Up close with an antique Locle watch.
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  1. #1
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    I really appreciate a high quality watch, especialy one which was born
    from the days before the mass produced, machine made watch.
    This is such a watch and this post will attempt to convey the quality
    and attention to detail which the master watchmakers and artisans
    working in the Locle C1875-1880 could achieve.

    It is an Edouard Perregeaux, open faced hunter in a quality silver case,
    my original post about this watch can be seen here.....

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/poc...er-414494.html




    The movement is marked Meylan & Guignard FR and, courtesy of member
    Kurtnz, this is what I know of this pair.

    "Pritchard lists a Meylan & Guignard Freres, Le Lieu, Geneve.
    The firm was founded as Etienne Meylan in 1847.
    An ad in the Journal Suisse d’ Horlogerie in 1876 gave their name as
    Meylan & Guignard Freres and called them makers of precision horology.
    They could supply blank movements in all calibers used by Ulysse Le Coultre.
    An ad in the JSH 2 they made simple watches and all complications in all
    sizes; they specialized in stem winds, repeaters, independent seconds,
    chronographs, calendars, chronometers etc.
    The firm presented a remarkable collection of 32 movements at the Paris
    Exhibition in 1878. These included 7 to 8 ligne movements, others with
    diverse complications such as quarter repeaters, simple and perpetual
    calendars and moon phases. One movement contained all the complications.
    They won a Gold Medal first class from the National Academy in France
    in 1879, a silver medal 1878, a diploma in 1878 and a First Class medal
    for movements at the National exhibition of Horology at La Chaux de Fonds
    in 1881."

    Meylan & Guignard obviously made the ebauch, but in reality many
    artisans would have had a hand in the production of this watch as several
    aspects of watch production at this time, were specialised trades in their
    own right.

    As I dismantled the watch before I took a pic, the post will be a
    pictography of assembly with macro pics attempting to show detail and
    function.

    Here is the dial side of the dial plate.

    Notice the plating and fine pearling. All screws, even on the dial side
    are highly polished bevelled to the outer rim and chamfered to the slot.
    The spring work is polished and bevelled and the intermediate hand setting
    gears are highly polished with their own bridge, complete with Geneve stripes.

    Although the end stone settings stand proud they are also nicely
    inset and bevelled.







    In most watches the hole in the plate which pivots the stem is plain
    or bushed with bronze, these wear and it is a frequent repair re-bushing
    these.
    On this watch the stem pivot is holed in a beautifuly made steel pivot
    hole which is partly inset, pegged and screwed to the plate.
    This system has worked as I can detect no obvious wear at this point.





    I was surprised to find a sliding sleave mechanism and had expected a
    rocking bar type set up, especialy since the watch is lever set but I'm
    not to familiar with this type of watch and nowhere on the internet can
    I find another Locle watch from this period dismantled so it could be
    common place.
    The crown and castle wheel are highly polished as is the stem and
    everything slides and clicks into place as sweet as a nut.



    The barrel is fitted with Geneva stopwork, this is set up with a half turn
    to the spring and allows four full turns of the spring.

    Although the spring looks to be to large for the barrel, as it occupies more
    than the accepted norm of one third, I would say it is correct as I have
    the four full turns required to fully wind the watch.

    A tool had to be made to dismantle the barrel assembly as the barrel
    arbour is made in three pieces rather than the usual one. The winding
    wheel is riveted to the arbour whilst the centre 'drum' is unscrewed
    clockwise from the arbour, probably a safety device in case of a
    mainspring break.

    The whole barrel and winding assembly is very well made and extremely
    robust.





    The winding bridge, note the name of the ebauche maker underneath.





    The following pics speak for themselves....







    Notice the pearling even underneath the balance cock.



















    But what good is all that effort if the watch is a mediocre timekeeper!

