Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

Thread: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

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  1. #1
    Member rousp's Avatar
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    Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    Hi aigan
    Some of you might remember that I had a thread some time ago about two watches I have and didn't know anything about.

    I have now started the work with identifying one of the watches.
    It's an 14k Gold tonneau, probably swiss made.
    Images can be found here on my website.

    Since last time I have got my hands on a good magnifier.
    On the caseback I have spotted a marker's responsibility mark (thanks to this superb place) it's the hammerhead with the numbers 119 inside of it. This kind of hallmark was introdused in 1934 so it's older than that. But probably not much. Now, I would like to know if any of you know how to link the hammerhead and the number 112 to the casemaker. Is the only solution to email the swiss hallmark office?

    Under the responsibility mark the gold hallmarks are and under that aigan there is what seems to be some sort of crown. Like a queen or kings crown.
    Do any of you have any idea what this crown is?

    Next to this crown there is another mark, but that is unreadable..

    If you need better images of the movement, let me know!

    Thanks for your time!

    Rousp
    website: www.mytimewatchers.com

    Money; feel better on your wrist than in your bank!

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    Nice site... I wish I could be more helpful but these generic Swiss movements are very difficult to track. They were literally a cottage industry.
    "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 rousp's Avatar
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    Re: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    Yeah.. It seems like that..

    That's why I trie to track the case first. And I can find out who made that now. If I can decode the maker's responsibility mark..
    website: www.mytimewatchers.com

    Money; feel better on your wrist than in your bank!

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  5. #4
    Member rousp's Avatar
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    Re: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    I sendt an email to the Swiss office for precious metals about the hammerhead and the numbers 119. Within a few hours I got an email from them. (read the mail below)
    The case is manufactured by someone called Gindraux SA. They probably went out of business in 1972. Now I have some googeling to do.

    Dear Mr **,

    The hammerhead is a valid responsibility mark belonging to the USH-APIC (see attachment) which is an association of the Swiss Watchcases Manufacturers.

    In 1934, the USH-APIC gave the authorisation to the company Gindraux SA (watchcase maufacturer) to use the number 119; in August 1972, the hammerhead No 119 has been cancelled on demand of USH-APIC, perhaps because Gindraux SA did'nt exist any more. We don't know exactly the reason.

    I hope that my informations can be helpful for you or for the history of your watch.

    Best regards,

    ****
    Head of the administrative services

    Federal Department of Finance FDF
    Federal Customs Administration FCA
    Central office for precious metals control
    From my googeling I now found this:
    Here you can find the owner for an hallmark without sending a mail to the office for precious metals.
    Last edited by rousp; November 27th, 2008 at 12:59. Reason: added more information
    website: www.mytimewatchers.com

    Money; feel better on your wrist than in your bank!

  6. #5
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    You've done well and can now date the watch to the early 1930s, assuming the case and movement went together at that time. The watch movement manufacturer was probably in La Chaux de Fonds as well.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  7. #6
    Member rousp's Avatar
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    Re: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    That's probably true. Then my problem is that La Chaux de Fonds is one of the largest areas of watch producing in the whole of Switzderland.. Narrows the search thou..

    My next step should be to have a watchmaker to take a picture of the settings work?
    Or do you have another idea?
    website: www.mytimewatchers.com

    Money; feel better on your wrist than in your bank!

  8. #7
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    Re: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    Photo of setting works and dimensions.

    For reference, here is something I wrote a while back:


    Ways to identify a movement (ranked from fastest to slowest)

    People here will usually help try to ID a movement for you. The more information you provide, the more likely you will get an answer. If you don't get any answer, it usually means that nobody has been able to provide any meaningful information.

    Case backs are usually either snap on / pop off or screw off (there are other options but are less common). Indentations in the case back usually indicate it is a screw off type. Screw off types are often REALLY tightened on and require an openener. Typically a three jawed wrench is used but I've read that some people have had luck with semi-flexible rubber balls. A thin blade is usually successfull with snap on case backs. Don't attempt to remove the case back unless you have suitable tools and are prepared to accept any damages you might cause.

    Post a clear photo of the movement and please list the movement's diameter (not the dial's diameter or the case's diameter) in millimeters. Movements were historically measured in different units in Europe and North America, if you want to avoid learning those measurement systems, post in mm.

    Here's a summary of my experience on identifying a movement:

    1. Ask JimH. Just kidding Jim. Thanks for all your help. JimH has an uncanny knack for identifying movements with the worst quality photos.

    2. Recognize the plate pattern (they are called bridges). This will become faster as you gain experience. There are now several movements I can ID with a quick glance because they are so common. I've found Dr Ranfft's pink pages and a few other online photo albums to be good sources of photos for this approach. I've also recently started my own collection of digital photos to make thumbnail sheets for quick IDing

    3. Look under the balance wheel. This can be a bother since you often need a loupe and a good light source. Even then, trying to avoid reflections while peeking under the side of the balance wheel can leave you in doubt.

    4. Use the movement model ID stamp to identify the maker. I've done this once or twice. The maker wasn't identified but I was able to google a pic of the movement by using the movement model number and determine the maker via a visual comparison of the bridges against a photo

    5. Remove the hands and dial and look under the dial. Some brands seem to favor this spot, especially pre-1940s movements. For instance, FHF used to label under the dial but shifted to labelling under the balance wheel in the 1950s

    6. Check the keyless works shapes in the Bestfit books. I have no idea why they use the keyless works which require removal of the hands and dial, but they do. If you don't have these books, someone will usually do a lookup for you if you post a photo of the dial side of the movement with the dial removed


    Do NOT try to remove the hands and dial if you have not investigated the various ways that dials are attached, have suitable tools, and are prepared to accept any damages you might cause.

  9. #8
    Member rousp's Avatar
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    Re: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    I guess I'll wait for JimH to reply this thread then

    Can you learn me more about bridges and links to those online photo albums?
    As the case is from one of the places in Switzerland with most watch industry it's probably a common movement.
    website: www.mytimewatchers.com

    Money; feel better on your wrist than in your bank!

  10. #9
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    Re: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    The site I use most for movement identification is
    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-...ranfft&a&2uswk

    There are a lot of movements listed there but there are a lot missing too.

    It's seachable but the only thing you currently have to search on is the dimensions.

    After you've looked at lots of movement photos you start to recognise some.

  11. #10
    Member rousp's Avatar
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    Re: Identifying Swiss tonneu from 1934 - 1940-ish

    I have some work cut out for me then =P
    Wich dimension is the search?
    The diameter of the movement?
    website: www.mytimewatchers.com

    Money; feel better on your wrist than in your bank!

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