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I know this may not be helpful but its interesting to note the rubies set as decoration to run up the jewel count.
 

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It seems to say 1938... I'll ask my watchmaker next time I see him to get him to translate for us!
 

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Here's a couple of links that provide a thumbnail history and indicate Georges started the Zenith brand too. He was out of the business by 1920 or so. A Google search returns numerous hits so my impression is they were a prolific maker of nice looking well made watches. They appear to have continued the 1880's style with their later watches and as a consequency they appear at first glance to be older than they really are. Decorative jewels on an otherwise moderately jeweled movement indicate pretensions to a higher grade of watch.



The Watch Quote: Zenith History

Georges Favre-Jacot (LOCLE) - National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Message Board
 

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Here's a couple of links that provide a thumbnail history and indicate Georges started the Zenith brand too. He was out of the business by 1920 or so. A Google search returns numerous hits so my impression is they were a prolific maker of nice looking well made watches. They appear to have continued the 1880's style with their later watches and as a consequency they appear at first glance to be older than they really are. Decorative jewels on an otherwise moderately jeweled movement indicate pretensions to a higher grade of watch.
George Favre-Jacot left the business in 1911, at which time the company Zenith was given its new, present name and also turned into an SA (Society Anonyme). The watch is from ca. 1910. There is an almost identical watch in Rössler's book on Zenith where it is stated that the extra rubies serve as spares in case a watchmaker working on the watch should need them.

Hartmut Richter
 

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George Favre-Jacot left the business in 1911, at which time the company Zenith was given its new, present name and also turned into an SA (Society Anonyme). The watch is from ca. 1910. There is an almost identical watch in Rössler's book on Zenith where it is stated that the extra rubies serve as spares in case a watchmaker working on the watch should need them.

Hartmut Richter
Ah, the inscription must have been done later then as the CCCP did not exist in 1910.
 

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Ah, the inscription must have been done later then as the CCCP did not exist in 1910.
Quite correct. Note that the inscription on the inner cover is somewhat "lopsided" - it doesn't line up with the maker's inscription or the case serial number. I suspect that the watch was inscribed in 1938 when given to someone for service in the company or passed down a generation as a special present or some similar event.

Hartmut Richter
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for helping me here :-!


A helpful guy in the russian forum made this translation:
On the inner dust cover: On the upper line : High Quality , medals, G. F. JAcot, Locle, 23 jewels, Precision, Ancre Lever Visible. On the inside of the outer cover: To Tavarish (comrade) Chiskidov from the Ministry of Defense (in the text it was written literally :people's Commissariat for the Defense), USSR, 1938

Phil
 

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There is an almost identical watch in Rössler's book on Zenith where it is stated that the extra rubies serve as spares in case a watchmaker working on the watch should need them. Hartmut Richter
Certainly a valid explanation except they shouldn't be included in the jewel count. I wonder if that story is from factory sources or wishful thinking by the author?
 

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Certainly a valid explanation except they shouldn't be included in the jewel count.
True, but I don't think they are. I can't see whether the centre wheel is jewelled but if it is, then that would be 17 jewels, plus (presumably) 6 capping jewels on the geartrain (if the dial side is capped as well), making 23. If they are included, the centre wheel would have to lack jewels, the dial side capping stones would be missing and the five extra ones jack the count up to 23. There is no other sensible way I can arrive at that jewel count.

Hartmut Richter
 

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George Favre-Jacot left the business in 1911, at which time the company Zenith was given its new, present name and also turned into an SA (Society Anonyme). The watch is from ca. 1910. There is an almost identical watch in Rössler's book on Zenith where it is stated that the extra rubies serve as spares in case a watchmaker working on the watch should need them.

Hartmut Richter
Interesting. I wonder where Rossler got that bit of information. Spare jewels seems like an odd thing to add to a nice but certainly not high end watch movement. I still wonder if it wasn't a way to push up the jewel count in an otherwise unremarkable movement.
 

