Question about Jewel Counts.

Thread: Question about Jewel Counts.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Member Shangas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,024

    Question about Jewel Counts.

    Hi Everyone.

    As some of you may remember - I'm busy saving up and hunting for a silver pocketwatch.

    I think I may have found the one I want. I believe it to be a European-manufactured watch - 800-grade silver. It's a hunter case watch, and the movement looks very high quality (It has what looks like a rather complex swan-neck regulator), and it is lever-set.

    The only thing is - there is no jewel-count engraved on the plate.

    I draw on the collective intelligence assembled here.

    If a watch has a swan-neck microregulator (or other style of such regulator) - what sort of jewel-count can I expect? 17? 19? 21? 15?

    At what level of jeweling would a precision-regulator be worth putting inside a watch? The fact that it's there tells me that the jeweling must be fairly high - but was there a threshold?

    Once I've saved up enough, I am considering buying this watch. But until then, I will keep hunting. Ideally I would like an open-face watch...
    Last edited by Shangas; February 9th, 2016 at 01:42.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  2. #2
    Member Jabreitlinguk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    24

    Question about Jewel Counts.

    Hi I have a 1895 John Meyers & Co pocket watch. I do believe before 1900 it was standard not to put the count on the mechanism. Not sure how many would be in yours but would go with a stab in the dark and say yours would probably have 19.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Last edited by Jabreitlinguk; February 9th, 2016 at 12:00.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    375

    Re: Question about Jewel Counts.

    Last edited by Split sec; February 9th, 2016 at 12:27.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Canada
    Posts
    5,315

    Re: Question about Jewel Counts.

    The age would be a big factor. In the 1880's, 15 Jewels was generally considered "fully jeweled" for a detached jeweled lever. Of course, back then they were using natural rubies and sapphires, and the larger size of the center wheel made it more expensive to jewel. The drive to add jewels was partly a function of competition in the Railroad Grade wars throughout the next 40 years or so, and spread to non-railroad watches; especially after they developed methods of creating synthetic jewels. The location and number of jewels on non-railroad watches tended to vary a lot though. 9 and 14 jewels were surprisingly common for pocket watches; these watches would look more jeweled on the back, because it was expected that much of their time would be spent "dial up", so all those holes would be jeweled.

    Stating the number of jewels on the movement was one part marketing (especially for American watches which tended to be sold separatly from their cases) and one part import law (The US required this for import as of 1909, in part to fight counterfeiters and "Swiss fakes", and since the US was the largest consumer of watches...). Swiss watches around the turn of the century tended to be shipped >with< cases, and many of them adapted the inner case back (which was no longer really required on these predominantly stem-wound watches) as a canvas for their marketing claims.

    It's interesting to note that in 1913, only four years after requiring the jewel count, they amended the import laws to explicitly state "Only jewels which serve a mechanical purpose as a frictional bearing be marked..." I guess they had some ... issues ... with the interpretation... :)
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  6. #5
    Member Shangas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,024

    Re: Question about Jewel Counts.

    Hi Rob,

    That's a very interesting answer.

    I asked, because this particular watch has a price on it of nearly $500 (ouch!) which is WELL outside my range - but I've had a small windfall of cash lately, and decided I might blow it. The question is whether I should be blowing it on this particular watch.

    The watch is a solid, 800-silver hunter-cased machine, the tag said it was German (I think they're referring to the silver case). It's clearly lever-set (I can see the lever-hole on the side of the watch), and it had a swan-neck regulator, along with what also looked like a snail. My guess on the age is 1880s at the earliest. It was crown-wind, lever set. So around turn-of-century, I think.

    I know from experience that generally, only higher-grade watches have these (usually 15j+ from what I've seen), so I wondered if there was a jeweling threshold. I.e.: If you see this on your watch, then it means it's *X*-jewels or higher.
    Last edited by Shangas; February 10th, 2016 at 01:01.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    979

    Re: Question about Jewel Counts.

    Without seeing a pic of the watch, it would be hard to say. It could have been put together from a few watches. I don't think there is a reason to believe that since it has a swan neck regulator, it would automatically have at least XX number of jewels. BTW, in my opinion, $500 can buy you a whole lot of pocket watch. You may even be able to get a solid gold (open face) pocket watch for $500 since the price of gold has dropped lately. I mean paying $500 for an open face silver watch seems kind of high. I did a quick search and most on Ebay sell for under $200.

  8. #7
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    2,404

    Re: Question about Jewel Counts.

    I too would like to see a photo of the movement.

    BTW, Swiss watches with more than 15j often have an even number of jewels as it was a common practice to omit the center hole jewel on the pillar plate. Thus, a high grade Patek or whatever will likely be 20j rather than 21j as its American counterpart would have.

    This is not a hard and fast rule, but something to keep in mind. At the end of the day, a high grade watch speaks for itself. Things like highly finished steelwork and a high grade escapement(which can be a work of art on some of these watches) tell you more. Most high grade lever watches of the 1890s and later will have 18 or 20 jewels, but it's not that common to see them marked as such.

    One other thing-on the low end of things(and even on the high end with early watches), the escapement type can pretty heavily influence the jewel count. A cheap lever will almost always have a minimum of 7 jewels, while a cylinder can get away with 4 jewels. Three of the seven basic jewels in a lever escapement are directly part of the escapement operation(the two pallet stones and the roller jewel) while a cylinder can get away with no jewels in the escapement(although good cylinders often have a ruby cylinder).
    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
    Member, NAWCC Chapter 149. Vice President and Secretary NAWCC Chapter 140. Member, NAWCC Convention Committee.
    Serious collector of American pocket watches-Waltham(and the predecessor companies) is my specialty.

  9. #8
    Member Shangas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,024

    Re: Question about Jewel Counts.

    I'm still undecided on whether I'm going to buy the watch. As you rightly said - $500 (or more specifically, $450) is a LOT of money for a silver watch. My best-quality watch which I have now (a 21j Swiss-made RR watch) was not even half that price when I bought it. I guess I'm just continuing to hold out for a better deal...

    Here in Australia, the prices of antiques are often prohibitively high. Solid gold watches retail for $500 minimum, all the way up to well over $1,000. Silver watches I've seen go for anywhere from under $100, to over $500.

    $300 is really my comfortable threshold, so I'm still holding out and waiting.
    Last edited by Shangas; February 10th, 2016 at 02:20.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    India
    Posts
    994

    Re: Question about Jewel Counts.

    If I was planning to spend that sort of money I would certainly post pictures here and seek the experts' opinions.

    Kind regards

    Aditya
    Last edited by aditya; February 10th, 2016 at 11:53.

  11. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    375

    Re: Question about Jewel Counts.

    Hi Shangas.
    I have feeling you connect number of jewels with quality. Not always so, be careful.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. 16 Jewel Baltika question?
      By shandy in forum Russian watches
      Replies: 12
      Last Post: April 28th, 2015, 04:23
    2. Question about jewel count
      By FarmD0G in forum Watchmaking
      Replies: 6
      Last Post: May 14th, 2012, 15:28
    3. Calibre 12 jewel question
      By csimp in forum TAG Heuer
      Replies: 3
      Last Post: December 16th, 2010, 19:49
    4. question on jewel counts
      By brokeone! in forum Vintage & Pocket watches
      Replies: 2
      Last Post: April 25th, 2009, 12:37
    5. Adjusted Jewel question.
      By wisconsinwalter in forum Omega
      Replies: 4
      Last Post: September 23rd, 2006, 15:04

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •