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Author Topic: Old case, new movement watch  (Read 4093 times)
grimnir
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« on: November 24, 2012, 07:36:32 am »

Hi all, I picked this pocket watch up from a stall at Brisbanes Supanova and would like your opinions.

The case has the following words on the inside back:

Meadailles Obtenues
Parlaqeni Miso Numars Fodeen 1882 Mabe

Audemars Freres Ceneye

The working is obviously from a different watch, probably a wristwatch as the numbers are at 90 degrees to the numbers on the case.





I love the case and would eventually like to get a new working for it but it does have a fairly decent mechanical one even if it's the wrong one lol.

So what do you think?
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Kindest regards, Raven

Abslomrob
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 12:52:19 pm »

Its a pretty generic Chinese made movement from some random factory, similar to these ones: http://www.ofrei.com/page1119.html#20360

If it runs well, then good on you for grabbing it; the machine tolerances in most of those factories is wide enough that the functional quality of the movements will vary between astonishingly good and horribly unreliable, even between examples from the same run.  Add in underpaid assemblers and finishers and companies that think the "Q" in QA stands for "Quick", and you have the reason most watch people turn their noses up at them.

I think the case is a repro; while the style is early 20th century, there are enough parts that aren't right that I suspect someone just modeled the new case on an existing design.  The style is what's known as a "Demi-hunter", but a true demi-hunter from the 1900's would have the crown at 3:00, in order to match up with the hunter movement that would have normally been installed.  Ironically, they've put a hunter-type movement in it, which tells me that the case was procured separately from the movement.  The location of the balance wheel tells me that the movement is rather small for the size of the case, as the edge of the balance will be very close to the edge of the movement.

Here's a good NAWCC thread that talks about the real Audemars Freres (Geneve); you'll see what I mean about the case being not quite period accurate.
http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?92540-Need-help-Audemars-Freres-pocket-watch
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All my vintages are at http://www.abslomrob.com
grimnir
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Maker of fine Leathercrafts


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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 08:09:19 am »

Well, been looking through those and yeah looks like a repro case, but the good news is the movement keeps good time, less than a minute out after 3 days.

So if this is a hunter style movement, what is the name for the one with the winder at 12? Eventually I'd like to get another one in that style as I do prefer that look
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Abslomrob
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 04:03:14 pm »

That style is usuall referred to as "open face", although the fancier swiss term is "Lepine".  The swiss term for a hunter movement is "savonnette".

In theory, the main thing that differentiates a savonnette vs lepine movement isn't the stem, but rather the sub-second dial.  On a watch with no subsecond hand, you can rotate the dial to put any number you want beside the crown.  There are a number of wristwatches out there with the winder at 4:00, for instance, and some at 9:00 (often targeted at left handed owners). 

Early pocket watch movements didn't have crowns (they were wound by a key inserted into the back or front of the movement), so there was no distinction between the movements used for hunter watches and open face watches; it was just a matter of how you choose to orient the movement.  The subsecond hand (for those watches that had a second hand) was typically put at 6:00 on the dial for aesthetic and legibility reasons.  On an open face design, you'd pull the watch out by the stem to look at it, so it made sense to put 12:00 at the "top".  With a hunter case, you'd pull the watch out, and usually hold it in your palm, depressing the button with the fleshy part of your hand, and supporting the lid with your fingers so as not to stress the hinge and spring.  That meant that it made more sense to put the 12 perpendicular to the stem.

Once stem winding/setting became popular, they had to start designing the movements differently to support the two layouts.  The standard crown/barrell design meant that all you really have to do is swap the crown wheel and mainspring barrel to accomplish this (and there were some "convertible" models that could be switched back and forth).  But the basic design remained the same.  You'll find, though, that many watches from the early 20th century are what's known as "Sidewinders".  That's an open-face watch with the crown at 3:00.  These existed primarily because hunter watches became less popular, so as the older hunter cases began to wear out, their owners would have the movement transferred into a regular (and cheaper) open face case.  Some railroads required their watches to have the 12 opposite the crown though, so an even rarer form would have the sub-second dial at 3:00. 

You'll also see some watches with the subsecond dial at 9:00; Russian Moljina's almost always have this layout.  Normally, however, you only see that on "wristwatches" that have been constructed from a old lepine pocketwatch movement (and its a good sign that the watch has been recased, or is an outright fake).
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grimnir
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Australia Australia


Maker of fine Leathercrafts


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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 10:22:35 pm »

Thank you for the information, I never realised there were so many different types. TBH never thought about it before I got this one - it's my first Smiley
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