Please help me to identify this watch

Thread: Please help me to identify this watch

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  1. #1
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    Please help me to identify this watch

    Hello, forum.

    Could you please help me to identify civil war era key wind pocket watch?
    The serial number is 15 134, if it was made by Waltham, then this watch was made in 1860, but I do not see any signature.
    Perhaps someone can recognize the mechanism?

    p.s. I am a newbie and English is not my native language, so please do not be too hard on me.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me to identify this watch

    Welcome to the forum!

    Your watch is not made by Waltham, it is a generic Swiss movement from the 19th century. These are difficult to identify, someone with better knowledge on these might give you a better date. The serial number you quoted is from the case, this is not useful for identification of pocket watches. Serial numbers must be from the movement. Nice looking watch.
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

  3. #3
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me to identify this watch

    I forgot to ask, are there any other markings on the inner caseback?
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

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  5. #4
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    Re: Please help me to identify this watch

    Thank you for your response.
    These watch I bought on eBay and it was said that it belong to American civil war era , a seller know nothing about it. These pictures I just copied from description.

    The watch is now on its way and I do not have it by myself, but I was so excited about it, that I started looking for information.

    It will arrive in a couple days and I will have the opportunity to take pictures of other parts.

    Thanks again for your help.

  6. #5
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me to identify this watch

    A key wind with that bridge layout could date from the middle of the nineteenth century... but a close examination will give the experts more clues. It is an early watch but it may not be that early.
    "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!

  7. #6
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    Re: Please help me to identify this watch

    Could please someone give me advice about what book (or books) should I read to have an idea about such watch?

  8. #7
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me to identify this watch

    Quote Originally Posted by beginner123 View Post
    Could please someone give me advice about what book (or books) should I read to have an idea about such watch?
    Well, these are the ones I have...


    I would start at a library...
    "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!

  9. #8
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    Re: Please help me to identify this watch

    Eeeb, thank you very much.

  10. #9
    Member rmelle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me to identify this watch

    dear Beginner123,

    This is a general Swiss/French ebauche from say 1850~1890
    Cylinder escapement.
    The hands indicate me to say 1880's (if original)
    most interesting about these ebauches is that is has a floating barrel.
    the springbarrel is ONLY pivoted at the top bridge. and then sunk in the mainplate, if you remove the barrelbridge the barrel comes with it as one piece and you see the back of the dial.
    The advantage of this construction is that they finaly could made FLAT pocketwatches, before they were very THICK in measuements.
    disadvantage is that due to age and wear and tear the barrel tends to pivot, so the engagement with the hour wheel is no longer very nice.
    most commen cause for these watches to mallfunction, if cylinder is still in good working order.
    on the inner caseback there probably is engraved: Cylindre 8 Rubis.
    Only the side in view has stoned pivots, dial side are most of the time just brass bushings.
    Identifying these watches to a certain producer is simply NOT possible:
    Most of the parts were made by different ebauche makers.
    Then all the parts came to so called home workers who assambled the watches to the complete ebauche. they very often made also the cylinders from scrap, made the engagements fit, Arondage of the wheels (a kind of final polishing and making the teeth to fit to the pinion) etc etc etc.
    This is one of the reasons you can NEVER use different parts in different watches
    I have a French book (L'echappement à Cylindre) on these ebauche workers, workers families and compagnies with an enourmous names list it but it is almost finding an needle in a haystack.
    It was an industry where the ebauche workers lived in enourmous poverty and sucked out by the compagnies, these Ebauches represent a very DARK side of the European watch industries mid till end 19th century. In germany they are called the farmers watchmakers.
    Now you have NOT a name but you know a little in what sircumstances these watches were made.

    hope I have been of help.
    RJ van Melle.

  11. #10
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    Re: Please help me to identify this watch

    rmelle, it was very helpful and I really appreciate it. Thank you for the explanation.

    I hope it will be a good lesson, and I'll not buy something without any knowledge about it in the future.
    p.s. I also hope that the price that I paid for it wasn't extremely big, because, as I understand, it worth nothing.

    Thanks again for your help.

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