1920's novelty pencil watch by Carl Bucherer

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Posted (edited)

During the early part of the 20th century with the miniaturisation of watch movements many novelty items where produced all by very well respected watch manufactures and jewellers, penknives, keys, ladys compacts, cigarette lighters all at one time where produced with watch faces utalising movements normally used in ladies cocktail watches.

In my collection I own one such novelty a propelling pencil made by Carl.F.Bucherer and produced in the mid 1920's, these pencils can be found with various names  Cartier, Dunhill and Rolex. The Rolex ones where made by Bucherer for them and are extremely rare. The one I own is signed Bucherer and is made from solid silver they where also produced in 18ct and 14ct gold and some of the silver ones where enameld with various designs. I have seen two versions of the basic design of these watches one version has the watch permantley on display at the top of the pen the other has a hidden watch which is revealed by releasing a catch on the side of the pencil releasing a spring so the watch pops out of the top.IMG_2485.thumb.JPG.08b310fc9147a3d65f7c97494547ed4d.JPG

The pencil is around 5 and a half inches and the watch face being oblong in shape and measuring 9mm by 15mm IMG_2481.thumb.JPG.c303e6c8e91870a6b964727404713bb6.JPG

The watch part of the pencil can be pulled upwards and then unscrewed from the main body of pencil this reveals a hole into which the pencil leads are placedIMG_2483.thumb.JPG.34278c6962c130d3bba0bbaceab7c7b0.JPG

The watch part is held together with a screw on the top or in some cases a loop attached to a chain so it can be worn around the neck, undoing this allows the back to be taken off inside is a high quality 15 jewel movement it has proved to be very accurate the only problem with a oblong faced watch of this size is it can be extremley difficult to read at a glanceIMG_2484.thumb.JPG.3b5af928fa4d70df5a6acaaa0969abc6.JPG

The whole thing is beautifully finished with engine turned detail throughout the length of the watch, the pencil lead is deployed via a twist mechanism at the tip IMG_2489.thumb.JPG.9f5480fc14e645ef3b6eeb83526f0b65.JPG


It is a fine example of the craftmanship of the era in which it was made it would have been very expensive in its day to buy even though being meerly a novelty.

The only difficultey I had with this watch when purchased the crystal was broken in two, I could not find one of the correct size so ordered the next nearest from cousins it came about a month after ordering I then had to file it to size.


Edited by wls1971
spelling that would shame a three year old
dadistic, Geo and atimegoneby like this

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A very elegant and stylish artifact

Thanks for sharing.

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Lovely piece.  I have run across cocktail watches and even ring watches dating as far back as the 1950s, I did not know they went back to the 1920s that small.  I have not seen a pen watch that old and that elegant or even one that was pre-digital/quartz. 

Thanks for sharing and the detailed pictures.

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Lovely.... and people think the latest iwatch in rose gold is the epitome of style..!

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