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Thread: Pocket watches!

  1. #1
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Pocket watches!

    Long before my interest in wrist watches my first love was the pocket watch.

    Both of my grandfatherís wore one on a daily basis and my uncle, who was a sergeant in the Northumberland Constabulary, wore one with his uniform on a silver chain. My grandfatherís both wore theirs on straps and carried them in their trouser pockets. As a child growing up in the 60ís there was no doubt in my mind, pocket watches were the thing to have.

    When one grandfather died in 1967, my grandmother gave me his watch. A simple Ingersoll as I recall in a protective metal case. This was the watch that he used for the final decade of his working life as a pit deputy working down the mines. The protective case carried the scars of a working life underground but the watch itself was immaculate. I treasured it and was very upset when it was destroyed along with a number of other precious possessions in a house fire in the late 80ís

    Fast forward to the late 90ís and a surprise stocking filler from my wife Ė a new pocket watch, my first since my boyhood one was lost. This one was a Russian Molnija Ė hunter case, WW2 commemorative replica. Lovely little thing, the only problem being that it didnít run. I hung it up on the bookcase and sort of forgot about it for a while. My conscience was pricked recently when my grandson asked me about it so I sent it off to Brendan (Webwatchmaker) to see what he could do with it. He reporting back that it is was pretty much devoid of all lubrication Ė after a little fettling all was well. It ticks away nicely and keeps good time. I have to admit that I donít wear it as I donít like fiddling about opening the front cover to see the time. OK, itís a low value piece but it has sentimental value so it will be remaining in the watch box!






    Now, back to my very first pocket watch, sadly destroyed in the late 80ís. A while back I set out to see if I could find one as close to the original as possible. Difficult as the memory plays tricks on you over the years. I seemed to recall that the dial was a creamy or off white colour. I found this one at a very reasonable price which seemed very close. It must be due a service as try as I might I just cant manage to regulate it. It brings back memories.



    Next is a birth year watch (1959) a simple Smiths Empire bought as a birthday present by my wife. A short while after I began using it time keeping deteriorated to the point where it wouldnít wind properly and it became impossible to set the time. Again, Brendan did a brilliant job re bringing it back to life and since he sorted it out I wear it frequently. Another low value watch with great sentimental value that I really enjoy wearing.





    And now, as they say, for something completely different! A quartz Mondaine railway watch. Not to every ones taste I guess but I think that itís a lovely little thing. I donít even mind the central second hand that doesnít quite hit the markers. This is in fact my second one of these. The first, I bought new as a gift for someone but then decided to keep it. A while later I put it on SC as I part of a collection purge to raise cash from something else. Later on I realised my mistake and when I spotted this one on eBay at less than half the price of a new one it was an easy decision to make.



    This is one of my favourite watches, a CWC military model bought new from Silvermans. I love the dial and lovely slim case. It gets a lot of wear!





    Finally, here is my latest arrival an Omega De Ville. Iíve wanted one of these for some time but I donít like the gold ones and there seem to be fewer of the SS cased ones about, at a reasonable price anyway. Itís pretty modern by pocket watch standards, quite small, centre second hands and a simple, clean dial. Interestingly, it has a 601 movement more commonly used in Omega dress watches.



    Like my grandfatherís before me I carry all of the above on either a leather strap or home-made lanyard in my trouser pocket Ė I donít like chains or waistcoats!



    Ian

  2. #2
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    You should look for American or English lever pocket watches.

    Most of them are far superior to anything Swiss.

    Loads on ebay.

  3. #3
    Grand Master
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    Very nice mate, I have a fondness for the loud tick of a pocket watch.

  4. #4
    Master sean's Avatar
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    Great post, very interesting, thanks for taking the time. They're not for everyone for sure, but it's nice to know they've still got a following.

    Are they particularly heavy in your pocket (I expect the quartz one weighs next to nothing)?

