“palada ancre ligne droite 15 rubis” 14k pocket watch

May 21, 2020. 06:09 UTC
“Palada Ancre Ligne Droite 15 Rubis” 14k Pocket Watch
Sean
United States of America

Category
Pocket watch

Acquired from
Inherited

For sale
No
Description

Case says “Samuel Kirk and Son. Baltimore” on it. the watch has two sides. One with a bright oval and the other side having what looks like a small sun/star. Open with the face showing, there is very minimal wear and ornate numbering with a second and a minute clock in separate circles, which is common I’m sure, though I think it needs a battery replacement. Opening the back side, there is an interesting array of engravings of soldiers and lions in front of castles. As I’m typing this, the clock has just resumed ticking for the first time since my mother showed it to me. Opening it further, there is a series of gears from small to large.

Provenance

It was my grandfathers watch he used in the Vietnam war. That is all I know.

$250 - $300 (United States Dollar)
Answered within about 11 hours
May 21, 17:27 UTC
By David

Hello Sean,
Thank you for sending in this pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall attempt to help you with that today. {Understand that the watch is priced to sell on the watch market, not on the gold market.}
TITLE:
Gent’s, 14K gold (no hallmark seen), pendant wound and pendant set, savonette, hunting case pocket watch, retailed by S. Kirk & Son Jewelers, Baltimore, Md., made by the Palada Watch Company (unlisted watch company), likely made in Switzerland, circa 1915-1930. {There is no evidence in any horological textbook of the Palada Watch Company of Switzerland. This includes the two volume text by Kathy Pritchard on Swiss watch makers, and Brian Loomes “watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World, Complete 21st Century Edition”}
DESCRIPTION:
CASE – Size is not supplied, but this is a four leaf, hunting case pocket watch. This model was made in a very small jewel size and worn as a pendant watch by women, but also the same model has been made for men (you did say it was your grandfather’s watch), and those measure 50-52mm in diameter. The watch will be considered 14k gold since that is what I have found inside the covers of other similar watches on the internet. If made in Switzerland the case would have to have, by Swiss law, a gold hallmark. (Same is true if it were made in Italy, Germany, France and England and most countries in Europe. So, without seeing any hallmark for gold this may be a gold plated or gold filled case.) This pocket watch has a fluted gold ball pendant and oval bow at the three position (savonette) opposite the case hinge. The edges of the case are fully scalloped and the two outer covers have the engraving of solar rays with one side having an ovoid cameo for the owner’s initials (left blank). The inside of the cover is not seen in full but should bear a gold hallmark indicating 14K gold or 0.583 gold and the image of a squirrel for Swiss 14k gold. The cuvette or movement cover is engraved, ‘PALADA’ (at the top), has a series of faux medallions (usually representing awards at watch expositions in Europe-but these are fake), ‘straight line anchor escapement with 15 jewels’ (translated from the French). With the front cover open and looking at the gold metal dial surround, note the color of the metal at the 53 and 2 minute markers where there are small erosions in the gold with a white metal underneath. This is from oxidation and suggests that this case may well be gold plated, gold filled or rolled gold, and not solid gold. **N.B.
DIAL – Unsigned, gilt, triple-sunk metal dial with enameled Arabic hours, closed minute track, sunken subsidiary seconds @6, sunken guilloche tufted dial center, with blued-steel Continental Spade hands.

