Jump to content
  • Sign Up to reply and join the friendliest Watch Forum on the web. Stick around, get to 50 posts and gain access to your full profile and additional features such as a personal messaging system, chat room and the sales forum PLUS the chance to enter our regular giveaways.

Old watch case material?


Recommended Posts

Going through my late Dad's things, I found this ladies' watch in a dresser. I'd love to restore it for my wife to wear. 

As you can see, it is pretty corroded, and the crown is missing. Gently winding by pushing the ratchet wheel, it starts , but not for long. 

What material do you think the case is made from? Silver wouldn't corrode like that would it? 

Here I have rubbed some Brasso to see what's underneath

 

20210313-094755.jpg

20210313-094720.jpg

Inadvertently rotated the entire thing in the case while pushing the ratchet wheel. I love the number style and the intricate hands, and the index markers really shine.

20210311-203222.jpg

 

Edited by CB200
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I work with silver and whilst it can get that dark gunmetal grey with either a lot of time exposed to air to oxidise, or by artificially doing so to antique it, it would come back to shiny silver with little effort - and silver is usually marked as such in some way - and has been for longer than there have been wristwatches.  

Nor would it pit like that and neither would pewter, so I think that looks like something more iron/steel based.  Spelter was used in jewellery (a zinc lead alloy) to imitate precious materials, as it could be plated - but again, I don't think that would pit in spots like that and it's a sort of crystalline white (like raw unpolished silver) when the plating is removed. 

I wonder if it was originally coated/painted steel and this is the bare metal underneath and the front around the face looks more like the original finish.  I've read something about this when I was researching a Huguenin cased pocket watch, that I thought should be dark, let's see if I can find it . . . yep, this is the piece - well down the page is a section entitled 'Black Oxidised Steel Watch Cases'  https://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/watchcases.php - perhaps an earlier process than the watch would be though.

But it's pretty, so I can see why you'd want to restore it.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the case back magnetic?

Obviously keep the magnet away from the movement!

From your pics id guess its bronze. Bronze would also mean the lugs could have been soldered on as oppossed to welded. 

Bronze is generally not magnetic as its nickel that would make it magnetic and the qtys in bronze are low. 

It doesnt look badly corroded considering how old it probably is, Iron would have been a good option for this as its easily worked into shape etc. 

So Id guess if its magnetic its Iron and if not its Bronze. 

Where the crown should be it looks gold/brass in colour. Is this a fitting pressed into the side of the case or part of the case. If so does it look like the metal of a plating?

The inside of the top lug looks corroded as if a coating has come off. 

Painted iron case with a brass bezel and crown rivet?!?

Very interesting. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...