  5. #5
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    Nice post thank you for sharing

    Some of the Swiss ones are nice too



    But I do have a soft spot for a nice English 3/4 plate


    Some more of mine


  6. #6
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean View Post
    Are they particularly heavy in your pocket (I expect the quartz one weighs next to nothing)?
    The largest is the Smiths, which is noticeable in the pocket as its quite tall but you get used to it after a while and its fine. The CWC is quite large in diameter but wonderfully slim so you hardly know its there. The Mondaine and Omega are small diameter and again hardly noticeable - the latter being not much bigger than a wrist watch.

  7. #7
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Excerpt from Wikipedia entry on pocket watches

    It is now considered an eccentricity to carry a pocketwatch


    Really?

  8. #8
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    You should look for American or English lever pocket watches.

    Most of them are far superior to anything Swiss.

    Loads on ebay.
    Thanks Brendan

    Just had a quick look - there are some really nice pieces there and they arent expensive

    Most would be classified as antiques - are parts a problem? I presume that servicing is straightforward?

  9. #9
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    I fix this sort of watch all the time. I have a huge stock of American and English watch parts but they rarely need anything other than winders glasses and mainsprings.
    Look up the rock crystal plate Waltham. An incredibly beautiful watch.
    No they are not always expensive and in my opinion still very much undervalued.

    Sent from my SM-J500FN using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Journeyman
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    Pocket watches

    Some very nice pieces guys.
    As the last person said, second hand pocket watches don't have to cost a fortune now days, EBay is full of some very nice used pocket watches.
    I like the last person I'm able to repair and service my own, I've amassed quite a few over the years.
    None quite a nice as the few on this post.
    Keep using them and enjoy them guy's.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    Excerpt from Wikipedia entry on pocket watches

    It is now considered an eccentricity to carry a pocketwatch


    Really?
    I have a nice Hamilton pocket watch (still with box and papers) I used to have a Smiths pocket watch similar to the one you have (Will probably buy another shortly) I do like having a pocket watch around the house and I have collected them in the past. I think they can also make a nice desk clock if someone didn't want to carry one about with them.

    There are still quite a few companies that make pocket watches at reasonable prices, Tissot have quite a few using Unitas movements, Jean Pierre used to have sterling silver ones (Don't know if they still do) I think the most beautiful sterling silver pocket watch I have seen has been the Sinn pocket watch I think there is a forum member who has one there was a picture on the forum some time ago. There was also a very beautiful Omega pocket watch on SC some time ago, got snapped up before I got a chance to buy.

    I have been looking to pick up a sterling silver Thomas Russell pocket watch for ages now (Shameless plug I do have a WTB for one also) I like your Russian pocket watch too, I was going to get one from everyones favorite German/Russian watch seller Juri he seems to have quite a few.

  12. #12
    Like you I started collecting pocket watches before I got heavy into vintage wristwatches wished I started with the vintage wristwatches I like now would of been way cheaper back then. It started when I got my Grandfathers pocket watch this one.


    Has a cool elk on the cover

    And a nice movement when America was great at making watches my Grandfather got it on his 21 birthday.
    And I ended up with these when I collected pocket watches can't remember the last time I bought one did sell a few of them last month.





    This one with wind indicator and my Grandfathers are my favorites out of the collection. If I went into vintage military issued and cool looking vintage wristwatches before pocket watches dam I could of got some good deals weird how our taste in watches change over the years.
    Last edited by River Rat; 28th July 2016 at 23:54.

  13. #13
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    There are some very nice examples on display here. I became interested in pocket watches a while ago and did some reading up on them, specifically American railroad watches, some of the movements are quite exquisite. Unfortunately my latent desire for a DornblŁth has kept me from buying one (yet) and as already stated they seem to be undevalued for the quality they have.

  14. #14
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post



    Ian
    Ian

    Do you mind telling us where you got the leather half albert? I've been looking for one with a weave for a while now and haven't found one.

    I often wear a pocket watch in my jacket pocket and the vast majority of the collection are GS/TP military watches. I must take a new photo as there have been a couple of additions since this one:

    The photo must have been taken on a long exposure as they all have their sub-seconds hands.

