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Which Watch Have You Got Coming In The Mail ? Show Us !!!


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A slightly scruffy 800 (80%) silver cased cylinder pocket watch is on its way. It looks fairly complete, but absolutely filthy.

I assume it started life with a bezel and glass, so I'll need to try to figure out what to do about that. I should have a suitable bow for it, if not, I can always fabricate one, or pick something up on ebay.

It doesn't quite qualify for the 404 club, but it wasn't far off. With silver at 55 pence per gram or so, if I were a complete barbarian (which I am not), I should easily make my money back from the scrap value of the case.

 

 

If that didn't quite hit the 404 mark, at 0.99p plus shipping this little beauty certainly did.

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Probably by Phenix Watch Co. SA / Dubail, Monnin, Frossard & Co.  (click the link for more info about Phenix), an "Eros" from circa 1930.

I found a very similar watch online, which has an in house Phoenix caliber 116 in it.

Lets hope the balance staff is complete, as I suspect finding one to fit is going to be pretty difficult.

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Click the 1940s advert above for even more Phenix info.

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Edited by AndyHull
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1 hour ago, AndyHull said:

Lets hope the balance staff is complete, as I suspect finding one to fit is going to be pretty difficult.

Not as difficult as you may think 🙂

Balancestaffs.com lists the Ronda number for the staff as 1974. Cousins has a pack of 12 in stock.

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51 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

Thanks @Marc. Good to know. Lets see if it needs one.

For some reason I couldn't find it on cousins,  but you dont need them Andy. Popped home for lunch and had a quick look for you. When i finish work tonite i will have a measure up and check sizes with balance staff dot com. Looks like only one of R1974 but you are welcome to it, the others are for shock springs, plenty of those. Also quite a few other calibres if it not a 116.

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Thanks for checking. It probably be a couple of weeks before I get a chance to look at it. I'm only guessing it is a 116, and I'm not sure, even if it is, whether it is, or isn't Incabloc (probably not, judging by the style and probable age). Good to know there is a high chance of finding one though.

Edited by AndyHull
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4 hours ago, AndyHull said:

Thanks for checking. It probably be a couple of weeks before I get a chance to look at it. I'm only guessing it is a 116, and I'm not sure, even if it is, whether it is, or isn't Incabloc (probably not, judging by the style and probable age). Good to know there is a high chance of finding one though.

There is around 25 different calibres of phenix in the stash from 8 1/2 "' up to 19 "' pocket watch. Quite a few at 10 1/2  yours is looking around that size. When you're  ready if you need a staff give me a shout and I'll post you one up to your end. 

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AsPurchasedFontCropped-l1600.jpg.a0b097587252fd5c29168698e09d5294.jpg

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I blew the budget on this small ladies wrist watch, or possibly a fob/pocket to wrist watch conversion. These are the only pictures from the listing. I've zoomed and cropped them slightly to make them easier to digest.

It cost a whopping fiver (but the postage was cheap). No I haven't abandoned the 404 club, but I was really curious to find out what is actually in this, and whether it might be silver rather than nickel or steel/gun metal.

I'm not even sure that it is missing its crown and stem, as I initially assumed. There is a very slight chance it might be key wound. Whatever it turns out to be, it has a very clean dial, and a clean pair of hands, which is a bit of a novelty, given the state of one or two other pocket watches I've previously restored.

My current best guess is that it is possibly a cylinder movement, probably nickel, and that the stem and crown are missing. Given the wire lugs, it might even qualify as the mythical "trench watch".


Anybody else want to guess?

 

 

Edit: Strictly speaking there are a couple of things that make this not really likely to be a true trench watch.

First, it has no sub-second hand. If you are co-ordinating actions in the trenches, this is a pretty important thing to have. Secondly, it has no lume, which was also a pretty useful feature. However having said all that, not everybody used a military issue watch in the trenches, so relatively few were the classic  Omega, Longines, Elgin, Rolex or whatever watches in this style,  that command strangely high prices at auction. So in summary, it *could* be a trench watch... but possibly not. You pays your money, you makes your choice.

