What Ever Happened to DEPOLLIER and his Waterproof Wrist Watch Case Designs?

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Literustyfan, Jun 5, 2017.

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  1. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    Oct 22, 2010
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    So, what ever happened to Charles Depollier and his waterproof watch case designs ? ? ? ? ? ?

    Depollier and his design team gave us some of the most iconic watches and rapid leaps forward in technology during the Great War years.

    His case designs speak for themselves and they usually sell for higher prices when compared to other case manufacturers.

    We all know that he fell on hard times around 1922 and was in pretty deep in debt but the financial trouble started brewing during the war years, I've seen the books for myself at Harvard.

    You don't have to be a forensic accountant to figure that one out after studying his books for an hour.

    Personally, I think that a lot of his troubles are due to the amount money spent on advertising, they advertised more than just about everybody else.

    The costs of R&D also played a large roll.

    But, what ever happened to Depollier after the Great War?

    We know that he made some very small ladies wrist watches in the early 1920's but it gets fuzzy after that.

    Do you guys think that he possibly kept on working to advance waterproof case design technology?

    Depollier's Generation #1 waterproof watch watch case design came out in August of 1918, the Gen #2 waterproof case design called "The Thermo Watch" came out in very late 1918.

    But, neither of the first two waterproof case designs has ever been found and documented even though MANY advertisements exist for Gen #1 and Gen #2.

    Everybody knows the Generation #3 Depollier waterproof case design that had the black finish, these are highly sought after by collectors and go for big bucks.

    But, did Depollier keep on working on waterproof case designs into the mid 1920's ? ? ? ?


    Is it possible that a Generation #4 Depollier waterproof case design exists that has NOT been documented yet ? ? ? ?


    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Actually the son murdered his wife, had previously made her dig her own grave - then comitted suicide/
    I have the original newspaper.

    I wonder if her grave was "hermetic"
     
  3. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Jesus Christ Adam... That's really tasteless.
     
  4. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    :???::???:
    And swearing is acceptable?
     
  5. Hawk53

    Hawk53 Registered User

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    and typical..........and a FYI Adam, using the name Jesus Christ is not swearing, been to Church lately?:screwball:
     
  6. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Oh! I did not realize this forum was a church.
    In my book and most others walking around shouting J.C. is swearing.

    But you do as you please
    Regards
    adam
     
  7. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    #7 River rat, Jun 5, 2017
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    One watch I wish I never sold only ever found one and it was by accident but some of those are the best finds. I never heard of Depollier until I found this one for sell thought it was a crazy price but I never seen one before so knew it had to be rare and took the chance. It was worth more than I paid like I said the watch buys by accident are the best ones.
    006-23.jpg

    014-4.jpg

    007-18.jpg

    005-23.jpg
    Very distinctive locking water tight crown here are a few advertisements that they did a lot of.
    002-28.jpg

    001-30.jpg

    Dam all I got left are photo's maybe one day I will add another but it was a great watch.
     
  8. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Its a FANTASTIC piece.
    Alas I do not have one either
     
  9. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    #9 River rat, Jun 6, 2017
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    Adam the only reason I sold it I retired and was moving to MT so needed money for the move so sold off some stuff I call my museum pieces the watches I don't wear. But after the move I realized I did not have to do a sell off of some of the collection I do OK in MT a lot cheaper to live than Calf. Am slowly building the collection back up and mite even be done the stuff I like are getting out of my price range I only buy good deals those are far and few between but did find a good deal this month that don't happen often.
     
