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Hey there guys!

A friend recently brought this to my attention, and quite frankly I have no idea what it is or what to tell her about it. Its a base metal, I know that, but other than that i'm clueless. We also can't figure out how to remove the back. There are real diamonds and rubies in this. The movement is marked Tiffany and Co but we don't know who made the movement for them. Any help?




 

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I must say that I would be very wary of that one! If it was a real and original Tiffany, I doubt very much that they would put real precious stones into a base metal case.

The movement is obviously of a high quality. It was obviously made to be put into a watch for Tiffany (unless the movement inscription is faked and I think that it hasn't been). The maker could be someone like IWC or an even more renowned maker, such as Vacheron & Constantin or even Patek Philippe. Here is a similar (but not identical) example by IWC:

bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: IWC 77

Unfortunately, the dial is rather less convincing. The inscription is a little crude and the regularity of the minute markers quite appalling. Obviously, I can't judge the quality of the (precious?!) stones. On the whole, I therefore think that the watch is a fake, based on a real movement that has been deprived of its case and dial due to melt down for gold content or other reasons.

Hartmut Richter
 

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The movement might be also from Meylan, Tiffany has many watches with CH Meylan Brassus movements from the early 19hundreds, but I won't be surprised if its a Cressarrow finished watch from Henry Blank due to the precious stones. Below the first at the right up looks very similar just simetric scanned.But I agree with Hartmut, doesnt make sense all those rubies and diamonds - if real to case into ss material. Due to my limited knowledge the hands look like being replaced from similar era style actually, but more from a wristwatch not a pocketwatch.


 

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Unfortunately, the dial is rather less convincing. The inscription is a little crude and the regularity of the minute markers quite appalling. Obviously, I can't judge the quality of the (precious?!) stones. On the whole, I therefore think that the watch is a fake, based on a real movement that has been deprived of its case and dial due to melt down for gold content or other reasons.

Hartmut Richter
This is an instance were watch-in-hand will tell the difference between scrap and valuable. The case may be white gold not base metal. (American jewelry gold is often not hallmarked.) The gems may be real and valuable. At this point you are appraising jewelry. The watch part (movement) is probably OK. The dial does look a bit plain and underdone, but I have seen Tiffany & Co. dials that were pretty plain. And the indices may be better than pictured. But pictures will not cut it here. Someone who has understanding of both watches and jewelry has to have the watch in hand.

Tiffany will authenticate their pieces, I believe. I would assume they would charge for that service.
 
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There are substantial differences between the OP's movement and the one shown; the shape of the balance cock being the most significant, but the design of the click is also quite different. They share a common ebauche design, but that's about it.
 

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This is a lovely, jewellers pendant watch with a very high quality movement.

The case design is very unusual in that it is 'skeletonised' to be 'see through' from both
back and front and set with precious stones.

Could the case be Platinum or stainless steel, if it was white gold it might lack the strength and rigidity
this case design requires.
Whatever the case material, I wouldn't write it off as a fake simply because it is not gold. It looks like a
very well designed and expensive production to me, very art-deco.
 

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If that's a base metal case, then I'm Prince Charles. It almost certainly a platinum case, because platinum was very rarely marked.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
God I hope it's platinum..I could see a layer of some type of plating (or what looked to be that) under a loupe..which made me think it was base metal..I'll be seeing the piece again on Tuesday ill keep us updated. I'd like to add it to my collection but (insert "that" question here..) I can't find anything else like it to compare in order to determine value or a good purchase price.
 

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When you examine again this watch, pay close attention to the raised bezel settings around the
precious stones, this type of work can only be applied to particular metals and alloys.... usualy gold
or platinum.
A jeweller would be able to give you informed advice, I agree with Smout and I'll bet on this piece being
made from platinum.

Edit
It's hardly surprising that you can find nothing like it to compare. This type of production would be fairly
exclusive and would be a very limited production or maybe even a one off.
 

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Value derives from the jewels and setting, not the timepiece. Jewelers can value.
 

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I have a couple of thoughts on this watch.

1st - It likely is platinum. Lots of old jewelry, as it was pointed out above is often unmarked regarding the metal content. However, this mostly applies to gold items. I have several pieces of vintage jewelry that range between the 1830s and 1910 and most of the gold items (9k to 14k) are unmarked. These are likely one-of items that were made by a local jeweler and it was custom to not mark them with anything other than a makers mark. Higher end stuff and items that were mass-produced (think watch cases) however are generally marked. Platinum is different: it is almost always marked. Platinum wasn't generally used in jewelry until the very last part of the 19th Century; rarely is it unmarked. I have a platinum watch (ca. 1920) a family piece and it came to my possession because no one thought to look inside the case (where is is marked Plat/Irid). Yours will likely be marked on the inside of the case.

2nd - Agassizi is another possibility: google returns a number of hits that suggest there is a relationship between the two companies in the beginning of the 20th century. Also, the Swartchild's catalog shows several Agassi movements with similar bridge styles.

3rd - The case bezel is likely threaded rather than being a snap type. If you want to try it, use one of the rubber ball case openers and give it a light twist on the back. If it turns and loosens than you have confirmed this. If it remains tight or wont turn at all it then may be a snap back. You might then consider taking it to a good watch maker.

*until white gold or platinum was used in jewelry, sterling was the only white metal choice to show off diamonds (think late 1700s to mid-1800s). I've known of one jeweler that bought a $5 'costume jewelry' ring at an estate sale that was actually several mine cut diamonds set in sterling.
 

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2nd - Agassizi is another possibility: google returns a number of hits that suggest there is a relationship between the two companies in the beginning of the 20th century. Also, the Swartchild's catalog shows several Agassi movements with similar bridge styles.
You could be on to something with Agassiz Jack, look what a search turned up....

Agassiz Platinum Diamond Ruby Swiss Pocket Watch | eBay

This watch seems to be of a lesser quality than the Tiffany watch when looking at the setting of the stones, but then I would
expect Tiffanys' jewellers to be a class above.

These watches must be closely related in design and execution only the Tiffany watch takes it up a notch IMO.
 
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