What Are These Watches?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by bangster, Mar 7, 2020.

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  1. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    These two watches were among a bunch of old clock stuff I got from a nice lady whose husband had passed away and left her to deal with it.

    I know nothing about watches. I assume these two are American, though obviously I could be wrong. These are the best pics I can provide at this time. I couldn't open the back of either one, to reveal the movement. I tried unscrewing, they wouldn't budge. I tried prying them open with a thumbnail, they wouldn't budge. If you can tell me how to open them, I can provide more pictures.

    Watch 1 front.jpg Watch 1 front open.jpg Watch 1 back.jpg Watch 1 back 2.jpg Watch 2 front.jpg Watch 1 back.jpg Watch 2 back.jpg

    Watch #1 is missing its crystal.

    I'm not interested in valuation. I'd like as much factual information as you can provide. Maker, model, age, nationality, anything else so's I'll know what I have here.

    Thanks, friends. Watch 2 back 2.jpg
     
  2. 4mula1fan

    4mula1fan Registered User

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    Hard to say without seeing the movements. A knife will open the back but be careful.
     
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  3. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    They're probably 18th Century, European. The first one looks like the movement has a hinge at 12, so there may be a catch at 6 The second one is likely similar
     
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  4. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    moving to European section


    Rob
     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    #5 Tom McIntyre, Mar 7, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
    The one with the open front shows a catch at 6:32. If you press that in with your thumbnail and lift up the movement will swing up out of the case. There is a joint just under the pendant that it swings on.

    The other watch should be the same..

    I would guess they are both early 19th century and most likely French or Swiss. There should be engraving on the movements with some clues and the movements themselves will tell a lot once seen.
     
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  6. SKennedy

    SKennedy Registered User

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    Yes, No 2 looks like it should open the same as No 1 since there is a hinge on the left when looking at the dial, so the front bezel and glass should lift up from the right. Then the movement will probably swing out the same, with a small catch situated down near 6. No 2 looks like it might well be a repeater which would certainly add to its interest.
     
  7. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    ty[ically (not always) those that wind through the dial are often French. Sometimes dutch copies.

    (Or So I have been told)
    Anxious to see the movements!
     
  8. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I'll apply my safe-cracking skills, and see what happens.
    Thanks, guys.
     
  9. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hello Bangster, if you search the forums for John Dison, I think you will see how these watches work and how they come out of their cases. Photograph one on post one?-you can see a piece of metal sticking out at the bottom of the dial if you press this with a fingernail the watch will swing-out. Hope this helps. (They could be English too). Allan.
     
  10. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I yam back, with more pics.

    Watch 1 innards detail.jpg Watch 1 innards.jpg Watch 2 innards A.jpg Watch 1 innards detail.jpg Watch 1 innards.jpg Watch 2 innards A.jpg Watch 2 innards A detail.jpg Watch 2 innards B.jpg

    Watch 2 has a spring-loaded tin-like cover that I had to hold down with fingers in order to shoot

    Maybe these will tell you more about what they are. Would be better if you could see the actual wheels, but...
     
  11. dshumans

    dshumans Registered User
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    Watch no 1 is a repeater with a bell in the case to chime the hours and quarters. If it is working properly, when the watch is closed in the case, depressing the pendant stem all the way until it stops will make the bell ring for the number of hours, and double ring for the quarters after the hour.
     
  12. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi bangster,

    Nice to see that number 1 is a repeater, and with a bell rather than those later wire gongs, much more desirable!

    The sprung cap on number 2 is probably silver, (albeit lower purity than sterling), I've seen others that are, and the catch may be faulty, because it should stay shut until you press the latch.

    Unfortunately the pictures are too blurred or dark to make out any of the names engraved on the plates, but I'm fairly sure these are both French in origin.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  13. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Here I am Again. Watch 1 innards.jpg
    Long hiatus. Been busy.

    Thanks for the info you've given me so far. European, late 18th or early 19th century. Probably French or maybe German. Wind through the dial. One of them is a repeater. No way to determine makers.

    Instead of calling them watch 1 and watch 2, I'm going call the one with fixed stem and missing crystal "Watch F" for fixed. The other, with crystal and pull out stem I'll call "Watch R" for repeater.

    There is nothing inscribed on the plate of watch F. There is a bunch of stuff on the plate of watch R (see pic) but I haven't been able to take a pic that makes them fully legible, so I have attacked them with a loupe, and here's what I make out.

