Another day, another mistery movement
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Thread: Another day, another mistery movement

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  1. #1
    Member esdy_11192's Avatar
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    Confused Another day, another mistery movement

    Hi everybody! :D

    I recently got this interesting Exacta rectangular watch from the 30's. I know the more recent Exacta that sold Russian made watches etc. I was thinking that the seller misspelled Exact (German), Exacto (pre Rado) or similar but he did not. It may be related to an Exacto company from Neuchatel :)

    Anyway, I couldn't identify the movement from seller's photos. So yesterday I wasn't lazy and I gently took off the dial to take photo of the setting-lever spring and/or setting bridge.

    I searched Dr Ranfft's database several times, C. Lorenz's website online and without a real result. The setting part is quite different than ETA, AS, Tschudin, Durowe, PUW, etc. Just to name a few with similar look, shape and size.

    The size of the movement is 19.8mm x 25mm, and the thickness is 4.3mm. That is, of course, if I measured it correctly. I'm sending the photos below in hope someone have a Flume or similar book to demystify this. :)









    P.S.: I bought the watch because the dial reminds me a bit a JLC Reverso dial. :D

  2. #2
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    Re: Another day, another mistery movement

    A couple of times i've come across watches simliar in style to this (not same brand or movement, but from the time period, front loader etc. ) I've never had one service though, but I do like them - Question is, how reliable are they? I mean for normal use, are they easily damaged etc. (i've always asumed that they aren't shockproof in any way)?

  3. #3
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    Re: Another day, another mistery movement

    The dimensions of that movement are already strange: it works out to 8.75''' x 11'''. Most movements of that type are 8.75''' x 12''' or 7.75''' x 11'''. That helps to narrow it down a little (alternatively, one might say that it leaves us with fewer choices!). There is no exact match in Ranfft but, on balance, I would say that it might be attributable to Bifora (Bidlingmaier FormAnkerwerke). This one is reasonably close:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Bifora 812

    Notice a few features:

    1. The geartrain has a slight curve to it (compare it to the straight line setup of the ETA 717)

    2. Certain features like the stem release screw, the mainspring barrel pivot and the click on the mainspring are in the right place

    3. The balance cock is the right shape

    4. The keyless works is a reasonable match (and all other such movements in Ranfft are a rather worse match in this respect)

    The main discrepancy that is usually also a key factor is the shape of the lever cock: yours lacks the broad base of the one in Ranfft. But in the end, if it really is a Bifora movement (and I am myself still not entirely sure), it will be at the very least only a different generation ofthis calibre, if not an entirely different movement altogether.

    Hartmut Richter
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  5. #4
    Member VESPASIAN's Avatar
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    Re: Another day, another mistery movement

    Similar to Tschudin 255/19
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  6. #5
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    Re: Another day, another mistery movement

    Hi there,

    I found it in my paper heap: It is a Grana 190, occasionally listed as Kurth Frčres KF 190 or Certina 190. Unfortunately it is still missing in my archive.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  7. #6
    Member esdy_11192's Avatar
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    Re: Another day, another mistery movement

    Quote Originally Posted by KasperDK View Post
    A couple of times i've come across watches simliar in style to this (not same brand or movement, but from the time period, front loader etc. ) I've never had one service though, but I do like them - Question is, how reliable are they? I mean for normal use, are they easily damaged etc. (i've always asumed that they aren't shockproof in any way)?
    I guess they are reliable as any other movement if well preserved. There are some sophisticated pieces with shock protection, swan neck regulator, all steel cases etc. But none for me for the moment. :S

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    The dimensions of that movement are already strange: it works out to 8.75''' x 11'''. Most movements of that type are 8.75''' x 12''' or 7.75''' x 11'''. That helps to narrow it down a little (alternatively, one might say that it leaves us with fewer choices!). There is no exact match in Ranfft but, on balance, I would say that it might be attributable to Bifora (Bidlingmaier FormAnkerwerke). This one is reasonably close:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Bifora 812

    Notice a few features:

    1. The geartrain has a slight curve to it (compare it to the straight line setup of the ETA 717)

    2. Certain features like the stem release screw, the mainspring barrel pivot and the click on the mainspring are in the right place

    3. The balance cock is the right shape

    4. The keyless works is a reasonable match (and all other such movements in Ranfft are a rather worse match in this respect)

    The main discrepancy that is usually also a key factor is the shape of the lever cock: yours lacks the broad base of the one in Ranfft. But in the end, if it really is a Bifora movement (and I am myself still not entirely sure), it will be at the very least only a different generation ofthis calibre, if not an entirely different movement altogether.

