Trench watch identification
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  1. #1
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    Trench watch identification

    Hi all! I am the proud new owner of this little beauty, and I'm desperate to gather ANY information I can about it. I've spent quite a bit of time over at vintagewatchstraps.com trying to determine who made the movement, or trying to find any estimate of its age, etc and I'm coming up empty. If anyone is able to assist with this, I'd be extremely grateful!
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  2. #2
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Trench watch identification

    Langendorf I believe. It could be AS but I’d have to check.

    Date wise, for a pin set two hander cylinder; 1910 to 1920.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirius View Post
    Langendorf I believe. It could be AS but I’d have to check.

    Date wise, for a pin set two hander cylinder; 1910 to 1920.
    Thank you!!!! The seller said they thought it was an early model example of AS...how can you tell by looking at it?
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    Re: Trench watch identification

    gbrot001...Hello!

    There are reference works that illustrate the configuration of the "plates" that one sees when one opens the watch, and looks at the "movement".

    Another technique involves disassembling the watch so as to examine the "pillar plate" i.e., the base upon which the watch's assembled; many Maker's ( although not all ) signed this plate.

    This is a "Cylinder Escapement" watch, and it's been my experience that these Old Fellows will usually tick and run for 24 hrs or so on a full-wind. They can be a bit fussy to work on--after 100 years, that's OK--and any good shop should be able to Service this rather easily.

    Nice dial, too! Michael.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Maddan View Post
    gbrot001...Hello!

    There are reference works that illustrate the configuration of the "plates" that one sees when one opens the watch, and looks at the "movement".

    Another technique involves disassembling the watch so as to examine the "pillar plate" i.e., the base upon which the watch's assembled; many Maker's ( although not all ) signed this plate.

    This is a "Cylinder Escapement" watch, and it's been my experience that these Old Fellows will usually tick and run for 24 hrs or so on a full-wind. They can be a bit fussy to work on--after 100 years, that's OK--and any good shop should be able to Service this rather easily.

    Nice dial, too! Michael.
    Hi Michael! Thanks for the additional info. Are the resources you mention online, would it be in a hardcopy book somewhere?

    Would this watch have been considered nice in its day, or was it more of an affordable option for the common man?

  7. #6
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Trench watch identification

    The references are mostly hard copy hence why I can’t easily check just now.

    This would most certainly be a watch for the working man. Or woman as it happens.

    I recognise it because it has strong similarities with some M&ST calibres. Which if it is a Langendorf calibre wouldn’t be too surprising as the factories were close together and there were close connections in the management teams. But AS also had a factory there too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirius View Post
    The references are mostly hard copy hence why I can’t easily check just now.

    This would most certainly be a watch for the working man. Or woman as it happens.

    I recognise it because it has strong similarities with some M&ST calibres. Which if it is a Langendorf calibre wouldn’t be too surprising as the factories were close together and there were close connections in the management teams. But AS also had a factory there too.
    Thanks so much again for the information, it’s very much appreciated!

  9. #8
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    Re: Trench watch identification

    A quick scan through my records doesn’t show this one but it’s certainly familiar. I’m sticking with my guesses for now. It will probably require taking the dial off as AS usually mark there as do A Michel.


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    Re: Trench watch identification

    gbrot001...Hello again.

    To my mind, this is a very good looking watch. The blackened-steel case is well balanced by the brass accents, and the enamel dial is complimented by the blued steel hands. The movement may well use 5 jewels: upper and lower balance hole and cap jewels, and a roller jewel. Then again, it could turn out to be a 1 jewel, with only an upper balance cap jewel. I'll wager, though, that it's a 5 jewel...I've worked on several such watches, and the jewelling looks pretty familiar.

    I'm not a great fan of assigning 'quality' to watches. A 15 jewel wristwatch can run as well as a 23 jewel Railroad pocket Watch ( there are a few qualifiers here, as some may well decide to point out! ), and some ( quite a few... ) well-known Swiss makers have put their names on what seem to me to be really unimpressive pieces.

    So: your Swiss watch is rather like a "Timex", from an era when makers like "Patek Philippe" were active. There is a difference...

    ...still: say that this little Swiss cylinder watch had been owned and worn by Einstein as he struggled with a few difficult equations; how would The World 'value' it, then? Quite possibly, a bit higher than a Patek owned by someone 'lost to to sands of Time'.

    And there's the point: whether it's a Timex or a Patek or an unnamed little cylinder escapement watch, it's really not at all clear how to value it.

    It's a nice watch. Always will be.

    Michael.
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  11. #10
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Trench watch identification

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Maddan View Post
    The movement may well use 5 jewels: upper and lower balance hole and cap jewels, and a roller jewel. Then again, it could turn out to be a 1 jewel, with only an upper balance cap jewel. I'll wager, though, that it's a 5 jewel...I've worked on several such watches, and the jewelling looks pretty familiar.
    Since I have a large collection of very similar watches, I will almost guarantee that has only one jewel. And of course it’s a cylinder so no roller jewel.
    Last edited by Mirius; May 30th, 2019 at 07:44.


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