman, Nicoud(?), and Gerard. Dr. Jon , I believe included a rather in depth study, complete with images, in a thread, with fine contributions by others.

While it is rather sad that it doesn't have a dial, it still looks otherwise complete. I believe I can see the upper pivot in the jewel so I might have a shot at it being a runner soon. One thing I find interesting is how the upper plate looks like it had some material milled, perhaps in order to accommodate a different barrel/click design? This is because some of the index is missing. It's an imperfect modification, isn't it?

So for those who have interest in the names mentioned in the last paragraph, here's the link to the auction: Gerard, Jacot, & Friends, Enjoy.
 

mosesgodfrey

NAWCC Member
Aug 30, 2017
582
484
63
Country
Region
Vuille & Fer made Ulysse Nardin movements for a time. I had a UN Vuille & Fer movement and had researched the firm. Both very famous names in their time—until one became infamous!

Louis Vuille-Rosselet was President of the watchmaking school in CDF; that should speak for his ability & prestige. The serial number is his.

Louis joined forces with an up-and-coming superstar, who was rapidly rising in popularity as a watchmaker & even more so as a politician. Donat Fer (full name: Donat-Phillippe-Alexandre Fer, lived 1836-1912)

Fer had the sort of resume that would have put his name in Swiss history, and perhaps even in watches. Grand Council, etc. But he blew it all up. Hard.

Government salary & bigger titles were not enough for Fer, and he started extorting money & taking bribes. The resulting scandal in 1895 rocked the industry & people’s trust in the Grand Council. After the disgrace, he was forced back into working as a watchmaker, closed in 1910, failed in 1911 and died in 1912.

BUT—Vuille & Fer made some nice watches!:)
 

MrRoundel

Donor
Dec 28, 2010
2,470
972
113
Country
Region
Interesting history, thanks mosesgodfrey ! I guess I'll keep my eyes peeled for a nice dial. It'll probably show up once my eyes are nothing more than empty sockets. Perhaps by that time, my heirs might enjoy hanging it in their ear, as a fancy gauge. Or maybe in their nose as a time-telling "Toro". :)

roughbarked , I sure hope that you're right. I prefer runners to paperweights or junk-drawer space-takers. And I certainly don't expect material houses to stock a staff, or other parts, for it. ;)

Cheers, all.
 

MrRoundel

Donor
Dec 28, 2010
2,470
972
113
Country
Region
Wanted: Balance staff for late nineteenth century 16s/~19L Gerard pocket watch. Will trade for unicorn food. :emoji_man_dancing:(Joke)

In keeping with my occasional unicorn sightings, I guess I was wrong about seeing an intact pivot in the upper jewel. No tears though, it's a cool movement at a good price.

If anyone wants any images of any particular parts or angles of the watch, I'll be sure to attempt them. Otherwise, I'll take one picture of the dial side, and one of the back when I get some better lighting tomorrow. Cheers, all.
 

MrRoundel

Donor
Dec 28, 2010
2,470
972
113
Country
Region
Thanks, mosesgodfrey , that might increase my odds. As in more like finding a gold repeater in a sandbox at the park. ;)

As I investigated the insides of the Gerard movement, I saw that it has a rather interesting design on the Maltese cross part of the stopworks. At least it's unusual to my eye. Is this a common design on the Jacot & friends watches? Cheers.

StopworksGerard.jpg
 

MrRoundel

Donor
Dec 28, 2010
2,470
972
113
Country
Region
I ended up cleaning the movement just to keep me off the streets and out of all other sorts of trouble. I know that this moves towards the "Repair" realm, but the post is really just about posting my own images of the movement.

Unfortunately, you can't tell that it's cleaner than it was. The plates look way better than the image is showing. Keeping the pivots lined up while the plate pressed on over them was a huge chore on this one due to tight locating pins. It's one of my pet peeves. since it just invites broken pivots. This made it take a lot longer than it ever should have.

Oh well...The good news is that the roller jewel was still in place, as was most else. Screws missing here and there, but that's the way it will be for a while. I did add a screw to the stopworks cross, and actually set up the stopworks before reassembling. At least I won't have to do it next time when I clean things on the watch, whenever that next time is, if it happens at all.

Images, just for future reference:

Gerard.jpg Gerard2.jpg
 

mosesgodfrey

NAWCC Member
Aug 30, 2017
582
484
63
Country
Region
Fwiw, your watch will be made in a very short timeframe, looking at Davoine. As of May 1871, Louis was a still a sole proprietor. By 1873, Vuille & Fer were together.

It appears Louis died in 1875. Although the 1875-76 Davoine lists him as President of the CDF school of horology (and Ch-E Jacot as VP!), that Davoine was in print by Feb 1875. Louis’ last official communication as president that I can find is from 28 November 1874.

Although the V&F name lingers for a bit in foreign pubs, the next Davoine available (printed Jan 1877) lists only Donat Fer at the old St-Pierre 10 address. There we see also, as had been the case in V&F time, other professional renters. That list of borders dwindles (1879 last year for Fer there), and in 1883 we see the landlord’s name: “the widow of Vuille-Rosselet.”

And here is Alfred Gerard # 24,346 (in gold case) in May 1877, the property of a deceased man in San Francisco. Presumably acquired some years before. So perhaps 1871-1876 is my broadest range for your watch.

 

MrRoundel

Donor
Dec 28, 2010
2,470
972
113
Country
Region
Thanks, mosesgodfrey . That's great information.

BTW, sorry about that photo orientation. Again I run up against Apple v. Microsoft games. Hopefully viewers can flip it or do like Gomez Adams when they look at it. (For young 'uns and those otherwise unfamiliar, Gomez was patriarch of the fictional TV family, the Adams family. He used to stand on his head while smoking a cigar, and perhaps reading the paper. :) ) Cheers.
 
Know Your NAWCC Forums Rules!
RULES & GUIDELINES

Support the NAWCC

Forum Expense plus NAWCC
Goal
$1,000.00
Received
$360.00
36%
Host server
$250.00
Software support
$250.00
NAWCC operations
$500.00
Expenses

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
181,325
Messages
1,582,129
Members
54,771
Latest member
rjjeffries
Encyclopedia Pages
918
Total wiki contributions
3,126
Last edit
Hamilton Grade No. 947 Reported Examples by Kent
Top