It's monday afternoon, 3PM, just after work.
I'm eager to leave work as aearly as possible, to drive my brother's red sports car (mine is currently broken and being serviced) south to the lovely city of Cracov. I love the city very much with it's both Polish and Austro-Hungarian 'spirit'. But that's not the point - this time I go there to complete a certain transaction, not just for pure pleasure of drinking Vienna-style coffee in one of the cafes in the main square.
I'm going there to get a watch I've only just bought on an internet listing.
Post would be more convenient, I guess, but I love the opportunity to go personally. To HAVE the watch one day sooner in my own hands.
And it's not just me being childishly impatient. There is something special about going to an antique store to buy something special for yourself. Something sites like eBay have pretty much taken from us.
It's a small (circa 30mm) gold pocket watch:
The watch has a solid gold case with blue enamel on the back. The enamel is worn and the hinge damaged…
Nice 'coin edge' there:
On the lovely decorated cuvette…
...there is a Gutkaes&Lange engraving!
Gutkaes&Lange is the first company the renowned F.A.Lange (yes, the one that created A.Lange und Sohne) was in.
When he returned from Paris, Lange rejoined his former master, F.Gutkaes, to make watches and precision instruments under Gutkaes&Lange brand.
Since 1845 G&L were making their own movements, one of them (No 2207) I happen to have myself
But before that, they were making watches as well - likely using Swiss ebauches (how else), including the one they made for Russian Emperor, Alexander II (known as a nice man later assasinated by some maniac :( )
Inside the case…
..a Swiss Lepine - type movement with cylinder escapement.
Number of the case 4866.
The watch came in the original box of the Braunschwieg retailer, Mr Jean Hunoid.
Now, whether this watch is an original Gutkaes&Lange watch I do not know (we all know even high grade fake-Breguet watches for example), but surely it's a remarkably nice piece.
I've sent an email to Mr Donner from Glashuette - awaiting feedback.
Anyway - it's a true tiny miracle this one. A beautiful piece of watchmaking art with this gold, engraved and enamel covered case :)