What do you think? 17th century or not?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by haneyk, Dec 7, 2007.

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  1. haneyk

    haneyk Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
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    Below are pics of my latest acquisition, a Pierre Durand watch that is supposedly circa 1680. Loomes lists one from that time period, one circa 1617, and also one in the later 18th century. It looks like it is circa 1680 to me, but I was hoping some of you more knowledgeable people might be able to give me some information on some of the other markings, to wit:

    1. Inside inner case - a crown with "IIB" beneath it.
    2. Inside outer case - an "F" with a feather beneath it.
    3. Watch paper - Rand & Todd, Frontgate, Glascow.

    Any information would be appreciated.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ansomnia

    Ansomnia Registered User

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    You have a very nice watch in apparently very clean condition although the hands seem to be simple replacements of the wrong sizes. You may want to replace them with more authentic ones.

    I can only express an opinion but your watch looks more like 1700-1730 to me. The most telling aspect of the watch is the style of writing in the maker's signature on the backplate. Late 17C signatures are very florid. This one is in block lettering.

    Loomes appears to list a Pierre Durand, London ca. 1700. Camerer Cuss has a photo of a similar watch by him ca. 1735, numbered 202. Yours looks slightly older by pillar style.


    Michael
     
  3. Don Dahlberg

    Don Dahlberg Registered User
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    The pair case was the rule by 1690.

    The balance cock of 1675 would have the outside edge of the base of irregular outline as determined by the decoration and would not follow the line of the plate exactly. By 1690, this would not be the case. In both there would be an extra long wiskers at the base of the round part. These got shorter from 1700 to 1750. Yours looks 1700-1710.

    Examine the watches here http://www.antique-watch.com/idx/date_f.html
    Click on the A8001 for a 1680 watch. You can click on the individual pictures to blow them up. A8002 is 1695.

    Compare your watch with M8001. It is dated 1705. They look very similar to me.

    This is really hard because a older watchmaker might continue to make a watch like he always had, while a young maker would tend to be into the latest styles. Also there was not much change during this time. I can just say 1700 +/- 20 years.

    Don
     
  4. haneyk

    haneyk Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
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    If it is 1680, or even 1690, that would be very early for a minute hand, would it not? Also, I read that the beetle and poker hands didn't come in until 1700 and that the mask motif on the balance cock was after 1700 as well. But I guess there is wide variation in rules of thumb such as those. I'm hoping someone can identify the French case hallmarks and that will throw some light on the subject.
     
  5. Ansomnia

    Ansomnia Registered User

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    The hands on your watch were stamped and are definitely brand new so their style is not relevant to the watch's ID. As well, the outer case may also not be original to the watch so its ID may not have any relevance to when the watch was made.

    I would follow Don's advice and look at a lot of these watches to get a better feel.

    I also just noticed the bow on your watch is also completely wrong for the period. If it were my watch I would have it replaced with a proper period bow.

    This is a nice watch but its restoration was not very thoughtful or mindful of its period.


    Michael
     
  6. haneyk

    haneyk Registered User

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    Michael, the bow is just a round silver bow. Most of the watches from the 1680-1705 time period on Don's link above have this same type. As far as I can see from this and other books, about equal numbers from this time period were round or the "omega" shaped bows.

    I agree with you about the hands. Any idea on where a good set of proper old beetle and poker hands could be obtained?
     
  7. Ansomnia

    Ansomnia Registered User

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    If you only look at photos and watches, that is the conclusion you might draw. However, if you also check the text from your books you will see the horseshoe shaped "stirrup" bow came in around 1695 and it was not until the 19C that the simple bow came back. You already have it from me and Don that this watch is 18C so the bow would then not be correct for this watch. Many watches have replaced bows and they were not always the correct style.

    As for the watch hands, the best way is to have the hands made to size with an appropriate design like the beetle poker, but obviously filed and not stamped.


    Michael
     
  8. CZHACK

    CZHACK Registered User

    Apr 28, 2005
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    I believe Haynyk raises a good point concerning the minute hand indicating 18th Century. Can anyone fill me in on dates or facts related to the introduction of minute hands?

    Mike
     
  9. Frank Menez

    Frank Menez Registered User
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    One of the main features in dating this watch movement are the
    Egyptian Pillars which were introduced after 1700.
     
  10. CZHACK

    CZHACK Registered User

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    ....but Shugart et al notes squared Egyptian pillars were introduced in 1630.
     
  11. Frank Menez

    Frank Menez Registered User
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    Britten's Ole Clocks and Watches and Their Makers by Baillie, Clutton & Ilbert Page 133

    The square Egyptian pillar, No 2, was introduced about 1700
     
  12. CZHACK

    CZHACK Registered User

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    ....and numerous examples including those noted on pages 46 (circa1665) and page 49 (circa 1690) of Pendant and Pocket Watches 1500-1950 by C. Jeanenne Bell, G.G.
     
  13. CZHACK

    CZHACK Registered User

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    .....and I am still interested to learn about dates for introduction of minute hands!
     
