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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all.

Been on something of an investigative quest, and hope someone here can shed light on what I have.

I received my late father's watch. My father was a farmer and carpenter by trade. He wore his watch daily, for as long as I was aware (and longer as he had it before I was born). The watch has no significant monetary value, but as for sentiment...that's a different story. As best as I know, he first owned the watch circa early to mid 1960's. (But I have no proof.)

My question has to do with the make of it. (As you can see by the photos), it has no markings on the face. The back plate references the type of movement, 'incabloc' shock protection, it being Swiss Made etc.

Upon opening it, I found the word Telix. My searches for "Telix" on the internet have resulted in many dead ends. I'm hoping someone here may have some insight into what I have.

Here it is, in all it's utilitarian glory...

Thank you in advance for any feedback.
 

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Moderator German Watches Forum
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Welcome to watchuseek.

This is a print ad from about 1956. It appears to be a little
older than your father's watch. you can see the ad was
sponsored by TENNENBAUM & CIE. in Bienne.

image credit: ebay seller buyvintageads

Telix_Tennenbaum.JPG

I think you may get more responses in the vintage forum.


Thanks,
rationaltime
 

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Hi and welcome to F11, you are very lucky to own your father's watch!
Please look after it by having it serviced, it will run for years with one, butmay break without.
I would say your watch is late 1950's to the 1960's, as you guess.

Here is what Mikrolisk has on the Telix company.

Mikrolisk - The horological trade mark index

Cheers, Bob.
 
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First all all, I can only repeat bobbee's remark to have this watch serviced. I hope it is still working, but this is secondary in this case. Just don't play around with it too much before. If nothing is broken, it won't be that expensive (measured against the sentimental value, this will be peanuts in any case). If your father was a farmer and carpenter by trade and wore it every day, then you know what 'quality' means. The crown is very worn and shows the intense use. It could be replaced or not, but on an automatic watch, once you keep it going, the crown is more for setting than winding.

Some background on Telix: Jakob Tennenbaum come from Lemberg, today called Lwiw, in the Western Ukraine, into Switzerland as a watchmaker. In the year 1925, he married his wife Rosa. Their son Hermann Tennebaum was born in Biel/Switzerland in the year1926 (he died last year in April 2014). Jakob and Rosa founded the watch company 'Telix', which became their joint workplace. After an education as watchmaker and merchant, their son Hermann joined the company. He took over the management after his father's death in 1962 until 1974.

I don't know what happened after 1974, but I could imagine that the company was also affected by the quartz crisis in the 1970ies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the responses so far. I believe the suggested circa late 50's to early 60's date may be on the mark. I believe my father had the watch prior to my parents being married. That was 1960.

Currently, the watch functions very well, and I have been wearing it over the last few days. I do agree with those suggesting it be serviced. I would like the movement cleaned and lubricated. Aesthetically, I intend to leave it as is. The wear showing on the watch is a testament to the hard work my father did. Problem is, where I'm from it is very difficult to find someone able to service watch movements. Can anyone recommend a place in Canada (preferably Manitoba) to have this done?
 

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Thank you for the responses so far. I believe the suggested circa late 50's to early 60's date may be on the mark. I believe my father had the watch prior to my parents being married. That was 1960.

Currently, the watch functions very well, and I have been wearing it over the last few days. I do agree with those suggesting it be serviced. I would like the movement cleaned and lubricated. Aesthetically, I intend to leave it as is. The wear showing on the watch is a testament to the hard work my father did. Problem is, where I'm from it is very difficult to find someone able to service watch movements. Can anyone recommend a place in Canada (preferably Manitoba) to have this done?
I am certain the 'Canucks' will come in flocks now to lead you to a good watchmaker. But if he is not just around the corner or in reasonable distance by car, you don't have to restrict yourself to Manitoba and will use the Canandian Post.
 

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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your heirloom. The watch has a Felsa "Bidynator" movement which was designed in 1942 and was the world's first automatic (wristwatch) movement with rotor and bidirectional winding. The very first version was the Cal. 410 but you have the second (Cal. 690 series) or even third (Cal. 1560 series) generation of movements from the 1950s:

bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Felsa 690 Bidynator

bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Felsa 1560

The differences between these versions are marginal. Your watch even has the higher grade of movement with optional swan neck regulator on the balance cock (see Picture 5 in the link for the Cal. 690). It is interesting to see that the movement has 23 jewels since the standard versions came with only 17, 21 or 25 according to Ranfft. You either have a version not yet recorded by Dr. Ranfft or the movement was adapted by the end user (Tennebaum).

Hartmut Richter
 

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Hi there,

the Felsa 690 or 1560 of your watch was the best ever made automatic when introduced in the early 40s, and in the early 50s, when yours likely was made, it still belonged to the best large scale produced automatics.

There are not many automatics easier to service, and it is no challenge for any real watchmaker. So you can actually give it to any watchmaker next to your place to preserve it for the next centuries. There is no real danger for a disaster.

By accident I have an article about the moderate restoration of a quite similar watch on my site:
Ranfft Watches, Normal Madness

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am finding all of this very educational. Thank you.

I'm particularly intrigued by the manufacturing date of the movement. I know my dad received/purchased the watch new. Has me wondering if he had it longer than I thought.

As for the face, does the lack of trademark, or any markings at that signify anything unique.

Upon looking at the face under magnification, it appears as though the markers (at 1, 3, 5 etc.) appear to have an inset of sorts, but I am unable to confirm what it may be.
 

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Nice watch. It helped me choose to wear this one today.
image.jpg
It also has the 23 jewel Felsa 690. The case is rather destroyed and it is small but I quite like it.
 

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DEFUNCT, AS ADVERT HAS ALREADY BEEN POSTED IN POST #2.
 

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If anyone needs a working Felsa 1560, I have one with only the seconds pinion broken off.

Gratis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Had opportunity to converse with my mom about dad's watch. Found out something very interesting about it. Turns out it was his first watch. He purchased it as a teenager with the winnings he received entering a steer he raised in the local 4H club he was a part of. This would of been very close to the mid 1950's. Knowing this makes owning this watch that much more meaningful.
 

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Measley, I also have a Telix that I have found in my late father's belongings. It looks very much like yours. It shows the name on the face, 17 jewels, incabloc, antimagnetic. If I give it a few shakes, it starts and runs fine. I cannot set it as the crown is missing. I am interested in getting it cleaned and serviced and having a new crown put on it. Have you found out any information on who might be able to do this?
 

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By the way, you mention Manitoba and my father grew up and lived in Saskatchewan all of his life. I suspect that he purchased the watch perhaps in the early to mid-50's.
 

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Measley, I also have a Telix that I have found in my late father's belongings. It looks very much like yours. It shows the name on the face, 17 jewels, incabloc, antimagnetic. If I give it a few shakes, it starts and runs fine. I cannot set it as the crown is missing. I am interested in getting it cleaned and serviced and having a new crown put on it. Have you found out any information on who might be able to do this?
Any decent watch repairer or jeweler can do this.
Which are you live
A
 
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