Edited by AndyHull
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8 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

AsPurchasedFontCropped-l1600.jpg.a0b097587252fd5c29168698e09d5294.jpg

AsPurchasedRearCropped-l1600.jpg.7caca8e52a80b95994db4be2f9edca76.jpg

I blew the budget on this small ladies wrist watch, or possibly a fob/pocket to wrist watch conversion. These are the only pictures from the listing. I've zoomed and cropped them slightly to make them easier to digest.

It cost a whopping fiver (but the postage was cheap). No I haven't abandoned the 404 club, but I was really curious to find out what is actually in this, and whether it might be silver rather than nickel or steel/gun metal.

I'm not even sure that it is missing its crown and stem, as I initially assumed. There is a very slight chance it might be key wound. Whatever it turns out to be, it has a very clean dial, and a clean pair of hands, which is a bit of a novelty, given the state of one or two other pocket watches I've previously restored.

My current best guess is that it is possibly a cylinder movement, probably nickel, and that the stem and crown are missing. Given the wire lugs, it might even qualify as the mythical "trench watch".

Anybody else want to guess?

Yes, my guess ladies pocket watche, cylinder and nickel plated.  Missing the stem. 

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2 hours ago, AndyHull said:

AsPurchasedFontCropped-l1600.jpg.a0b097587252fd5c29168698e09d5294.jpg

AsPurchasedRearCropped-l1600.jpg.7caca8e52a80b95994db4be2f9edca76.jpg

I blew the budget on this small ladies wrist watch, or possibly a fob/pocket to wrist watch conversion. These are the only pictures from the listing. I've zoomed and cropped them slightly to make them easier to digest.

It cost a whopping fiver (but the postage was cheap). No I haven't abandoned the 404 club, but I was really curious to find out what is actually in this, and whether it might be silver rather than nickel or steel/gun metal.

I'm not even sure that it is missing its crown and stem, as I initially assumed. There is a very slight chance it might be key wound. Whatever it turns out to be, it has a very clean dial, and a clean pair of hands, which is a bit of a novelty, given the state of one or two other pocket watches I've previously restored.

My current best guess is that it is possibly a cylinder movement, probably nickel, and that the stem and crown are missing. Given the wire lugs, it might even qualify as the mythical "trench watch".


Anybody else want to guess?

 

 

Edit: Strictly speaking there are a couple of things that make this not really likely to be a true trench watch.

First, it has no sub-second hand. If you are co-ordinating actions in the trenches, this is a pretty important thing to have. Secondly, it has no lume, which was also a pretty useful feature. However having said all that, not everybody used a military issue watch in the trenches, so relatively few were the classic  Omega, Longines, Elgin, Rolex or whatever watches in this style,  that command strangely high prices at auction. So in summary, it *could* be a trench watch... but possibly not. You pays your money, you makes your choice.

Well I'm going for solid silver. And going out on a limb here I'd say a lever escapement, stem wind and set. All of the cylinder movements that I've seen of this style that were stem wind and set had a button to press to go into set mode. I don't see one on this. Alternatively if it is key wind and set the I'd go cylinder. Nothing like hedging my bets 😉

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2 hours ago, AndyHull said:

 

 

I blew the budget on this small ladies wrist watch, or possibly a fob/pocket to wrist watch conversion. These are the only pictures from the listing. I've zoomed and cropped them slightly to make them easier to digest.

It cost a whopping fiver (but the postage was cheap). No I haven't abandoned the 404 club, but I was really curious to find out what is actually in this, and whether it might be silver rather than nickel or steel/gun metal.

I'm not even sure that it is missing its crown and stem, as I initially assumed. There is a very slight chance it might be key wound. Whatever it turns out to be, it has a very clean dial, and a clean pair of hands, which is a bit of a novelty, given the state of one or two other pocket watches I've previously restored.

My current best guess is that it is possibly a cylinder movement, probably nickel, and that the stem and crown are missing. Given the wire lugs, it might even qualify as the mythical "trench watch".


