Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

Thread: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

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  1. #1

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    Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    Would like to have feedback on an Agassiz
    (3 high res photos attached)

    This is a family hand me down, originally passed from father to son in 1919.

    a) Age
    b) Relative worth
    c) Rarity ?
    d) etc...

    Here are the specs.

    Inside Cover

    M.W.C. CO
    Serial # 3298

    Agassiz Serial # 60776

    Cleaned and new crystal installed ~1980.
    100% functional, accurate timepiece.
    Jeweler almost fell off his feet when he saw it & wanted to buy it on the spot.

    Small hairline crack on faceplate.
    Multiple engravings...









  2. #2
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    Re: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    Awesome, high quality movement!


    Nice that's it's in a solid gold case.

    Added family value

    Should be a definite keeper for you

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    Wonderful pics.

    The movement has no shock proofing so predates the middle 20th century. But to me it looks like a 20th century movement.

    I've never heard of the vendor but the use of English on the movement indicate US or English origin. I suspect English. And I suspect it is relatively rare.

    The gold value of the case is considerable.

    No jeweler will give you what it should be worth to you!!
    "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!

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  5. #4
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    Hi -

    First of all, welcome to WUS and the vintage and pocket watch forum! I hope we can help you out...but the one thing we do not do is valuations: we have a couple of permanent messages at the top of the forum explaining why. Fundamentally, it wouldn't be fair to you without actually seeing the watch and inspecting it to give a valuation, and it's also not our business. Any good, professional, trained and certified watchmaker will be able to help you there, and I for one wouldn't trust anyone but such a fellow or gal with such a lovely timepiece...

    Second: wow.

    The watch is almost definitely American, based on the fine engraving on the plates of the watch (the flat surfaces) which is called damascening, which very, very few companies outside of the US ever used. It has nothing to do with the operating of the watch, as it is purely ornamental, but it really looks good, doesn't it?

    The jewels are in chatons (the little collars around the jewels are screwed in, rather than pressed in), the balance is a screw-weighted balance, and the fine adjustment is really, really neat.

    This is the part to the lower left of the picture, where it says "Fast" and "Slow". You have an unusual microadjustment, which is driven by a cam (looks like half of a ying/yang symbol). This is really neat because it is fairly rare: it shows that rather than rely on mechanical friction to hold the microadjustment in place, the watchmaker implemented this in such a way that the position is held firmly via the spring, but is finely controlled by the cam.

    That's really cool.

    The hairspring is blued and with the Breguet overcoil, high quality.

    That pretty well exhausts what I can say, and I turn it over to the pocket watch specialists amongst us...

    I'd place it in the late 19th century, though: a lot of the details scream that out to me, rather than 20th century. It does lack any sort of shock protection on the balance staff jewels, which became very, very widespread by the 1940s, but given that you know it was passed on in 1919, that's not surprising.

    Definitely an irreplaceable family heirloom. Thanks for sharing!

    JohnF
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  6. #5
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    Re: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    Actually Agassiz is a Swiss company started in 1876. These watches were sold in the United States. Agassiz was known as a very high-quality manufacturer and also produced complicated watches like repeaters & chronographs. Agassiz is associated with Longines since both were started by the Agassiz family and shared facilities at one time.

    I'd guess that this particular pocket watch is from around 1900.

  7. #6
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    Yes I agree with JimH. Swiss model high quality movement from the early 20th century. The case is American so the watch was cased in the USA.
    It's well worth restoration because of its quality and provenance as a family heirloom. I'd get it serviced again if it's been close to 30 years since its last service.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  8. #7

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    Re: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    Yup, its a keeper...
    The overall weight of the watch is 4 o.z.
    So , less the movement, still alot of gold there...

  9. #8

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    Re: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald View Post
    Yes I agree with JimH. Swiss model high quality movement from the early 20th century. The case is American so the watch was cased in the USA.
    It's well worth restoration because of its quality and provenance as a family heirloom. I'd get it serviced again if it's been close to 30 years since its last service.
    Just wondering about the case....
    M.W.C.CO.

    Does that stand for Military Watch or what ?

  10. #9

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    Re: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnF View Post
    Hi -

    First of all, welcome to WUS and the vintage and pocket watch forum! I hope we can help you out...but the one thing we do not do is valuations: we have a couple of permanent messages at the top of the forum explaining why. Fundamentally, it wouldn't be fair to you without actually seeing the watch and inspecting it to give a valuation, and it's also not our business. Any good, professional, trained and certified watchmaker will be able to help you there, and I for one wouldn't trust anyone but such a fellow or gal with such a lovely timepiece...

    Second: wow.

    The watch is almost definitely American, based on the fine engraving on the plates of the watch (the flat surfaces) which is called damascening, which very, very few companies outside of the US ever used. It has nothing to do with the operating of the watch, as it is purely ornamental, but it really looks good, doesn't it?

    The jewels are in chatons (the little collars around the jewels are screwed in, rather than pressed in), the balance is a screw-weighted balance, and the fine adjustment is really, really neat.

    This is the part to the lower left of the picture, where it says "Fast" and "Slow". You have an unusual microadjustment, which is driven by a cam (looks like half of a ying/yang symbol). This is really neat because it is fairly rare: it shows that rather than rely on mechanical friction to hold the microadjustment in place, the watchmaker implemented this in such a way that the position is held firmly via the spring, but is finely controlled by the cam.

    That's really cool.

    The hairspring is blued and with the Breguet overcoil, high quality.

    That pretty well exhausts what I can say, and I turn it over to the pocket watch specialists amongst us...

    I'd place it in the late 19th century, though: a lot of the details scream that out to me, rather than 20th century. It does lack any sort of shock protection on the balance staff jewels, which became very, very widespread by the 1940s, but given that you know it was passed on in 1919, that's not surprising.

    Definitely an irreplaceable family heirloom. Thanks for sharing!

    JohnF
    Thank you JohnF

    Yes, I had read your sticky before listing, but wanted to hear the feedback about this timepice from your collected knowledge.

    Your overview / analysis is inspiring, and I appreciate the detail.

    I had managed to find out about Agassiz history before but was unable to date the watch (other than to know it was given as a gift) from father to son on his 21 birthday in 1919.

    I had also found a serial # dating list from Logines, but wasn't sure if it is relevant.

    http://montresuisses.blogspot.com/20...er-charts.html

  11. #10
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    Re: Agassiz Original 14k (Cleaned and Working)

    The scrap value of the gold case alone is worth about $1500 USD (4 oz at $650/oz)

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