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east3rn

Help identifying vintage Rolex movement(1910~1920)

Question

Hello. Dear watchmakers.

I have a very old timepiece from Rolex that I am about to work on..

From googling, I found out that this is called "trench watch" that might had been used during WWI or any other war in that era ( 1910~1920)

However, I could not figure out the reference no. of the movement. All I know about the movement is that it is 29mm in diameter and has 15 jewels.

I am actually looking for a replacement movement for this watch since the mainspring must be replaced due to damage.

Plus, I am also looking for the rachet wheel with "Rolex" engraved to replace the existing one.

I have found similar movements on the web(the third photo added)  but click part was not the same.

I wonder if the one with different type of click would have parts that are replaceable.

To sum up, my questions are

1) the reference of the movement.

2) how I can get parts or the whole movement for replacement

3) does a movement with different click type would be suitable for replacement.

Thanks and  I wish you a great day.

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Edited by east3rn
photo

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its an A. Michel caliber 220 size 13 Ligne. Patented in 1916. In 1925 A Michel SA joined Ébauches SA, an association of 26 ébauche makers, including Fontainemelon, A. Schild, ETA (at the time the movement division of Eterna), and a number of other Swiss ebauche makers. During the time Rolex among other brands such as Omega used movements from ebauche makers, they did not manufacture their own. I have a few i may be able to spare some parts from. You can find them whole sometimes on ebay if you look up trench watch movements or 13 ligne movements. they can also be found in a number of other trench watches, its a very common movement for swiss trench watches, just like the AS 137 and 168. the replacement movement will fit the case and keys dont matter but the stem will.

and i have to say this movement was never supplied to rolex. Rolex(Wilsdorf & Davis) used Aegler Rebberg 15 jewel movements like the one you attached. Aegler supplied movements and complete cases to Wilsdorf & Davis and the cases should have a W&D hallmark inside and on the movement, after 1918 movements would say rolex on them not W&D. Also prior to 1926 Rolex was never written on the dial because British retailers at that time did not allow the names of foreign watch manufacturers to appear on the faces of the watches they sold. so i really hate to break it to you but this is a fake rolex trench, they are very easy to make. i see them all the time on ebay.

read this: http://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/myrolexpage.php

 

 

watches.jpg

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2 hours ago, saswatch88 said:

Also prior to 1926 Rolex was never written on the dial because British retailers at that time did not allow the names of foreign watch manufacturers to appear on the faces of the watches they sold

This is very true, many years ago when I started collecting watches I got to know quite e few dealers quite well it was standard practice amongst the trade that when a W and D watch came in they would send it off to a dial restorer and have Rolex added to the dial this would increase its desirability to buyers who where non the wiser.

The use of the description Trench Watch is misleading with these early wristwatches because they do not fit the definition of a Trench Watch in that they are not water or dust resistant in any way.

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8 hours ago, wls1971 said:

This is very true, many years ago when I started collecting watches I got to know quite e few dealers quite well it was standard practice amongst the trade that when a W and D watch came in they would send it off to a dial restorer and have Rolex added to the dial this would increase its desirability to buyers who where non the wiser.

The use of the description Trench Watch is misleading with these early wristwatches because they do not fit the definition of a Trench Watch in that they are not water or dust resistant in any way.

I have to respectfully disagree, not all wrist watches designed specifically for trench warfare were advertised as such with dust proof cases. And these cases are very rare and seldom seen. Waltham had a dust/water proof depollier case which if one is found can fetch upwards of 10K. cases like dennison and borgel featured screw on backs and fronts which were also advertised as dustproof as well.

BUT but there were many other cases which were not dust proof advertised for the same purpose, for example the Fahys case with the shrapnel guard that snaps onto the case over the crystal. these were not dust proof, they had snap on casebacks, But advertised for military. Same goes for the Khaki, they were very popular for US soldiers,  also not dust proof. The hunter case which was designed with a hinged back like a pocket watch was the first case designed specifically for the high demand of wrist watches during the great war, and it was advertised to the military. In some cases you will even see pocket watches with soldered wire lugs specifically for military because during that time wristwatches were a Lady's fashion, Men used pocket watches, most men would not even wear their wristwatches when home on leave.

below you will see a waltham advertisements featuring a watch with a hunter cases, 2 of the ads were specifically for military . there where other characteristics that made a watch a trench watch such as band, dial, crystal, and hands. None of these cases in these ads were dust proof.

IMG_20150530_205350_large.jpg

1917_may_khaki_large.jpg

Lady_Waltham_Advert_zpsducmzabr_large.jpeg

21587040_1655138431216461_6894423874900970507_o.jpg

Edited by saswatch88

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On 4/1/2019 at 4:02 PM, saswatch88 said:

its an A. Michel caliber 220 size 13 Ligne. Patented in 1916. In 1925 A Michel SA joined Ébauches SA, an association of 26 ébauche makers, including Fontainemelon, A. Schild, ETA (at the time the movement division of Eterna), and a number of other Swiss ebauche makers. During the time Rolex among other brands such as Omega used movements from ebauche makers, they did not manufacture their own. I have a few i may be able to spare some parts from. You can find them whole sometimes on ebay if you look up trench watch movements or 13 ligne movements. they can also be found in a number of other trench watches, its a very common movement for swiss trench watches, just like the AS 137 and 168. the replacement movement will fit the case and keys dont matter but the stem will.