  14. Frank Menez

    Frank Menez Registered User
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    Page 49 Brittens Old Clocks & Watches shows a movement with Tulip Pillars. Tulip Pillars were the earliest of the fancy pillars. Prior to that very plain pillars were used. See page 134

     
  15. Ansomnia

    Ansomnia Registered User

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    Mike, the issue about separate hour and minute hands is interesting but the timeframe of their earliest appearance is well established. It was around 1680.

    Watch minute hands and minute-indication came into being because the movements became accurate and reliable enough to show the minutes. This was due to the introduction of the balance-spring (made by Thomas Tompion, invented by Robert Hooke) around 1675. Longcase clocks already had minute hands ever since the pendulum was introduced in 1656. The invention of the balance-spring allowed the watchmakers to "catch up" to the clockmakers in this regard.


    Mike
     
  16. Ansomnia

    Ansomnia Registered User

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    I think Egyptian watch pillars were introduced in the 17C, at an earlier date to what Britten stated in his text. I have also seen Camerer Cuss mention this somewhere.

    However, correct me if I am wrong, but despite what is stated in Shugart's, my perception is that tulip pillars are generally an indication of watch movements that are somewhat earlier than those with Egyptian pillars.


    Michael
     
  17. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Judging this watch by examples I have with clearer province, I wouuld say that 1700 - 1735 would be correct.. The bow it does appear as a very later replacement.. as does the hand set.. 1 futher questions I have is the outside case.. the fit is by most standards does not indicate a matched set.. . It appears very large for the inner case.. Adding to that is a hallmarked inner and a different hallmark outter.. The discussion of the pillars style will always be open to debate.. while the first of this style may have occured as early as 1640's or so, many makers had a their own preferences and they used what they liked.. In my opinion, Design features, such as pillars, lasted longer and changed slower.. Mechanical features that helped accuracy were implimented faster..
     
  18. CZHACK

    CZHACK Registered User

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    Frank,

    My reference is page 46 and 49 of Pendant and Pocket Watxhes by Bell. I further note that the watch on page 46 of that book is noted to have "early Egyptian pillars" and that it was made by Jeremie Gregory, Royal Exchange, London/Cornhill. G.H. Baillie notes in Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World that Jeremie Gregory was a "maker of repute" and a master of the Clockmakers Company in 1665 and died in 1685. Proof positive to me that Egyptian pillars date to the mid 1600s. There are other examples of Egyptian pillars on watches with verifiable dates before 1700.

    John/Others,

    Any idea when minute hands became common as I assume there was a period of transition (as for pocket to wrist watches)?

    Mike
     
  19. Frank Menez

    Frank Menez Registered User
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    The Country Life Book of Watches by T.P. Camerer Cuss

    Page 21-23

    The earliest decorated pillars were spiral in form. They were followed
    by round or turned columnar baluster types and rectangular , tapering
    Egyptian form. Soon after 1660 the tulip-shaped pillar was increasingly
    used.

    Page 44

    The tulip-form pillar was the most popular type before 1675, and it
    continued after that date , although it increasingly gave place to the
    Egyptian form as the century closed, when in addition , floral and
    other decorative forms appear together with the round baluster.
    The French continued to favour the tapering Egyptian

    PS There appears to be different opinions on pillars dates by some of
    the experts.



     
  20. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Mike,

    Referencing Britten's, Very rarely are watches with minute hands found before 1675..Soon after the introduction of the balance spring, the minute hand was generally adopted in England.. Single handed French watches, that wind through the center hand, lasted as late as 1725..You moved the hand with your finger..
     
  21. haneyk

    haneyk Registered User

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    Surely someone out there has a book of hallmarks and can identify at least one of those in the pics:???:
     
  22. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The hallmarks are not sufficient for a date. The watch can be dated from the style to the early 18th century. The champleve dial set in a brass ring indicates earlier than 1730. The minute hand indicates later than 1680 or so.

    The watch looks like 1710 to 1720 to me from the thickness, the pillars and other style elements.

    The IIB is a maker's mark, but I do not have Phil Priestly's book handy right now. I have not seen the feather and F before. It is a little disturbing and might indicate a foreign watch, but the rest all looks English to me.
     
  23. RON in PA

    RON in PA Registered User
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    I spent some time doing a web search for the F-feather hallmark and could not find anything remotely resembling it.
     
  24. Ansomnia

    Ansomnia Registered User

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    I wasn't going to say anything because I know next to nothing about hallmarks but I read on an online website for hallmarks that the serif capital letter "F", in a cartouche, next to a regular hallmark (of the importing firm) indicates an "import mark".

    The "F" on this watch case is not in a cartouche but perhaps there were exceptions. Given what we believe about this watch, an imported case is quite possible.

    The website did not give information on when this system of "import marks" began to be used but perhaps this case is also a fair bit newer than the movement. Here is the webpage and website I refer to. Have a look for yourself.


    Michael
     
  25. haneyk

    haneyk Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
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    Well guys, thanks for trying!
     

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