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Interesting. I wonder where Rossler got that bit of information. Spare jewels seems like an odd thing to add to a nice but certainly not high end watch movement. I still wonder if it wasn't a way to push up the jewel count in an otherwise unremarkable movement.
Well, I certainly can't let that one go uncommented! Although there were even better Zenith movements (with elaborate fine adjustment), this one isn't certainly close to high end if not actually there. Breguet spring, bimetallic split balance with temperature compensation screws - what more are you asking for?! OK, so the finissage isn't anything to compare with a Patek but all the elements of a very accurate watch are there. Remember that Zenith made some of the finest watches of that age (and still are) - watches and movements of that type were awarded observatory prizes by the dozen. A little bit more respect for that particular product might not be out of place.....;-)

Hartmut Richter
 

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Well, I certainly can't let that one go uncommented! Although there were even better Zenith movements (with elaborate fine adjustment), this one isn't certainly close to high end if not actually there. Breguet spring, bimetallic split balance with temperature compensation screws - what more are you asking for?! OK, so the finissage isn't anything to compare with a Patek but all the elements of a very accurate watch are there. Remember that Zenith made some of the finest watches of that age (and still are) - watches and movements of that type were awarded observatory prizes by the dozen. A little bit more respect for that particular product might not be out of place.....;-)

Hartmut Richter
It's not a Zenith. It's an overdesigned pocketwatch that is made to look like something it isn't. It uses a nice but unremarkable movement that has features found on many nice but common pocketwatch movements.

And to reiterate I fail to see the value of inserting several unused jewel bearings in the movement. I wonder where the author of that book got his information.
 

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It's not a Zenith. It's an overdesigned pocketwatch that is made to look like something it isn't. It uses a nice but unremarkable movement that has features found on many nice but common pocketwatch movements.

And to reiterate I fail to see the value of inserting several unused jewel bearings in the movement. I wonder where the author of that book got his information.
I can think of a lot of reasons that spare jewels might be included. In a non shock protected watch a dropped watch could result in a broken balance staff and cracked jewel or jewels. A bit of steel and a jewelers lathe, and a skilled watchmaker can fashion a replacement staff, but where is he going to source the jewels? We are talking about Russia circa 1910. The company that made this watch became Zenith within a couple of years after it was made. The technology is indistinguishable from that of an early Zenith.
 

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First off Ill Phill, this a great watch, history, nice quality, good maker
and a great collectable...I'd love to own it and it's even more interesting
because of the 'jewel jacking'.

This watch is pretending to be 23 jewelled watch and it's proudly
proclaming it on the inner cover...but it's not. It is an 18 jewelled movement
with endstones to the 3rd, 4th and escape wheel, (bridge side only) and five useless endstones
in a fancy setting.

If these useless endstones were watchmakers spares then it's a bit tongue
in cheek to proclaim it a 23 jewelled watch and if they were spares then why all endstones and no
holed pivot stones?...these are more frequently cracked than endstones in my experience.
Endstones on the train wheels is usualy regarded as useless and unecessary and when I see
this it raises suspicions of 'jewel jacking' when I see it with the center wheel unjewelled then suspicion
confirmed. Twenty three jewels and no jewels to the center wheel....makes you wanna weep.
 

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I can think of a lot of reasons that spare jewels might be included. In a non shock protected watch a dropped watch could result in a broken balance staff and cracked jewel or jewels. A bit of steel and a jewelers lathe, and a skilled watchmaker can fashion a replacement staff, but where is he going to source the jewels? We are talking about Russia circa 1910. The company that made this watch became Zenith within a couple of years after it was made. The technology is indistinguishable from that of an early Zenith.
C'mon already.... Jewels were and are basic replacement parts that are widely available. How many busted jewels can one watch have over a lifetime. If the watch company was really looking to include useful spare parts the watch would have a spare mainspring and maybe a balance wheel. But spare jewels - I don't buy it for a moment. Guys equated high jewel count with value back in the 1930's just like they do today and the watchmaker was satisfying that need.

