Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

Thread: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

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  1. #1
    Member DaveyNY's Avatar
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    Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    Hello gentlemen,

    ok so I figure at age 40 there is just no room anymore for pride..so I'll just post the auction I won and ask for some experienced feedback please.

    if the information is accurate, does this watch look to pose any major problems for me to get to working order? I was told it is rushing about 2-5 minutes.
    i have learned a ton already in th past week. I should have, waited, read and been more patient but, I am just getting started so that's my new motto here.

    POCKET WATCH BRITISH OTTOMAN EMPIRE TURKEY SILVER | eBay

    Not familiar with this maker and could not find much info, but all that urkish suppliers from this era seem to all be stamped the same and have very, very similar movement.


    ok thoughts are appreciated.

    thanks,
    David
    Last edited by DaveyNY; November 30th, 2012 at 19:49.
    "A man looks down a dark tunnel he must travel and sees no light at the end of it. It is at that moment that his character is revealed."

  2. #2
    Member jedanzoom's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    Congrats on your new purchase!Britannicus was brand of Rueff Freres from La-Chaux-de-Fonds.It looks good apart from that cracked dial.Unfortunately,enamel is pretty hard to repaire.
    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler.”

    Friedrich Nietzsche

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  3. #3
    Member DaveyNY's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    Thank you very much!

    I don't mind the chip on the porcelain ( so long as its stable)....kinda harkens to her age a bit. I was concerned about the Balance Cock Regulator being so far to one side... Not a sign of a major overhaul needed?

    David
    Last edited by DaveyNY; November 30th, 2012 at 20:40.
    "A man looks down a dark tunnel he must travel and sees no light at the end of it. It is at that moment that his character is revealed."

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  5. #4
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    I was concerned about the Balance Cock Regulator being so far to one side... Not a sign of a major overhaul needed?
    Someone has pushed the regulator well beyond where it belongs - trying to get the rate to slow. Given that they told you it was running fast still - I would say that it is indicative of a problem. Zooming in on the photo in the area of the hairspring/balance it looks (to me) like the coils of the spring are either sticking together or not concentric - I can't quite make out what is going on.

    So the watch will need some attention...

    I was told it is rushing about 2-5 minutes.
    Per day? Per hour? Very fast rates are often tied to hairspring issues. Just overall fast rates can have other causes...

    Nice looking watch BTW.

  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    It's a Zenith.

    Like many "Ottoman" pocket watches, it has a Billodes movement, in this case a Billodes Cal. xx'''-53 from the 19th century (used until ca. 1905). The xx is a number between 17 and 19 and denotes the movement size in french lignes (19''' works out at ca. 43mm of which a dial side lip is hidden so you only see ca. 41mm). Billodes was one of the brand names used by George Favre-Jacot, the Zenith founder (the other being his own name, "Defi" and "Diogene"; later on also "Zenith", of course). Each brand had its own calibre line but the brands did exchange calibres to a certain extent.

    As far as Ottoman pocket watches are concerned, quite a few have the Cal. xx'''-54 which looks similar to the xx'''-53 and is frequently totally unmarked. Some are in watches bearing another name - either the shop or distributer in Turkey (e.g. "K. Serkisoff" or various Arabic names in that script, like "Machmoudieh ") but the Zenith reference book by Rössler has one example bearing hte name of "J. Dent, London" as an intermediate distributer. In your case, the "Britannic" seems to have been inscribed rather crudely so I hope it is not a modern inscription to make one think that the watch is associated with some fictitional name. It is possible, though, that it is associated with the distributer which jedanzoom has dug up (La Chaux de Fonds is very close to Le Locle where Zenith are located).

    Zenith made some of the best pocket watches of their age - particularly that age - so I would urge you to get the watch properly serviced.

    Hartmut Richter

  7. #6
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    Interesting that this old Billodes caliber is pretending to be of British manufacture with the name Britannicus and the fake
    London hallmarks, what's all that about?

  8. #7
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    The case appears to have both British and Swiss hallmarks, and yet have a balance cock marked only in French. The Swiss hallmark is I think for 800 silver, but the British ought to be for 925. I guess that it didn't qualify the the Swiss 935 mark.


  9. #8
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    Well I've never saw a Leopards head that wasn't in a cartouche and neither the Lion nor the
    head look correct. If it was imported into the UK for resale to the Ottoman then it wouldn't be hallmarked
    with the Leopards head for London but with a Swiss import mark and for london that is an omega sign IIRC.
    Last edited by radger; November 30th, 2012 at 22:44. Reason: Sp

  10. #9
    Member DaveyNY's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    That was my thought regarding the regulator.

    rushing 2-5 per day..sorry, and thanks.
    wow you guys are great! I'll digest everything here, slow down and then probably have more questions.

    given thus far..expensive repair costs, or not too bad? Assuming I want to leave the porcelain as is...
    Last edited by DaveyNY; December 1st, 2012 at 00:26.
    "A man looks down a dark tunnel he must travel and sees no light at the end of it. It is at that moment that his character is revealed."

  11. #10
    Member DaveyNY's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on my newest purchase- Ottoman PW

    Quote Originally Posted by radger View Post
    Well I've never saw a Leopards head that wasn't in a cartouche and neither the Lion nor the
    head look correct. If it was imported into the UK for resale to the Ottoman then it wouldn't be hallmarked
    with the Leopards head for London but with a Swiss import mark and for london that is an omega sign IIRC.

    Being a bagpiper, and wanting to procure an instrument circa WW1, I got very familiar with British hallmarking. 800 was lower grade coin silver that I cannot recall which country used.

    I heard it proposed that those marks were company trademarks and not hallmarks at all. I have yet to see any of these style of watches that did not have that 800 grade with those stamps along with them....but I am so new to all this.

    I am so surprised and pleased to hear this is a Zenith! Very happy indeed.
    "A man looks down a dark tunnel he must travel and sees no light at the end of it. It is at that moment that his character is revealed."

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