Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

Thread: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

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  1. #1
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    Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    I have an 18K gold pocket watch from my Grandfather. It would be European make, likely from England. It appears that he was given it around 1912 to 1926, but I cannot tell more precisely.
    I have included some pictures. There is no name, but there are stamps (besides the 18k one in multiple places), such as the U in a circle and the odd shape in the box. It has a serial number. It also has scratched in it some numbers that are not dates but I assume manufacturing codes - very hard to read.
    It winds with the top knurl and you can adjust with by pulling it up (not a separate button).
    Anyone have any ideas?
    Attachment 976492Attachment 976493Attachment 976494Attachment 976496Attachment 976499

  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    Movement is characteristic of early 20th century Swiss lever. Case is Foreign made with I believe 1914 London assay mark.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  3. #3
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    Re: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    Hi Ray. I appreciate the feedback. Any way to determine the maker? It has scratched in marks which may help. I also wonder if the U with a kind of circle around it means anything and likewise the box with a shape in it that looks kind of like a chess piece?
    I included two detail images if it helps. I cannot tell if part of that is a signature.
    You were right, the "u" in the circle like mark is a London Assay office mark and I guess the thing in the box is "r" for 1912/1913 - once you explained, I could find it on a page of such marks. This fits since we believed he got it in 1912 to 1915 before the war.
    Now the problem is finding the maker.
    Thanks, Paul
    Attachment 976880Attachment 976879
    Last edited by PaulKimelman; February 18th, 2013 at 08:40. Reason: add two pictures

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  5. #4
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    Re: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    The scratched-in marks are watchmaker's repair marks and are meaningless unless you have the watchmaker's log book. It would have been better to have posted this over in the vintage/pocket watch section.

  6. #5
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    Unlikely you will ever find the maker as these Swiss watches from the early 20th century were not labeled in any way to identify them. No records exist for serial numbers either, if there is one on the movement. Case serial numbers are also meaningless. The best you can hope for is the hallmarks on the case. I think it's a small "t" which means 1914.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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    Re: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    Hi Ray. I went to the UK gov site. It looks like the date stamp matches either 1860 or 1920, so I have to assume 1920, since 1860 does not make sense. What is strange is that I came across a photo of an 1860 swiss import with exactly that shape (and the rounded edge rectangle); the only 1920 ones I can find all have the bump on the bottom, but unless they reused the case with a new movement, I assume that does not work. Thanks, Paul
    Attachment 977252Attachment 977253Attachment 977254
    Last edited by PaulKimelman; February 18th, 2013 at 19:13. Reason: pictures did not show

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    Re: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    RON, sorry, I did not realize I was supposed to use the vintage section for this kind of question.

  9. #8
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    No the U for foreign made cases came in after 1906 so probably 1920 is the correct one. It is an "e" I think. I was looking at silver before so I had the wrong date.

    Google Image Result for http://www.jewellerycatalogue.co.uk/gold/hallmarks1916-1974.gif
    Last edited by Ray MacDonald; February 18th, 2013 at 19:41.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  10. #9
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulKimelman View Post
    RON, sorry, I did not realize I was supposed to use the vintage section for this kind of question.
    You can post where you like, but Ron is correct. The Vintage forum has far more experts to help you. I was a Mod there for years so I usually try to respond on anything posted here.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  11. #10
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    Re: Trying to identify a pocket watch - need help

    I used the UK Gov page. You are right that in 1904 the "leo" symbol was introduced, so this suggests 1920. Hard to see how they called that leo (after the constellation) but it was defined as leo on a cross with a square background. The leo thing was supposed to be representative of the lions head hallmark vs. the smiling sun face they tried before that.
    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.g...hallmarks2.pdf

    So, that finally dates it. Thanks, Paul

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