MOVEMENT – Not shown but assumed to be a gilt brass or gilt nickel half plate movement with finger bridges, with exposed barrel and ratchet gears, curved center-wheel bridge, 15 jewels, bimetallic balance wheel, Breguet hairspring and Swiss style index regulator for increasing or decreasing the speed of the movement. The movements found in similar watches online are unmarked.
CONDITION: Case –In very good condition and does not shown much aging. Couple of small spots of oxidation seen in the metal around the dial. Modest amount of scratches on the case covers. Dial – In very good condition but unsigned by the maker. Movement – not shown.
HISTORY:
Samuel Kirk (February 15, 1793 - July 6, 1872) was an American silversmith, active in Baltimore, Maryland, and best known for his introduction of repoussé to the United States. He engaged in various partnerships with his sons under the names of S. Kirk and Son and S. Kirk and Sons. In 1979 S. Kirk & Son was purchased by the Stieff Company, which renamed itself Kirk Stieff.
Kirk was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, apprenticed in 1810 to James Howell in Philadelphia, and partnered from 1815-1820 with John Smith in Baltimore with their shop at 212 Market Street (later known as 106 Baltimore Street). On March 18, 1817, he married Albina Powell. He then worked from 1820-1826 in his own practice at 30 Baltimore Street, then from 1826-1830 at 140 Baltimore Street, and 1831-1846 at 144 Baltimore Street. During this early period Kirk introduced to America a chased floral repoussé pattern for silverware, probably inspired by East India silversmiths, which is still known generically as "Baltimore Silver." From 1846 onwards he partnered with his children: from 1846-1861 with Henry Child Kirk as S. KIRK & SON; from 1861-1868 with Henry Child, Charles Douglas, and Edwin Clarence Kirk as S. KIRK & SONS; from 1868-1870 with Henry Child Kirk as S. KIRK & SON; and again from 1870-1896 with Henry Child Kirk and Henry, Jr. as S. KIRK & SON (which continued after his death). The company was renamed S. Kirk & Son Inc. from 1924-1932, and then S. Kirk & Son STERLING from 1932 onwards.
The RETAIL RECORDS series (1834-1974) contains data on the marketing of Kirk products. Several early bound volumes record sales of watches and jewelry. The watch books (1846-1893) describe each watch and provide the name and location of the supplier of the internal movements. The date and the customer's name are also given.
COMPARABLES:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/497955420/womens-gold-mechanical-watch-pendant
(This is a ladies example that RETAILS for $380 on Etsy.)
https://www.bukowskis.com/en/lots/794121-palada-pocket-watch-55-mm-hunting-cased
(This is the men’s example which carried an estimate at auction for $467.49. This watch case carries a 14k gold hallmark)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-14K-GOLD-DIAMOND-3-LIDS-PALADA-REMONTOIR-WATCH-/370219664279 (the ladies example with a single diamond and 14k gold mark failed to sell on E-Bay for $599)
https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/gold-pocket-watch-palada-c8xllCIlgauZ
(Men’s watch, fully hallmarked with Swiss squirrel for 14k gold. Sold in 2019 for $602)
COMMENTARY/PRICING:
I can find no evidence of this watch company in any of my watch textbooks. I am able to find watches similar to yours with unsigned dials and unsigned movements where only the movement cover is marked “Palada” and accompanied by the various faux medallions. Those that have legitimate Swiss 14k gold hallmarks do sell for a few hundred dollars, those without any hallmarks would sell for less. . . The end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th saw many Swiss watch names on both pocket and wristwatches being sold in the USA and in other industrialized countries as well. Some were sold on street corners in NYC over many decades. There are books which list these Swiss made watches which carry phony names, but I believe that they were (in the vast majority) made in Switzerland to compete with the surge (during the late 19th century) of mass manufacturing of American pocket watches using interchangeable parts and factory methods. This was one of the responses of the Swiss watchmaking industry to losing market share of pocket watches and wristwatches to America.
At any rate these “Swiss Fakes”, a commonly used term, are now vintage and antique watches and have a value all their own. If your watch is marked for 14k gold I would put a fair market value on it of $250-$300. If it has no markings for solid gold its value would drop to $100-$150. The fact that this watch was sold by Samuel Kirk & Son Jewelers of Baltimore makes me feel more secure going with the solid gold value for your example. Kirk was a major retailer for well over a century as I mention above.
It sounds complicated but your watch is quite handsome and presumably 14k gold, but if one cannot find the name of the watchmaker and document it, that alone changes the entire pricing system. As far as the medallions - when one looks closely they are not finely engraved and are rather simplistic when compared to examples seen on watches such as Omega, Longines and other well-known Swiss companies who used medallions on their watch cuvettes.
I hope this provides you with some information on the nature of this pocket watch. I am certain it has much more value as your grandfather’s timepiece than can be measured in dollars.
My best,
David

Please log in to comment
Register Log in
Other items from seller

No more items

Related items from other collectors