Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

Thread: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

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  1. #1
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    Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    Hi boys and girls,

    I have this old Action watch (I assume it dates to the '40s). As you can see, it isn't in great shape.

    Right now, I have it off at the watchmaker, but apparently all marks that might identify the movement have been marked out...and, to top it off, it has a cracked balance jewel. Who knows what else is wrong...

    Hopefully these photos are enough to at least get some sort of response--another watchmaker told me the movement is an ETA 1012, but I have a sneaking suspicion that isn't correct.

    Thanks in advance!






  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    Your sneaking suspicion is probably correct... it bears little resemblance to Dr. Ranfft's similar ETAs. It looks like a WWII or earlier watch based on the 15 jewels and no shock resistance... Beyond economic repair I suspect. But maybe one of our French collectors can say more??
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member john87300's Avatar
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    Re: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    To begin with there is some doubt as to who actually produced this watch, Mikrolisk list Action as by Paul Maillardet et Fils at Morteau, however, the Besançon archives state Paul Maillardet brands as "Actions" and "Comptoir". Also, the inscription "Made in France" is rarely, if ever, seen on French watches produced for the home market at the time your watch was produced, and generally means that it was produced for export.

    I don't recall seeing this movement before personally, so I'll have a scan through my sources later on today and see what I can find
    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

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  5. #4
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    Re: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    Eeeb, I had never considered a lack of shock protection may date the watch to the late '30s. It's a very interesting piece, one that I would like to start wearing, but its fate rests in how much money I want to dump into it. I picked it up cheaply knowing there would be a number of issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by john87300 View Post
    To begin with there is some doubt as to who actually produced this watch, Mikrolisk list Action as by Paul Maillardet et Fils at Morteau, however, the Besançon archives state Paul Maillardet brands as "Actions" and "Comptoir". Also, the inscription "Made in France" is rarely, if ever, seen on French watches produced for the home market at the time your watch was produced, and generally means that it was produced for export.

    I don't recall seeing this movement before personally, so I'll have a scan through my sources later on today and see what I can find
    Thank you, John. I'm definitely looking forward to your findings. I may lurk here more than post, but I knew you would pop your head in here.
    Last edited by ImitationOfLife; June 20th, 2012 at 16:28.

  6. #5
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    Re: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    Just a little update:

    My watchmaker emailed me a bit ago, and there are no maker marks under the dial. To top it off, the cap jewel on the dial side is cracked and he suspects the hole jewels are damaged, as well as the pivots on the staff. Basically, the movement is doomed, so I'm determined to find some sort of replacement, even if it takes me an eternity.

    Here are two photos that may further help with identification.




  7. #6
    Member john87300's Avatar
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    Re: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    I've not managed to identify the movement as yet, my gut feeling is that it's a Bertrand before they went into Sefea, but I've no proof of that at all. Depending on the size of your movement a Judex 120 would fit the bill date wise, if you can find one before I do, as I need one also! Will keep my eyes open for your movement whilst searching for mine.
    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

  8. #7
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    Re: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    Jeambrum 217 based on Bestfit diagrams of setting works and a google search providing an image of one being sold on ebay
    My new sig -----

    Over the years I've collected all sorts of movements and "project" watches ... mainly inexpensive vintage pieces.

    These days I've widened my gaze to include modern pieces (including quartz with analog or analog + digital displays) but with those I'm generally looking for models in solid steel cases.

  9. #8
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    Re: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    Bertrand, Sefea, Jeambrun... Never heard of any of these manufacturers.

    Based on a quick look, the identification appears correct. Where would this place the watch date-wise then?
    Last edited by ImitationOfLife; June 20th, 2012 at 23:52.

  10. #9
    Member mike184's Avatar
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    Re: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    Hi!

    I´m not the expert for French vintages here, but my assumption is that it´s a post WWII watch, middle to end of the 1940s.
    Based on the style of the case, dial and hands and on the appearance of the "Made in France" on the dial.
    Best regards, Mike

  11. #10
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    Re: Help with movement identification? Old French watch content inside!

    Thank you everyone for your help so far.

    I have one slight problem, however. I've contacted the seller on eBay who has a couple Jeambrun 217s (and asked him to remeasure), and he claims the largest diameter on the movement is 23.7mm when my watchmaker gets about 21.9mm.

    I've tried to do some research on my own, but I can't find anything that indicates if there is more than one size for this movement. If anyone can shed some light on this, please let me know.
    Last edited by ImitationOfLife; June 21st, 2012 at 20:13.

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