44 mm on the face (white part) overall width with case is 53 mm. Material unknown, does not stick to a magnet. A Buck On one side and another design on the other side
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Gent’s, 19.5’’’(lignes size), Art Nouveau, gold plated nickel or gilt brass, pendant wound and lever set, savonette, hunting case pocket watch, dial and movement marked ‘Henri Mathey’, made in Le Locle, Switzerland circa 1890.
Case: 53 mm diameter case with 44 mm dial plate and therefore the movement diameter (19.5’’’), four leaf, gilt metal, perhaps gilt brass or gold plated or gold filled nickel hunting case pocket watch with the outer covers having a rather amateurish depiction of a buck on one cover, the other with a shield shaped cameo for the owner’s initials, both covers having foliate engraving around the circumference of the covers. There is a case number inside both the covers and the cuvette, 29955. There are no hallmarks for a solid precious metal. On the rim of the case around the movement again one finds the case no. 29955. Sop all of the case numbers do match (this is good). There is a fluted gilt ball pendant and round bow placed at the three position (savonette) opposite the case hinge.
Dial: Round white enameled dial with black Breguet hours, closed minute track with red Arabic markers placed every five minutes, subsidiary seconds dial @6, steel Breguet type hands and the upper dial marked “Henri Mathey”.
Movement: A damascened nickel, three quarter plate movement with single small finger bridge, the latter adjacent to the bimetallic balance wheel and hairspring with Swiss style index regulator. The movement is held in place by two modern era screws with rounded three dimensional heads, usually not found on early watches made circa 1900. Perhaps they were replaced later in the 20th century by a watch repairman. The plate is signed, Henri Mathey, no. 130,817.
Condition: Case – Art Nouveau era (the engraved foliate patterns on both outer cases). Therefore, the watch was made during the Art Nouveau era (1880 – 1910). The engraving of the antlered buck is rather primitive and amateurish, unlike the other engraving on the edges of the covers which are deeper. The case may simply be a gold plated base metal (spelter or nickel) or it can be a brass cased watch. Staining and some oxidation to the outer case, along with modest scratches.
Dial: Oil stains around the central arbor holding the hands while there is darkening in patches in the lower dial representing old dirt or growth of mold. The name on the dial, ‘Henri Mathey’ matches the name on the movement.
Movement – A straight forward three quarter plate generic, jeweled Swiss movement signed Henri Mathey, 130817, in fairly good condition.
There is very little information about this particular watchmaker. Pritchard in her treatise on Swiss made timepieces 1775-1975 mention him briefly - Henri Matthey-Henry was born 1817 and died 1893. He married a Peytieu and changed his name to Henri Matthey-Peytieu. He worked as a watchmaker in Le Locle, Switzerland. Apparently he sometimes signed his watches just ‘Henri Matthey’. The condition of the dial and case reduces the value here. So, I wish I had better news for you but this just feels like it would not bring much more than $100-$150 at auction, and that is the fair market value. I wish I could price it higher but it would have to have a better and higher grade case for me to do that.
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