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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.
I found this wristwatch in a box with other wristwatches I bought for about ten years ago. Can it be an early eterna? The watch are ca 29,5 mm and the movement are ca 26 mm. It stands PROT in cross logo on the movement.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for confirmed it for me. I have to find a good place in my collection for it now. Will it be stupid to use a trench watch strap on the watch?
 

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I note that there is a serial number on the movement, which I can't quite read. If it starts 127 then that indicates a production date of 1905/ 1906 which would support the 1907 hallmark date.

I think a trench watch strap would work very well. I hope that it is serviced before use? The chances of getting that repaired must be about nil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info, Mirius. The watch works, but are not serviced. I will put it on display along with other old wristwatches from the year 1900 to 1980.
 

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Hi there,

if ever a watch is a typical very early wrist watch, this one is it:

1) The red 12 indicates the "new" position of the 12, compared with common open pocket watches. Later it was misused as fashion gimmick, and is even met on pocket watches.
2) To destinguish it from the poor man's solution, a converted ladies pocket watch, even gents wristwatches had to be smaller than an average ladies pocket watch. Therefore only one back lid was applied, not to save money, but to reduce the diameter.
3) If the manufacturer had no sufficiently small hunter movement available, the second was left out. Already the crown at 3h was strange back then, and almost nobody would add a second at 9h to increase confusion. Today the second at 9h is regarded as oldfashioned, and some love it for this nonsense.

Maybe this all hard to understand today. So simply imagine if somebody would place the 12 (or any but 3) at the crown today.....

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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...
1) The red 12 indicates the "new" position of the 12, compared with common open pocket watches. Later it was misused as fashion gimmick, and is even met on pocket watches...
Adam (Horologist007) had to explain the meaning of red '12's to me while showing me his collection of early wrist watches... until then I had always thought it an English watch fashion oddity.

But it clearly was a learning aid for the new wearer of watches on the wrist...
 

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1907 is mighty (really) mighty early for a wristwatch.
we can say first mens wristwatch was 1904, the earliest advert I have is 1906, and the earliest piece I own is 1908.

so that is a VERY, Very rare piece
Congratulations
Sincerely
Adam
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your replies. Yes, it was an interesting discovery and I have had this watch for years without checking it out. And I am equally interested in the story behind my watches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I found this patent today from 1904. Espacenet - Original document

It is same lugs that is on my watch. Schild Freres & Co planning to produce wristwatches already in 1903.


Maybe my watch was build in 1905, as the produce number tell us? Maybe it was hard to sell wristwatches in 1905 and the watches were not sold until after a few years? What do you think?



And a question about the red twelve: Is there evidence of other wristwatch manufacturers have used red twelve earlier than 1905?
 

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I found this patent today from 1904. Espacenet - Original document

It is same lugs that is on my watch. Schild Freres & Co planning to produce wristwatches already in 1903.


Maybe my watch was build in 1905, as the produce number tell us? Maybe it was hard to sell wristwatches in 1905 and the watches were not sold until after a few years? What do you think?



And a question about the red twelve: Is there evidence of other wristwatch manufacturers have used red twelve earlier than 1905?
Hi
I do think I answered all this.
Yes we see patents for various wristwatches @ 1905 - it was / is the beginning.
But as I say the 'first' MENSwristwatch I discovered (can show evidence) is 1904 (Omega).
Be care full also to discern between 'Man' and 'Ladies'
Longines started 'Ladies' in 1905, bt 'Mens in '1910'
Cartier was 1905 fpr Mens.

'RED 12' - Earlier than 1905? Well first show me a watch from 1905?
The 'RED 12' was used primarily to 'point' the wearer to where '12' was.
As MANY wristwatches started as Lepine (open faced movements) the crown and '12' were offset to '1.30' or worse '3' oclock
The RED 12 helped draw ones eye to that.

And
Why a 'BLUE 12' - rarer but existing? Same reason? Or marketing ploy?

Adam
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for reply, Adam.



Is there anyone else who is interested in early wristwatch history, and have opinions or thoughts on my questions?
 

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I would tend to agree with Adam, certainly the dates he gives are when it appears the manufacturers who still exist and still have records appear to have got wristwatches into production. Now, of course this wouldn't have happened without some interest in them and it's hard to believe that wristlets could have been in use for a decade without someone wondering about a different way of doing it.

Were Omega the first to get a watch into production? Well who knows? There were a large number of makers and very few datable records. We can speculate but we have no proof - well until someone such as yourself comes along and shows us new evidence.

Did the red 12 come about because of wristwatches? Perhaps. I suspect it was a marketing device from the start, I rather doubt many people had trouble telling the time - after all hunter pocket watches were in use with the same configuration of dial and crown, and people now who are used to the wristwatch configuration still manage to tell the time with top winding pocket watches.

And how else than by the mix of fashion and marketing can we explain this 1909 hallmarked pocket watch?

R027201.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, I am agree with the dates about the first production for wristwatches. Maybe I explained a little bad about the dates I wrote.


We know:

Schild Freres & Co filed a patent application on 20 January 1904. They must have started planning and drawings earlier than 1904, already in 1903. There was certainly a lot of work behind a patent application.

My Wristwatch have a serial number who dates the movement to 1905. The watch was imported to London in 1907.

So it is indications that Schild / Eterna produced wristwatches in the same period as Longines. What we not know is when the movement was placed in the wristwatch case. It must be in the period 1905 to 1907.

Early omega watches I do not know much about, only seen pictures in some books about wristwatches. There was also pictures of a mens wristwatch described as custom built from 1902.


In the book Pendant and Pocket watches 1500-1950, there is a picture of a watch from about 1900 with red 12. So it is used in other watches earlier.
 

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Yes, I am agree with the dates about the first production for wristwatches. Maybe I explained a little bad about the dates I wrote.


We know:

Schild Freres & Co filed a patent application on 20 January 1904. They must have started planning and drawings earlier than 1904, already in 1903. There was certainly a lot of work behind a patent application.

My Wristwatch have a serial number who dates the movement to 1905. The watch was imported to London in 1907.

So it is indications that Schild / Eterna produced wristwatches in the same period as Longines. What we not know is when the movement was placed in the wristwatch case. It must be in the period 1905 to 1907.

Early omega watches I do not know much about, only seen pictures in some books about wristwatches. There was also pictures of a mens wristwatch described as custom built from 1902.


In the book Pendant and Pocket watches 1500-1950, there is a picture of a watch from about 1900 with red 12. So it is used in other watches earlier.
What we know is your watch has a movement dated 1905 and a silver mark 1907.
That is all very positive to prove it was not just an earlier movement fitted in a wristwatch case.
Movements were plentiful, so we must go with the silver mark, making your watch probably about 1906 - trust me that is a VERY early example for a Mans wristwatch.
NOTE, Looking at your again, I suspect it may be a ladies wristwatch, that does NOT detract from the date, but confirms that mens wristwatches were scarcer to non existent in 1905/6
I never ever saw or heard or seen any wristwatch from 1900, maybe a movement but NOT a wristwatch.
1900 we saw 'wristlets' i.e pocket watch fitted in a leather strap, but not a wristwatch as we know today.

Regards
 
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