[HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

Thread: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

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  1. #1
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    Question [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    At the back says: Awarded 2 Prize Medal EXHIBITIONS 1867 and 1878 For Excellency The bottom of the cover says: Warranted Aluminum - GOLD M Watch not working, is it worth restoring? Thanks in advance! Name:  IMG_1919-1.JPG
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    Last edited by whatodo; January 2nd, 2012 at 04:15.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    An interesting piece. Aluminum has been used in casing off and on over the years. A friend even found an Omega wristwatch made from it. But it is fairly rare.

    You will need someone to give you an estimate to determine the cost of getting this watch running. Pics are insufficient. Generally buying watches, paying someone else to repair them, and then selling them is a good way to make a small fortune -- from a large fortune
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
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    Re: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    Hi there,

    "Warranted Aluminium" is no joke. The watch was likely made around 1890, and aluminium was pretty expensive back then. The movement (Montilier Watch Co.) is not actually exciting, but some collectors out there may focus on rare cases.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

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    Re: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Ranfft View Post
    Hi there,

    "Warranted Aluminium" is no joke. The watch was likely made around 1890, and aluminium was pretty expensive back then. The movement (Montilier Watch Co.) is not actually exciting, but some collectors out there may focus on rare cases.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    Thank you for your information, much appreciated!

  6. #5
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    Re: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    An interesting piece. Aluminum has been used in casing off and on over the years. A friend even found an Omega wristwatch made from it. But it is fairly rare.

    You will need someone to give you an estimate to determine the cost of getting this watch running. Pics are insufficient. Generally buying watches, paying someone else to repair them, and then selling them is a good way to make a small fortune -- from a large fortune
    Thanks for the information. Do you know anyone in Australia - Perth who can restore this watch?

  7. #6
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    Re: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    Hi whatodo,

    Quote Originally Posted by whatodo View Post
    Do you know anyone in Australia - Perth who can restore this watch?
    Lets stay realistic: The only detail representing any collectors value is the aluminium case. The rest was formerly a very pedestrian cylinder movement, and is today just trash. And for me it is hard to believe that a collector having chosen case materials as collecting theme would even pay the shipping charge.

    So you should have very serious reasons to sink money in a restoration. Almost everything is possible, but a serious restoration would buy you lots of equivalent watches in mint condition (likely not with with aluminium case).

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  8. #7
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    Just to give you a bit of context around what you're asking; Cylinder watches were generally pre-industrial revolution. While the Swiss had embraced mass production via specialization, each part of the watch was pretty much hand made (albiet using standardized jigs and forms). But tolerances were such that when they were put together, each watch would need a certain amount of work from a master watchmaker to fit the pieces together. The point being, you can't just swap a new part into the watch (even if you happen to have a similar part available). You have to work with the new part and the existing watch to make sure the two work together correctly. These watches (and their parts) were out of date over 100 years ago, so the number of people who are able to even do a proper clean and oil of the movement is limited. And that means that those people tend to be extremely talented at their job and thus reasonably well paid (expect well in excess of $100 per hour). A clean and oil of a movement like this would probably be minimum one hour, assuming that nothing needed to be fixed or adjusted. If something is actually broken and needs to replaced, he'd need to either modify an existing part to fit, or create a new part from scratch. Either route is going to be another half dozen hours or so, depending on the part.

    If the watch is a family heirloom or has some other sentimental value to you, then go for it. But if you're looking at it from a collectors perspective, it'll probably be another 100 years before you got the value back out of it.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  9. #8
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    As someone who has quite a number of cylinder watches in his collection I'd have to echo the above advice, even though mine are later and more mass produced. Even so I no longer consider trying to get them working which means that they fall into the sort of collectible which you put into a cabinet, not the sort that you still use (and doubtless Roland is right in that the money I spent on them makes no economic sense, it is money that I am unlikely to be able to recover even if I could find someone willing to buy them).


  10. #9
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    Apart from anything else, this watch is missing it's balance wheel assembly.

    Definately not worth spending money on, a repair would be very expensive, many
    times the value of the watch.

  11. #10
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    Re: [HELP!] What is this pocket watch, is it worth restoring?

    This one really captures the period when aluminum was new - and more expensive than gold. I seem to recall a French King/Emperor having a new fangled dinner service made from aluminum at the time - but I'm too lazy to google it and check . None-the-less, a historically interesting item, and worth thinking about if it has sentimental value.

    I would be trying to find a quality period movement with a jeweled lever to use in this cool case. It may take a long time (a year or two), as there is quite a lot of size variation, add it the position of the winding arbor with the seconds bit, and it is even worse - but there are a lot of stray movements out there. Of course it will no longer be original, so there is a tradeoff of functionality vs originality.

    Sometimes the fun is in the search.
    Last edited by trim; January 3rd, 2012 at 19:19.

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