I have no idea where the author of that book got his information but I'm guessing it was copied verbatim from elsewhere. Urban legends are nothing new.
 

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It's not a Zenith. It's an overdesigned pocketwatch that is made to look like something it isn't. It uses a nice but unremarkable movement that has features found on many nice but common pocketwatch movements.

And to reiterate I fail to see the value of inserting several unused jewel bearings in the movement. I wonder where the author of that book got his information.
Regardless of the jewel count, if that's your attitude, I'd certainly like to see you tell someone with a Patek Philippe Calatrava that they have a "pretty ordinary watch" - after all, it's just got three hands plus (not even in all versions) a date and automatic winding! :roll: The quality is in the detail and the workmanship. And the fact of the matter is and remains that the old Zenith pocket watches are remarkably accurate even by modern standards! And I certainly fail to see why this watch should not be a Zenith?!! :-s

Hartmut Richter
 

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Regardless of the jewel count, if that's your attitude, I'd certainly like to see you tell someone with a Patek Philippe Calatrava that they have a "pretty ordinary watch" - after all, it's just got three hands plus (not even in all versions) a date and automatic winding! :roll: The quality is in the detail and the workmanship. And the fact of the matter is and remains that the old Zenith pocket watches are remarkably accurate even by modern standards! And I certainly fail to see why this watch should not be a Zenith?!! :-s

Hartmut Richter
The watch in question is not close to a Patek and it is not a Zenith. How could it be a Zenith with another maker's name in so many places? It was designed to look like an expensive watch from the turn of the century with awards from various competitions on the back and all of the rest of the fancy engraving, dial, etc. It's a nice looking watch that should be enjoyed as a copy or re-issue if you will. We enjoy re-issues today so why shouldn't a reissue from many decades ago be enjoyed for what it is. Here is what I believe is the earlier 23 jewel keywind Georges Favre Jacot movement. They just carried the same case and dial design forward using a less expensive movement and pasted on some jewels to keep the jewel count consistent.








The watch company clearly added jewels to make an otherwise unremarkable movement seem to be a high caliber. That alone is a dead giveaway about it's true nature. At least they didn't goose the jewel count up to something silly like 75 or 100 as was done during the great jewel race of the 1960's.
 

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I saw that early 23 jewelled Jacot, I'd love to see the dial side of this watch.
To be honest it looks like a standard ebauche with no attention paid to detail.
The massive endstones, of very debatable use, to the train wheels are certainly
eyecatching but to my eyes they just look wrong, superfluous and ostentatious.

The fit and finish of these massive endstones and settings look mediocre to say
the least. The escapement looks fairly 'standard' with a flat hairspring, I've seen
similar watches with the balances cut only half way through and looking at the
loading of the balance screws I tend to think that this balance is not compensated.

I'd say that this watch was also built around marketing criteria rather
than the criteria of producing a good watch, and this is what sets both of these
Jacots apart from Patek
 

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First of all, I hope we are all agreed that the watch is not a fake! ;-) The movement was made by the company of George Favre Jacot and that company is the modern company Zenith by another (previous) name.

The second thing is that the movement is one of the standard Zenith movements of that time, just introduced to replace the earlier Billodes/Defy/Zenith movements.

The third thing is that, although the finissage is not up to the standards of the Pateks/Vacherons/Langes of that day (or modern days) - after all, it was never intended to compete at that sort of level - the overall quality and, because of that, the ultimate performance is. It may look like an ordinary movement of its day but the detail (Breguet spring, split balance, overall tolerance limits) leads to a performance that leads most of the competition of its day to "eat its dust". And if you don't believe that, buy some, buy some of the competition, have them all done up and compare.

Hartmut Richter
 
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