old german pocket watch

Thread: old german pocket watch

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  1. #1

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    old german pocket watch

    Hello,

    I have an old German pocket watch marked with "Max Mengers, Hamburg" on the face. It came in a tear drop shaped case with a see-through window and a fairly heavy chain attached. I'm guessing that it's from around 1920- but who knows, it could be an earlier or later date

    It was my Grandfathers watch (he was from Hamburg) and I'm curious as to any history about the watch maker.

    thanks,
    RC

  2. #2
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: old german pocket watch

    Hi -

    Pictures are usually an enormous help...

    The name may also refer to a jeweler that had the watch made, fairly common in the past, but without photos, especially of the movement, there is little that we can tell you...

    JohnF
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  3. #3

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    Re: old german pocket watch

    As soon as I posted I knew I should have included a pic or two. :)

    Any way, hope this helps.









    thanks,
    RC

    I might add that I'm reluctant to open the back as I am neither a watchmaker nor a jeweler (and have never played one on TV). Or is there an easy way to go about it?
    Last edited by Tuffcity; January 31st, 2008 at 06:27.

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  5. #4
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: old german pocket watch

    We won't be able to really help unless we see a picture of the movement. Based on what I've seen so far I'd say your watch dates to the early 1900s. It has those characteristic Art Nouveau hands from that era.
    Looks like the case is hinged so you should be able to open the back at the top with a sharp knife or pocket watch case opener. Underneath that you may see a dust cover which will probably snap open as well. Try with a fingernail first.
    http://www.thewatchguy.com/pages/OPENCASE.html

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  6. #5

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    Re: old german pocket watch

    Took the plunge and popped the back open- actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.







    Hope this helps.

    RC

  7. #6
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: old german pocket watch

    Well it's obviously Swiss, probably around 1910 I'd say. Seeland was one of the brands used by Invicta back in the day when it was a real Swiss company.
    From the look of the regulator I'd say it needs cleaning and adjustment.
    Max Mengers was probably a Jeweler in Hamburg.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  8. #7

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    Re: old german pocket watch

    Thank you very much!

    Were cases a common accessory or something that a jeweler would have built for a specific watch?

    Richard

  9. #8
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: old german pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuffcity View Post
    Thank you very much!

    Were cases a common accessory or something that a jeweler would have built for a specific watch?

    Richard
    There were/are a number of specialty companies which make cases which were sold to a variety of companies/jewelers to encase their watches.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  10. #9
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: old german pocket watch

    Back before 1920 at least the watch cases and movements were made and sold separately, so you chose your watch and case at the jeweler, who would case it for you.
    This why in some situations you have a gorgeous case with a lower quality movement in it, or a beautiful railroad watch in a crappy old RGP or Silveroid case. For an engineer or brakeman, the watch was a tool, so he didn't spend a lot more than needed for decent protection. But I digress.
    The jeweler often had his own name put on the dial, case, and once in a while on the movement itself. These were essentially "private label" watches but had the same movement serial number as one sold with the manufacturer's label.
    I have a Hampden 18S from 1883 that has the jeweler's name right on the movement - but the dial says Hampden. Go figure.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  11. #10

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    Re: old german pocket watch

    Thanks on that. One more question (for today at any rate ).

    Does the serial number yield any useful information or was it more of a production line tracking number for watches?

    RC

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