Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

Thread: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

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  1. #1
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    Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    Good day, gentlemen.
    My father showed me this watch today. He's been sorting through his grandfather's belongings and found it rolled up in cloth in a box and he told me it belonged to his great grandfather. He didn't know anything about it, only that it was a Swiss watch apparently bought in Austria ages ago.
    He asked me to see if I can dig something up on the Internet so I took some pictures and after failing to find any info on Google I found your forum instead.
    So, here are the pics. We appreciate any information you can give us about the watch.
    Thank you.
    Edit: I removed the pics since they were enormous and messed up the whole thread. Why doesn't it put them in thumbnails?! :(
    Last edited by Njofrekk; June 24th, 2013 at 23:41. Reason: post was messed up with html code?? Why aren't the pics in thumbnails? :(

  2. #2
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    Re: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    second try... if this is messed up, Admin, please help. If this is normal, then sorry for two posts. I'm not a regular forums visitor. :/
    Attached Images Attached Images
















  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    I have to say that I wasn't holding much hope after seeing the front, but the movement is surprisingly clean. I suspect it's from the early 20th century; it's a swiss cylinder with minimal jeweling and a pin set.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
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    Re: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    Anyone know anything about the engraving on the back? Or the artwork on the numbering on the front? Was it usual for those kinds of watches? Is there maybe a story there somewhere? My father told me the engraving represents an Austrian peasant carrying a basket used for gathering grapes in the vineyards.

  6. #5
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    According to Microlisk.de, Gurzelen with the star and garter was a trademark of Omega. I'd agree with Rob on the dating, and that style seems about right for 1910 - 1920.
    Last edited by Mirius; June 25th, 2013 at 00:24.


  7. #6
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    The interesting thing about that trademark is that it lists the owner as "Omega Watch SA". But AFAIK, that company didnt' exist until around 1894, so those trademarks were (at best) filed after that, and the "1885" date in Mikrolisk represents the "Date of first use". That makes me wonder if Gurzelen was "acquired" by Omega, and they registered the trademark post-acquisition in order to secure it. Gurzelen is apparently the district in Bienne that Omega moved to in 1882 (where their headquarters is now), and I've heard that they did have a high-quality model named "Gurzelen" that they sold alongside their "Labrador" and "Omega" models. But this isn't a high-quality movement by any stretch. In searching the web, I only ever see this stamp on cases, with a variety of different movements inside, which makes me wonder if it was actually a casemaker?
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  8. #7
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    Re: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    This is what I found about Gurzelen: "During the 1880's, Louis-Paul and César Brandt began manufacturing watches in Bienne and signed their productions 'Jura', 'Patria', 'Helvetia', 'Celtic' and 'Gurzelen'. In 1884 these names were dropped in favour of the world famous 'Omega'."
    from Bonhams 1793 : Gurzelen. A late 19th century silver open face chronometer pocket watch with second time zone No.12 172
    Does anyone know what that weird engraving means below the serial number 805804? The one that looks like number 2 without the lower part? Or like number 7 on the inside cover?

  9. #8
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Njofrekk View Post
    This is what I found about Gurzelen: "During the 1880's, Louis-Paul and César Brandt began manufacturing watches in Bienne and signed their productions 'Jura', 'Patria', 'Helvetia', 'Celtic' and 'Gurzelen'. In 1884 these names were dropped in favour of the world famous 'Omega'."
    from Bonhams 1793 : Gurzelen. A late 19th century silver open face chronometer pocket watch with second time zone No.12 172
    Does anyone know what that weird engraving means below the serial number 805804? The one that looks like number 2 without the lower part? Or like number 7 on the inside cover?
    Be careful with what you read; there's a lot mis-information out there. At least some of the "sister brands" that I've seen mentioned online are really just the products of companies that worked with Omega, not actual products of the company. As for the "weird engravings", I think those are just mis-punched numbers. It's hard to get a good stamp into a curved plate.
    Last edited by AbslomRob; June 25th, 2013 at 02:11.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  10. #9
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    The interesting thing about that trademark is that it lists the owner as "Omega Watch SA". But AFAIK, that company didnt' exist until around 1894, so those trademarks were (at best) filed after that, and the "1885" date in Mikrolisk represents the "Date of first use". That makes me wonder if Gurzelen was "acquired" by Omega, and they registered the trademark post-acquisition in order to secure it. Gurzelen is apparently the district in Bienne that Omega moved to in 1882 (where their headquarters is now), and I've heard that they did have a high-quality model named "Gurzelen" that they sold alongside their "Labrador" and "Omega" models. But this isn't a high-quality movement by any stretch. In searching the web, I only ever see this stamp on cases, with a variety of different movements inside, which makes me wonder if it was actually a casemaker?

    I've got a Gurzelen stamped 13 jewel lever in a Swiss case that bears a personalization incorporating the date 1887.
    Courtesy of ULF.

  11. #10
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Any info on this Gurzelen pocket watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Njofrekk View Post
    ...
    Edit: I removed the pics since they were enormous and messed up the whole thread. Why doesn't it put them in thumbnails?! :(
    Use Chrome for your browser. It sizes them for 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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