Pocket watch

Jun 23, 2020. 11:45 UTC
Pocket watch
Raelene
Australia

Category
Pocket watch

Acquired from
Inherited

For sale
Yes
Description

Unsure if working No dial to wind Silver colour 15mm high Diameter 56mm 105 grams

Provenance

Unknown

Answered within about 8 hours
Jun 23, 19:47 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$275 - $325 USD

Insurance Value

$600 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Raelene,
Thank you for sending in this pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that tonight.
TITLE:
Gent’s, 56 mm white metal (nickel, steel, tin, zinc or mixture thereof, but not silver), key wound and key set, open face pocket watch, unsigned but made in the region of Fleurier, Switzerland, circa mid-19th century.
DESCRIPTION:
Case: 56 mm diameter, three leaf, white metal with no hallmarks but the initials, partially legible of the casemaker in Switzerland. The white metal is a combination of any or all of the common white metals used for watch cases, e.g. nickel, lead, zinc, steel, silver plate, chrome or tin. A suppressed ball shaped pendant and oval bow is placed at the twelve position and contains a push button. He case no is 8724. There is a single white metal single Albert link watch chain. . .
Dial: White enameled dial with radial Roman hour chapter ring, closed minute track with Arabic markers placed every fifteen minutes on the periphery of the dial. Blued steel American type Spade hands, no subsidiary seconds ring and the dial is unsigned. . .
Movement: This is a movement most likely made in the Swiss town of Fleurier and made for the Chinese market. (This is the hometown of watchmaker ‘Bovet’ who was famous for his watches filled with enameled polychrome painted covers and ornate pearls) Numerous watchmakers in and around this town copied some of his movements, as we see here in a very plain case. This movement has a duplex escapement (this is a frictional rest escapement where the escape wheel has a double set of teeth, horizontally placed teeth for locking and perpendicular teeth for the impulse). The movement surface is filled with arabesques and rosettes. The gilding has worn in spots to reveal an underlying white metal, probably nickel or nickel plating. The movement is protected by a glazed brass bezel type cover. On Bovet movements, close to the third wheel there was a Chinese legend which is usually repeated on the inside of the back case cover. It is felt that this was probably the maker’s name. There is no such name nor stick figures on the movement nor the case. The lower edge of the train bridge is decorated but not signed on this example. The movement is key wound and set. There is a three arm balance wheel with Swiss index regulator marked with English initials for faster and slower.
Condition:
Case – Plain white metal case, silvered or chrome plated with spots of dark oxidation.
There is superficial scratching to the inner case cover.
Dial – Good with modest wear especially around the periphery of the dial. Unsigned.
Movement – Good with wear to the gilt areas. Done in the Bovet, Fleurier pattern.
HISTORY:
In the early 1800s Edouard Bovet and his brothers were running an import-export business between Fleurier and Guangzhou, China, then known as Canton. Aware of the popularity of embellished pocket watches, he started Bovet Fleurier in 1822 to produce them.
He was not alone. “By 1860 there were 600 watchmakers and more than 40 families in Fleurier making watches for the Chinese,” said Michel Parmigiani, the founder and owner of the watch company Parmigiani Fleurier. “The town had the largest concentration of millionaires in Switzerland.” 1851 saw the opening of the first watchmaking school in Fleurier. By 1872 more than 600 people were employed in watchmaking, meaning 23% of the population. Fleurier, in 1887, was home to around thirty watch companies, employing 634 watchmakers who produce watches for many different countries: China, Egypt, Turkey, the United States, England, Spain and France are their main markets. By the 1970s, things had changed. The arrival of the quartz watch was so catastrophic that local people still refer to it simply as The Crisis. Factories closed, residents moved, businesses shuttered.
COMPARABLE:
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/69842799_bovet-fleurier-pocket-watch-with-steel-movement (circa 1850 Bovet Fleurier sold for 700Euros in 2019)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/62757851_vaucher-fleurier-open-face-silver-pocket-watch (SOLD FOR 350 EUROS IN 2018)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/72410842_antique-leo-juvet-silver-pocket-watch
(SOLD FOR $325 IN 2019)
Pricing:
Looking at the white metal cased comparables and more valuable ones I would estimate the fair market value of your watch to be in the $275-$325 range. I hope that helps to explain your watch in clearer fashion to you as the owner.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal.
My best,
David

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