16 Jan, 2014
When my father passed away a while back I inherited a couple of old pocket watches. For the most part they were pretty abused, and a quick skim through Google suggested they were of no particular value or interest to anyone. One of the watches did catch my interest though, it's slightly smaller than the rest and is beautifully ornamented:
Google didn't give me much to go on for this watch, I did find out that it was probably not rare or valuable (not in gold, and only six jewels). I was still curious about the watch so I reached out to the members of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors forum.
I did find out the following:
- Swiss in origin. Probably made for export to the German market.
- Probably made between 1890-1910.
- The German Crown/Moon hallmark for silver is present and has been used since 1886.
- It has a cylinder escapement and is stem wound (Remontoir).
- The case is made of "continental coin" silver of .800 purity. This is indicated by the Swiss grouse stamp, used from 1882-1934.
- The parts are most likely hand made, in cottage industry fashion, but the ornamentation might be stamped.
- The "Galonne" mark is French for "striped" and refers to the gold plating/gold wash on the silver case.
- The inside cover is not silver, probably nickel or brass.
The bad news is that the watch does not run, and it's probably not worth having it restored as it's neither rare or valuable. I'm going to keep it as a memento and conversation piece, and who knows, someday when I run out of interests I might take up pocket watch repair as a hobby.