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Pierce Calibre 103 Parashock


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Digging through everyone’s favourite auction site, I picked up what I was hoping to be a neat addition in the military watch category. Only had 30 mins to make up my mind, so I jumped on it for a tenner bid and won.

 

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http://www.ebay.ie/itm/191329879939

 

After digging a bit, I’ve confirmed that it is a Pierce Parashock with a 15-jewel Pierce Calibre 103 movement. That would date it to the 1940s. The bridges even appear to have some nice geneva stripes and finishing - though it looks like it desperately needs cleaning...

 

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ID’d from: http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&&2uswk&Pierce_103

 

The movement has “Pierce Watch Co.” stamped on a bridge with the letter “M” stamped by itself over near the ratchet wheel. No other apparent markings. The case back is stamped with the serial number 35880. The back is secured to the case with 4 screws at the lugs with a case shaped gasket sandwiched between, hence waterproof and airtight. Well, back in the 40s perhaps!

 

The case and dial appear to be all original. The case is chrome plated but a lot has flaked off and the case base metal looks a bit banged up, probably pitted – looks like brass. The dial is an unusual two-tone white and black with “Fab. Suisse”. The hands appear to be replacements with faded blue tinted lume though they too look aged. The original hands would probably have been the thinner diamond shapes typical of military watches like the A-11s, probably black framed with a white interior. The "vintage" strap probably needs to be replaced.

 

I found just one other picture of this identical model on Google, with a cleaner dial that may have been somewhat restored though the case looks in far worse condition. The numeral style differs with narrow angled numbers instead of the fatter arched style.

 

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For a tenner, I think this was a good buy. Of course, now it needs more suitable hands, likely some new parts, and a service. I'm hoping the movement cleans up okay. This might be my first hobby project (outside of weeks of practice on throwaway movements). Parts for this don’t seem to be completely impossible going by Cousins UK which has practically the whole movement listed other than the bridges...

 

If anyone happens to know more about the watch, movement and its dating, would love to know!

Edited by PadraicB
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Pierce movements are good quality - and some go for very high prices on eBay. As far as being military is concerned, if there are no WD markings on the outer case cover - such as "A.T.P." or "W.W.W." - then it's probably military-style, rather than military. I'll bet it cleans up nicely, whatever!

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Pierce movements are good quality - and some go for very high prices on eBay. As far as being military is concerned, if there are no WD markings on the outer case cover - such as "A.T.P." or "W.W.W." - then it's probably military-style, rather than military. I'll bet it cleans up nicely, whatever!

 

Definitely military style. It would have been marketed to armed personnel, as the name suggests to paratroopers who feature in the advertising I could locate online, but it's never been issued officially by any military. Don't worry, I knew that before bidding. Though for a tenner, I don't think it would have mattered :P.

 

It occurs to me I clarified that poorly in the opening post... It is important to distinguish between the two.

Edited by PadraicB
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