  10. Adam Harris

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  11. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    [FONT=&quot]It is now in my possession ! ! ! ! ![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]A Generation #4 Depollier Waterproof Wrist Watch DOES IN FACT EXIST ! ! ! ! ![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The case is sterling silver and it is HEAVY.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The case alone without a crystal or movement installed weighs 26.4 grams, that is just shy of one ounce of sterling silver (28.35 grams). [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The case measurements are: 40mm lug tip to lug tip, 34mm going across not including the crown or crown tube, 17mm lug diameter.[/FONT]
     
  12. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    [FONT=&quot]Okay..............here we go![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Yes, it is a SWISS made Generation #4 Depollier Waterproof Wrist Watch ! ! ![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I will go into great detail about this being a SWISS made Depollier in following posts, it is a long story.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]This movement features the "Brun" shock absorber that was patented in June of 1922, a patent with Depollier and Brun sharing the credit. (patent 1,418,427)

    [/FONT]
    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/19023728_1546693372060968_4322028164629419379_o.jpg?oh=30eb41a03a5ef693f3701e1e20783239&oe=59DA5197[FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]
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    [/FONT]
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    [/FONT]
    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18880008_1546693458727626_4636356203024240495_o.jpg?oh=d44df1066bdab01b2438adf0263f32d0&oe=59DEF3B6[FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]
    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18922794_1546693642060941_8567826182008595914_o.jpg?oh=feb8c8b8cb89c1d3a002dddb6239cbe6&oe=59AE375E

    - - - Updated - - -

    More pics...........

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18815165_1546693662060939_7729098863828570755_o.jpg?oh=ab30d497b76d274b54c8e8125ac6ae33&oe=59A2DDAB

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18836760_1546693692060936_4892867359959749245_o.jpg?oh=e626c01ce65fea520147b5ca19d6b484&oe=59A9ABB4

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18879934_1546693732060932_7035648990644005670_o.jpg?oh=f13a62efcec0274f9926b943b90c5128&oe=59E0C8CC

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18891873_1546693772060928_2198124606659895493_o.jpg?oh=7341e7ba2bfc01c15a11e42ef7612531&oe=59E620B0

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18922440_1546693825394256_7051294597410151623_o.jpg?oh=8082701847671c7ba23a7d5682cd1a3a&oe=59DD8818
     
  13. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    A few more pics............

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18921038_1546694052060900_6765272115090075138_o.jpg?oh=8b68eb81d57e2db88a47ae2fc50c6c92&oe=59AC8B1D
    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18953456_1546693992060906_2944153956194294299_o.jpg?oh=feb23879da0560c094116052390fb135&oe=59E6DDE9
    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18891514_1546693938727578_1324744892116725899_o.jpg?oh=cc5ba4dbb811362f2c30e16b6c582996&oe=59DDB88E

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18815098_1546693895394249_6012611056650863892_o.jpg?oh=f41db5f6034c0631f4343c16c6c3471c&oe=59AD46F5

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18920919_1546693855394253_8058316863583908837_o.jpg?oh=335b51ce636474c5b4581c5ed944c1de&oe=59E0F8E8

    - - - Updated - - -

    Last three pics................

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18953298_1546694088727563_7265566997896571827_o.jpg?oh=0b0429594d2bc3e36d26bc0c1686088e&oe=59DF6FCB

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18955100_1546694155394223_6289887567561062813_o.jpg?oh=e6b2854331f8277c889f39bd0936f7c1&oe=59AEC38A

    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/19024919_1546694208727551_224907042003365063_o.jpg?oh=b2f5a05ed9a4e3ff35dce4a60b11d891&oe=59DCA9FD

    - - - Updated - - -

    Below are several "snippets" that I found in a document titled "Reports of the United States Board of Tax Appeals, Volume 22".

    The document is dated 1931 and it deal with Depollier's tax troubles.

    Obtaining the entire document will not be an easy task, looks like it is currently only available on microfiche.

    But, I am currently working with a company to get the entire 1,000+ page document printed out.

    Here are the "snippets" that I can read but having the entire doc would answer MANY of our questions.

    I am hoping that it will name specific investors, I have been compiling a list of potential investors for many years now, I have a theory.

    " In 1923 he paid $4,500 for 50 shares of the preferred capital stock, of a par value of $100 per share, of the Depollier Watch Company, and received as a bonus 50 sahres of common stock of no par value of the same company. In 1924 the petitioner paid $5,000 for 50 sahres of the first preferred capitol stock of par value of $100".

