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  1. #1
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    post 1920s rotary

    Hi, i am new to wristwatch collecting. Recently I have bought an vintage wristwatch from an antique shop. There is nothing written on the dial as to identify its manufacturer but there is a winged rotary logo stamped on the lower side of the mainspring bridge. According to rotary’s website the logo did not appear until 1925 which makes me believe that the watch was manufactured post 1925. There are also symbols on the inner caseback that I am unable to discern except that it is a 9ct gold watch. I have attached several pictures of the watch. Below is the characteristic of the watch as far as I can describe:
    Double Hinged case
    Sunburst dial
    Case diameter 29mm
    Height 7mm
    Length lug to lug 31 mm
    Wire lug’s length 12mm
    I am interested to know whether it was originally gents or ladies watch. I am grateful if you can shed light on my question. Sorry for the poor pics because they were taken from my hp. tqvm for anyone who can shed light to my question.
    john


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  2. #2
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    Re: post 1920s rotary

    sorry, the title should read post 1925 rotary not past 1920s rotary watch

  3. #3
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: post 1920s rotary

    Hi and welcome
    We need (decent) photos of movement and inside case marks
    regards
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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  5. #4
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: post 1920s rotary

    I am interested to know whether it was originally gents or ladies watch. I am grateful if you can shed light on my question. Sorry for the poor pics because they were taken from my hp. tqvm for anyone who can shed light to my question.
    john
    Well, based on the images you gave us and without a decent image of the movement, one can say very little (I don't know what an 'hp.tqvm' is, but it certainly does not make good images). The only answer which can be given at this stage, that it is a gents watch. The wrist watches of these days, like many others from Wittnauer, Gruen, Gotham, Elgin and what have you, were relatively small and one would today tend to see them as ladies watches, whereby some of them are even smaller than yours. I know the type of this watch, but it would be nice to have the space between the lugs to better judge size of the watch or, even better, the diameter of the watch itself. The width of the wristband is also an indication if it was intended for gents or ladies. I cannot wear any of the gents wrist watches from the 1930ies and 1940ies I have in my collection, which would really look funny and people would think I am on my way to the love parade...

    Posting edited: Sorry ignore most of it, you gave measurements in your initial post, I was a little too fast...
    Last edited by Border-Reiver; August 1st, 2015 at 19:04.

  6. #5
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: post 1920s rotary

    Based on the sunburst dial, I am pretty sure this is (was) a ladies watch
    A
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  7. #6
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    Re: post 1920s rotary

    Hi there,

    Quote Originally Posted by Border-Reiver View Post
    The only answer which can be given at this stage, that it is a gents watch.
    Likely, but not sure. Consider that early wrist watches were equipped with ladies pocketwatch movements, and accordingly sizes didn't (couldn't) differ depending on gender. The main differences were more elaborated case decorations and narrower straps for ladies watches. So with moderate decorations and band width a watch could well serve for both, gents and ladies.

    The race for the tinyest ladies watch began mainly in the late 20s, and already in the mid 30s nobody could sell watches with more than 20mm diameter or rectangulars more then 15mm wide to women. But gents watches remained small, because this was synonymous for technological progress, and people wanted to demonstrate that they could afford a new watch instead of converting an old pocket watch.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  8. #7
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: post 1920s rotary

    Quote Originally Posted by HOROLOGIST007 View Post
    Based on the sunburst dial, I am pretty sure this is (was) a ladies watch
    A
    I just edited my post above, I was a little too fast and did not carefully read the initial post of the thread. The diameter is not unusual for a gents watch of these days (I have seen and own smaller ones), but the sunburst dial (which I had overread as well) and the very narrow wristband speak more for a ladies watch.

  9. #8
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: post 1920s rotary

    Quote Originally Posted by HOROLOGIST007 View Post
    Based on the sunburst dial, I am pretty sure this is (was) a ladies watch
    A
    I would disagree. Similar dial to the one on my Ingersoll which I am very sure is a mans watch. Similar case size too.
    bobbee likes this.


  10. #9
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: post 1920s rotary

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirius View Post
    I would disagree. Similar dial to the one on my Ingersoll which I am very sure is a mans watch. Similar case size too.
    Thats OK
    But I am over 90% sure based on many photos, including owning a very similar Rolex version, that this was a ladies watch. Indeed the dial, case size, to me everything points to ladies.
    That does not mean, one man never wore it, just the manufacturer was advertising it for Ladies. Indeed mens watches are already moving slightly bigger with bigger (wider) wire lugs by then
    Men, even in Europe were not posing around in the 1920 with watches with that style of dial, and by 1925 (after) the wire lugs on mens watches were becoming wider
    If I get time, I will post some nearly identical Rolex pieces, designated ladies.

    That is my opinion anyway.

    Regards
    adam
    Last edited by HOROLOGIST007; August 1st, 2015 at 21:11.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  11. #10
    Member David.Boettcher's Avatar
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    Re: post 1920s rotary

    The OP only said it was "post 1925" based on the Rotary winged wheel logo, that doesn't mean it was 1925, just that it was then or some time after - perhaps much after. Without some idea of the date we can't say what the fashion was at that time.

    Certainly men's wristwatches in the late 1920s and 1930s were this small, but is this definitely from that era? The sunburst silver guilloché dial certainly looks feminine to me. But who am I to say? The manufacturers of ear rings don't always say that they are for ladies and today men are seen wearing them. I wouldn't do it myself, I think it looks rather silly, but then I am an old codger and not a fashionable young thing.

    So how can we say definitively whether this is either a ladies or a man's wristwatch?

    Kind regards - David

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