    Here is an analyser shot, I don't know the lift angle of the pallets and
    so the balance amplitude is not neccessarily correct.
    Checking manualy the amplitude is in the 290-300 deg region and is
    not significantly reduced in any position.
    The performance is superb and it times + or - 3 seconds in five positions and - 6 secs whilst upside down.
    This could be got better by retouching the top pivot with a burnisher, or
    changing the viscocity of the lube on one balance pivot but not by me.... at this time anyway.

    Last edited by radger; October 17th, 2010 at 13:53. Reason: clockwise for anticlockwise

  2. #2
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    Re: Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    Thank you very much for this great post of a very nice watch

    Frans

  3. #3
    Member Beau8's Avatar
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    Re: Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    Very nice example~Cheers!

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  5. #4
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    Re: Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    Exquisite, you can probably guess how much I enjoyed that

  6. #5
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    Re: Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    Radger: In my opinion; a truly fine example of a first class posting. This is very informative about the Locle based watch makers. Since trying to sort out the sources for watches marked by Gruen, Jurgensen, Matile, Nardin, LeCoultre, Patek, it seems that Audemars and Meylan were maybe the 2 main movement suppliers to these and other fine finishers as well as those marking finished movements as their own. The parts work details like by Meylan seem to be in many. It is hard for me to attribute any one fine Swiss watch producer of 1850-80 to any one source and this movement details breakdown illustrates why as well as showing the fine work by Meylan. Photo here of Fine old keywind chronometer with Matile dial but unmarked movement with improved Nardin pivoted detent. Told by previous owner was made by Matile. Saw identical movement from Jurgensen I therefore attributed to Matille. But now unsure. I have a repeater Jurgensen with movement known from Audemars records to be from them. So it seems likely the Matile and Jurgensen chronometers may well be from Meylan. Added image of Nardin marked movement maybe also in part or totally made by Meylan?
    Attached Images Attached Images







    Last edited by artb; October 18th, 2010 at 22:03.
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  7. #6
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    Thank you for the positive comments guys, I appreciate it.

    I'm really clueless when it comes to which company made which
    ebauche and supplied it to whom, but it's great to uncover little parts
    in a bigger puzzle.

    These are all superb watches that you have Art, and are instantly recognisable as
    being born from the same ethic to design and build quality.
    That is a great source when watchmakers such as Audemars have records
    from that time.

    I tend to think that Meylan and Guignard were small producers in Le Locle
    at this time but don't know for sure.

    Did you notice that the bridge layout of my watch is the mirror image of
    the usual arrangement for watches of this type i.e balance is on the left and
    train on the right when viewed from back crown up, instead of the other way
    around, strange that.

  8. #7
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    Re: Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    Great post, Radger!
    Too bad the steel frame for the stem didn't become a standard movement feature.
    The pallet lever is an odd design.
    Have you seen others that have that loop on the end?

  9. #8
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    Re: Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchloon View Post
    Great post, Radger!
    Too bad the steel frame for the stem didn't become a standard movement feature.
    The pallet lever is an odd design.
    Have you seen others that have that loop on the end?
    My Longines 18.50 also has a loop counterweight. Having said that, I read that counterbalanced levers like this were for side pallets like this Longines. This certainly isn't true for Radger's Locle.



    Better photo from Roland's site (although not as well finished as mine).

    Last edited by trim; October 19th, 2010 at 05:20.
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  10. #9
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchloon View Post
    Great post, Radger!
    Too bad the steel frame for the stem didn't become a standard movement feature.
    The pallet lever is an odd design.
    Have you seen others that have that loop on the end?
    Thanks watchloon.

    The pallet lever is an odd design as you say, the lever is very long
    due to the fact that it is pivoted outside the perimeter of the balance
    wheel, most watches are pivoted underneath the balance. This long lever
    requires that the pallets are poised with counter weight, hence the
    unusual design.

    I've saw it before and it is not uncommon. Trims Longines lever is a
    good example of that design used on a side lever.

  11. #10
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    Re: Up close with an antique Locle watch.

    Thanks for the replies.
    I suppose part of the reason I haven't seen any is that I don't have many pocketwatches.

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