Strange find: Longines???
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  1. #1
    Member Horological_Dino's Avatar
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    Strange find: Longines???

    Hi everyone

    I recently purchased a vintage Longines (still in question) but i havent received it yet. Have never seen anything like it before and has a patent number on the dial.


    Anybody have any idea on the Master Watch case company? I will try to take a closer pic of the movement once it arrives but in the meanwhile can anyone help me shed some light on this piece?
    Thanks!

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    Last edited by Horological_Dino; August 11th, 2015 at 13:44.

  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Strange find: Longines???

    Here's the patent, filed in 1934:
    Patent Images

    As I understand it, the idea was to affix the dial to the bezel of the watch so that dials could be made independent of the movement.
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    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Strange find: Longines???

    Weird. The movement does seem to be Longines, possibly a variant of this one:
    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Longines 11.88
    Once you receive it, simply contact Longines.
    Numbers for patents owned by the casemaker are usually inside the caseback, well, sometimes outside. On the dial- in case of Longines- it is strange.
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  5. #4
    Member Horological_Dino's Avatar
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    Re: Strange find: Longines???

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    Here's the patent, filed in 1934:
    Patent Images

    As I understand it, the idea was to affix the dial to the bezel of the watch so that dials could be made independent of the movement.
    Thanks rob for the information. Seems like i do have a rather eccentric piece right here

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  6. #5
    Member Horological_Dino's Avatar
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    Re: Strange find: Longines???

    Quote Originally Posted by mkws View Post
    Weird. The movement does seem to be Longines, possibly a variant of this one:
    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Longines 11.88
    Once you receive it, simply contact Longines.
    Numbers for patents owned by the casemaker are usually inside the caseback, well, sometimes outside. On the dial- in case of Longines- it is strange.
    Thank you for the info! Hopefully Longines can provide me with great details when i receive it. Will update the thread when i do so



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  7. #6
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Strange find: Longines???

    I'll bet that all Longines will be able to tell you is that it was sold to Wittenaur. The movement shown is pretty typical of the kind of "private label" movement that Longines sold to jobbers and retailers as a bare movement that they'd then case and sell on their own, which matches the use of this case design.
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  8. #7
    Member Horological_Dino's Avatar
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    Re: Strange find: Longines???

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    I'll bet that all Longines will be able to tell you is that it was sold to Wittenaur. The movement shown is pretty typical of the kind of "private label" movement that Longines sold to jobbers and retailers as a bare movement that they'd then case and sell on their own, which matches the use of this case design.
    Hmmm i see. Any idea where Master watch case company would fit in the whole picture? Would this company have retailed the watch itself or was it merely produced by them for another longines retailer?




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  9. #8
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Strange find: Longines???

    Whilst Rob is correct, Longines will at least be able to give you a date that they sold the movement.


  10. #9
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Strange find: Longines???

    Quote Originally Posted by Horological_Dino View Post
    Hmmm i see. Any idea where Master watch case company would fit in the whole picture? Would this company have retailed the watch itself or was it merely produced by them for another longines retailer?
    That's harder to say. Since the patent is from 1934, we can assume the watch is from after that. If the balance cock has an import code, that'll mean it's after 1936. The American watch industry, in general, was transitioning to in-house casing, but the import taxes (especially after 1930) were onerous enough that there was a lot of benefit to importing just the movement and casing in-country. Tarriffs dropped a bit in 1936, and the general expansion of the economy after the war made the tariffs somewhat irrelevant to the market, since they were flat-rate amounts and not ad valorum.

    I can't find any references to Master Watch Case Co. The patent on the dial is claimed by "Jacob Schonholtz", "David Megar" and "Maurice A. Popiel". There's an earlier patent for a similar design for pocket watches, 1465874, that was filed with Maurice, but not David, and a later patent in 1940 that includes David. (2226939) David Megar also has a number of design patents relating to watches, extending into the 50's.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Strange find: Longines???

    I think you will find that the movement is considerably older than the case. Movement looks to be Longines, but might have the name of a jewelry store. Longines did that a lot prior to WWII. I saw this watch on eBay and thought it was just a ladies 0-size pocket watch movement (13 lignes) in a patent case.

    During WWII, it was impossible to obtain any U.S. made OEM watch cases from the watch companies, as 100% of their output were devoted to military needs.

    There were many smaller companies were were able to temporarily fill this gap by producing low grade base metal case and dial sets. Many were designed for particular movements and some even had brand names on the dials. On this watch, I think the brand name was added later, but can't really be sure of that.

    This way, a good movement could continue to give service until the war was over and a proper replacement case could be obtained.

    Hope this helps,
    gatorcpa
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