Hello! Help with ID'ing a movement/watch please...

Hello!

 

I am new to this group, but not to watch collecting (since late '90s). I have collected vintage US, Japanese, and Swiss models of various kinds and quality levels. I have been interested in acquiring 1 or more "elite" Swiss watches (vintage, gold cased) where I am as a "capstone" to my collection {I'm rapidly running out of storage room & hate to sell off what I already have, LOL!} Already having various Omega, