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Author Topic: Old Clockwork Pocketwatch, Need Help Identifying  (Read 2057 times)
Aethereal
Deck Hand
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Canada Canada


« on: June 29, 2011, 06:19:50 pm »

I got my hands on an old clockwork pocketwatch, but other than thinking that it's gorgeous, I don't know that much about it. I took some photos, but I don't know what to look for, so if you ask, I can take better ones or tell you what it says.

All of the shell parts have a (i'm assuming) serial number of 7538996, and it reads "DUEBER 20 YEARS WARANTED" on the protective inner shell at the back.

It has a different serial number on the inside where the workings are, so I'm presuming it's been repaired at some point. 2366159.

Any help would be great:)

Thanks.

Also, the metal is unknown. It's not heavy enough or yellow enough to be brass or gold, but the colour is similar (it doesn't show up well on the pictures, it looks silver).
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Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 12:14:36 am »

Try this...

http://www.pocketwatchrepair.com/histories/hampden.html
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Aethereal
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 04:10:03 am »

Thanks a lot Smiley That really helped! I just realised the photos didn't work, I'll try re-posting them.

Smiley
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von Corax
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 04:16:47 am »

All of the shell parts have a (i'm assuming) serial number of 7538996, and it reads "DUEBER 20 YEARS WARANTED" on the protective inner shell at the back.

It has a different serial number on the inside where the workings are, so I'm presuming it's been repaired at some point. 2366159.

No advice to offer, but (as I understand it) the case and works were usually manufactured by different companies, and so can be expected to have different serial numbers.
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Aethereal
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Canada Canada


« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 05:52:54 am »

Thanks:)

Pictures:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
front

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
back - the engraved image is a castle

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
face

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
engraving on the inside of the back cover for the mechanism, it has the serial number and the Dueber 20 year warranty on it

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
mechanism - the gear for the second hand is spinning, that's why it just looks like a plain circle. I checked it half an hour ago and it hasn't lost any time in two and a half days
serial number, and the text reads Canton, O (presuming this is Canton, Ohio, where the later Dueber watches were made according to the link from Argus Fairbrass), and the bit in the middle says "Safety Pinion".

Just been told that this is a Hunting watch, because it has two sides that open as well as the cover for the mechanism, if that means anything special?


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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 08:11:31 am »

Your watch was made by the Hampden Watch Company in 1907-1908.

The case is almost certainly what's known as 'gold filled' (that is a thin layer of 10-karat gold over a brass body). I can't read the markings in your photo of the inside of the dust cover to pin it down better.

There's nothing particularly special about a hunter case - it just afforded extra protection to the watch crystal.

Nice watch.  Smiley

PS The wheel you see spinning back and forth doesn't drive the seconds hand; it's the balance wheel. This is part that controls the timekeeping of your watch and is very delicate. Whatever you do, DON'T touch it.

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Aethereal
Deck Hand
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Canada Canada


« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2011, 09:24:12 am »

Thank you so much Cheesy

I wasn't going to touch it, but thanks for the advice Smiley

There's some numbers that look scratched (as opposed to properly done like the rest of the writing) into the metal on the inside of the dust cover right at the bottom below the serial number (7,538,996), and there's the Dueber warranty symbol just above that.
They're a bit small and shallow to read easily, but I could post them tomorrow when I have better lighting.

Again, thank you so much Smiley
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Darkhound
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2011, 09:32:10 am »

"Safety Pinion" refers to an ingenious arrangement that prevents a broken mainspring from wrecking the rest of the watch. Many good American watches have them. As the song says, "There's a terrible force in those tightly wound springs."
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 10:36:47 am »

There's some numbers that look scratched (as opposed to properly done like the rest of the writing) into the metal on the inside of the dust cover right at the bottom below the serial number (7,538,996), and there's the Dueber warranty symbol just above that.
They're a bit small and shallow to read easily, but I could post them tomorrow when I have better lighting.

The markings that look as if they're scratched in are exactly that. It was common practice for a watchmaker to scratch his mark and the date inside a watch's cover when it was cleaned, serviced or repaired. Sort of like a built-in service history.

It's the stamped markings which will identify the date/quality of the watch case.

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Aethereal
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Canada Canada


« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 04:22:53 pm »

I can't see any hallmark stamps on it, but the scratched markings inside the outer casing below the serial number is 01(61)806M

Where the brackets are, there's a little kind of box around those numbers, but without a bottom line.

Inside the dust cover there's another scratched number that's tiny - I didn't see it until you said to look for any other stamps.
Took some doing, but it's 9625795.
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Abslomrob
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 08:09:56 pm »

Hampden has a long and interesting history.  They started as the Mozart Watch Co in Providence, Rhode Island in 1864, and changed to "New York Watch Co." in 1866.  They moved to Springfiled, Mass. in 1867, and renamed themselves "Hampden" in 1877.  Dueber, at that time, was just a case manufacturer, but they were having trouble with the big watch companies.  So John Deuber decided to buy Hampden to get around them.  They moved to Canton in 1888.  In 1930, they sold the entire company (including the building and machines) to the USSR, and the whole thing was boxed up and shipped to Amtorg, USSR.

The symbol you see on the plate (that looks like an "H" with a "W" on the top and "CO' on the bottom) was registered in 1890.  Your watch dates to late 1907, and should be a 12size lever set watch (Model #3, Grade 300)
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 08:28:03 pm »

As the song says, "There's a terrible force in those tightly wound springs."

Cheesy Love that song.

You have a most lovely watch there, Aethereal.  Do you wear it frequently?  I'm curious if it continues to keep good time when worn and jostled about.  You might also look into taking it to a good watchmaker for a cleaning if you haven't already.
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