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  1. #1
    Member ikarus2007's Avatar
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    Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    Hi

    I am a collector of Ottoman pocket watches. I recently purchased a K.Serkisoff & Co Pocket watch. It has a Billodes mechanism inside. I have been trying to date or approx. date of this watch was made. Although I have been searching for a web site for the serial numbers of this kind of pocket watches. I could not find a trace. All I know the Company Zenith had started watch business as Billodes.

    If anybody who is familliar with Serkisoff watches could help me I would be very Happy:thanks.
    The silver case and the dust cover of the pocket watch has the following numbers. 2074296 - 1480

    Thank you
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    Last edited by ikarus2007; September 19th, 2008 at 21:17.

  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Moderator D N Ravenna's Avatar
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    Re: Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    I'd say this a job for Hartmut and his skills!!!!

    Dan

  3. #3
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    Re: Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    I think this one may even be beyond me (before my time?! - I mainly know about Zenith starting ca. 1900) but I will give it a go.

    Zenith started in 1865 but wasn't called that then. George Favre-Jacot was reputed to have had several names under which he marketed his watches, including Zenith which then became the formal company name in 1911. He also marketed under the name "Billodes" which is the name of a place in France, just across the border from Le Locle (where Zenith are located). The movements there were different to those made by Zenith - at least around 1900 (compare http://monsite.wanadoo.fr/zenhitsite/page7.html).

    Your watch is obviously key wound and set. As such, it is distinctly 19th century and may be one of the earlier Zenith/Billodes watches. Still, all the way back to 1865 seems doubtful - I would say somewhere between 1870 and 1890. I am not familiar with the name "Serkisoff" but suspect that it is the name of the jeweller who sold it in Constantinople (Istanbul). In those days, it was fairly common that jewellers asked for watches to be made for them with their name on the dial and the practice went on at least until the inter-war period - Tiffany was probably the most famous example (examples of Patek Philippe - Tiffany and Carties - Tiffany are still around).

    What I also find interesting is that there is some arabic/farsi script on the movement. If it was put there by Zenith, it is almost certain that it was put there by special request. It also opens up the possibility that Serkisoff was himself a watchmaker who bought "ebauches" (raw movements), in this case from Zenith, and assembled them himself. Since "Billodes" and the Zenith coat of arms also appears, it is more likely that he would have bought fully assembled movements, added the arabic engraving and put the things into cases with dials bearing his own name.

    Hartmut Richter

  4. #4
    Member ikarus2007's Avatar
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    Re: Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    Thank you very much for taking your time to write all that information. You are very kind. It is older then I thought. now I know, thanks to you. I also did some research about K.Serkisoff. K.Serkisoff & Co were making pocket watches for the Ottoman market. As you wrote they were purchasing the movement from Billodes. The dial of the watch is porcelain. it is key wounded. I had to ask somebody who speaks arabic to translate the script inside the movement. it says " my watch". I have another Serkisoff pocket watch with gold dial. It is a very nice and interseting pocket watch. I am going to attach the photos of it as another thread. again, thank you very much for making the date clear when it was made.
    Best Regards

  5. #5
    Zenith Forum Moderator D N Ravenna's Avatar
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    Re: Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    Excellent Hartmut!

    Thanks!

    Dan

  6. #6
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    Re: Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    To pick up an older thread: there is a near identical watch pictured in the new German book on Zenith (p. 52). It states there that the watch is from ca. 1890 and that Serkisoff was the general sales agent for Billodes in Constantinople. The arabic script on the movement also translates as "Serkisoff". This would make the watch a little more recent than I though - I would not have expected Zenith to use key wound and set movements at that time.

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    hey I dont know what do I have then you have to see this... My eanglish is not very good I`m sorry for that,but you have to help me.. See this Name:  Снимка0030.jpg
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Size:  943.9 KBName:  Снимка0031.jpg
Views: 6151
Size:  901.2 KB

  8. #8
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    Re: Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    this whatch have a number 18456

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    Re: Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    Hello.
    I want to add: As far as I know these watches were manufactured until about 1930

  10. #10
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    Re: Billodes/Zenith Serkisoff Ottoman Pocket Watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans61 View Post
    Hello.
    I want to add: As far as I know these watches were manufactured until about 1930
    Possibly - but I doubt that they used such movements! The movement in question was used by Zenith until ca. 1905 when the newer range of calibres (e.g. 19''' N.V.S.I and similar) were introduced. It is possible that Zenith used up old stock of Billodes and Diogene movements for the Ottoman market but since the Ottoman empire collapsed in 1918, I also have my doubts that such watches were made right until 1930.

    @Zigito: unfortunately, your watch seems to be missing movement parts as well as dial and hands. Your only hope to restore it (if that's what you planned) would be to approach Zenith - and for such an old movement, parts availability may well be limited. Zenith will restore any watch they made but the price would be appropriately high.

    Last but not least, it's time to correct an old gaffe of mine (in an earlier post in this thread): the "Billodes" line was named after the address of the company: 34 Rue de Billodes, 2400 Le Locle and not after a place across the border in France (must have been thinking of Besancon where Zenith also had a factory, but much later - silly me! ).

    Hartmut Richter

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