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Today - a kinda interesting find, an early Helvetia brand watch.

Made for Imperial Russian market, with 84 silver mark.

This comes from the times when Helvetia was a Louis Brandt's brand, probably early 1900s.
It's in bad condition, but... well - what the heck.

It has three cap jewels, one I had to replace (missing).
The only onr that fit nicely was an american balance cap - different from the others, but better than none...

IMG_6580.JPG


Just an ordinary gear train - nothing to talk about.
Brass escape wheel - definitely a lower grade watch.

IMG_6585.JPG


Lever set.
Again - nothing special at all...
What is special is the roller - it's totally unusual and - I believe - totally non original, but... what the heck, why not ;) ?
Poorly finished pallet fork.
Interestingly, only one dial foot has a screw, the other is 'free'...

IMG_6593.JPG


The movement is working, but the balance is neither true nor flat, and the super-size dent indicates massive blow to the side.

IMG_6696.JPG


That what it looks like
.
The cuvette indicates 15 jewels...

IMG_6698.JPG


...but even if this used to have a ruby roller, I only count ten.
Not unusual for Russian market watches of the time.

IMG_6695.JPG


Dial marked Helvetia, seems original.

And that's it.

Poor overall condition, but a nice addition to my collection of Imperial Russian trash-condition watches.
In fact, so many Imperial Russain watches ae in trash-condition, that even trashy they can be an interesting subject...
 

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Learning about the mechanics, your repairs, and the history of these early watches is always interesting. Thank you for sharing.
 

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Enjoyable post. Nice to learn more about what goes on inside these things and how they are/were engineered back then.
 
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Today - a kinda interesting find, an early Helvetia brand watch.

Made for Imperial Russian market, with 84 silver mark.

This comes from the times when Helvetia was a Louis Brandt's brand, probably early 1900s.
It's in bad condition, but... well - what the heck.

It has three cap jewels, one I had to replace (missing).
The only onr that fit nicely was an american balance cap - different from the others, but better than none...

View attachment 15799120

Just an ordinary gear train - nothing to talk about.
Brass escape wheel - definitely a lower grade watch.

View attachment 15799122

Lever set.
Again - nothing special at all...
What is special is the roller - it's totally unusual and - I believe - totally non original, but... what the heck, why not ;) ?
Poorly finished pallet fork.
Interestingly, only one dial foot has a screw, the other is 'free'...

View attachment 15799125

The movement is working, but the balance is neither true nor flat, and the super-size dent indicates massive blow to the side.

View attachment 15799127

That what it looks like
.
The cuvette indicates 15 jewels...

View attachment 15799129

...but even if this used to have a ruby roller, I only count ten.
Not unusual for Russian market watches of the time.

View attachment 15799130

Dial marked Helvetia, seems original.

And that's it.

Poor overall condition, but a nice addition to my collection of Imperial Russian trash-condition watches.
In fact, so many Imperial Russain watches ae in trash-condition, that even trashy they can be an interesting subject...
Hello, really interesting. I have just been looking at these early Helvetias for an update to my site I have just finished. I think this one may date to between 1892 when the Helvetia name was registered and 1895 when the name was moved to La Generale as the case mentions Louis Brandt but not Le Generale as they usually do.

History of Helvetia Watch Company | Helvetia Watch History

I'd be very interested in a serial number if it has one to fit it into the history.

Many thanks. Carl.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks!
Movement - 1152657
Case - 1234331

Interestingly, I just unpacked another one, slightly bigger, this time marked Brandt&Frere on the dial.
Also Russian market...

62444372-03B7-42B5-A540-9F8183AB1D88.jpeg

4B0A1A55-732F-4C6E-B8FA-7F3A4BFF25F3.jpeg

3A8A3467-CCAB-4F92-AC50-5DE1103F4510.jpeg

CD262698-EE1C-4D5E-BFDF-13D386A81681.jpeg

27D89F60-8DEB-4E89-ACBE-64A7387A12E4.jpeg


The weird, metal roller is original - this one also has one...
 

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Wow. What great old pieces. I'm going to have to start adding "trash-condition" to my auction searches. ;)
Well done for saving them.
 

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Thanks. Those serial numbers don't fit in with the La Generale ones I've seen so I think they must be before it was formed. The La Generale seem to start about 2 million in 1895.

Here is my one I have just bought, from about 1900, another 'junk' waiting to be renovated but was only £15.

15814607


15814609


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