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Discussion Starter #1
I've done a fair bit of searching and keep coming back to here. I've inherited a few pocket watches and old wrist watches. I'm most interested in finding out a bit more information on this pocket watch. All I can tell you is it was purchased somewhere round the 30's by my great grandfather. The pictures are not great, the case is made by Dennison and has a case number of 280628.
I'm unsure where to find the actual movement serial number. I hope I don't annoy anyone with my ignorance, I'm a newbie when it comes to watches. Mechanism sm.jpg Front sm.jpg Case sm.jpg
 

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Hi and welcome
First we can not tell anything from the case serial number, sadly all records have gone.
But it appears you have a Rolex pocket watch.
Rolex made a few pocket watches, but I thought not as late as 30s.

at first, I thought maybe barrel wheel had just been replaced with a 'Rolex' one, but the double sunk dial looks extra quality.
Movement is not Aegler, who were Rolex's standard movement maker

Some research needed
adam
 

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Of course Hi and welcomed :)

This movement was build by buren 1916-1923. This swiss manufacture was owned by H. Williamson Ltd. London / England. This explains the Dennison case and proberbly it was put together in england (duties). A nice really watch :) and heirloom.

Kind regards Silke

Addition:
UPS: I didn't read what was writen on the barrel wheel because I was quite sure on the first sight with buren...compared some screws and wheel positions all things match and the dennison case also. This wheel is probably replaced or wrong marked afterwards. I'll check
 

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The case appears to have a hallmark which would give a closer approximation to the purchase date - but I can't see it well enough to be able to guess.
 

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I've made a short research about Rolex and Bueren. Williamson and Wilsdorf have been both customers by aegler. I've seen on Ebay another simular marked watch. In the prichard there is writen that bueren sold some simple movements also to Wilstorf in the beginning 1920 ties. Therefore this seems to be original but not really a Rolex quite more a Buren.

Kind regards Silke
 

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I'm a bit skeptical about the "Rolex" wheel...the size of the text seems odd, the font is different then the font on the crown wheel, and it seems odd that they would mark the wheel but not the dial; Rolex has always been brand-conscious. But could have been a small purchase to meet demand during the depression. It's an American style case and movement (i.e., the crown and stem are part of the case, not part of the movement. Not sure if Aegler even made movements like that? If not, that might explain the decision to purchase them; so as to leave no market un-exploited.
 

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I'm sure that the movement is the buren and I'm sure about the production time of this movement. I don't have any doubt and thus while "probably" is one of my most used words. I believe Kathleen Prichard if she write that Wilstorf and Davis sell during that aerea a few simple buren as well. A buren in a Dennison case is a typical combination. On the other side nothing is easier to fake than thus weels. It's something I will never understand. This is 100% a classic typical buren and where is the difference if it was sold by Williamson or W&D. Thus is seems to be a big difference and many new marked weels are running around because buren produced a quite high amound of this watches. THe Rolex/Buren if found had identical wheels but who knows about their orgin. It maybe right or done in fact: Just kidding.

Kind regards Silke
 

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I've made a short research about Rolex and Bueren. Williamson and Wilsdorf have been both customers by aegler. I've seen on Ebay another simular marked watch. In the prichard there is writen that bueren sold some simple movements also to Wilstorf in the beginning 1920 ties. Therefore this seems to be original but not really a Rolex quite more a Buren.

Kind regards Silke
Silke
Yes all you say here is correct.
It is surely a 'Rolex'made by Buren circa 1925/6

Well remembered
A
 

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Hu Roland,
if you're right than its definetly made. You are the expert and master of calibers but in this case you've to help me. I just see that the anchor bridge is a little more straigt and the balance coc runs straight. But the balance is usually not so strong by revue as by this watch. Here is the movement list out of the Buren book from Hans Kocher / Büren:

burengr.jpg






A curious Silke
 

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Hi Silke,

what can I do? I brought all three movement pics to same size and orientation, and merged first Revue 31 (Rolex) and Revue 30, and then Revue 31 (Rolex) and Buren 19'''. Although destortions due to the aspect angle could not be corrected, the result is impressing:





Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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The big difference I see here is the shape of the hairspring stud. In a world where most watch movements are based on a very small set of common designs, it's the little things like that which really differentiate one manufacturer from another. The OP's watch more closely matches the Revue shown by Roland in the little details like the stud and the click design.
 

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Guys I give it up...I also thing that the revue matches better but I've been so very sure and I've looked very well (angels , srews) before writing. Not so bad but wrong. I'll never learn this stuff its a dangerous field. I can't find in my literature a "work together" of G.Thomen and H.Williamsen.

Thank's a lot Roland for your labour.

Just to make it round. Here are a Buren 35/12 and as I bought it, I thought it might be a G.Thommen :) ...have fun:

buerenwug3512.jpg

Of course the detection of the caliber wasn't my part.
I don't want to take over this thread but I guess everything is said.

