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Gent’s, Art Nouveau era, size 18, gold filled with anti-magnetic shield (inside the cover), pendant wound and lever set, savonette, “box” hunting case pocket watch, Grade 35 made by the American Watch Company, Waltham, Ma. USA circa 1883
Case: Size 18, gold filled (no solid gold marks noted) , four leaf, hunting case pocket watch with extra heavy gilt case (box case) and fluted ball pendant and round bow placed at the twelve position (savonette) opposite the case hinge. The outer covers have an engraved antlered buck with engraved foliage on one cover and foliate forms on the other with a polished blank surface for the owner’s initials. This is a design in keeping with the natural flora and fauna inspired by the Art Nouveau years of c. 1880-1910. The interior of the covers reveals that the case number is 238892 and the cuvette is marked “anti-magnetic shield, patented December 4, 1883” (Giles Anti-Magnetic Shield Case). The inside of the cuvette had a soft iron center ring and the hinged cuvette when closed, deflected electrical currents away from the balance and hairspring in order to prevent the detrimental properties of magnetism in reducing the precision of the movement.
Dial: Double-sunk round white enameled dial with Roman hours, closed bar minute track, Arabic markers placed every five minutes around the periphery of the dial, sunken subsidiary seconds dial @6, steel Spade minute hand and skeletonized steel Cathedral hour hand (likely a replacement). The upper recessed dial center is signed, ‘American Watch Co. Waltham’.
Movement: This is a damascened nickel full plate movement, the Grade no. 35, model 1883, made by the American Watch Company, Waltham, Massachusetts, and Serial number 3217112 dating production to May 1886 - October 1887 in a run of 1000 such movements. This movement was made to fit into a hunting case and used Pendant winding and lever setting, mostly with 15 jeweled (ruby) movements with some in gold screw settings and used a Church patented (1885) regulator, bimetallic balance wheel with Breguet hairspring and was adjusted for position, temperature and isochronism. The movement is signed, American Waltham Watch Company, Adjusted, Safety pinions and serial number.
Case – Assumed gold filled or plated, this case is in excellent condition for its age. It does have some small areas along the edge of the cover where there are dark patches of oxidation, but the covers are in wonderful condition.
Dial – Fair condition - One replaced Hand. Several hairline fractures located at the 18 minute marker and runs through the hour chapter ring, while others are seen at the 27, 32 and 54 minute markers. Some scattered dark speckling of dial.
Movement – Excellent condition, original to this case, genuine and likely functional.
GILES BROTHERS & CO., Chicago, the well-known jewelers, are still increasing their business in both the wholesale and retail departments, and supply the jewelry trade from the Alleghenies to the Pacific. The three medals for superiority in watches, awarded by the greatest exposition for railway appliances ever held anywhere, were won by Giles, Bro. & Co., and it is an indisputable fact that no house in the world surpasses theirs In this respect These three medals are represented here, and they constitute, without a doubt, the highest honors that a watchmaker can obtain. They have added
to the manufacturing interests of Chicago in the shape of a diamond-cutting department. They certainly deserve great credit for their enterprise. This is the only establishment of the kind in the West, and has been seldom attempted outside of the old hereditary diamond-cutting establishments of Amsterdam. They import their rough diamonds free of duty, and by using the best labor-saving machinery, are able to offer their patrons the benefit of first cost prices. Giles Brothers & Co. employ over 100 hands, and their stock runs up into the millions.
Charles K. Giles. Mr. C. K. Giles, of the wholesale and retail firm of Giles, Bro. & Co., jewelers, was born in Massachusetts in 1839. He received an academic education at the New Salem (Mass.) Academy. In 1861 he removed to Chicago, and entered upon the course of business with which his name has since been connected. It was by Mr. Giles’ business enterprise that diamond cutting was introduced in the West. He has also introduced some valuable improvements in watches, one of the most noted of which was the antimagnetic shield, by which watches in the pockets of their owners are completely insulated from the influence of magnetic currents while in close proximity to electric light and power dynamos. Many a valuable watch was ruined by the works being magnetized by the owner approaching to near these machines, before Mr. Giles patented and introduced his antimagnetic shield. The firm of Giles, Bro. & Co., of which Mr. C.K, Giles is the head, is one of the oldest, most substantial and best known in the West, and fully deserves the distinction it has won. Some of the acclaim in the year 1888, included, “No less an authority than the Waltham Watch Company, Elgin National Watch Company Howard Watch Company, and other companies, whose circulars are here-with given. Also from C. J. Field, Chief Engineer of the Edison Construction Works, New York, C. J, Vande Poele, the great dynamo builder of Chicago, and thousands of others in the electric light and power business, also thousands of railroad men; as a matter of fact, the best possible time is obtained by dynamo engineers from shielded watches, and the entire line of proof is most practical and positive, as it has been obtained by three or four years actual use. The shield is made for pocket use, and is fully warranted to protect the watch from all magnetic influences it would be subjected to in ordinary use, and is guaranteed for the use it is made for, as any commercial article should be, and the warrant so reads. The watch is not intended to be laid on the dynamo, neither was the Giles shield intended to be laid on the dynamo, and the warrant and directions so state. It is easy enough to make them to withstand the dynamo, if desired, or if there was a demand for them, but the proof as above, shows that the shield is strong enough, and perfect for practical use.”
I am going to use the condition of your watch and get my fair market value from the pocket watch database. There are deductions made for the dial, but otherwise the watch is super condition. I believe the fair market value of this pocket watch would be in the range of $300-$350 with retail value somewhat higher. I did find one antimagnetic pocket watch selling in 2013 for $700 when prices were somewhat higher than today. It was made by the United States Watch company. (https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/united-states-watch-co-15j-18s-kw-pocket-watch-eq1xRXZhn)
I hope you find this interesting reading, I know I learned a bit doing the appraisal as well.
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