Help me identify my late Grandfather's watch

Thread: Help me identify my late Grandfather's watch

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  1. #1
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    Help me identify my late Grandfather's watch

    My Grandma was tidying up the clutter round her house recently, and found lots of my Grandad's old possessions. As she was clearing out many things, she offered any of them to me. One watch caught my eye, and in particular the strap was very interesting (it extends like a scissor lift).
    I was trying to find out who made it, just so I could get some more information on it, some specifications, and possibly a replacement strap. Google searches have not been very fruitful, so here I am.
    Click here for a large image of the watch

    On the front there is a crown logo (looks like an imitation Rolex logo), and the words:
    Alpha
    17 JEWELS
    INCABLOC
    SWISS MADE

    The back is just as obscure. The words on the back of the strap are
    Stainless springs
    Stainless steel
    Empire 64 (this is upside-down for some reason)
    Topps

    Also, it's a manual wind.

    I know it won't be worth much, but it has a lot of sentimental value for me and the family. Would appreciate any help.

  2. #2
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    Re: Help me identify my late Grandfather's watch

    The Swiss Alpha (not to be confused with the current Chinese company) was one of the hundreds of Swiss watch companies that disappeared during the quartz crisis. The good news is that they used standard movements so most parts should be available. A new band,service, polish, and maybe a mainspring, should have you set for 7 to 10 years.

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify my late Grandfather's watch

    I'm not convinced this is a "real" alpha; they used (oddly enough) the greek "Alpha" symbol on their dials. I'd be curious to see the movment in this.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
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    Re: Help me identify my late Grandfather's watch

    A quick look in the trademark references posted in the links section show two German and one Swiss company. Taking a look at the movement will tell the story on authenticity. At this point the difference in trademarks is not definitive.

  6. #5
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    Re: Help me identify my late Grandfather's watch

    Thanks for the help guys. I'm hoping to get to a jewellers this weekend, ask about parts, and maybe take the back off to take a look at the movement.

    Also, I'd really like to keep this strap mechanism on the watch. I find it really interesting. But, this one is looking a bit worse for wear. If the jewellers doesn't have one, do you know where I could find a reasonably similar replacement? It's the kind of strap with two layers that extend like a scissor lift (don't know how else to explain it).

    I'll update this thread after the weekend :)

  7. #6
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify my late Grandfather's watch

    Hi.

    These are known as 'expanding watch straps' (or bands if you prefer). They are readily available on ebay - you just need to measure the distance between the lugs to get the right size.

    Most of us aren't keen on them because:

    - they can gouge metal out of the lugs on the watch ends (particularly the spring loaded ones which fit a range of sizes).

    - those of us with hairy wrists find that they can be quite painful!

    BTW, although the Alpha name was used by a few companies, yours was probably made by "SCHWARTZ Etienne fabrique d’Horlogerie (to USA) La Chaux-de-Fonds".
    See:

    http://www.horlogerie-suisse.com/for...hp?f=1&t=11763

    Your watch looks 1960's to me.

    Cheers.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

  8. #7
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    Re: Help me identify my late Grandfather's watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Marrick View Post
    ---Helpful stuff---
    Ah perfect! Thanks for the information

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