Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch
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  1. #1
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    Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    I'm at my parents house and my mom pulled out the large and small pocket watch below. She said my grandpa bought it for his father with his first paycheck. Probably bought early 1930s. Can anyone tell me anything about these? Neither runs though I can get the smaller one to run if i hold the crown clockwise.
    The larger one i cannot get to run but the key might be loose and not catching. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    Both watches have cylindre escapement movements which can be difficult to get going again if they seize up. The bigger one was probably made by Japy Freres - they registered "Beaucourt" as a brand in 1892 according to Mikrolisk but Ranfft's info suggests that it was even older:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Japy 16'''

    The second has a Fontainemelon movement:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: FHF 11.75'''

    Hartmut Richter
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. Given the family history I am going to see what I can do to get them working again.

    In the small one, any idea if the crown pulls out to wind it? I don't want to pull to hard but it seems like that is was is needed to wind it. It will run if i torque the crown clockwise but I cannot get it to rotate freely.

    On the larger one i am ordering new keys to see if the old key is too worn as it slips when I try to wind it.

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  5. #4
    Member bamadadof3's Avatar
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    a good cleaning by a pro would probably get them both running.


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  6. #5
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    The smaller one appears to be pin set so the crown is not designed to pull out. It sounds fully wound from your description.


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    The smaller is a pin set and I got the crown unstuck so I could wind it. If course now I cannot get it to run at all.

  8. #7
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    Quote Originally Posted by infantej View Post
    The smaller is a pin set and I got the crown unstuck so I could wind it. If course now I cannot get it to run at all.
    That isn’t a surprise. It’s a very long way past being overdue for a service and few watchmakers will even consider working on a low grade cylinder because the cost will exceed the value of the watch and also frankly because many don’t have the experience.


  9. #8
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    I'm hoping a new key is all the larger one needs and then I will just wear it with one working. Of course, given the sentimental value, I'm willing to put as much money into it as I need to just so my mom can see it running. There is a black tie even we both go to in about a month. My goal is to have them working by then so she can see them running. My grandpa gave the watches to my mom when he was in hospice care just before he passed.
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