Anybody else want to guess?

 

 

Edit: Strictly speaking there are a couple of things that make this not really likely to be a true trench watch.

First, it has no sub-second hand. If you are co-ordinating actions in the trenches, this is a pretty important thing to have. Secondly, it has no lume, which was also a pretty useful feature. However having said all that, not everybody used a military issue watch in the trenches, so relatively few were the classic  Omega, Longines, Elgin, Rolex or whatever watches in this style,  that command strangely high prices at auction. So in summary, it *could* be a trench watch... but possibly not. You pays your money, you makes your choice.

@AndyHullit could very well be a trench watch in the truest sense. The strap bars look crude enough to be the original cobbled together motif from that time. Also you have to consider that Tommy in the trenches only had to know the time of simple things like breakfast, lunch and dinner, everything else was coordinated by the officers in charge of the unit who no doubt had much more accurate and expensive watches.

 

Tom

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10 hours ago, tomh207 said:

it could very well be a trench watch in the truest sense.

It could indeed. There is an interesting article on trench watches here -> https://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/trenchwatches.php
As you pointed out, not all watches worn in the trenches were on the wrists of officers. I imagine the majority of enlisted men had whatever they brought with them, or could scrounge or purchase when on leave.

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5 hours ago, AndyHull said:

It could indeed. There is an interesting article on trench watches here -> https://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/trenchwatches.php
As you pointed out, not all watches worn in the trenches were on the wrists of officers. I imagine the majority of enlisted men had whatever they brought with them, or could scrounge or purchase when on leave.

One of the images is very similar to the Rolex?  I posted. 

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Well, well, I hardly finished one very challenging project or I stumble already over the next. When I looked, it was just put on and for the price I bought it on the spot, without a thorough investigation: it's either going to be a hero or a big zero !! 😲

According to the sellers test, the balance seems to oscillate freely and if it runs, it's only for a short period. I'm looking very much forward to give repair a try ......

Silver case, "LE Phare" Cal 114VCC. Never heard of it but I will start studying tomorrow what I actually just bought 😂

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5 minutes ago, Endeavor said:

Well, well, I hardly finished one very challenging project or I stumble already over the next. When I looked, it was just put on and for the price I bought it on the spot, without a thorough investigation: it's either going to be a hero or a big zero !! 😲

According to the sellers test, the balance seems to oscillate freely and if it runs, it's only for a short period. I'm looking very much forward to give repair a try ......

Silver case, "LE Phare" Cal 114VCC. Never heard of it but I will start studying tomorrow what I actually just bought 😂

LP-1.thumb.jpg.201c9d59d26faedb84196fdbc259ac2d.jpg

LP-2.thumb.jpg.f1261ec3bd28927edfe17b7800036c50.jpg

LP-3.thumb.jpg.06195c2761c24be967578f3860f739e1.jpg

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Don't know what you paid but they command a high price. 

1 minute ago, RichardHarris123 said:

Don't know what you paid but they command a high price. 

 

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On 3/10/2023 at 6:40 PM, Marc said:

Well I'm going for solid silver. And going out on a limb here I'd say a lever escapement, stem wind and set. All of the cylinder movements that I've seen of this style that were stem wind and set had a button to press to go into set mode. I don't see one on this. Alternatively if it is key wind and set the I'd go cylinder. Nothing like hedging my bets 😉

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Good guess. 925 silver, stem wind and set, lever escapement.

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Sadly it seems it needs a balance staff I think, or at least the balance is unseated for some reason and I'll not get a chance to work on it for a while I suspect.

Everything else about the mechanism, at least visually, appears to be intact, although there is some evidence of previous work, including a service mark on the lid.

I'll no doubt find any other gremlins when I strip it down.

It also needs a stem, and removing what is left of the existing one and finding a replacement for the balance staff and the stem may be a little bit of a challenge.

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However it is Sterling (92.5%) silver. As you can see,  quick buff with a polishing cloth has chased all of the tarnish away, so while it currently may no be running, it does look quite attractive.
 

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