Harvel pocket watch found...

Thread: Harvel pocket watch found...

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  1. #1

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    Harvel pocket watch found...

    Hi there! I've found a gold Harvel pocket watch while moving furniture out of a friend of my family's house. The house was build and bought in the 1920/30s-ish. I don't know any about watches at all. So I'm looking for help with time period placement and opinions on worth. I'm using it as 1800's reenactment piece ;) I can't open it, it doesn't work. Do you all need anything else? It looks to be gold, I'm guessing 1940's from what I've seen online, though it looks like it says Swiss ant the very bottom of the face. No jewels or anything fancy, just a seconds time keep also, as you can see from the pictures. Also at the end of the gold chain(I'm guess 14k) it has an odd pocket knife. One ends a knife, and the others a... fish scaler? On the side of the "scaler" which is ribbed on the 'blade' part like a file, it reads "stainless", as does the base of the knife. I'm asuming the 'tabs' I've also circled are for opening it? Thanks gang for any help!

    Can I take the backing off myself, or do I need a tool? Does it run on a battery?
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  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Harvel pocket watch found...

    Thanks for your post.
    We do not give valuations in this forum. Please read our sticky notes at the top of the message board for reasons why.
    Here is a site that should help with opening your watch case. it might be hinged at the back or it is a screw off back.
    We would need to see a picture of the movement if possible to help with identification. Also if there are any markings on the movement or on the inside of the case back that may help a bit as well.
    Based on what I see so far I'd guess your watch comes from the 1940s, but it might be from the 1930s.
    Harvel was a brand sold in the US during the 1940s.
    http://www.thewatchguy.com/pages/OPENCASE.html
    Last edited by Ray MacDonald; February 16th, 2008 at 14:51.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  3. #3

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    Re: Harvel pocket watch found...

    Thank you for the reply. Sorry, I read a few stickies but missed that one. The movement, I'm assuming is the moving part or mechanics of the watch? If you wouldn't mind posting that link, I'll see about getting it opened :)

    EDIT: Okay, got it open, just took some gentle prying. Let me know what you all think. It's purty, lol ;)
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    Last edited by BravePotato7; February 16th, 2008 at 04:59.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Harvel pocket watch found...

    Nice, chief. Love that two toned dial.

    I'd have it serviced, repaired if necessary, and use it.

    A seventeen jewel swiss movement is a good thing and it appears to be in great shape.

    The case is a Keystone and 10K gold plated.

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=124337 is a good thread for IDing gold plated cases.

    Have you tried winding it to see if it runs?

  6. #5

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    Re: Harvel pocket watch found...

    Nope, I'm scared to touch it, lol. I know nothing about watches. So.. how do I wind it? I think it may be missing its.. winder? Lol. If you'll look at the last picture of my first post, or the 4th picture from my last post, at the bottom of that picture, which is the top of the watch, I think it's missing the ribbed screw part(winder?).

    Haha, I know you guys are having a good laugh, its amusing but I know so little in this area. Thanks!
    Last edited by BravePotato7; February 16th, 2008 at 08:00.

  7. #6
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Harvel pocket watch found...

    Yep, the "ribbed screw part" (it's actually called the crown) is missing. This is screwed to the end of the winding shaft which goes into the movement and since I can't see the end of the winding shaft sticking out, it shows that the crown hasn't simply unscrewed itself but that the winding shaft broke somewhere in the middle. You are therefore looking at a repair job, the ease of which depends on the availability of spare parts. If there are none available, a good watchmaker with the right tools can make one for you, it's just a matter of $$$ and whether you would be willing to pay the extra.

    The watch has been dated correctly by Ray McDonald - probably late thirties or early forties. Can't really identify the movement (i.e. the "engine", the collection of moving parts inside), but I suspect that it's a calibre derivation of one of the more usual ones from well known makers of raw movements (e.g. Unitas).

    In case you didn't know: many watches don't have a movement from the company that made the watch. There are companies that specialize in only making movements and many of the better known watchmakers (and almost all little known ones) buy these and put them in their watches. They save development costs that way. I suspect that that's the case with your watch as well. Providing the movement is of sufficiently high quality, as is the case here, it's nothing to be ashamed of - it just deprives the watch of a little bit of the "unusuality factor".

    Hartmut Richter

  8. #7
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Harvel pocket watch found...

    A couple of other clues. The watch appears to have been serviced in 1953 and again in 1957. That would point to it being new in the 1940s.
    Also the movement is marked "unadjusted" (although it probably WAS adjusted at the factory.) The Swiss did this after World War II to avoid customs duties on US imports.
    It's a decent movement and with repairs to the winding stem and a new crown could probably be made to run again.
    I had to do that with my grandfather's Elgin pocket watch. Your call, but it'll probably cost more than the watch would be worth. However that's a common thing with vintage watches and if you like them, you'll pay to get them fixed.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  9. #8

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    Re: Harvel pocket watch found...

    Wow thank you so much Ray, Hartmut and pz93c! It's really been fun going on this little detective treasure hunt. Thanks so much for the clues. Perhaps I'll look up a wintage repair shop in town and see what it'll run me to have it repaired! I'll keep you all updated if I do :)

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