Mystery watch

Thread: Mystery watch

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  1. #1
    Member Ian_O's Avatar
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    Mystery watch

    Knowing my interest in watches, a friend brought one of his watches to show me a couple of weeks ago. It apparently belonged to his grandfather, and my friend believes it may date from the 1920s or 1930s.

    I didn't take any measurements, but would guess the diameter is around 35mm. It's quite a heavy watch for its size and as you can see, has a very narrow strap width. There are no words or numbers on the face and the case back is completely plain and smooth.

    I know this is a long shot, but do any of you have any ideas about the watch manufacturer please, or any suggestions as to who I can ask next? Thanks.

    Before you ask, we haven't reached the stage of trying to remove the back yet to see the movement. That will be a last resort.
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  2. #2
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery watch

    Well I'm afraid to tell you...You're gonna have to remove the back. It's impossible to tell you anything just from the photos you've provided.

    Just from the general style, I suspect 1920s more than 30s though. That looks like a pocketwatch-style dial so it's PROBABLY a repurposed pocketwatch movement and dial seated in a wristwatch case. Such things were common during the 1910s and 1920s, when wristatches for men started coming into fashion during and after WWI.

    But other than that, I can't tell you anything.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  3. #3
    Member Ian_O's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery watch

    That's interesting, many thanks for replying. We did wonder if it had pocket watch connections, but for the wrong reason. It seemed as if those small strap lugs could have been added afterwards to a very small pocket watch case (to turn it into a wrist watch) but thinking about it now I guess a pocket watch wouldn't have the winder at the three o'clock position.

    Although I've done so many times with modern watches, I'd be worried about scratching the case when trying to remove the back of this one so perhaps I'll suggest that my friend takes it to a watchmaker to remove the back and have a look inside.

    Thanks again for your comments.

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  5. #4
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery watch

    Just check whether the back screws off. If so, easy to remove without risking any damage.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


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

  6. #5
    Member Ian_O's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery watch

    Will do, thanks.

  7. #6
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery watch

    A pocketwatch <would> have the winder at 3:00 ... if it was a hunter type (with a metal "cover" over the front glass). This case doesn't look like it ever had that, so more likely it was recased. That happens a lot with old hunter movements when (for various reasons) the original case wears out or is sold for its gold value. There was a pretty big market for conversion cases back in the 20's (not unlike the trend to convert wristwatchs to quartz back in the 70s/80s).
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  8. #7
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Mystery watch

    Looks more like a snap-on back. You should see a small notch between the back and the rest of the case around 9:00.

    Hartmut Richter

  9. #8
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery watch

    I think Marrick will be proved correct on this one, this type of three piece
    case with the knurled screw on bezel usualy has a screw on back. I have one
    very similar to this which does and it contains a small 30mm Tavanes pkt watch movement.

  10. #9
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery watch

    If it's a threaded caseback, then it should be pretty easy to remove, with a bit of persistence and care.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  11. #10
    Member Ian_O's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery watch

    Thanks for all your interesting comments and information. I'll pass this onto my friend and if he decides to carefully remove the back to have a look inside I'll be sure to take a photo and post on here! Many thanks.

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