Pocket watch with flags! Unknown maker.

Thread: Pocket watch with flags! Unknown maker.

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  1. #1
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Pocket watch with flags! Unknown maker.

    This is my latest pocket watch, I've had it a few days now and thought
    it would be easy to pin down but I can find no reference to Edouard
    Perregaux, can anyone shed a light on this maker?

    The flags, under close examination, seem to be enamelled rather than
    painted on the sub dial. does anyone know the significance of these?

    The hand setting mechanism is unusual, to set the hands you press the crown which opens the back.
    To the left of the stem is a small lever which you push to the right,
    this lever clicks in place and at the same time a pin pops out of the
    case just to the left of the lever, you can set the hands and the pin is
    depressed when the case is closed and resets the lever to the winding
    position...a very positive and fool proof system which I've never come across before.

    I doubt very much that the micro regulator is original and will probably
    lose this when servicing.

    The movement, though dirty and in need of a service has been well cared
    for during its life.
    On the analyser after a few winds of the crown and with a balance
    amplitude of only 150 degrees it returns amazing figures of a losing
    rate of 20 secs a day plus or minus 3 secs in all six positions i.e
    a six second positional variation...I'm amazed to see such accuracy
    in a watch so obviously dirty as this.

    Any information on the maker, the significance of the flags possible
    date etc would be much appreciated.






  2. #2
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch with flags! Unknown maker.

    It looks to be a fine quality watch. The flags being those of USA and Cuba, could it have been to commemorate the Spanish American war of 1898?
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

  3. #3
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch with flags! Unknown maker.

    Ah Cuba, I see, thank you Eric.
    Reading up on the history of that conflict I can see the connection, but I think
    the watch might be earlier than this conflict.

    It is a fine quality watch, in fact the highest quality Swiss watch I have.
    The long slender, perfectly polished counterpoised lever is a work of art, pivoted outside the massive balance. The escape wheel teeth are polished to that black
    polish only seen in the finest work. The jewelling is of deep red rubies which are
    olive polished with capped endstones to the lever and escape wheel. Every where
    I look the finish is exquisite.

    The movement is very like a Jules Jurgensen from 1865 and I thought that perhaps
    Jurgensen might have supplied the ebauche but I've never saw a Jurgensen with
    the balance to the right and the train to the left, this movement is like a mirrorr
    image of a classic Jurgensen bridge design, complete with the long lever and large
    balance (almost half the diameter of the movement).

    Here's an 1865 Jurgensen, not mine...very similar but train and balance reversed.



    Tis a mystery.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Pocket watch with flags! Unknown maker.

    The San Carlos Institute was founded in Key West in 1872. It was founded to promote the freedom of Cuba from Spain. They might have an idea as to the significance of the American and Cuban flags. I have a strong suspicion that the watch may have something to do with the Institutes activities at the time. One things for sure, that watch would have been seen a subversive, prior to independence, so it's unlikely to have come from Cuba.

  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Pocket watch with flags! Unknown maker.

    That looks like an excellent bet! The main reason why the bridges are mirror imaged is probably that your example watch has a savonette movement (small second at right angles to the winding stem) and the original one with the flags has a lepine movement (small second opposite the winding stem). Very much like the similarities and differences between the modern ETA Unitas 6497 and 6498 movements. Except that those don't need a bridge rearrangement to flip the small seconds hand!

    Hartmut Richter

  7. #6
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch with flags! Unknown maker.

    Thank you for the lead on the history NSMike, I've emailed the institute and
    if they shed any light on the significance of the flags I'll update the thread.

    Hartmut, thank you for pointing that out, I hadn't noticed that the sample movement
    was savonette. Even though this particular movement is Savonette, the Lepine
    Jurgensen movements all seem to have the balance on the left and the train
    on the right when looking at the movement with crown down. If it's not a Jurgensen
    then the maker has definately 'paid homage' to Jurgensens distinctive bridge design.

  8. #7
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch with flags! Unknown maker.

    I Emailed the Institute which NSMike pointed me to and received a reply from
    a very knowledgable gent who told me that these flags together would probably date
    1895-98.
    That is the year when the War of Independence began in Cuba and a great
    percent of the American citizens wanted the US to help the Cubans.
    That happened finally in 1898 when the battleship Maine blew up in Havana
    harbor and the US declared war to Spain.
    That war eventualy became the Spanish American War...Eric H, you hit the
    nail on the head first time.
    I would say my watch predates these flags by around 30 years and if so then
    the subdial has either been replaced for one with flags or has been sent to a
    dial finisher to have them added. Either way I think it adds to the interest of piece
    which unfortunately came to me with no history.

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