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" Foreign on watch face "


Cherie
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I've got a lovely  inherited watch .... a 1930s marcasite cocktail watch 

I know it's not worth anything but I'm interested in the history of it 

I know the bracelet is netonia nickel silver rhodium plated...... 

But I'm curious to why it has the word " Foreign " on the clock face 

I'm guessing they are cheap reproductions 

But curious to why not a country and why the word foreign ..... 

Thanks in advance 

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5 minutes ago, Cherie said:

I've got a lovely  inherited watch .... a 1930s marcasite cocktail watch 

I know it's not worth anything but I'm interested in the history of it 

I know the bracelet is netonia nickel silver rhodium plated...... 

But I'm curious to why it has the word " Foreign " on the clock face 

I'm guessing they are cheap reproductions 

But curious to why not a country and why the word foreign ..... 

Thanks in advance 

Are there any other words/names on the face or on the back? Have you looked inside at the movement, or inside the caseback? "Foreign" probably just means it was imported from outside the UK for a retailer here, but doesn't qualify for "Swiss Made". Pictures would help us identify it. You can post links if you already have photos online, or use the free trial of the gallery here. https://thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?/subscriptions/

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I think that up until the early to mid 20th. Century there was no particular regulatory requirement in the UK for such items to declare a specific country of origin.  However there were some regulations that required certain products to show that they were not of British manufacture and were thus "foreign".

The "Swiss Made" wording started to appear in the late 19th Century but I'm guessing that there was not necessarily any particular advantage or requirement for the likes of Swiss or German makers to put "Swiss Made" or "Made in Germany" on their products as they were not, at that time, seen to be of superior quality.  During the interwar period "Made in Germany" might even have been a disadvantage.

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15 minutes ago, spinynorman said:

Are there any other words/names on the face or on the back? Have you looked inside at the movement, or inside the caseback? "Foreign" probably just means it was imported from outside the UK for a retailer here, but doesn't qualify for "Swiss Made". Pictures would help us identify it. You can post links if you already have photos online, or use the free trial of the gallery here. https://thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?/subscriptions/

hi 

Thanks for replying 

I'll do the gallery 

yes it says netonia ns rhod ptd on bracelet 

on the mechanism it says Swiss 

and four letters ? Which I think are r a f s 

6 minutes ago, rhaythorne said:

I think that up until the early to mid 20th. Century there was no particular regulatory requirement in the UK for such items to declare a specific country of origin.  However there were some regulations that required certain products to show that they were not of British manufacture and were thus "foreign".

The "Swiss Made" wording started to appear in the late 19th Century but I'm guessing that there was not necessarily any particular advantage or requirement for the likes of Swiss or German makers to put "Swiss Made" or "Made in Germany" on their products as they were not, at that time, seen to be of superior quality.  During the interwar period "Made in Germany" might even have been a disadvantage.

I've just gently taken it apart and it does say Swiss on the inside....... and some other letters ....

Maybe I should have done that in the first place lol

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1 hour ago, Cherie said:

yes it says netonia ns rhod ptd on bracelet 

on the mechanism it says Swiss 

and four letters ? Which I think are r a f s 

The letters are for the regulator "Retard (Slow), Advance (Fast).

Netonia Products was a watch bracelet maker, originally in Northampton Street, Birmingham in the 1930s.

Graces Guide has Netonia based in Hatton Garden, London, around 1947-51.

image.png.af0153787c7b04ba45c11137b821bff3.png  Im1951BIF-BW2-Netonia.jpg

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18 minutes ago, spinynorman said:

The letters are for the regulator "Retard (Slow), Advance (Fast).

Netonia Products was a watch bracelet maker, originally in Northampton Street, Birmingham in the 1930s.

Graces Guide has Netonia based in Hatton Garden, London, around 1947-51.

image.png.af0153787c7b04ba45c11137b821bff3.png  Im1951BIF-BW2-Netonia.jpg

Thank you so much ..... I've just found another mark in the watch casing 

Possibly a VI ..... 

This is fascinating .... 

I love the watch and it's nice to know some history 

I wore it once on my wedding day 30 years ago ... and my mother in law wore it a handful of times ... so it's in mint condition other than the tarnish 

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Dear @Cherie, I wrote a post on the Forum not long ago in which I explained something of the history of country of origin marks, including the word "Foreign". I have done a search and have found the relevant post. If you go to the thread started by yokel on 15 November 2020 and entitled, "Maybe Not All German Watches Are Equal", you will find my post on the subject. I hope this is helpful.:)

 

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@Always"watching" thank you 

Just read it ....... I understand now 

@Always"watching"

Out of curiosity 

Is it still possible that although mine has no identity the case could be made by the same person who made the case for bucherer  

 

Bit like the same company making a dress for Primark and then the same for marks ... if you get what I mean 

The casing is identitical .... same stone setting .... etc ..... 

 

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1 hour ago, Cherie said:

Is it still possible that although mine has no identity the case could be made by the same person who made the case for bucherer  

Did you find one by Bucherer? I missed that. A link would help.

I think I've identified the movement as a Unitas 521, or derivative. Though the reference picture on the Ranfft database is slightly different, there are several for sale on Ebay that do match, for example https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lot-Of-Vintage-UNITAS-Ladies-Watch-Movements-Calibre-521-Spares-Repair-/193385373730

The challenge that gives us is Ranfft dates these to mid 1950s. The one pictured there has shock protection, whereas yours doesn't, so it may be earlier. There's less interest in these small movements, so much harder to date, unless you can find one in a silver or gold case with hallmarks.

Brief history of Unitas. They sold movements to a wide range of watch makers.

For a watch with no branding or signature, it's possible to speculate who might have made it, but very difficult to prove.

Edited by spinynorman
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@spinynorman

Thanks .... I'm finding this very interesting 

Yes I found an identical casing by bucherer

My watch has no value other than sentiment and hope my granddaughter will wear it on her wedding day too 

I'm just finding the history of it fascinating and appreciate your input .... 

My mother in law got it for her 21st  ... I'm sure it had been passed to her ... that was 1950 but I thought it was 1930 watch 

I will upload the bucherer which is 1930

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Art-Deco-Bucherer-Swiss-Watch-800-Silver-Marcasite-Case-Cord-Strap-/293896287702?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

It's only one I've found the same 

I know mine isn't bucherer but interested to know if the same place made it 

 

Screenshot_20210606-153942.png

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38 minutes ago, Cherie said:

I will upload the bucherer which is 1930

I'm afraid that is unlikely. The movement is signed Credos Watch Ltd and Tièche, Schluep et Cie of Nidau registered the name "Credos" in 1945. They became Montres Credos SA in 1946 and were acquired by Bucherer in 1967. The movement in that watch is a Felsa 302, which Ranfft dates to 1945-50. I'm sorry if that's disappointing, but even dealers often don't date their watches with much care.

Bucherer is a jeweller and Credos made watches for them before they were acquired. It's entirely possible they also made your watch, using a different movement, but we'll probably never know for sure.

Edited by spinynorman
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