Trench watch movement ID

Thread: Trench watch movement ID

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  1. #1
    Member chronophobia's Avatar
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    Trench watch movement ID

    Hey again, y'all.

    I'm still on the hunt for trench watches, and I need some help IDing a movement that keeps popping up on eBay. It's so common, I have a feeling I'll have my answer from one of you in about five minutes.

    Besides the ID, I'd love any info on the maker, date range, comments on quality, etc. Certainly seems like a good candidate for repairs given the number of movements available for spare parts. (These images are all from listings that were live within the last 24 hours.)

    Didn't have much luck on Mr. Ranfft's website, though that may have something to do with me being a complete newb.

    The seller of the watch in the third photo thought that the "M" on his movement might stand for Marconi, which I understand to be an early Rolex sub-brand, but it doesn't look anything like other Rolex trench movements I've seen, or Marconi movements for that matter. ( https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/wha...ver-48899.html and http://community.ebay.com/t5/Watches...h/td-p/2594519 )

    Thanks!

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    Last edited by chronophobia; September 16th, 2013 at 23:10.

  2. #2
    Member chronophobia's Avatar
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    Re: Trench watch movement ID

    Here are a couple more that look very similar, though the design of the movement is a bit more elegant. They're for sale in a lot.

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    This seller has done some research:

    Movement: A top quality 15 Jewel movement by A. Michel SA with beautiful curved lines to the plates which have nice engine turning finish.

    Makers Marks: The top plate is marked SWISS MADE with the A. Michel (M) logo below and the A. Michel Logo is marked on the bottom plate.
    Lots of info about A. Michel in the listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/331024616767

    Sounds pretty authoritative, but the others I found, while similar, definitely look a bit more crudely designed. Same maker, or a common/"borrowed" design, or an earlier/later model?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by chronophobia; September 17th, 2013 at 00:55.

  3. #3
    Member chronophobia's Avatar
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    Re: Trench watch movement ID

    Possibly answered my own question:

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/fee...-a-681850.html

    That looks a lot like the first three photos I posted. Is FHF the maker I'm looking for? I searched it on Ranfft and got a billion results, a few of which are close....

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  5. #4
    Member chronophobia's Avatar
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    Re: Trench watch movement ID

    Wait.

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/wel...ad-694251.html

    Schild?

    They all look the same.

    Aaaahhhh!!!!!

  6. #5
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: Trench watch movement ID

    Hi there,

    The first one posted certainly looks like an 'A. Schild 13 ligne Calibre 137'

    See here for more info:

    Watch Movement Identification

    and you are correct... many trench watch movements look very very similar, normally with no clear signs of a maker....
    Last edited by Sparcster; September 17th, 2013 at 12:26.
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  7. #6
    Member chronophobia's Avatar
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    Re: Trench watch movement ID

    Very interesting, and a great resource.

    This style in particular (with the three bars and the click spring--or whatever--that curves around the very edge of the movement) seems so ubiquitous: I wonder if anyone has an idea of its origins. Somebody had to design it first.

    How did you figure that the first one was likely Schild and the others not? Markings? Some characteristic shape that I missed?

    Thanks again, Sparcster!

  8. #7
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Trench watch movement ID

    I have to agree with the Adolf Schild assessment - one reason being the exact shape of the main plate edge close to the balance.

    Hartmut Richter

  9. #8
    Member chronophobia's Avatar
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    Re: Trench watch movement ID

    Thanks, Hartmut! By the main plate, do you mean the one with the winding gears? And by the shape, do you mean the edge bevel, or the curve, or...? Trying to see what you see.

    Here's another one... I think I'll just keep posting photos as I find them. Call it a newbie obsession.

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    Side note, gilded movements are a plus because they resist corrosion, correct? Any downside? Lots of the super snazzy trench movements I've seen from Illinois, Waltham, Rolex, etc., are not gilded, so I assume it's not universally held that gilded = better.

  10. #9
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Trench watch movement ID

    Quote Originally Posted by chronophobia View Post

    Side note, gilded movements are a plus because they resist corrosion, correct? Any downside? Lots of the super snazzy trench movements I've seen from Illinois, Waltham, Rolex, etc., are not gilded, so I assume it's not universally held that gilded = better.
    Gold gilt movements in trench watches are definately a sign of quality. Far superior to the thin
    nickel plate of the cheaper movements of that time, which is often rubbed or lost making the movement
    look dirty and shabby.

    It's great to peer into the case of an old trench watch and see a golden movement gleaming.






  11. #10
    Member chronophobia's Avatar
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    Re: Trench watch movement ID

    Thanks, Radger. Great to know, and those are some beautiful movements! Can you tell me about the third one? I've seen it around -- the plate arrangement is very elegant; reminds me of a river delta.

    Edit: Enlarged the photo and saw that it's a Zenith. Classy.
    Last edited by chronophobia; September 19th, 2013 at 19:31.

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