Small pocket watch. 1 inch wide.
Small pocket watch
Power returned this evening and I am ready to do the appraisal of your little pendant watch. Thank you for your patience and for sending this watch into mearto for an appraisal.
Ladies, jewel size (size 6/0-10/0), 14k yellow gold, pendant wound and pin set, open face pendant/lapel watch with a fancy 24 hour dial, maker unknown, watch is unsigned by the maker but attributed to a Swiss watchmaking firm, made circa 1915-1925.
Case: 25mm diameter, 14k yellow gold, three leaf, pendant/label open face watch, the back cover not shown but assumed polished gold while the inside of the cover is hallmarked as follows, ‘0.585/56’ for 14 k gold 14/24ths=0.585, also marked 14k. Adjacent to the hallmark is the squirrel hallmark for Swiss 14k gold. The crown within a circle is the German mark for solid gold. The engraved initials, C.R I believe is for the casemaker who is likely Swiss and unidentified. 33680 is the case number and 241 is the case model identification. The cuvette, or movement cover is engraved (translated), “Pendant wound, cylinder escapement” I cannot see if the number of jewels is mentioned.
Dial: This is an ornate gold bezel with small foliate patterns surrounding the small white enameled dial with black upright Arabic hours (1-12) and red hour chapter to the inside (13-24) with open bar minute track with gilt dots placed every five minutes and gilt floral patterns for ornamentation around the main dial. There are tiny Mitre steel hands typical of the early 20th century watches. (Usually any watch with a 24-hour dial has been influenced by the proximity of this watch to one of the World Wars, and I believe this was the influence of the military watches of WWI.
Movement: This is a half plate and finger bridge Swiss movement with the half plate having exposed ratchet and crown wheels and a curved center wheel bridge with a small straight single finger bridge. The index regulator is Swiss made and associated with the three-arm balance wheel. The movement is not signed.
Condition: Case – very good to excellent. Dial – Unsigned but in very fine condition for being a century old. Movement – Fairly typical and routine Swiss made movement which appears to be original to this case, genuine and hopefully, functional. The R and A refer to French initials for slower and faster.
SWISS STEM WOUND WATCH HISTORY:
Contrary to popular belief, Switzerland has always concentrated their efforts toward watchmaking rather than clockmaking. The country produced many fine watch and clockmakers who became well known after they had immigrated to other countries, mostly to the U.K. and France. Vulliamys and Emory went to England. Lepine, Berthoud and Breguet went to France. As early as the 18th century any watch production was made for foreign export. Watchmaking developed in both France and Switzerland concurrently in the 18th century, where some of the very finest early watches were created. I shall skip over the early history, and start with the modern stem winding and setting pocket watch system. It was perfected in Switzerland in the1840's, but did not take over the market completely from the key wound watch until the 1870's. This system lasted a century until the 1970's when the development of the quartz watch in America almost bought the entire Swiss watchmaking industry to its knees. In Switzerland the industry in the second half of the 19th century was not unified. This was a cottage business with many craftsmen creating parts for watches and clocks. One could find an individual watchmaker on just about every corner of towns like Loche, Bern and Geneva. Meanwhile, in America the Industrial Revolution produced a powerful industry of giant factory companies that made both watches and clocks in vast numbers. Watches here were produced by the tens of thousands. Competition produced increasingly better watches. By 1880 most other countries, including Switzerland began to follow the lead of America in the manufacture of the complete pocket watch by mass production methods using interchangeable parts. One of the problems in America with Swiss made watches occurred about 1870. The Americans had created the famous "railroad" pocket watch, a superb timekeeper. It was used and treasured here not only for railroads but by private individuals and gradually the price came down. The Swiss became aware of this and flooded the American market with pocket watches with names strikingly similar to those found on American watches. These were fakes and inferior in their quality AT FIRST compared to American made watches. In 1871 Congress pass a law requiring all watches to be marked with country of origin. The Swiss tried to comply with this law but also to get around it by printing Swiss in such tiny letters on the movements that it could be barely seen, or they would bury the name "Swiss" in a highly engraved area of the watch so that it was hard to spot. Interestingly by 1885 the workmanship on these Swiss "fakes" WAS FINER AND MORE ACCURATE than the American watch movements. The late 19th and 20th centuries saw the rise of superb watch making companies in Switzerland and gradually they rose to the position they hold today, namely, that of world leader in watchmaking. Midway through the first quarter of the 20th century miniaturization was underway, and this would eventually lead to the development of the wristwatch. The pendent watch was developed in Switzerland around the turn of the 20th century, with highly decorative enameled cases which were crafted in France as well as Switzerland. The division of labor in the Swiss watchmaking industry led to a situation where you could own a watch with a Swiss movement, French case and English porcelain dial. What had changed however was that in the 20th century the Swiss could create the finest movements in the world at some of the lowest prices. The same could be said of the decorative case. The small pendant watch was called a "pendant set chatelaine watch". The chatelaine was the chain attached to the pendant watch which in decorative style would relate to that watch. Jewelry stores all over America were selling such small pendant watches with matching chain as early as 1907. They advertised them as their own, suggesting American manufacture, since the name Swiss was not readily apparent to the buyer. These watches were imported in great numbers, and they were great sellers here from early in the century up until WW ll. Post WW II the Swiss watch industry had enormous, geometric type growth. starting with manually wound movements. By the 1970s most watches were self-winding. From 1970-1990 the development of quartz watches nearly brought the mechanical Swiss watch to its knees, but it survived and is one again thriving despite a downturn from 2012 to 1016.
This is just a wonderful little watch from the early 20th century. With the price of gold skyrocketing, a similar watch which sold in 2006 for 160 British Pounds today would fetch 4-5 times as much, or abut 650 Pounds which in Dollars is roughly $854. Therefore, I believe the fair market value of this watch, in overall very good condition would range from $800-$900 in today’s market.
I hope this helps explains the watch to you, what influenced the dial and that it was Swiss made and exported first to Germany and ended up in Warwick, New York.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for this appraisal. It was my pleasure to look at this watch for you.
Thank you for sending in your watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. A tropical storm just blew through New Jersey and took out my power. So I have temporarily lost my computers. It seems like the loss of electricity is fairly widespread so I do not know how long this will last. The power company says 'perhaps' by August 11. But one never knows
I will get your appraisal done when power returns, so I ask for your patience in the timing of this appraisal.