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Gent’s sterling silver, size not provided, 0.935% silver, key wound and key set, monogramed, open face pocket watch with fancy dial, unsigned, movement not shown, case made in Switzerland, movement most likely of Swiss origin (certainly could be English), made 1880s.
Bought in Chester, UK, around 1990. Appears to be Swiss, silver, somewhere between 1850 and 1930.
Case/Condition: Size not provided but will assume this is a full-size Gent’s pocket watch. The case is made of 0.935% silver which was considered sterling silver in Switzerland and represented by the two standing bears seen on the inside of the cover. There is a hallmarked silver ball pendant placed at the twelve-position relative to the dial. The pendant is MISSING its round or oval bow. The engine turned silver back cover is engraved with a ring of flowers and other designs with curled leafy patterns. Large leaves are engraved at the twelve and the six positions on the cover with a central shield shaped cameo with a monogram which appears to involve a J & M. the interior of the cover reveals the case number (blurry) 94008, 0.935 in a banner, a small triangular marking that is too illegible for me to interpret, perhaps a duty mark and two standing bears, the Swiss hallmark for sterling silver. The silver is evenly darkened from oxidation throughout from exposure to the air. The design of the case suggests it was made during the years of the Art Nouveau, a period suggesting the beauty of nature which occurred in Europe and America from c. 1880-1915. The cuvette (movement cover has two winding apertures surrounded by incised decoration to prevent scratching this area when using the winding key.
Dial/Condition: A beveled crystal overlies this white round enameled dial with black Roan hour chapter ring, closed bar minute track, sunken subsidiary seconds dial @6, gilt brass Continental type spade hands. In addition, there are decorative gilt and silvered decorative markers placed around the circumference of the dial and these include: gilt pyramidal markers, silvered stars, arrowhead or dart gilt markers, and foliate patterns. Similar ornaments surround the base of the hands on the dial. Dial is in very fine condition.
Movement: For some reason the client does not show the movement which would clarify the dating of the watch and the country of origin. One cannot say it isn’t English because many English jewelers purchased Swiss movements and cases to sell in England because they were less costly to produce. However, the most common arrangement in England was for a Swiss movement to be housed in and English case, which is not the situation we have here. So, the most likely movement is Swiss made which during the 1880s may well have been a bridge-plate movement with half plate with exposed ratchet and crown wheels, curved center wheel bridge and one of two smaller finger bridges along with evidence of a Swiss made index regulator. The movement is likely unsigned. I will make the extraordinary assumption that the movement is original to this case, genuine and functional. Condition of the movement is not known because it is not shown.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/125964457_swiss-made-half-hunter-silver-pocket-watch (Swiss silver demi-hunter pocket watch sold in 2022 for $225)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/126223482_1860s-1890s-ancre-spiral-breguet-pocket-watch (Gold filled case - sold for $175 in 2022)
https://www.carousell.sg/p/swiss-silver-case-pocket-watch-key-wound-47mm-1105145053/ (Offered for $388 online)
https://www.aaandj.com/antique-swiss-silver-key-wound-pocket-watch-parts-steampunk/ (offered for $95 with bad dial damage)
https://www.gentlemanjacques.com/shop/antique-silver-gold-mens-accessories/silver-pocket-watch-1871-chester/ (Offered for 79 GB Pounds, but not sterling silver)
https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/english-swiss-sterling-silver-3-pocket-watch-lot-211-c-f2c42d4a1c (Three watches including Swiss silver pocket watch the lot sold for $800)
https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/a-sterling-silver-fully-hallmarked-quarter-hunter-1075-c-e584d0d92b (Passed in 2022 with estimate of 120-150 GBPounds)
I will price this watch as being all Swiss made. The full fancy ornamental dial in the seconds half of the 19th century was made primarily during the 1890s. So, I believe this watch was made just before those in the late 1880s.
The fair market value, in its current very good condition would fall into the $300-$350 price range.
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