  15. #15
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    Do you mind telling us where you got the leather half albert? I've been looking for one with a weave for a while now and haven't found one.
    I keep an eye on eBay, the one in the photo came from this listing

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3817071323...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    If I spot something similar I will let you know

    I also ordered one of these a little while ago - still waiting for it to arrive



  16. #16
    Master bigbaddes's Avatar
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    this gets worn for a few days then put away then i think about selling it , then i wear it for a few days and put it away ...



    in coin pocket of jeans on chain

  17. #17
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post

    Do you mind telling us where you got the leather half albert? I've been looking for one with a weave for a while now and haven't found one.
    Not quite the same thing but if you want to try one of these NOS leather straps PM me (I owe you a favour!)




  18. #18
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    It's really great to see an interest in these beautiful pocket watches.

    They hit their peak values in the late 70's with many 'yuppies' wearing them but have often been overlooked in recent years.

    Many inventions attributed to the Swiss were actually pioneered by English and American makers, such as press in jewelling, non magnetic hairsprings, fine regulating additions and of course initially, American accurate mass production techniques.

    Jaeger Lecoultre for example were still knocking out cylinder escapements when the Americans were mass producing fine lever watches for the highly sought after Railroad contracts.

    Wish I had time to post some pictures.

    But thanks to you guys I'm up to my thruppenies with watch repairs !

    Brendan.

  19. #19
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Coincidentally, the MMT strap arrived within the last hour

    Good quality



    Last edited by Velorum; 29th July 2016 at 10:47.

  20. #20
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    But thanks to you guys I'm up to my thruppenies with watch repairs !
    And thanks to you I now have Hamilton, Elgin and Illinois lever's on my eBay auction watch list!

  21. #21
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    And thanks to you I now have Hamilton, Elgin and Illinois lever's on my eBay auction watch list!
    Brilliant !!

    In 1772 I bought 10 hamilton pocket watches in Portobello Market for 50p each.

    All had invar hairsprings and five were in silver cases.

    The dealer didn't have a clue.....!

    At that time I also found an english chronometer by French of Royal Exchange London but didn't have the £25.00 he was asking for it !!!

  22. #22
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    And thanks to you I now have Hamilton, Elgin and Illinois lever's on my eBay auction watch list!
    Look out for the rarer makers too such as South bend Watch Company.

  23. #23
    Craftsman
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    These are really only for lads 50 years plus.

  24. #24
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    I keep an eye on eBay, the one in the photo came from this listing

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3817071323...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    If I spot something similar I will let you know

    I also ordered one of these a little while ago - still waiting for it to arrive
    Thank you - if you see something please let me know; meanwhile I'll set up a couple of Ebay searches of my own to see if it flushes something out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    Not quite the same thing but if you want to try one of these NOS leather straps PM me (I owe you a favour!)


    Thank you but I have a fairly firm view of what I want and the first one you posted fits that more closely. I've found an Etsy supplier that does something in the right direction but I would need to persuade them to ship overseas

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/1117708...raided-leather

    I'll need one with a T-bar for my jacket lapel but these seem to be easily available from Cousins; and quite reasonably @ £4 plus VAT for a silver one.

    https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/traditional-style-1

    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    In 1772 I bought 10 hamilton pocket watches in Portobello Market for 50p each.
    I had always understood that you weren't a spring chicken, Brendan, but I didn't think you were that old.

    As a matter of interest do you ever see early pocket watches from Dublin makers - presumably from the 19th century? I've always fancied something along the lines of a fusee pocket watch with the name of a Dublin watchmaker on the dial or the movement.

  25. #25
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    I had always understood that you weren't a spring chicken, Brendan, but I didn't think you were that old.

    As a matter of interest do you ever see early pocket watches from Dublin makers - presumably from the 19th century? I've always fancied something along the lines of a fusee pocket watch with the name of a Dublin watchmaker on the dial or the movement.[/QUOTE]

    That is funny! Can't believe I wrote that !

    Mind you after I reached 50 my youth became a distant memory.

    No spring chicken indeed !

  26. #26
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedie View Post
    These are really only for lads 50 years plus.
    Not at all !!

