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Saturday 13th WRUW?


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This is the vintage (70s by the style?) Excalibur automatic I found of my Grandmother's, that I mentioned on page 1.  I found it was working well, so cleaned it and popped it on this stretchy strap and was wearing it as my beater whilst clearing my parents' house.  Then I decided that I rather liked it and polished the 'glass' a bit better.  It keeps good time and holds power for a decent time, considering how small it is.  I've chosen a better stainless steel bracelet for it (it's a tricky shaped case as the 'lugs' are recessed as such).  But I've chosen one to match the case size and that I can grind down to fit between the lugs.  I hope that'll fit better - I've been trying to find a broken vintage watch with the right kind of bracelet, but they've all long been replaced on the right style of watch.  It ideally needs something with shoulders to meet the case.

Excalibur_sm.jpg

And I do now at least own a vintage Oris - this has arrived today.  It is not working and needs looking at - but I bought it for the numerals alone - I love the style of it.  I've given it a cursory clean and put it on a new strap - just to decide if I like it enough to spend pennies on.  It has a 581 KIF caliber, which I think started in 1960 - so I think style wise, it is perhaps a 60s watch.  10 micron GP, which isn't in bad shape. At 28mm, it is the perfect size for me.

orisvintage_0601df_sm.jpg

 

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6 hours ago, BooJewels said:

@Balaton1109 - thanks for that information.  I have a tiny wee Marcasite mechanical Everite cocktail watch up for sale at the moment (an unwanted one from a job lot - it's cleaned up nicely and works well) and I also own an Excalibur automatic of my grandmothers.  I wondered if they were from the same company, because if you search for one, you get the other popping up and often see almost identical watches from each brand?  

Nice watch - is the orange second hand original, or have you replaced it, as I love how it looks?

Thank you  -  glad you like it. I've no reason to believe the funky orange sweep seconds isn't original but if it was an old replacement, then someone had a sense of humour.

Unfortunately, not having any Excalibur watches, I can't comment on yours, viewed in your later post. However, here are the makers of that brand name as shown in Mikrolisk, the main Makers' Database:

Excalibur                              Henri Showell Ltd, Birmingham, England; registered 30.1.1957

Excalibur                              Jules Schmoll / Corgémont Watch, Switzerland; registered 20.7.1912                                     

Excalibur                              Miramar SA, Switzerland; registered 28.2.1979

Excalibur                              Roger Dubuis SA, Switzerland; registered date not given.

Regards.

 

 

  

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1 hour ago, Balaton1109 said:

Unfortunately, not having any Excalibur watches, I can't comment on yours, viewed in your later post. However, here are the makers of that brand name as shown in Mikrolisk, the main Makers' Database:

Excalibur                              Henri Showell Ltd, Birmingham, England; registered 30.1.1957

Excalibur                              Jules Schmoll / Corgémont Watch, Switzerland; registered 20.7.1912                                     

Excalibur                              Miramar SA, Switzerland; registered 28.2.1979

Excalibur                              Roger Dubuis SA, Switzerland; registered date not given.

Thank you very much for that.  Using those names, I see Showell linked with other Excalibur watches of the same era, so it seems that might be the most likely contender - and perhaps the right era.  The Miramar one, if registered in 1979, is perhaps too late.  She died late 80s, but had several watches after this one, increasing in size, as her eyesight deteriorated, including the gold Timex I posted recently from 1982, so I think this was perhaps mid 70s.

I think Jules Schmoll and Dubois are linked to much higher calibre watches, so seem less likely - I'd encountered Dubois myself when searching and discounted it as a link, they make very expensive unique time pieces.

As she was likely to have bought it from somewhere like Samuels, or a local jeweller, that seemed a more likely connection - I wondered if it was simply another brand of theirs.

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4 hours ago, rolexgirl said:

Doesn't keep very good time and there is some luminous paint missing on the hour hand but I like it

avTOSf.jpg

It needs a service, it has probably never had one!

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17 hours ago, BooJewels said:

Thank you very much for that.  Using those names, I see Showell linked with other Excalibur watches of the same era, so it seems that might be the most likely contender - and perhaps the right era.  The Miramar one, if registered in 1979, is perhaps too late.  She died late 80s, but had several watches after this one, increasing in size, as her eyesight deteriorated, including the gold Timex I posted recently from 1982, so I think this was perhaps mid 70s.

