Help Identifing my Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

Thread: Help Identifing my Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

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  1. #1
    Member SusanMay's Avatar
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    Help Identifing my Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    Hello - My Dad just recieved his Grandfather's pocket watch from my Grandma. We would love to find out more information about the watch. For a time-frame, my Great Grandfather was born in Norway in 1871 and died in Northern Minnesota in 1919 (Spanish Flu). It is a key-wind watch. It does not have any markings on the face or the movement. The case has numbers on it, but from the research I have done so far, it sounds like case markings aren't really helpful, but I'll provide them anyway. The inside cover and the cover over the movement both have the same number - 38314. Below the number is a crown with the words FINE SILVER underneath it. Any help would be greatly appreciated! -Susan

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  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Help Identifing my Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    Well I think the case might be American in spite of the crown. Fine silver is essentially 99.9% pure so it's a very nice case. The serial number isn't helpful as you know already. It doesn't look British or Swiss to me.
    The movement appears to be Swiss - LeCoultre Bar style popular from around 1830 to 1875.
    I think it might be a cylinder escapement - but I rely on Hartmut Richter to give the definitive answer as he is more experienced in spotting this than I am.
    And unfortunately that is about as much as we are going to be able to tell you. I would hazard a guess your great-grandfather got it from his father or an older relative.

    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: Help Identifing my Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    it is definitely cylinder escapement

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  5. #4
    Member SusanMay's Avatar
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    Re: Help Identifing my Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    Thanks so much for your quick replies and all of your help. My Dad was very pleased with the information. Since you think the case is American, we are speculating that my Great Grandfather must have purchased it from a prior owner after he immigrated to the US. We don't know a lot about him since he died when my Grandma was just a toddler.

    As collectors, do you display your watches in some way? I was thinking of finding some kind of box that Dad could put the watch in and set out so he could look at it. It's been stored in a dresser drawer for many decades, so I thought it might be nice to have it out to view. Thanks again for all of your help! -Susan

  6. #5
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Help Identifing my Great Grandfather's Pocket Watch

    I think the movement probably was imported into the US and then it was cased there by an American jeweler. That was common practice prior to 1920.
    Your great-grandfather could have purchased it as a used watch later on. We'll never know, unfortunately.
    For display of a single watch something like this works well:
    http://www.deroberts.com/watchornamentdomes.html
    You can buy them on eBay too.

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

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