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Can anyone help identify my Grandparent's watches


LukeD
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Hello all!

We've been sorting through my grandparent's house, as my Grandma died recently, and have found a number of watches. We're fairly sure none of them are worth anything and most of them are in pretty bad knick but we know nothing about watches and haven't managed to find much useful info online. Is anyone able to tell us anything about any of these watches; age, origin, rarity, value, anything at all would be interesting! My Grandad died in the late 80's so none of the men's watches are likely to be newer than that, and my Grandma was unlikely to have bought anything since the 90's. We have found a few items and relics around the house from great and great great grandparents so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that some of these are older. I'm happy to give more info or other pictures if I can if people want them.

 

Some of the brands are: Rovac, Citizen, Astral, Vertex, Montine International, Buler, Rotary, Accurist and Pulsar.

 

Here are the photos:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmRTLmCA

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Hello all!
We've been sorting through my grandparent's house, as my Grandma died recently, and have found a number of watches. We're fairly sure none of them are worth anything and most of them are in pretty bad knick but we know nothing about watches and haven't managed to find much useful info online. Is anyone able to tell us anything about any of these watches; age, origin, rarity, value, anything at all would be interesting! My Grandad died in the late 80's so none of the men's watches are likely to be newer than that, and my Grandma was unlikely to have bought anything since the 90's. We have found a few items and relics around the house from great and great great grandparents so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that some of these are older. I'm happy to give more info or other pictures if I can if people want them.
 
Some of the brands are: Rovac, Citizen, Astral, Vertex, Montine International, Buler, Rotary, Accurist and Pulsar.
 
Here are the photos:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsmRTLmCA
I think the astral has the potential to be worth a few hundred if its solid gold could be wrong, like really wrong.

In regards to your pocket watch....its sterling silver made in 1881, the mark of origin is hard to see but looks like it could of been a panther which was London but also used commonly over the uk.

If you could see the makers mark it'd be easier to add a value.

Sent from my SM-N986B using Tapatalk

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For the Astral are you saying that much because of the melt down value of the gold? Not because the watch itself is of particular value?
 
Which is the maker’s mark on the pocket watch? The one closest to the hinges?
No just from what ive seen, if its an original smiths astral the gold goes for more than the standard steel.

I'm unsure of the price of gold at the minute.


It should be the one in between the shield and the "F"

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First of all, apologies for being the bearer of bad news, none of what you have has any significant value.

The Astral appears, too me, gold plated.

The silver PW, bearing the Leopards head hallmark, only used to denote silver items assayed ‘in London’, is worth the scrap silver value...a few pounds!

Similarly with the remainder, being in poor condition & unfashionable vintage ladies watches, holds very little value.

:thumbsup:

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1 hour ago, LukeD said:

Hello all!

We've been sorting through my grandparent's house, as my Grandma died recently, and have found a number of watches. We're fairly sure none of them are worth anything and most of them are in pretty bad knick but we know nothing about watches and haven't managed to find much useful info online. Is anyone able to tell us anything about any of these watches; age, origin, rarity, value, anything at all would be interesting! My Grandad died in the late 80's so none of the men's watches are likely to be newer than that, and my Grandma was unlikely to have bought anything since the 90's. We have found a few items and relics around the house from great and great great grandparents so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that some of these are older. I'm happy to give more info or other pictures if I can if people want them.

 

Some of the brands are: Rovac, Citizen, Astral, Vertex, Montine International, Buler, Rotary, Accurist and Pulsar.

 

Here are the photos:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmRTLmCA

As my learned friend Karrusel says, nothing of value there, some of them might fetch a few quid on ebay. I can give you a bit more information on some of them.

Smith's Astral with crown logo. With a steel back, it will be plated not solid gold.

Buler - Swiss maker, a stalwart of the Argos catalogue in the 1980s. Chunky case, someone might like it. If you can unscrew the back, it might be interesting to see the movement.

Rovac - the brand had more owners than a stray cat. From 1965 it was owned by Bermi Watch S.A., Morbio Inferiore (Ticino). Again, the movement might be interesting.

Montine International Chrono-Alarm (Digital) - English brand, known for duty free sales on flights, I believe.

Vertex GP/Rolled/9ct?? ladies' watch - even more owners than Rovac. Market for used ladies' watches is very small.

Silver cased pocket watch missing second hand, London hallmark for 1881. Makers mark JO? in oblong. James Oliver of Clerkenwell? Don't hold me to that.

 

 

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Thanks for that, Alan and Norman; you have relieved me of an onerous task.:laugh: When I saw all those watches in need of explanation, I nearly had a heart attack...

May I just add that Astral was usefully covered by a thread on this Forum entitled, "Astral Help Please!", and posted by NeilY43 on 25 July 2010 in the Vintage Watches section. You can locate this thread by using the Forum search feature.

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Thank you everyone for your most helpful insights! They have confirmed what we more or less thought was the case. Remarkable to find that the larger pocket watch is from 1881, even if it’s not of any financial value, it’s certainly opened the debate at home as to where it might have come from and why it was in my Grandparents’ possession! Thank you again. 

