Help identifying my pocket watch.
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  1. #1
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    Help identifying my pocket watch.

    Hello everyone. I have been absent from this site for a couple of years, I haven't posted for a long time, so hope this is the correct forum. I have inherited a pocket watch from my dad. It never worked during his life time (85years) and I dont know how long it has been not working before that. It belonged to his dad before that. However I have decided that it will now come to life again. But first I must find out what it is. I have trolled the internet for hours, but could not find the makers mark in the back cover. Any help please.
    Here are three photos.
    Thanks, Hein
    Attached Images Attached Images





    Last edited by olie4; November 15th, 2017 at 14:48.

  2. #2
    Member thoth's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying my pocket watch.

    Hi and welcome back! I spent a time away too....not as long but we do what life requires.

    Black steel case. I am guessing it may be fairly larger than any usual pocket watch?

    What are the symptoms of it not working? Fully wound? Balance swings fine?

    Looks like it needs a clean. Has a lever escapement. The hairspring looks fine.

    Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by thoth; November 15th, 2017 at 15:22.

  3. #3
    Member SilkeN's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying my pocket watch.

    Most likely the hallmark is from "Usines" Vallorbe Switzerland. Mikrolisk - The horological trade mark index. THis match with the swiss movement and I think it was build around 1905 +/-10 years. Interesting fixing of the crown wheel. I'd never seen before.

    REgards Silke
    That's what I think about today:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlUGeY7MWVo

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  5. #4
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Help identifying my pocket watch.

    Welcome back. I would say that this is very likely a generic Fontainemelon (FHF) movement, extended by a calendar mechanism. Something based on something like this:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: FHF 19'''H6.5

    As for the maker, it will be very difficult to determine that. The hallmark on the case doesn't help much either and may in any case only lead to the case maker.

    Hartmut Richter

  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Help identifying my pocket watch.

    You think that the animal in the hallmark is a hare, Silke? I thought it was a deer..... (and drew a blank!).

    Hartmut Richter

  7. #6
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    Re: Help identifying my pocket watch.

    Thank you everyone for your input. Here is a close-up of my first problem. The crown gear. I am not sure how it is supposed to be kept in place. Yes, watch is very dirty. Think mainspring is broken, but will see when I start disassembling. At the moment I am cautiously optimistic about balance spring- a bit stiff but could be dirt.
    Any advice on the crown gear ?

  8. #7
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    Re: Help identifying my pocket watch.

    Here is the photo....
    Attached Images Attached Images


  9. #8
    Member SilkeN's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying my pocket watch.

    @Hartmut -Yes I think its a hare and you get different possibilities. "Usine" would match most likely as well together with a FHF basic movement and calender unit addition.

    @olie I think the crown gear is an old repair caused by the broken srew base. If I'm right you've at first search for a matching "middle part/holder" and than you've to be strong and do something which you are very reluctant but its correct and works. Dismantel the platine from all steel parts and put it at least 4 or 48 hours in battery acid as you use for your car battery. It sounds terrible but brass and the gilding won't get attacked. The screw foot will dissolve.

    Regards Silke
    That's what I think about today:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlUGeY7MWVo

  10. #9
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    Re: Help identifying my pocket watch.

    Thanks for the advice, Silke. Your right, sounds daunting, however, interesting. Never thought along those lines before. I was also wondering if I could perhaps level the broken screw with perhaps an end cutter in a milling machine and then use a screw extractor, if you get them that small! Failing that acid! What are my chance for the retainer disc/middle part? Will probably have to make one?
    I will check Usine, and FHF, thanks.
    Regards, Hein

  11. #10
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    Re: Help identifying my pocket watch.

    Quick update. I thought before trying the more daunting methods, I would attempt grabbing the screw stump with a pin vice. This actually worked perfectly!! So, not only is that problem now solved, but I have about 1.5mm of screw to match thread for a replacement.Will now slowly continue the dismantling, posting as I go along. Will probably be asking for more advice soon....
    Thanks, Hein
    thoth likes this.

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