    I have a young customer in Knightsbridge who is an avid collector of American pocket watches.

    Pays with Coutts cheques too !

  27. #27
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    I had always understood that you weren't a spring chicken, Brendan, but I didn't think you were that old.

    As a matter of interest do you ever see early pocket watches from Dublin makers - presumably from the 19th century? I've always fancied something along the lines of a fusee pocket watch with the name of a Dublin watchmaker on the dial or the movement.
    That is funny! Can't believe I wrote that !

    Mind you after I reached 50 my youth became a distant memory.

    No spring chicken indeed ![/QUOTE]

    Sorry, Dublin makers, yes.They are well sought after.
    I have a Waltham with enamel dial signed Hopkins & Hopkins Dublin.

  28. #28
    Notice some were posting stuff they use to attach there pocket watch to so the don't drop them when pulling them out of there pockets. Here is some I found at a shop years ago.

    Has a clip behind the buckle you hook to your belt so no way of dropping it.

  29. #29
    My wifes uncle was an avid collector of pocket watches.I would take him to the watch fairs, and out of town places to do his dealing.
    He passed away last month, and has left me all 120 of his pocket watches!.I have no idea of their value, most are gold or silver, and have mechanical movements,looks like i have rather a large research job on my hands.

  30. #30
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterv View Post
    My wifes uncle was an avid collector of pocket watches.I would take him to the watch fairs, and out of town places to do his dealing.
    He passed away last month, and has left me all 120 of his pocket watches!.I have no idea of their value, most are gold or silver, and have mechanical movements,looks like i have rather a large research job on my hands.
    Sounds like we have some interesting threads ahead of us.

  31. #31
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Looking forward to seeing some photos of these!

  32. #32
    Some very nice pocket watches on here.

    I am a fan of pocket watches as well and currently have the 3 below.







    I would like to add a Waltham, Elgin, or Hamilton pocket watch one day.

  33. #33
    Master
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    This has got me inspired to dredge my few pocket watches out.

    I’m fond of this one. I bought it from Japan and the green cord came with it. It’s a ’68 Seiko with a hi-beat 5740c movement, ticking away at 36,000bph. The same movement found its way into the Lord Marvel series of wristwatches. Seiko took a standard beat movement and upgraded it the hard way - by leaving the escapement and balance components standard but reducing the size of the pinions. Proper watchmaking.

    Here it is:





    Dredged the only pin-pallet Ingersoll out of the box too. This has seen a few miles on the motorcycle:



    And this one baffles me. I inherited from an uncle who had no interest in watches. And I know squat-all about it apart from it's pair-cased, has a fusee and a lever escapement and made by “A Levi, Hastings’. Can’t find anything about him, sadly.

    From the hallmarks I’ve got that it’s sterling silver, London, probably 1857 (the case at least).









    Beautiful movement finishing.

    Last edited by MMC; 30th July 2016 at 12:27.

  34. #34
    Another American brand I liked was E.Howard that later keystone bought the brand and was called Howard


    A Keystone Howard made in the 1920'-30's This one was lever set to set the time you unscrew the bezel and on the side there a lever you pull to set the time all American railroad watches had this. You never pull the crown to set the time just the lever and twist the crown. With the lever pushed in you can wind it.



    A E.Howard made about the time of the American Civil War in the 1860's this one used a key to wind it and set the time from the back.
    Last edited by River Rat; 30th July 2016 at 16:16.

  35. #35
    Master
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    I have these two, the first one I have found out that its a 1907/08 key wind and set, by H. Samuel who was a British retailer the movement is from Buren Watch CoBuren Watch Company.

    The second one I still have to do some research on, I also need keys so I can wind and set them as both are missing.





    The one I have no information on its the one on the left.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

  36. #36
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Talking of Irish pocket watches I found these at the car boot this morning:

    English silver fusee hunter dated 1860 with an interesting inscription
    Unsigned.
    Balance staff and fusee ok.
    Dust cover there too !







    Swiss silver cylinder dated around 1890. Signed Chancellor & Son, 55 lower Sackville Street, Dublin.
    Staff ok too !







