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This is a link to an album containing photos and one video (to show it's working) of a chronograph repeater that belonged to my husband's grandfather before he was killed in the Holocaust. The family believes the watch would have purchased in the 1920s, but possibly earlier... It's 14k gold, Swiss-made (at least the family assumed so) minute repeating lever in full hunter's case. Family heirloom probably bought in 1920s, taken by husband's grandmother along with other gold and valuables and hidden in Holland before her husband was killed.

I'd greatly appreciate any additional information anyone might be able to give us.

Thank you!!!


In working condition; has two ringers. Is nearly 2.5" in diameter at widest point (size 18?). Weight approx. 185 grams. Was advised by a local watchmaker not to let works be removed to examine the works or weight case because of the multiple ringers.


http://s1300.beta.photobucket.com/user/Twinotters05/library/Chronograph%20repeater



Markings:


Inside of hunter's case facing dial has (1) crown inside a circle, (2) initials ND inside 8-pointed star, (3) markings 56, 14k and 0.585 inside tombstone oval, flanked by two smaller marks. Below that, the number 268 and below that, the number 818.


On the inside of the rear facing case are marks identical to (1) and (2) above, below which is the number 162268 and also W1078 hand-etched into the case, plus two very other small marketings.


There is a visible anchor escapement with repeater, push and gilt movement.


On the back of the watch is inscribed:


a Minutes
REPETITION A QUARTS


ANCRE [in a medallion]


LEVEES VISIBLE
Chronograph


Qualite Garantie
Medaille Geneve


1896
 

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Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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Congratulations on your watch and most sincere condolances on your family's plight and the watch's prior history. It is a very nice watch but not a minute repeater - it is a quarter repeater ("repetition a quarts"). I am not sure but suspect that the movement is by Le Phare who were noted for their fine repeater movements. Here is one that closely resembles yours, the main difference is that the linked one is a lepine (open face watch, crown opposite the small seconds hand) movement whereas you have a savonette ("hunter" style watch, crown at right angles to the small seconds hand) movement. Also, the linked one really is a minute repeater. As for the maker of the watch who cased the movement, it is very likely that they will remain obscure, I am afraid.....

bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Le Phare OVC

Hartmut Richter
 

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Moderator German Watches Forum
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It is sad about the history. Those were unfortunate times.

It will be easier if we can see the watch here. I selected
three of your photos.

Donna59_dial_2.jpg

Donna59_back_640.jpg

Donna59_movement_640.jpg


Thanks,
rationaltime
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the feedback; I feel silly that I knew it was a quarter repeater and typed the wrong thing as I copied from my husband's notes... The watch you linked to certainly does look very much like ours. We've gotten such varying input on it locally. The local auction house said they would probably start bidding at about $1,000 and expect it to go for between 2,000-3,000. Another local watchmaker cautioned me not to let anyone tell me it's "just a regular old pocket watch," and earlier this afternoon, a dealer said he suspected he'd only pay $1,000 as it was a very common watch, nothing special about it.

Would that most probably be true, that it's likely a very run-of-the-mill watch?
 

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Moderator German Watches Forum
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Thank you for the feedback; I feel silly that I knew it was a quarter repeater and typed the wrong thing as I copied from my husband's notes... The watch you linked to certainly does look very much like ours. We've gotten such varying input on it locally. The local auction house said they would probably start bidding at about $1,000 and expect it to go for between 2,000-3,000. Another local watchmaker cautioned me not to let anyone tell me it's "just a regular old pocket watch," and earlier this afternoon, a dealer said he suspected he'd only pay $1,000 as it was a very common watch, nothing special about it.

Would that most probably be true, that it's likely a very run-of-the-mill watch?
I would not guess at the value, and I was not around when your
watch was new to see how many there were. However, I am
pretty sure that watch was neither common nor inexpensive in
that era. I would avoid doing business with the dealers who tell
you it was common. Still, the dealers plan to make a profit.
Whatever they offer, you know they think they could sell it for
a lot more.

If you sell the watch then its history will be lost, and your children
and grandchildren will lose that link to your husband's family history.
Is that worth the money you would get by selling the watch?
Perhaps it is inevitable. Someday your grandchildren might sell it
anyway, along with the things you cherished.

Merry Christmas to you and your husband.

Thanks,
rationaltime
 

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The last dealer is a gonif. You should keep the watch as it is part of your family's history.

Just know that repeaters in gold cases are very collectible tend to be expensive.
 

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The movement is made by Lephare which was specialized in these movements, the best thing to do is to service it and keep it for your collection
 

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Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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These things are by no means common! A number of years ago, Patek Philippe decided that they were nor going to send (wrist watch) minute repeaters to authorized dealers (ADs)any more. The reason is that there aren't enough of them to go round. If you are seriously interested, you approach an AD, he will obtain the watch for you (no doubt at a price, to be reimbursed if you actually buy the watch) and you can go back and have a look at it and decide. In the same interview, Henri Stern (COE of PP) mentioned that a PP perpetual calendar starts at around 50000 Swiss Francs - but a minute repeater starts at around 400000 Swiss Francs!

Now, I do know that PP are somewhat above a no-name pocket quarter repeater, even if it does have a chronograph. I would just like to impress on you that a repeater is the most complex and one of the rarest of complications - rarer, more complicated and intrinsically more valuable than the much overrated tourbillon! I saw a no-name quarter repeater with chronograph from about the same period in excellent condition in a Stuttgart antique store about ten years ago and they were asking 10000 DM (about 5000 Euros) for it at that time. Work out from that what yours could be worth if done up.

Hartmut Richter
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you, all! We feel like we have a better understanding of things now, and we really appreciate all of the information. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!
 
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