Today I would like to introduce to you the remnants of a clock, which at that time split the watchmakers into two irreconcilable camps, as she still do today with the watch collectors. All collectors who are only interested in fine watchmaking, please protect yourself and do not read further. To all the others I would like to tell with pleasure how I got to the mother of all one dollar watches. A watch that was never intended as a competitor for fine gold watches but among the fine Swiss watchmakers found the idea hardly support but sparked hostility. The man who persistently and innovatively pursued the goal of making a watch for everyone was Georges Frédéric Roskopf (*15. Mai.1815 - † 14.04.1889). At that time, a wearable watch was an absolute luxury item that very few people could afford. The idea to build pocket watches as a purely consumer goods whose repair would exceed the production costs was in 1860/70 simply unthinkable in switzerland as in amerika. Already the purchase of clock parts for prototypes of a clock for the financially weaker part of the population met with great resistance. But he did not let himself be discouraged. For his purpose, he has completely reduced the classic pocket watch to the absolutely necessary and as cheap made as possible components for displaying time. This resulted in a completely new movement with many technical innovations./ Who is interested in details should download this PDF : Buffat The Roskopf watch . ) Finally, in 1867, Roskopf had constructed a large, stable watch that met his expectations. It was basically ready for industrial production. In addition to many enemies, there were also supporters for this revolutionary project. He was persuaded to take part in the 1868 World's Fair in Paris with this new watch. The unthinkable happen. The jury awarded this watch with unilateral winding, unhardened screws, Argentan case, no second, no minute wheel and hand pointers who were set with the fingers, the bronze medal.
Georges Frédéric Roskopf was sad that he didn't reach his goal to produce a watch for 20 Franken, which was an averange weekly wage for a factory worker those days. The watches were sold by the jewelers for 25 Franken but he still witnessed how his construction as one-dollar-watches massively, especially in America, was sold at ridiculous prices. All's well that ends well. Until the invention of quartz these watches were in the pocket and on the wrist as the inexpensive "watches for everyone".
Here are my drawn by life "Proletarian", which is also the original name of this famous notorious watch:
in "found condition"
She's currently with a collector in Sweden who brought her back to life. A wheel bearing stone had come loose and was previously fixed with adhesive, which led to no success. The case is really stabil and these watches. Show the time surprisingly reliable despite the uncouth ungildet movement:
This is the "second" type of bridge styling but probaly an early one 1867/68. (see Buffet)
The "trick" with the direkt winding:
I'm really happy to find this watch within a convolut but the seller didn't ant to send in my country. A lot of mails always frighten that someone else assign this seem to be worthless baby between the other scrap.
This foto isn't taken from the Proletarian but this is the same simple mechanism of the winding system in one direction:
I hope you enjoy the journey