    Both could do with a good clean, glass and hands.

    The fusee needs the case hinge resoldering too.

    When time allows !

    Brendan.

  37. #37
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Impressive!

    Thinks: must go to more car boots........

  38. #38
    Master Grandiloquence's Avatar
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    I have often looked at buying a pocket watch but for some reason have never gone through with the purchase. I think i'd like a half hunter in a nicely engraved case, but i'd love a pocket watch chronograph too and those Omega stopwatches look lovely...

  39. #39
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Finally finished the olivewood Chronograph case.

    I finally finished making this olivewood case for a beautiful 1900's IWC single button chronograph.

    The wood was all turned and fitting but I had to re-learn electroplating to finish the crown and pusher.

    Also made a little ring to stand it on.











    Brendan.

  40. #40
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Beautiful work Brendan

  41. #41
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Some great pics shown on here and far more interesting chat than SOTC "look at all my new watches" type posts.

    I've got a few pocket watches here amongst all the stuff...

    Wartime JLC










    Omega half Hunter










    Longines Hunter












    English HW Benson "The Field"


    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  42. #42
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Once again, Brendan comes to the rescue!

    He found that my CWC had been over oiled and was gaining time. Its been cleaned, lubed properly and regulated.



    He's also serviced the De Ville - including a case polish



    The serial number confirms this as a 1970 watch

    Looking forward to getting these two back!

  43. #43
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Neil.C;4045038]Some great pics shown on




    Omega half Hunter











    QUOTE]

    Lovely collection.

    You realise the Omega half hunter has the wrong minute hand ?

  44. #44
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post



    Omega half Hunter











    Lovely collection.

    You realise the Omega half hunter has the wrong minute hand ?
    Thanks Brendan, yes I do.

    My watchmaker said it should have spade hands and he would replace them at service time but I've never had it serviced.

    Never use it so no point really.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  45. #45
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Yes. Double spades so you can still read the time with the case closed.

    Sent from my SM-J500FN using Tapatalk

  46. #46
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    Here are some of mine.
    1860s 18k




    1900 Rockford.



    1822 Verge Fusee.




    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk

  47. #47
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Beautiful ! The English one looks interesting. One piece enamel dial too ! Is it a verge. I think I can just see the verge wheel. No diamond endstone though. 1800's ?

    Sent from my SM-J500FN using Tapatalk

  48. #48
    Some very nice pocket watches, I am always surprised how cheaply you can pick up a good quality watch compared to their wrist watch cousins.

    Great photographs.

  49. #49
    Master amnesia's Avatar
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    I was sifting through a box of my late Grandfather's possessions last night and came across a couple of pocket watches...

    First up is a Schierwater & Lloyd Full Hunter in 14kt gold with a beautiful movement. A quick Google suggests that it dates from around 1900, possibly a few years earlier. I very much doubt that my Grandfather ever had it serviced (he was an experienced engineer and devout shed-tinkerer so I suspect he did anything that needed doing himself). Despite that, it still works and was keeping good time this morning when I left for work, a good 12 hours after winding. It has a lovely loud tick.

    The second one is a bit of a mystery... an open-faced pocket watch with no maker's marks, except for a serial number crudely stamped on the back of the dull grey steel case. It also has no loop to attach to a chain, just a large crown at 3 o'clock. It has lume on the hands and a very clear dial. My Grandfather was in the RAF in WWII so I suspect it is some sort of pilot's chronometer or something ? I can't seem to open the caseback. I assume that they just prise open with a knife somehow ? The winder is jammed and the watch is not working. I would really like to get this one working as I could easily see myself carrying this around with me. I can't find anything similar on the web.

    I am at work at the moment, but will add pictures later this evening and maybe someone will be able to help identify it.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    I finally finished making this olivewood case for a beautiful 1900's IWC single button chronograph.

    The wood was all turned and fitting but I had to re-learn electroplating to finish the crown and pusher.

    Also made a little ring to stand it on.











    Brendan.
    Stunning..

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

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