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Wilsdorf & Davis silver cased trench watch

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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I have just bought this at auction, I have permission to use the photographs but I only have two.

I think, from the pics, it is an Aegler 15 jewel movement. It has W&D logo stamped on the bridge but I don't know yet about the case. Auctioneer said the case had a number, 431754, and is 29.3 mm.

There seems to be some issue with the winding wheel but other than that ok. I'll take more pics when it arrives, does anybody know what the number means?

73448-1.jpg 73448-0.jpg
 

thesnark17

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The six-digit number stamped on the case will be the case serial number. Most likely you will be unable to find out anything from it, since most case manufacturers' records were destroyed long ago.

Beautiful watch!
 

novicetimekeeper

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The six-digit number stamped on the case will be the case serial number. Most likely you will be unable to find out anything from it, since most case manufacturers' records were destroyed long ago.

Beautiful watch!
Hopefully the watch will turn up on Saturday, it has been delayed by a postal workers strike. When it does I can have a closer look at the case, but if the case has no hallmarks I think that means it was after Wilsdorf moved his business from London and the watch was not for the UK market.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Could not be more pleased with this, just that one wheel missing the top. Thankful for inadequate auction descriptions.

Full set of import marks, incl Wilsdorf mark and Aegler mark. Dial is pristine, case snaps shut. Almost perfect.

20221203_095857.jpg
 
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John Matthews

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Nice find.

1670067384638.png


The trademark in the oval said to be registered in 1913 - the import mark on your case [p] for 1910/11, in use prior to the registration date given it seems.

According to Culme, W&D at 85 Hatton Garden from 1/11/1907 prior to moving to Stevenage House, Holborn Viaduct from 17/8/1912.

John
 
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novicetimekeeper

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Nice find.

View attachment 738812

The trademark in the oval said to be registered in 1913 - the import mark on your case [p] for 1910/11, in use prior to the registration date given it seems.

According to Culme, W&D at 85 Hatton Garden from 1/11/1907 prior to moving to Stevenage House, Holborn Viaduct from 17/8/1912.

John

Thank you. I was helped by the auctioneer not mentioning the case marks other than the number. I thought from that it might be after Wildorf moved operations and was not intended for the UK market.
 

FreetzGrün

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Sep 19, 2019
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According to research by David Boettcher:
"For trench watches from the time of the Great War, any wire lug wristwatch with a case smaller than 32mm is rather small to be a man's watch, and certainly anything smaller than 30mm diameter (case diameter excluding the strap lugs and winding crown) was regarded by manufacturers and retailers as a de-facto ladies wristwatch."

Applicable information in the last section, "Ladies "Trench" Watches?"

 
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John Matthews

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I have only recently become interested in early wristwatches, but I have seen various references that have inferred from some manufacturer's, adverts e.g. Rotherhams, that wristwatches with diameters smaller than 30mm were being marketed to both men and women. In fact I have an 1915/16 18K cased example of a 19 jewel movement of only 28.5mm diameter, that appears in a post war catalogue. The page entitled 'Gentleman's Wristlet Watches'.

The above quoted reference is specifically relating to trench watches. David says, 'No man in the Great War would feel emboldened going 'over the top' wearing a watch like this.' This referring to an 18K gold watch of <30mm diameter - a very unlikely trench watch. However, I agree with the opening statement to his concluding section, 'there is no definitive way of telling whether a particular wristwatch is, or was, a man's or lady's watch.' but I would add the caveat, unless contemporary adverts of specific watches are available to provide guidance.

John
 

novicetimekeeper

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I've always thought it was more like a ladies watch. I bought it because it was unusual in having a W&D marked movement, I assumed it was post Great War.

Now I know it is pre Great War, and that it was so early in the life of the W&D mark I couldn't be happier.
 

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