    "would be saved. The stockholders refused to do anything and it was decided to sell the assets for what could be obtained for them. The Dudley Watch Company of Wilmington made an offer to purchase the inventory, and the patent rights and license. The purchase price offered was so small that it was refused. By June 1925".

    "March 1926, a new corporation known as the Trinity Watch Corporation, was formed under the laws of New York. Afterwards and during the same month the name of the corporation was changed to Depollier Watch Corporation, hereinafter referred to as the new corporation. Ten or eleven stockholders in the old corporation including the".

    "In having difficulty in continuing its loans at the bank which had been financing it theretofore and with which a large part of its inventory was pledged. Shortly thereafter the bank refused to make any other loans to the company. In the Spring of 1925 an endeavor was made to get a meeting of the stockholders in order to obtain additional financial assistance in some way."

    "Company, Inc. of Delaware, hereinafter, referred to as Delaware Company, at a total cost of $23,500. The Delaware Company was organized in March of 1922, primarily to manufacture and sell wrist watches which had a special feature described as a "shock absorber". All of the common stock was issued to Depollier who was elected President in exchange for a license to manufacture the patented."
     
  14. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    Here are a couple of adverts that deal with the "Brun Shock Absorber" that was mentioned in my previous post that date back to 1922.

    306953.jpg

    306952.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    [FONT=&quot]This is the CLOSEST patent that I can find when it comes to the bow on the crown tube.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I have no idea if this technology is on the watch case but the way that the bow is attached to the crown tube with two screws looks to be identical.

    [/FONT]
    306954.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    [FONT=&quot]I was able to find some Depollier Watch Corporation stock information dating back to December 14, 1929.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]This was AFTER the stock market CRASH in October of 1929.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]It was published in the "Financial Chronicle".[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]After 1929 I could not find any further information about Depollier Watches other than the US Government wanting their tax money that Depollier owed.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Note that this information is about the "Depollier Watch Corporation" NOT the "Depollier Watch Company" back from 1922.

    [/FONT]
    306956.jpg [FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]
    306955.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    [FONT=&quot]If anybody has anything to add please speak up![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]What has me scratching my head about this newly found Depollier waterproof case design is the crown with the bow.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]It seems very odd to me that Depollier would revert back to this crown and bow technology that was being used years earlier by others.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I'm sure that our friend Jerry T. might have some info about this "bow" design. (hopefully).[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]It is my belief that Depollier went flat broke, it is very obvious that the Depollier and Waltham relationship completely soured in 1920 or 1921 and Waltham cut him off due to non payment on his account.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Depollier started to scramble and did whatever he could to stay afloat.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I believe that he had to seek out manufactures in Switzerland for movements as any and all American companies refused to do business with him.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]This Generation #4 waterproof case design was made in Switzerland possibly to hide from creditors and hide any taxable income from the US Government.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I think he used his good name and gave it one last shot using his superior technology rights for a come back even though he might not have owned his technology rights any longer.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]This story obviously has a very sad ending but I am overwhelmed with joy that a Generation #4 Depollier Waterproof Wrist Watch has been found and documented.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Everybody that I have spoken to about this has NEVER seen one of these Gen #4 cases before, if you have seen another and have any pics please let us know!!!!!![/FONT]
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Fantastic stuff
    I have original Brun adverts and the patent.
    I dont feel the crown patent is for that case.
    That patent (1915) I believe was for their USA manufactured case, this is SWISS - just a feeling.
    adam
     
  17. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    [FONT=&quot]This sort of technology has been used in the past by another manufacturer.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]This Waltham is from 1917 - 1918 if I remember correctly.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]See how the hinged bow pushes the crown down to form a seal.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Jerry T. has done far more research on this manufacturer, I'm sure he could provide us with more examples.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The case maker's name is on the tip of my tongue but I can't remember at this minute.

