Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

Thread: Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

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  1. #1
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    Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

    Hello, I have an old pocket watch that I would like to find out more about. All I know about it is that my grandfather brought it back from WWII with him. I have a watch smith look at it and it still works although some maintenance/cleaning is required. There's not a lot of information available online, but I believe this was a swiss made watch (indicated on the face) from a company based in Porrentruy, Switzerland. I did come across a mention that this was a watch/brand given to German army officers from 1938-1944 so I assume this particular watch may have been made around then. It has a beautiful gold trim/backing and I believe the crystal cover is now plastic and it has yellowed over the years. I would greatly appreciate any information pertaining to it's history and rarity.
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  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

    Looks like a very nice inter-war watch. Not made for military service but conceivably taken to war by its owner. If you open it up completely (both back covers), you should probably find something like this inside:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Phenix 400

    Phenix, located in Porrentruy (as you pointed out), were a decent make that joined with Buser, Vulcain & Studie and Revue Thommen to form the M.S.R. (Manufactures Suisses Reunies) in the mid-19th century. Inside this cooperation, they were too small to survive when the going got tough - the main survivor is now Revue (although the Vulcain brand has been extracted again in recent years).

    Hartmut Richter

  3. #3
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

    Hello,you right about the Phenix brand, but the registration date is 1944, so I guess it might be mid to late 40's earliest:

    Phenix Phenix Watch Co. SA / Société Horlogère de Porrentruy Porrentruy, Schweiz; registriert am 22.11.1944


    At the other hand, Phenix, looks like also a trademark-brand registered by Lugrin/Lemania. That would be a nice surprise. A movement shot would help a lot.

    Edit: toasted with Hartmut:)
    Last edited by Emre; January 4th, 2013 at 22:36.

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  5. #4
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

    Hi there.

    Phenix is an interesting company - they made their own movements including one or two with interesting features. There is no obvious reason to doubt that yours is authentic, but we'd have to see the movement (mechanism) to be sure and tell you more.


    There's some nice info and pictures here Porrentruy - Phénix Watch but its in French and you have to click on each page separately

    Name:  Phenix factory.jpg
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    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

    I doubt that Phenix started up in 1944 (no idea where the information in Mikrolisk comes from). Brunner/Pfeiffer-Belli state that Phenix "was started up by three watchmakers in 1873, but that the name was only registered in 1902". The latter fact probably having to do with the fact that for most or all of the 19th century, a Swiss company had to bear the name of its owner(s), never mind under what brand names its products were sold.

    Hartmut Richter

  7. #6
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

    Quote Originally Posted by zyk1on View Post
    Hello,you right about the Phenix brand, but the registration date is 1944, so I guess it might be mid to late 40's earliest:

    Phenix Phenix Watch Co. SA / Société Horlogère de Porrentruy Porrentruy, Schweiz; registriert am 22.11.1944


    At the other hand, Phenix, looks like also a trademark-brand registered by Lugrin/Lemania. That would be a nice surprise. A movement shot would help a lot.

    Edit: toasted with Hartmut:)
    Phenix was used as a brand name from 1920: PHENIX WATCH | Worldtempus
    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.

  8. #7
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

    I retract my post in this case, didn't know it has such a history, mikrolisked it and pasted the information. Good to know and good to learn.

  9. #8
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

    I'm with Hartmut on this being interwar, and that pattern in the centre of the dial is often found in watches destined for the US, so it's possible that family history may have wandered slightly from the facts over the years.


  10. #9
    Member jedanzoom's Avatar
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    Re: Phenix Pocket Watch circa 1940

    Well,its fact that Mikrolisk infos are not always accurate.

    This watch could be equpied with anything between cal.600-30 and cal.889(about 9 different calibers),so I'd like to see this movement.
    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler.”

    Friedrich Nietzsche

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