and i have to say this movement was never supplied to rolex. Rolex(Wilsdorf & Davis) used Aegler Rebberg 15 jewel movements like the one you attached. Aegler supplied movements and complete cases to Wilsdorf & Davis and the cases should have a W&D hallmark inside and on the movement, after 1918 movements would say rolex on them not W&D. Also prior to 1926 Rolex was never written on the dial because British retailers at that time did not allow the names of foreign watch manufacturers to appear on the faces of the watches they sold. so i really hate to break it to you but this is a fake rolex trench, they are very easy to make. i see them all the time on ebay.

read this: http://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/myrolexpage.php

 

 

watches.jpg

Wow. Thank you for great information.. I guess there are a lot that I am not aware of in the world of watches...It is a pity that this is not a genuine Rolex.. 

But I really thank your generosity for sharing your knowledge.

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On 4/1/2019 at 9:02 AM, saswatch88 said:

Also prior to 1926 Rolex was never written on the dial because British retailers at that time did not allow the names of foreign watch manufacturers to appear on the faces of the watches they sold.

So would you say that both of these two watches were sold after 1926? I'd be interested in knowing about the 2nd one especially, thanks.

https://www.watchcentre.com/product/camerer-cuss-co. 18k-y-g-double-name-rolex-full-hunter-pocket-watch/12939

https://www.flickr.com/gp/137109262@N06/72CJC8

Edited by jdm

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32 minutes ago, jdm said:

So would you say that both of these two watches were sold after 1926? I'd be interested in knowing about the 2nd one especially, thanks.

https://www.watchcentre.com/product/camerer-cuss-co. 18k-y-g-double-name-rolex-full-hunter-pocket-watch/12939

https://www.flickr.com/gp/137109262@N06/72CJC8

What appears to have happened is this. In 1913 Aegler registered Rolex as a trademark for the manufacture of watches and watch parts.  Wilsdorf & Davis owned the name Rolex, which Hans Wilsdorf was very proud of. He wanted it to appear only on the best watches supplied to him, the ones made by Aegler. Accordingly he kept pressing Aegler to increase the use of the name Rolex, and as Wilsdorf & Davis were one of Aegler's largest customers they went along with this, describing themselves in adverts as both "Manufacture d'Horlogerie Rebberg" and "Rolex Watch Co.". The name Rolex was used by liberally by both Aegler and Wilsdorf & Davis in ways that can be very confusing. The single word "Rolex" was used as a brand name on the best watches produced by Aegler for Wilsdorf & Davis, but it was never the name of an actual company. Conversely, the name "Rolex Watch Co." on a watch does not mean that it is a "Rolex" watch, only that it was a product sold by the Rolex Watch Co.

So its earliest date would be 1913 but I believe it is a later watch. If the rolex is fired into the enamel then it was done in a factory it will be dated earliest 1926. IF the ink lays on top of the enamel it wit would have been added after the fact and could be dated pre 1926. there are ways to tell if the ink is on top but may require slight damage to the ink. It was very common for people to add rolex to their dials. these all very wishy washy details since there was a lot going on during those AUSAG ebauches days

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29 minutes ago, saswatch88 said:

So its earliest date would be 1913 but I believe it is a later watch. If the rolex is fired into the enamel then it was done in a factory it will be dated earliest 1926. IF the ink lays on top of the enamel it wit would have been added after the fact and could be dated pre 1926. there are ways to tell if the ink is on top but may require slight damage to the ink. It was very common for people to add rolex to their dials. these all very wishy washy details since there was a lot going on during those AUSAG ebauches days

Thanks. So, what are you saying is that if the dial was originally made carrying Rolex, then according to the UK rules it should have been earliest 1926, however there is a possibility that it Rolex was inked on the dial at any time after 1913, which I assume is the earliest possible for the case / mov.t combination, correct?

I can only observe that the fonts used for both the dealer and rolex are quite different on the two watches,  the one carrying Arab numerals "looks" more recent. I understand that the A.L.D. numbers on the case don't tell us much unfortunately.

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1 hour ago, jdm said:

Thanks. So, what are you saying is that if the dial was originally made carrying Rolex, then according to the UK rules it should have been earliest 1926, however there is a possibility that it Rolex was inked on the dial at any time after 1913, which I assume is the earliest possible for the case / mov.t combination, correct?

I can only observe that the fonts used for both the dealer and rolex are quite different on the two watches,  the one carrying Arab numerals "looks" more recent. I understand that the A.L.D. numbers on the case don't tell us much unfortunately.

NO the case numbers unfortunately are not linked in anyway to the movement or the Camerer company. That is a stock number for dennison and serial number is for the movement. Its really difficult to say because at the time rolex was a brand not a company. Rolex didnt make anything. Watch retailer such as Camerer and W&D would source watch parts, cases and movements from various ebauches makers which is why its so hard to date them, not to mention the aftermarket additions of the rolex name making it even worse.

I did find some info that Camerer did retail pocket watches using the Aegler "reddberg" movement but its not verified info. And I cant find any signed as Reddberg. I only see the one like you pictured signed Camerer. The rolex Brand was owned by Aegler and trademarked by him, so if camerer did use movements supplied by Aegler, which again was a swiss based manufacturer should not have the rolex logo if produced pre-1926. 

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