I am researching the work of Francois Borgel for an article for the NAWCC Clock and Watch Bulletin, and I have encountered an unusual Borgel design that I need your help with.
In 1903 Francois Borgel patented a three part screwed watch case, and I found this advert for it in a 1905 issue of "La Federation Horlogere Suisse".
As you can see it's quite different to the usual two part Borgel case design, and I have never seen an actual watch with one of these screw-together cases, so I am wondering if anyone here has ever seen one? If you have, I would be really grateful if you would get in touch either through this forum or by pm, or via my web site. Any information or pictures would be gratefully received and acknowledged.
My best stab at translating the text is:
New Borgel Screw Case
Hermetic in Three Pieces
This new hermetic screw case is formed of three parts: the bezel, the bottom and the middle, all three are screwed on the dust ring in which is fitted the movement. The closures are hermetic and the case is very strong, due to the fact that the dust ring supports on each side the bottom and the bezel, once they are screwed on. These cases are made in all shapes and sizes, of ultra-thin material very elegant. The casing is simplified, the winding stem is fixed to the middle part, these can be positioned internally as those for ordinary gold cases, it is economical of material. Craftsmanship meticulous and faithful. Advantageous prices for large series. No case, to date, has been more practical, solid and elegant; they are made in gold of all grades, silver and gold plated steel and galonne.
The screw case of one piece. Waterproof, the manufacture of movements with negative time set is also simplified by the new casing.
No other house is authorized to make these various kinds of patented screw cases.
All counterfeiters will be pursued rigorously.
Insist that the trademark and patent numbers are stamped in the bottom of each case.
Factory and office at Saint-Jean, 6 - GENEVA.
I'm a bit shaky on a couple of bits of the translation, particularly the sentence that reads "L'emboitage est simplifié, la tige de remontoir fixe la carrure, ces dernieres peuvent se revider intérieurement comme celles ordinaires pour boîtes or," and if anyone can give me a better translation I would be grateful. It seems to be something to do with the winding stem, probably explaining that it can be moved to two positions for winding and hand-setting, which is not possible with the usual type of Borgel case, where the crown and part of the stem have to be withdrawn against a spring to allow the movement to be screwed in and out.
The garde-poussiere, or dust ring, in which the movement is mounted will be very familiar to anyone who has examined a two piece Borgel case, as in that design it is the ring which carries the movement and is attached to the bezel. It would have been fairly easy for the Borgel factory to start producing these cases as they already had the tooling and techniques for the very similar two piece design.
The design is different to the common screw back and bezel cases beause its based around the externally threaded dust ring. It's interesting how similar it is to another (much later) well known waterproof watch case . . .
Any information will be gratefully received, and if I use it in the article you will be fully acknowledged.
Regards - David