Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe
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Thread: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

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  1. #1
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    Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    While going through some pocket watches that were in storage, I came across something unusual. It appears to be a lady's wristwatch from Bailey Banks & Biddle. I opened the back to find the movement marked with Patek Philippe. This is starting to get interesting. I am assuming that it is a lady's watch because it is so small, 25mm including the crown. After looking up the serial number (on a non-Patek site), it appears to be from 1916/1917. I could not, however find out anything else about this watch. Does anyone have any knowledge about this watch? I found several BB&B Patek pocket watches, but nothing about a wristwatch that is this size or this age.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    I almost forgot to mention...after not being touched for at least 30 years, it has kept time for 6 hours now.

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    Re: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    I'm no expert, and I know nothing of the watch, but I probably wouldn't wind it again until it's been serviced. The lubrication is probably nonexistent, and you might damage something.

    It looks like a great find though.
    Last edited by cba191; November 19th, 2015 at 06:27.
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    Re: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    Thank you for the advice. I guess that winding it was probably not the best idea, but curiosity got the better of me.

  6. #5
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    Re: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    Huh all the big shots from its age are in this watch.

    BB&B were the designers of the still used ' Great Seal of the United States '. The 'Cress-arrow' hallmark on the case belongs to case-maker 'Henry Blank' who is a Titanic survivor. And the movement of course PP. What a combo-trio!

    Pre 1924 would make sense since there are no import marks on the movement which I think was introduced in 1924, but the import fees to the US have been lifted up well in early '10s, could be also 1908 not sure. Watchmakers of Switzerland sent the movements to the destination to be cased by their partners.In this case BB&B imported the movement and had it cased by Henry Blank which was an upscale case-maker back then. American watch collectors may know more.

    About being a ladies' or men's watch, that might be tricky since the dial looks not distinctive for ladies and that era watches are in there-about with the size.So it could be well men's watch also.
    Last edited by Emre; November 19th, 2015 at 07:31.
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    Re: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    Thank you, Emre. I know that early wrist watches were of all different sizes for men and women. I have a Hamilton Piping Rock which is pretty small for a men's watch, but looks huge next to this tiny BB&B. I was wondering if Henry Blank would have played a part in its production.

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    Re: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    Yep, Henry Blank is the case-maker due to that hallmark.
    The Piping Rock is really a classy watch but it's introduced a decade later ( 1928ish ) from this watch,therefore the size difference.Man,still didn't want to wear wrist-watches in the late '10s,especially in CONUS it was still considered womanly.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    Would the number on the case be a Bailey Banks & Biddle or a Henry Blank number?

  10. #9
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    Re: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    Movement import markings (number of jewels, adjustments, country of manufacture and name of manufacturer) were required as of 1909. In 1922, they allowed the name of the purchaser to be used instead of the name of the manufacturer; dunno if BB&B would have cared though.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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    Re: Bailey Banks & Biddle Patek Philippe

    Here is the only B, B & B advert for wrist watches I could find, October 1918, Evening Public Ledger, PA.





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