    Hartmut Richter
    Yes, I saw everything you wrote! Even some holes were quite similar with that Bifora. Yet Mr. Ranfft seemed to have identified the movement. The issue is that, as I said, there are quite a lot of similar movements with slight variation. Mine have those more or less unique dimensions and this odd setting-lever spring.

    Quote Originally Posted by VESPASIAN View Post
    Similar to Tschudin 255/19
    I saw a couple of Tschudin online but not that reference. Could you provide me with a photo of that movement? Just to see the similarities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Ranfft View Post
    Hi there,

    I found it in my paper heap: It is a Grana 190, occasionally listed as Kurth Frčres KF 190 or Certina 190. Unfortunately it is still missing in my archive.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    OMG, that's quite interesting! I would never go that way. Thank you! Of course there is none online. Wile browsing ebay I just saw rectangular Grana with a somewhat similar movement but not the same and marked as cal. KF 251 => LINK

    Would it be too much if I would ask you if you could scan me the page that helped you identify this movement? And one more thing, I know your policy and stance when people offer you photos of movements but if you think this one is rare enough I could take some macro shots (I have a macro lens) with my dSLR. Of course I should service the movement first.

    I have to get some Classification Horlogere or Flume book for identification. Unfortunately they can't fit my budget right now. There are other priorities. :S

  8. #7
    Member VESPASIAN's Avatar
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    Re: Another day, another mistery movement

    Quote Originally Posted by esdy_11192 View Post
    I saw a couple of Tschudin online but not that reference. Could you provide me with a photo of that movement? Just to see the similarities.
    1957 wmdaa catalog of genuine watch parts from the 50's has a section on how to identify unmarked movements.

    The Tschudin 255/19 8.75 ligne movement looked very similar

    Cheers, Ed
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  9. #8
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    Re: Another day, another mistery movement

    Hi there,

    Quote Originally Posted by esdy_11192 View Post
    Would it be too much if I would ask you if you could scan me the page that helped you identify this movement?
    The calibre is old, and accordingly photos in most calibre keys are pretty blurry. The best I found is a drawing in the Flume K1 (the second in the bottom line):

    Name:  132.jpg
Views: 85
Size:  696.1 KB

    Quote Originally Posted by esdy_11192 View Post
    ... if you think this one is rare enough I could take some macro shots (I have a macro lens) with my dSLR.
    You'd make me happy. Like almost all older wristwatch calibres it is pretty rare, and who knows when one will cross my way. if ever.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
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  10. #9
    Member esdy_11192's Avatar
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    Re: Another day, another mistery movement

    Quote Originally Posted by VESPASIAN View Post
    1957 wmdaa catalog of genuine watch parts from the 50's has a section on how to identify unmarked movements.

    The Tschudin 255/19 8.75 ligne movement looked very similar

    Cheers, Ed
    Unfortunately I don't have any catalogue. :( But the KF Mr Ranfft mentioned look like a 100% match.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Ranfft View Post
    Hi there,


    The calibre is old, and accordingly photos in most calibre keys are pretty blurry. The best I found is a drawing in the Flume K1 (the second in the bottom line):

    Name:  132.jpg
Views: 85
Size:  696.1 KB
    Amazing, that's the one! I checked all the holes etc. Once again thank you for the identification and the info.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Ranfft View Post
    You'd make me happy. Like almost all older wristwatch calibres it is pretty rare, and who knows when one will cross my way. if ever.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    It would be an honor for me to do it, as I use your website daily. :) There are two options, I can take the photo of it in this state or we can wait some time I service it at my watchmaker. If the condition is OK I can tale the photos in the next couple of days.

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