    [/FONT]
    306996.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    The crown and bow of Stan's watch are interesting features to me and, as he suggests, has some similarities to the watch in his last post, above.

    The bow mechanism is very much like a bow that is common on Waltham wristlets in Dubois cases that use the same method of holding down the crown. The downward point in the bow engages a divot in the crown to hold the crown down.
    9-10f.jpg

    Waltham first touted this feature in 1912 advertising and continued to use it for several years, but I have not been able to find the patent that is implied in the ad.
    View attachment 346141

    It may be a variant of a patent by Ezra Fitch, president of Waltham (pat.no.1,085,857) which was applied for in January of 1912 but not granted until 1914, although that design required a different alignment of the bow with the crown to set the watch.

    Regarding the watch in Stan's post #17, I am still unsure of who made this case. It has some features that hint at manufacture by H.W. Matalene of Newark, NJ, but it also has many features that are nothing like his work.

    Regarding the Brun shock protection, I wonder how effective it is if it only works on the top pivot?
     
  19. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    [FONT=&quot]I was digging through my bins last night looking for a better strap option than modern green nylon strap that I previously pictured the Depollier with.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I found an 18mm antique Khaki Strap that looks AWESOME ! ! ![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The only bummer is that the original strap clasp is missing.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I have a 23mm Khaki Strap clasp but that obviously will not work.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Antique Khaki Straps in a larger size like this 18mm one I have a VERY hard to come by, usually they were made in the smaller 16mm & 14mm sizes.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Anybody happen to have an 18mm Khaki Strap clasp that they might want to part with ? ? ? ?[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Please let me know.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I mocked the strap up and tied it off with a paper clip for the pictures.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]My lovely wife Tiffany was kind enough to be my wrist model this morning.

    [/FONT]
    307049.jpg [FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]
    307048.jpg [FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]
    307047.jpg [FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]
    307046.jpg [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    After thinking about it and talking to a couple of friends I decided to send the Depollier to Rolland at RGM.


    The hands were not engaging for 3-7 minutes after the time was set and the crown pushed back in place.


    99.9% of the time I work on American made movements.


    Swiss movements and their intricacies are not something I am well versed in, my specialty is American made.


    Plus, due to the EXTREME rarity of the piece I just did not want to take any chances, I want it perfect.


    So, it is currently en-route to RGM.


    Should be back home in 4-6 weeks hopefully.
     
  21. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    I am posting all of my research into one forum, keeping up with 5 forums is difficult with this much information.

    I was able to find some tax documents, actually tax appeal documents that tell an incredible story of what happened to Depollier and his technology.

    The flood gates have been opened!

    Lets just say that Depollier and Steve Jobs have a lot in common, they both got thrown out of their own companies.

    If you care to take a peek below is the link to all of the information.

    http://www.vintagewatchforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=10656
     
  22. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    It's now on my wrist, arrived back to me yesterday afternoon!


    I could not be more pleased!


    Rolland's RGM Watch Company did a fantastic job with the movement overhaul, timing is now superb.


    They installed a brand new mainspring and fixed the cannon pinion issue.


    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/21551676_1645843465479291_8187016209374202796_o.jpg?oh=c49f0009658c26d84623a6ce69ba0272&oe=5A180162


    21427302_1645843528812618_5641741451616501429_o.jpg


    https://scontent.fhou1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/21586726_1645843678812603_5070986361365640598_o.jpg?oh=fa46aaf4dbc98f2a69045dd86837adfb&oe=5A15E0E0


    21368939_1645843612145943_6473283057945499016_o.jpg


    21414594_1645843808812590_5835479328275509135_o.jpg
     
  23. Jeff Hess

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    for sure one of my favorite threads of the year on this forum. And what a watch! Thanks! Please, keep adding info about Depollier Water proof watches on this thread!
     
  24. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    One of these days a Generation #1 or Generation #2 WILL be found and documented.

    I know they were made but neither has surfaced.

    I'll never give up the hunt!
     

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