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Thank you everyone for your most helpful insights! They have confirmed what we more or less thought was the case. Remarkable to find that the larger pocket watch is from 1881, even if it’s not of any financial value, it’s certainly opened the debate at home as to where it might have come from and why it was in my Grandparents’ possession! Thank you again. 
[emoji106][emoji106] no problem.

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1 hour ago, LukeD said:

Thank you everyone for your most helpful insights! They have confirmed what we more or less thought was the case. Remarkable to find that the larger pocket watch is from 1881, even if it’s not of any financial value, it’s certainly opened the debate at home as to where it might have come from and why it was in my Grandparents’ possession! Thank you again. 

I'm just wondering now about that other pocket watch. To me it looks continental European, maybe Swiss? Made of copper? Are there any marks inside the caseback?

Also the cover (that says Cylindre 7? Rubis) should open fairly easily and there may be marks on the inside, or on the movement, that would show where it comes from. Again, not likely to be very valuable, but may generate more family debates.

Unknown BrandUnknown BrandUnknown Brand

 

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Thank you again everyone, this has all been most informative! I've put in the best pictures I can get of the markings inside the 1881 pocket watch, we've been struggling to get to the movement of that one, we can see where it opens (on the front, strangely?) but we can't get it open. We've got into the smaller pocket watch and I've taken photos of what we've found. The 'Avance' and 'Retard' certainly seem to back up the continental suggestion as well as the previously visible 'Cylindre 10 Rubis'. I know the pictures make it look a copper colour, but in person it doesn't look quite like that colour, could it be brass?

Smaller: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmRUM7eg

1881:

Silver PWSilver PW_1

 

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On 02/11/2020 at 21:07, LukeD said:

We've got into the smaller pocket watch and I've taken photos of what we've found. The 'Avance' and 'Retard' certainly seem to back up the continental suggestion as well as the previously visible 'Cylindre 10 Rubis'. I know the pictures make it look a copper colour, but in person it doesn't look quite like that colour, could it be brass?

The only mark in there which leads towards a maker is "mSo", which is the mark of the "Federation Suisse Associations Manufacture de Fabricants d'Horlogerie", according to Mikrolisk. The problem with this is the Federation was (still is) a trade association of manufacturers, so, unless someone else like @Karrusel or @Always"watching" can shed more light, I don't think it gets us a maker, other than to say the origin is Swiss.

The scratched number will be a watchmaker's service/repair mark and the stamped numbers are case numbers, none of which are likely to be identifiable. I can't see anything that indicates the metal the case is made from or its quality. At a guess, it could be brass, or brass with a very thin gold coating. 

http://www.mikrolisk.de/show.php?site=280&suchwort=MSO&searchWhere=all#sucheMarker

Continental_4

The movement looks to me like "Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon", possibly this FHF stem wind and pin set cylinder. @Balaton1109 is good with movements.

http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?11&ranfft&0&2uswk&FHF_11

Continental_8

 

Your watches may not be valuable, but they are certainly interesting. Thank for sharing them with us.

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12 hours ago, spinynorman said:

The only mark in there which leads towards a maker is "mSo", which is the mark of the "Federation Suisse Associations Manufacture de Fabricants d'Horlogerie", according to Mikrolisk. The problem with this is the Federation was (still is) a trade association of manufacturers, so, unless someone else like @Karrusel or @Always"watching" can shed more light, I don't think it gets us a maker, other than to say the origin is Swiss.

The scratched number will be a watchmaker's service/repair mark and the stamped numbers are case numbers, none of which are likely to be identifiable. I can't see anything that indicates the metal the case is made from or its quality. At a guess, it could be brass, or brass with a very thin gold coating. 

http://www.mikrolisk.de/show.php?site=280&suchwort=MSO&searchWhere=all#sucheMarker

Continental_4

The movement looks to me like "Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon", possibly this FHF stem wind and pin set cylinder. @Balaton1109 is good with movements.

http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?11&ranfft&0&2uswk&FHF_11

Continental_8

 

Your watches may not be valuable, but they are certainly interesting. Thank for sharing them with us.

 

It’s certainly very similar. My only reservations would be the slight differences compared to the Ranfft example, namely the shape of the balance cock (Ranfft’s is straight-sided), the location of the setting pin and the position of the stem release screw.

Having said that, and in the absence thus far of an exact match, I’d agree that the FHF 11 looks to be the prime candidate.

Regards.

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Thanks for the mention, dear. I'm afraid that I cannot advance the story any further for reasons that you gave in your post above. It would be interesting to know which companies belonged to the Federation at different times, but even if we had membership lists and an exact date for the watch it would probably still be impossible to link the watch definitively with a particular watch company.

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On 02/11/2020 at 21:07, LukeD said:

we can see where it opens (on the front, strangely?) but we can't get it open

Returning to the 1881 pocket watch, the maker's mark in the larger picture looks more like J.O, with the dot linking the two letters. There were a lot of JO marks, but around that time, as far as I can see, they all come back to James Oliver. There's another faint mark between the leopard and the F, which might be RB or HB, but I don't know what that is or why it's there. On opening, there should be a lip you can get a fingernail into to open the front (glass), and you can then use a key to set the hands. There may then be a latch at the bottom of the dial, which would enable to movement to swing out. Or the plain cover at the back may open or come off, accessing the movement from the back.

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