Help identifying unsigned wristwatch
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  1. #1
    Member WatchIdiotSavant94's Avatar
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    Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    Hi guys I just bought this early 20th century (I guess...) wristwatch for 20 euros ( about 25 dollars) and don't know what it is, it was my gut that told me to buy it.

    Here's the watch in question:



    And inside:



    Hope you guys can help me! Because I don't know anything about this watch... Thanks in advance.

    And sorry for the crappy iPhone pics...

    Regards,

    Gonçalo
    Shum likes this.
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  2. #2
    Member Shum's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    Odd, looks like a pocketwach remade into a wristwatch.
    Last edited by Shum; June 30th, 2013 at 13:52.

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    YOur gut apparently likes early 20th century swiss cylinder watches. The earliest wristwatches were, of course, simply small ladies pocketwatch movements placed into wristwatch/wristlet cases. The swiss movements were actually somewhat better suited to this then the american movements because the smaller case made it more difficult to implement the negative set design preferred by the american movements. YOu saw a lot of low end pin-set wristwatches in the early days; it probably is a purpose built case. A lot of different layouts were experimented with (crown at 12, crown at 3, even crown at 2) before popular opinion settled on the layout we're familiar with today.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    A lot of different layouts were experimented with (crown at 12, crown at 3, even crown at 2) before popular opinion settled on the layout we're familiar with today.
    Not sure if 'experimented' is the right word, for certain we see four options.
    1) Crown and 3 at '3' -Using a hunter style (pocket watch) movement (This is how a current modern wristwatch looks)
    2) Crown and 12 at '3' (like OP watch) - Using a Lepine style (pocket watch) movement
    3) Crown and 12 at '1.30' - Using a Lepine style movement AND case and offseting the lugs
    4) Crown and 12 at '1.30' - Using a Lepine Movement and custom made case - This was experimenting and is the rarest.

    I can post pictures of all 4 styles if anyone want to see.
    We also have a 5th very early and I agree experimenting - crown on LHS (at 9)

    Regards
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

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  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    The movement is a - probably generic - cylindre escapement calibre from the turn of the century 19th to 20th, that is). That layout was not that common - normally the seconds hand gear has its own bridge - but it was still used by more than one maker. That particular specimen reminds me mostly of FF (Favre Freres, Cormoret) of which I have a pocket watch with this one (bigger than yours, therefore not identical):

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Favre Freres 18'''

    You can see their mark (a pair of "F"s, back to back) on the one in the link. If you find that on your movement (possibly under the dial), it is derfinitely a Favre Freres movement. However, it may still be something quite different.....

    Hartmut Richter

  7. #6
    Member WatchIdiotSavant94's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    Thanks for your responses guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    The movement is a - probably generic - cylindre escapement calibre from the turn of the century 19th to 20th, that is). That layout was not that common - normally the seconds hand gear has its own bridge - but it was still used by more than one maker. That particular specimen reminds me mostly of FF (Favre Freres, Cormoret) of which I have a pocket watch with this one (bigger than yours, therefore not identical):

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Favre Freres 18'''

    You can see their mark (a pair of "F"s, back to back) on the one in the link. If you find that on your movement (possibly under the dial), it is derfinitely a Favre Freres movement. However, it may still be something quite different.....

    Hartmut Richter
    So by what you said, mr. Richter, it seems to be a good find for what I paid right?

    I will take it to my watchmaker in order to take the dial off to see if there is any mark under it.

    Thank you very much.

    Regards,

    Gonçalo

  8. #7
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    Dear Sir
    Anything is OK at $25

    Is it worth much more than that?
    Probably not and if yes. maybe $50
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  9. #8
    Member WatchIdiotSavant94's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    Quote Originally Posted by HOROLOGIST007 View Post
    Dear Sir
    Anything is OK at $25

    Is it worth much more than that?
    Probably not and if yes. maybe $50
    It's true. Good way to put it!

    But even so, I'm very anxious to see what's under the dial...
    Last edited by BreitlingPilot; June 30th, 2013 at 23:26.

  10. #9
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    Quote Originally Posted by BreitlingPilot View Post
    It's true. Good way to put it!

    And I'm very anxious to see what's under the dial...
    "Anxious" why? Curious yyes please do not expect to much
    adam
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  11. #10
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: Help identifying unsigned wristwatch

    Hi there,

    Im more in the 'pocket watch conversion camp' and not the 'purpose built case camp'!

    A few points make me think that.... the lugs look to be poorly soldered onto the outside of the case (which could have been a later repair - I know). The crown looks like it may be hiding the remaining part of the pendant. The double hinged case back is more normally seen on pocket watches. Of the few trench watches I own (or have seen) with double hinged case backs, they are of high quality with high grade movements... not like the one above.

    Not saying it definitely started life as a pocket watch, but in my opinion, the signs point to a pocket watch conversion. That said, this may have been done 100 years ago... so, historically, it may be interesting in the development story of watches.

    Are there any hallmarks in the case that may help date it?
    Last edited by Sparcster; July 1st, 2013 at 15:16.
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