modern pocket watch assistance

Thread: modern pocket watch assistance

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  1. #1
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    modern pocket watch assistance

    hi - i am looking to buy a modern mechanical pocket watch and although this thread seems more focused to vintage pw i was hoping to get some help
    am looking for a sidewinding full hunter mechanical watch upto about £150 (about 225U$ i know its not a huge budget) - ideally i would have liked to get a heavy engraved solid sterling silver or 9-14k gold one but after looking into ebay and doing some research on models and cases i feel i have a 50/50 chance of buying a dud or fake as i have of buying whats advertised and further costs for servicing etc...

    i have looked at a charles hubert side winder and quite liked it, jean marcel watches seemed just out of my price range unless there is a sale on somewhere but wondered if you had any other suggestions?

    any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: modern pocket watch assistance

    Lots of luck as they are not easy to find compared to vintage and antique PWs.

    There are some pocket watches out there with Chinese "Standard" movements that might fit your price range. A few years back such watches were available here in the States at very low prices, but seem to have dried up although what you have described is perhaps the same. I understand that the Chinese Tianjin Seagull brand makes pocket watches. They are perhaps the best Chinese watch maker well respected for their quality.

    The Japanese brand "Orient" makes an excellent, accurate pocket watch (based on personal experience) whose only drawback is its small size.

    The Russian Molnija is a rather crude, but accurate and inexpensive pocket watch that is no longer in production. Look hard enough and you might still find one on the web.

    I would save up some money and look for a watch with the Swiss Unitas ETA 6497/98 movement. Davosa and Aero are two brands. But above your current budget Also ofrei.com sells an inexpensive railroad look alike with the Unitas movement for a low price.

  3. #3
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: modern pocket watch assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by RON in PA View Post
    Lots of luck as they are not easy to find compared to vintage and antique PWs.

    There are some pocket watches out there with Chinese "Standard" movements that might fit your price range. A few years back such watches were available here in the States at very low prices, but seem to have dried up although what you have described is perhaps the same.
    eBay is still awash with them, most of them hunter style, but unfortunately the quality of the kind of Standard movement used in such watches is nowhere near what it ought to be. I would avoid them.

    Fortunately there are a couple of good Chinese made clones of the legendary Unitas (i.e. a genuine pocket watch sized motor). The Hangzhou 9000 series copies the older 18,000bph version and is available with various calendar, dual-time and power-reserve complications. The Sea-Gull ST36 mimics the current 21,600 version and offers more variant movement finishes but few complications. Both are widely used by the minor Eastern brands including (occasionally) in pocket watches. Some European brands too. Unfortunately hunter watches are relatively scarce with such movements.
    I understand that the Chinese Tianjin Seagull brand makes pocket watches. They are perhaps the best Chinese watch maker well respected for their quality.
    Certainly an ST36 cased up by Sea-Gull themselves would be the best option. It would be worth seeing what Kevin Ma of USseagull can offer. Although as I understand it, Sea-Gull are only offering open-face at the moment. I might be wrong so it's worth asking about a hunter.

    If you want to go further up-market the prestigious Beijing Watch Factory do a pocket watch. I've no idea about price or availabiliy, but somebody on our Chinese Mechanical Watches Forum my have some tips.
    The Japanese brand "Orient" makes an excellent, accurate pocket watch (based on personal experience) whose only drawback is its small size.
    Call me a snob but I find the Orient PW slightly disappointing as it uses a wristwatch movement (yes I have a Poljot-powered PW; so I'm a contrary snob ). And I believe it is only available as an open-face. All the same, for daily wear, you can't go past Orient.

    I vaguely recally Seiko doing a modern pocket watch, too.
    The Russian Molnija is a rather crude, but accurate and inexpensive pocket watch that is no longer in production. Look hard enough and you might still find one on the web.
    Several years of clearance prices on ebay have thinned the ranks, but it's always worth looking. Some of the plainer style hunters should be available somewhere.

