Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.
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Thread: Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.

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  1. #1
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.

    My latest find. Won this at auction:



    Back-side and movement:



    I suspect this watch may be quite rare, given that the GTP railroad only ran from 1914-1920, but what the hell do I know?

    Currently, it's not working. Gonna wait until my watchmaker can work his magic on it, but that won't happen until the new year. On top of that, I'm thinking of replacing the dial, given how damaged it is.

    Does anybody know anything about this watch? Particularly how rare or not rare it may be?
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

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    'The Yellow Face'.

  2. #2
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.

    I was doing some research on this thing. It's not a swiss-fake, is it? (Ie: a 'North-American-looking watch made cheaply in Switzerland'?)
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  3. #3
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    Re: Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.

    Shangas...I reckon you figured it out yourself: this is, indeed, what many call a "Swiss Fake". I myself do not care to use the term...the good folks in Switzerland who made this watch--and other's like it--did so to make a living for themselves and those they cared for...it is unfair to denigrate their efforts by alluding to their work as 'fakery'.

    I have worked on several such watches, and I always like to return them to a semblance (!) of Good Running...this said, the design and construction of these Old Fellows does usually present a few...challenges! Michael.

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    Re: Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.

    Would something like this be worth having restored? Or not? I've never actually come across one of these before so this is uncharted territory for me.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  6. #5
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    Re: Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.

    No, not worth spending money on unless you have soft spot for these Swiss fakes. They are interesting in their intent to deceive and could make for a novel collecting area in their own right.

    It's a low quality watch made to look like a quality American railroad watch. That's it. The "Six Positions" and "19 Jewels" markings are there to decieve. For the money spent to buy and service such a watch you could get a good quality US pocket watch.

  7. #6
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    Re: Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.

    However - these are important (not very, but still...) part of worlds watchmaking history and I think they should not all be discarded as crap. This one looks to be in very decent shape. If all it needs is cleaning and oiling - I'd do that. I think the good ones should be preserved.
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    Re: Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.

    Quote Originally Posted by pmwas View Post
    However - these are important (not very, but still...) part of worlds watchmaking history and I think they should not all be discarded as crap. This one looks to be in very decent shape. If all it needs is cleaning and oiling - I'd do that. I think the good ones should be preserved.
    True...good ones should be preserved. If we are willing to preserve no jewel pin lever watches that has a value less than that of the new band you put on it, why not preserve these.

    Brings up an interesting thing. Modern watches made to look like a more famous watch but without any of the markings as the one they are making it to look like are called "Homage" watches. These are not seen as a fake. But the instant you put on the markings to try and make it pass as that brand it becomes a fake.While these watches were intended to look like higher grade American RR watches they never actually used names like Hamilton, Elgin, Illinois, Waltham, Howard, etc on the dial or movement. They claimed RR names or in some cases made the name on the movement sound like an american pocket watch model...Like say marking a watch Submarine vs Sub Mariner.

    The watch the OP bought was never a high grade RR watch. Some of what it says on the movement are highly doubtful like the Adjustment. Jewel count is suspicious as I cant tell if the center wheel actually has a jewel or just a piece of colored metal. The watch could also be jeweled on one side only. But at a minimum I would bet on 11 jewels, if the pallet fork has 2 jewels and is not just metal. Also if there is actually a roller jewel as well. But the only way to know would be to tear it down.

    I say get it going. Enjoy it. If no other pocket watch companies ever had that particular RR line name on a watch...you have something few others would.
    Last edited by thoth; November 30th, 2017 at 16:47.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Grand Trunk Pacific Special - Canadian Railroad Watch. Ca. 1915.

    They were intended to deceive and in that regard I don't mind that they received the generic name of "Swiss Fake", even though they did not use any protected brand names. They're probably closer to the mimic type watch class such as Hormiltons, Bolivias, Omeqas, etc, where the intent to decieve is evident but they are not outright fakes. Either type of watch would not have been produced if the intent to deceive was not the basis behind them.

    Yes, as I said, these Swiss fakes could be an interesting novel area of collecting and I've often thought of getting some that have the more outrageous features/claims engraved on them, just for fun.
    Last edited by Gumby992; December 1st, 2017 at 13:07.

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