    Near the bottom edge there is a capital "A" stamped next to a post that sticks up
    Further along there's a string of stamped letters, all upper case and sharply angular. A curved line is incised along the top and bottom of the string, making some characters hard to make out.

    The first letter is a large capital C, followed by a smaller E and N
    There's a space and then F. then a backslash \ and other F. What i've given as a period is actually a small triangular gouge of indeterminate significance.

    Further along there's a string engraved rather stamped: a florid capital N followed by 593

    That does it for the lower edge
    --------------

    Near the top edge there an engraved string of two words in script. The first is mostly obscured by the click. It may begin with a C; further on it contains a lower case L. It possibly ends with lowercase IE. The second word is "Aine".

    That's it for inscriptions on this here watch. It may help you to determine more details about the watch. If you can think or guess at any further info on the two watches I wold appreciate.

    I bought a pair of watch winding keys so's I could wind them an see the work. When wound up, they both tick nicely. But the hands on watch F don't work. The hands on watch R do. I tried pushing down the stem to see if it would make a noise, but it didn't.

    Do you have any idea what the case metal might be? It's certainly not gold, and it doesn't polish up to look like silver. It polishes to a vaguely yellowish sheen, but it doesn't look iike brass, What did they make watch cases out of back then?

    Thankful for any enlightenment you can give me,

    Bangster
    Watch 1 innards.jpg
     
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  14. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Okay, I guess that's all I'm gonna get

    Thanks, Friends.:)
     
  15. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi bangster,

    Don't give up on these yet!

    They both look characteristically French 18th century in origin, as has been observed several times already, with balance bridges rather than cocks, the keyhole-shaped steel end-plates on the cock tables, ('coquerettes'), and the fixed regulator discs. The English kept their early jewelling methods a jealousy guarded secret and the French only adopted them much later. They both have fusees and almost certainly have verge escapements.

    On the repeater, the small screw-head top right with the 'L' and 'V' marks against the small scale is the adjustment for the speed of striking, and shouldn't be moved. The pivots in that area are the striking train.

    The cases then were mostly silver, with a few gold, and some gilt brass, but these look like silver, possibly lower purity, and the colour may be tarnish or perhaps the alloying copper is showing its colour.

    You shouldn't run them too much, especially the repeater, until they've been cleaned and lubricated, but having that done could cost more than they're worth; complications come more expensive!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  16. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Thanks Graham...
    I now have a bunch of information to carry over to the "what's it worth" forum, and get the dismal news.

    bangster
     
  17. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I'll have to do some Gooogle-searching to find out what all those terms mean.:)
     
  18. eri231

    eri231 Registered User

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    I seem to be reading Geneve. Ainé in French means the older used to distinguish father from son
    regards enrico
     
  19. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Thanks. I'm glad the transcriptions I interpreted have some meaning.
     
  20. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    They seem to have eliminated the What's It Worth forums.
    So can y'all tell me: are these watches worth anything? Are they junk?
    Maybe I bought a bunch of junk from the Nice Lady whose husband died.
     
  21. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    JUnk os ion trh eye of the beholder. Value in terms of sale is highly variable. In very good condition they are worth some real money, almost as much as it costs to get them to that level. These have a very thin market.
     
  22. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    These are obviously fixer-uppers. I don't do watches. With that in mind, what's my best course of action? Would eBay be worthwhile? Can you suggest a starting value?
     
  23. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    It depends on how much you like dealing with eBay. In their condition you may get them returned. Then you have put in a lot of time and effort and you have your watches back possible more damaged.

    I suggest you look at several auction archive sites, Jones Horan, Schmitt Horan and Invaluable to see what similar items brought.

    If you sell through and auction house they will probably be put into a single lot. That is not as much as yo would get for them individually, but it takes a lot less of your time and they are gone. If there are other things beside eBay that you want to do, you have to figure on some value to your time.
     
  24. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    So are they worth $10? $50? $100? Gimme an idea where they fall in the spectrum (please).
     
  25. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    Not really sure of what they would be worth now, but years ago I did buy a broken repeater like that one for 200 Canadian from a friend, and later another very good condition but non running with gongs for 300 US, broken verge and no hairspring (basically for my own education and experience on older continental repeaters)
    Dan
     

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