Hi -

As some here may know, I have a certain ... thing for bizarre vintages.

I ran across the watch shown here and successfully acquired it. It came in yesterday, and now the strangeness begins.

Nothing is signed: neither the face, nor the calibre itself. What intrigues me, though, is that the watch uses what is called a "Glasshütte Sperre" for the click: the picture of the calibre shows it.

The face of the watch is attached with screws visible from the front at 1 o'clock and at 7 o'clock: the copper face is very nicely done, and the hands are definitely radium hands (I've done due diligence on them and yep, the dosimeter starts a ticking near them...and they glow rather nicely in the dark without exposure previously to any light...and of course it is only a two-handed display, i.e. no seconds hand! Neither at the six nor is there room on the central post for a seconds hand: on the movement side you can clearly see that the second wheel is there, but doesn't actually drive anything...

The movement itself is rather battered, with geneva stripes, but with the escapement bridge and the balance wheel bridge being gold-colored. It's only a 5-jewel movement (!!), with jewels on the escapement, the balance wheel top and bottom balance, and the upper escapement wheel.

But what is fascinating is the Glasshütte Sperre. The click isn't simply returned to position with a spring, but rather there is significant give to the click that is stopped first by the long spring off at the three in the picture. This is a very elegant solution to prevent any sort of overwinding: the way that the click works provides an excellent buffering of the winding of the system.

This is what makes the watch especially interesting: this is a rather elaborate solution for something that is usually simply solved in other inexpensive movements, i.e. this is an expensive and unusual implementation in what is obviously otherwise a rather bizarre watch.

Inside the case there are three watchmaker's marks with dates: one in 1948, another one in 1950 and yet another one in 1964. So the watch probably dates to at least 1948, I think.

I didn't even pay €20 for the watch with shipping, so I'm pleased with it.

I'm guessing that it is an immediate post-war or very late war construction from a watchmaker in the eastern part of Germany (hence the Glasshütte Sperre) that made it's way to Western Germany, probably using whatever parts were available...

Anybody have anything that might throw some light on this bizarre franken-style watch?

I wore it today and it really needs to be worked on - 9 minutes off in 24 hours! - and I will take care of it...but gotta figure out what to do with those hands!

JohnF