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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys,
I just received this and it was part of my great grandfathers belongings. I'd love to find out as much as I can. It could either be German or American made most likely and would be prior to 1940. There are no markings on the case or dial that I could see. If anyone can shed some light it would be appreciated !!!




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Without a view on the movement its impossible to say something about the orgin. From outside it looks sureley made after 1900 and before 1930. The pin set seaks for european orgin but please aloow a view under the cover and dustcover.

Kind regards Silke
 

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Hi there,

after the style of crown, pendant, and dial the watch was made between 1900 and 1910. The evolution of these details around 1900 are described in this thread:
https://www.watchuseek.com/f11/helvetia-pocket-watch-identify-536982-2.html

The german hallmark (crown) and Swiss hallmark (squirrl) indicate that the case, and likely the whole watch was made in Switzerland for the German market. Unfortunately I can't make out the maker's mark in your photo.

Regards, Roland Ranfft

BTW: My blah blah blah was happy to meet another of its species. It was already bored by all those ginger-blahs, i-blahs, tapa-blahs, etc. b-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Roland thank you !!. I'm actually taking it to my watchmaker today to see if it can be identified further. I'm at least going to get a few shots of the mechanism. After at least 30 years of no use I gave it a wind and it worked and kept time right away !!!. I'm hoping I can keep it completely intact. I'll post pics of the movement as soon as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Took a pic of the movement and inside case. It's a Unitas. Anyone know anything or can steer me where to look for more info? It would be appreciated.




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I must say that I rather doubt that this came from the watch movement maker Unitas of Tramelan (at one time associated with ARSA, now Auguste Reymond SA). The movement is all wrong for Unitas and is even rather wrong for a Swiss movement. With that 3/4 plate, it looks rather more Germanic.

Doing a search for "Unitas" in Mikrolisk also shows up "Isidor Heilbronner", a watch vendor in München (Munich) and, all things considered, I would think that this is a watch assembled or comissioned by him under the brand name "Unitas" rather than a Swiss watch.

Hartmut Richter
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hartmut, thanks for your direction. I cross checked the stamps on the back and indeed it bears the stamp of Isidor Heilbronner !!! My watchmaker here opened and serviced it and can (reasonably) verify that all parts are original on the watch. I am now on a search to find what the stamped numbers mean on the watch, and any information about the man himself.
2015-09-10 12.17.52.jpg 2015-09-10 12.17.42.jpg 2015-09-10 12.17.17.jpg
 

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The "0,585" indicates solid 14K gold as case material and the other number is probably a case serial number. The woman in the shield is, of course, the trademark of Isidor Heilbronner.

Hartmut Richter
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you sir. I'm trying to figure out the numbers "11 96 75". Quite frankly I am in complete awe that this piece is from that era, still works and is in excellent shape. I visit Europe frequently and think I will try to find someone who can review the piece and provide any missing info. I don't really care whether the watch is worth anything. I am more interested in verifying its History.


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A little Google searching turns up this book:

https://books.google.com/books?id=v...#v=onepage&q=Isidor Heilbronner watch&f=false

Name, location and trademark match up perfectly. Based on the listing of Herr Heilbronner as a wholesaler, not a manufacturer, is it possible that the movement was made in Switzerland specifically for the German market?

Here is an almost identical watch. This one fooled the experts over at the NAWCC forum:

Quiz, what is it

Or is it really an IWC movement?

Very nice piece!
gatorcpa
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey Gator. Thank you. Seeing it opened was truly a great experience. I saw a similar thread on the IWC forum from Watchfriends regarding the same piece. There were statements made that the movement was made by IWC there also. Thanks for the link on the book. Oddly I searched Google and only came up with links to mikrolisk. Thank you !!


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for your help. After contacting Dr. Andreas Schröter who is the founder of Microlisk he actually gave me a huge piece of information. The movement according to him and his knowledge of Mr. Heilbrenner's operation was actually made by IWC. I am going to trace the serial number on his site and hopefully be able to roughly date the watch's production date. Again, I'd like to thank all the folks who have helped me with this.
 
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