KInd regards Silke
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, you guys are amazing, certainly the knowledge here is not something that can be gained overnight. I'll try to take a couple of clearer photo's with a real camera if you like. I should have mentioned, it would have been purchased in England, somewhere around that time my great grandfather apparently came into some money so bought some fairly extravagant items.
 

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Guys I give it up...I also thing that the revue matches better but I've been so very sure and I've looked very well (angels , srews) before writing. Not so bad but wrong. I'll never learn this stuff its a dangerous field. I can't find in my literature a "work together" of G.Thomen and H.Williamsen.

Thank's a lot Roland for your labour.

Just to make it round. Here are a Buren 35/12 and as I bought it, I thought it might be a G.Thommen :) ...have fun:

View attachment 1592187

Of course the detection of the caliber wasn't my part.
I don't want to take over this thread but I guess everything is said.

KInd regards Silke
But hairspring lug is triangle on your Buren, but circular on OP balance wheel?
 

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Wow, you guys are amazing, certainly the knowledge here is not something that can be gained overnight. I'll try to take a couple of clearer photo's with a real camera if you like. I should have mentioned, it would have been purchased in England, somewhere around that time my great grandfather apparently came into some money so bought some fairly extravagant items.
In fact its a nice pocket watch 1920/30. Here is only the "rolex problem". Hans Wilsdorf&Davis (= Rolex) habe been no real manufactures during that time. They ordered their movements. All wristwatch movements were sold by aegler which get by the time and step by step a part of Rolex nowadays. Aegler was a specialist for high quality ladys pocket watches and movements. Perfect for wrist watches but they don't build big size movements. W&B bought them elesewhere for example cortebert and a few buren (see also bueren,büren). Independent of the watch if the people see: "Rolex" and therefore $$$$$ and this since many years. It works. The "Rolex peoblem" is that its hard to detect if all is orginal or faked. THis is through and through a typical good poket watch of their time. The case is a good one made by Dennison /england and has nothing to do with W&D. The movement, discussion you've seen above, is therefore pretty sure a revue Thommen and can't be work together with W&D. But its still a nice watch with email dial. I'm sorry but the "Rolex problem" always distracts from the clock itself and it does not deserve.

KInd regards Silke
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think I'm understanding, does it appear at some stage the bits that say Rolex have been replaced are not original or is that what W&D added to the movements they purchased?
I believe it has been sitting in various draws since about WW2, my Dad recals seeing it as a boy then, and after that until his fathers death it was in storage.
I guess trying to value it is a tough one, I have no intentions of ever selling it, but I do think it should be insured separately. Is it something you can put a rough value on or should I attempt to find someone locally, I suspect with the knowledge on here I would be hard pressed to find anyone around here. I've have taken a better picture of the case at least to show the detail there to potentially age it. Case detail sm.jpg
 

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This is a "negative set" movement and case. That refers to an arragement of the crown and stem (the part you use to wind the watch) where they are built into the case. The movement has a square female post on it that meshes with the end of the stem inside the case. This was part of a broader standardization of case sizes that was implemented by the American watch companies, and which allowed the watch companies to focus entirely on making movements. Any movement of a particular size (expressed as a gauge number usually ranging from the large 18size watches down the 0size ladies watches). Of course, once the standard was set, the Swiss companies were quick to develop their own movements to fit into the same case sizes. ALD, in fact, is the company started by one of the founders of the company that became the Waltham Watch Company, one of the largest and most signficant of the early American watch companies; after he left Waltham he relocated to England.

The point to this is that a case like this one could have been used to house a movement from any manufacturer, provided it was the right size. The American style of watch sale was to display the movements without cases seperately from the cases; the customer would pick the movement they wanted, then pick the case they wanted, and the two would be put together by the shop's resident watchmaker more-or-less in front of the customer. As Adam pointed out, this is a good quality movement and dial, although it's a relatively low-quality 9 carat gold-case. The purchaser clearly considered the functionality of the watch to be more important then the case. The case has the hallmarks for Birmingham, 1924.

Looking around the edge of the movement, we don't see any obvious signs of additional case screw marks. Each movement is inserted into the case from the front, and secured into the case by one or two screws around the edge of the movement. THese screws always leave little marks on the case edge. And movements from different companies tend to have their case screws in slightly different positions. So from this, we can be reasonably confident that this movement was the first and only movement to have ever been used in this case.

So if this <wasn't> retailed by Rolex, it's likely that the one wheel that says Rolex is the only part that has been changed. Or more likely, it was simply removed and placed into an engraving machines. A very close look at the engraving (especially comparing the engraving to the other wheel) would probably tell much, but I doubt you can take pictures fine enough for anyone here to say; you'd need a bit of an expert to tell for sure.

Truth is, even if it IS a Rolex, it only increases its resale value a bit; people just aren't interested in pocket watches, even ones from Rolex.
 

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Hi
To add.
I am pretty confident you have a 'Rolex' pocket watch with a movement made by Revue in its original Dennison case.

To Rolex and many that is a Rolex, to watch aficionados it is a Revue pocket watch.

I think (sorry to say) Silke is confusing the issue with so much description/discussion.

Adam
 
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