I think Jules Schmoll and Dubois are linked to much higher calibre watches, so seem less likely - I'd encountered Dubois myself when searching and discounted it as a link, they make very expensive unique time pieces.

As she was likely to have bought it from somewhere like Samuels, or a local jeweller, that seemed a more likely connection - I wondered if it was simply another brand of theirs.

Henry Showell Ltd is quite an interesting company. They registered trademarks for "Excalibur" in the UK (1953), Switzerland (1957) and the US (1967). The Swiss trademark was for manufacturing of wristwatches and jewellery. They held a patent for secure links in an expanding watch bracelet and were later sued by Rodi and Weinenberger (makers of Fixoflex bracelets) for copying their designs. Showells initially lost, but won on appeal to the House of Lords. In 1971 the company name was changed to Exacalibur Jewellery, operating from Handsworth in Birmingham. By 1978 the Swiss trademarks had expired and "Excalibur" was registered by Miramar SA in 1979 - whether these event were connected I don't know. Excalibur Jewellery seems to have started getting into financial difficulties around 1993 and, as EJL Ltd, went bust in 2011. The Excalibur name is now owned by Richemont International.

Excalibur watch bracelets regularly come up for sale on Ebay and I wonder if, with patience, you could find one that fits your watch.

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Thanks @spinynorman - I was reading yesterday about the law suit for their expanding bracelet design - it seems to get cited a lot as a precedent/case law for patents and designs etc., even recently. But not so much about their watches - most of which you find seem to be around the 70s and 80s, not much for any later.  A further search brought be back here to a thread in 2018 where @Always"watching" said they were indeed a brand sold by H Samuels.  Which does make some sense.

I looked at the straps after reading that and some are a silly price.  I'm hoping that the one I've ordered will re-size to fit and work for me - I prefer a metal bracelet.  I had a satiny grey steel stretchy one that fit the watch better shape-wise and colouring, but nipped the heck out of me and I ended up with rows of tiny wheals after wearing it, so went back to the one on now, as at least it's comfortable and fits.  And I don't get injured.

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I can't edit my post, but I just spotted a photo of a gents watch very similar style wise to mine, in an auction catalogue and that had its papers with it and the guarantee was made out from a jewellers, but the name printed on the bottom was "EXCALIBUR, Park Lane, Birmingham, B21 5LH" (postcode was under a crease in the paper, so may not be accurate), so that certainly points to Showells.  There's not much on Park Lane, it literally runs through a large park.

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1 hour ago, BooJewels said:

I can't edit my post, but I just spotted a photo of a gents watch very similar style wise to mine, in an auction catalogue and that had its papers with it and the guarantee was made out from a jewellers, but the name printed on the bottom was "EXCALIBUR, Park Lane, Birmingham, B21 5LH" (postcode was under a crease in the paper, so may not be accurate), so that certainly points to Showells.  There's not much on Park Lane, it literally runs through a large park.

It was "B21 8LH", which comes up as a terminated postode. The nearest suggestion is "B21 8JB", which is beyond the park, a partly derelict industrial estate. In the 1950s/60s the address was Henry Showell Limited, 82-98 Wainwright Street, Aston, Birmingham 6. Then between 1964 and 1967 they moved to Excalibur House, Park Lane, Handsworth, Birmingham, B21 8LH. I was hoping for photos of either location, but nothing comes up.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 13/03/2021 at 19:05, BooJewels said:

Thank you very much for that.  Using those names, I see Showell linked with other Excalibur watches of the same era, so it seems that might be the most likely contender - and perhaps the right era.  The Miramar one, if registered in 1979, is perhaps too late.  She died late 80s, but had several watches after this one, increasing in size, as her eyesight deteriorated, including the gold Timex I posted recently from 1982, so I think this was perhaps mid 70s.

I think Jules Schmoll and Dubois are linked to much higher calibre watches, so seem less likely - I'd encountered Dubois myself when searching and discounted it as a link, they make very expensive unique time pieces.

As she was likely to have bought it from somewhere like Samuels, or a local jeweller, that seemed a more likely connection - I wondered if it was simply another brand of theirs.

Found this using our Search function and which may help to round off this subject for you:  https://thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?/topic/118645-excalibur-watches/&tab=comments#comment-1276615

Regards.

 

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Thanks for that - that was the thread I referenced higher up the page, that I too found through a search. I don't think they were exclusive to H Samuel's though, as the one I found in an auction catalogue had papers with it from an independent jewellers.

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