    I've got one of their more flamboyant pieces. It's got a solid old-fashioned feel to it. Not terribly refined, but very 'real'.



    Chascomm
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  5. #4
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    Re: modern pocket watch assistance

    If you are willing to accept 'almost new' then you could look out for a Tissot. This one:

    Tissot Solid Silver 17jewel Hunter Pocket Watch.Cased on eBay (end time 18-Sep-10 20:46:00 BST)

    is solid silver and 8 years old - but will probably go for a fair bit over your budget. But a base metal example could crop up.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

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

  6. #5
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    Re: modern pocket watch assistance

    Regarding pocket watch for everyday use, a strange thing happened to me. On Friday, what looks like an insect bite appeared on my wrist, right under my watch strap. It has proven so irritating that I have been on enforced pocket watch useage for the past couple of days. On Saturday it was a 1970s Chinese Meihualu HJ1A. Sunday's was my grandfather's gold watch with movement by Sonceboz and case hallmarked Glasgow 1928. Today I've got the Molnija.

    For many years, before I got interested in watches, my only watch was a pocket watch. Going back to a watch in the pocket doesn't take long to adjust to.

    aksnc30, give careful consideration to the watch chain. You may need to factor in purchasing a chain separately if the one supplied is not suitable. What article of clothing will the watch normally be attached to? Be sure that the chain has a fastening method that suits you. For example, a T-bar end can only be used with a button-hole so it's no use with jeans.
    Chascomm
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    Re: modern pocket watch assistance

    ok - thank you all for the great advice and suggestions - was great to check out all the different makes of pw i had not heard of before.

    have located a modern embossed sterling silver mechanical hunter pocket watch from jean-pierre manufacturer for a reasonable price - is just above my budget but can stretch to it after some juggling with the bills - this type seems to fit what i like - ive linked it below from the home website
    Jean Pierre: Sterling Silver Twin Lid Pocket Watch

    i think (still waiting to hear from seller) this has the swiss unitas movement which everyone seems to consider as very reliable. Are these type of movements adjusted? Any thoughts on this before i bite the bullet would be appreciated.

    i decided not to go for a charles hubert after reading the above and looking at some feedback online - they seem to have a few quality control issues even with a lifetime warranty....

    @ Marrick - unfortunately i missed the auction and the tissot went for only £185 - would have been perfect thanks for the headsup though

    @ chascomm - the watch linked above comes with a t-bar, i hadnt even considered what attachment to use - will mostly be wearing with 3 piece suit - thanks for letting me know i can ask the seller if there are any alternatives for casual wear - otherwise will just improvise

    cheers
    aks

  8. #7
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    Re: modern pocket watch assistance

    I think you can be confident that this one uses the ETA 6497. The visible details don't match any of the Chinese equivalents, and beside which it is signed Swiss Made.
    Chascomm
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    Re: modern pocket watch assistance

    ahh i thought swiss made meant a certain % was put together in switzerland rather than having anything to do with the parts origins... good to know will prob go for this watch then as will hopefully get it for around the 275U$ -300

  10. #9
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    Re: modern pocket watch assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by aksnc30 View Post
    ahh i thought swiss made meant a certain % was put together in switzerland rather than having anything to do with the parts origins... good to know will prob go for this watch then as will hopefully get it for around the 275U$ -300
    You're right about the percentages (assembled in Switzerland, 50% Swiss parts by value including the movement, itself 50% Swiss origin by value assembled in Switzerland) however in this instance you can be confident because as far as I know so far no Swiss companies are finishing ebauches of either the Hangzhou 9000 or Sea-Gull ST36, so this must be from ETA. In addition to that, the Hangzhou uses the older-style single-ended pallet-cock, so it's not one of those, and Sea-Gull have a unique cut to their skeleton that does not match this watch.
    Chascomm
    Moderator, Russian Watches & Chinese Mechanical Watches Forums
    (no, I am not going to list all my watches here)

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