Info on Old Key Wind Pocket Watch?

Thread: Info on Old Key Wind Pocket Watch?

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    48

    Info on Old Key Wind Pocket Watch?

    Hi Guys,

    Here is the 2nd family pocket watch I received. Google hasn't helped as much with this watch as with the Hamilton.

    The only markings on this one are... - And what Google tells me...
    CYLINDRE - cylinder escapement, probably French made
    Huit Rubis - eight jewels
    Aiguilles - translates to Needles, I'm guessing it indicates which key sets the time.

    Inside both backs only have the serial number. I'm guessing the case is silver (plated maybe?) because of the tarnishing. The plastic crystal doesn't seem to be original & it doesn't fit properly. The front can't be snapped shut with it installed. I plan to get it checked soon, then serviced & cleaned if it is worth it.


  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,355

    Re: Info on Old Key Wind Pocket Watch?

    Very common Swiss (possible French, but much less likely) made cylinder escapement watch with a bar movement from the mid-19th century. These are almost impossible to ID as it is very rare for this type of watch to be marked.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    48

    Re: Info on Old Key Wind Pocket Watch?

    It is disappointing to read that the year of production is so vague. I was hoping to documrnt a little information to put with the watch so my nephews will have a little history to go with it. Any way to narrow the age, or is "mid-19th century" as good as it gets?

    I noticed inside the backs of both my pocket watches very, very small series of numbers. Is there any info to be gained from those tiny marks?

    Thx
    Jim

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member Shangas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,024

    Re: Info on Old Key Wind Pocket Watch?

    Hey Jim,

    The numbers are probably watchmakers' codes. These were little, scratched-in numbers and letters which watchmakers marked the casebacks of the watches they services, with. The purpose of them was so that the watchmaker would keep a record of which watches he serviced and when.

    Unfortunately, there was no standardisation of this code, and every watchmaker had his own mixup of numbers and letters, so they wouldn't help to date the watch.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    48

    Re: Info on Old Key Wind Pocket Watch?

    I thought I'd add a few updates about this watch & its owner.

    I got both keys for it, so I can set the time and wind it. It runs, but something is broken. It runs very, very fast. Sadly it isn't worth getting repaired either.

    As for the owner, that was my great-grandfather Adolf Kruger. He was German born in the 1850s, immigrated to the US around 1880, and died in the early teens. It seems he was a barber and had seven children. Now the item has some informantion to pass along with it. :)

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Wegberg, Germany
    Posts
    3,727

    Re: Info on Old Key Wind Pocket Watch?

    Hi JLK1962,

    I guess mid 19th century is already pretty precise for such an old watch. But I'll try to make
    the middle a bit narrower:

    In the late 18th century Lepine replaced the common movement layout with a full plate by
    a layout with single bridges or cocks for almost every arbor, and henceforth these calibres
    were called Lepine calibres - the first already by contemporary authors, further redesigns
    more or less later. These calibres were by far not only produced by the Lepine factory in
    Ferney, but from quite some big ebauche factories in France and West Switzerland.

    Your movement is today called Lepine Calibre IV, characterized by the radial cocks, the
    center wheel bridge with bow at one end, and by the bent shape of the barrel bridge.
    It was introduced ca. 1835. Already 1850 it was replaced by the Calibre V with a straight
    bridge for the barrel and the cocks arranged in parallel - all to simplify large scale production.
    The somewhat pedestrian finish of the briges and cocks is more typical for the end of this
    periode, but this is not sure, because finish was always also a matter of price.

    This restricts the manufacturing year to some 15 years, and I think this is pretty narrow for
    a watch more than 160 years old and without any signature.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    48

    Re: Info on Old Key Wind Pocket Watch?

    A 15 year window for a 160 year old unsigned watch is very acceptable for me! Adolf was not born until the 1850's so we are left with the mystery of whether this was passed down to him or if he purchased it used. We will probably never know.

    Thank you very much for the information Roland.
    Jim

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •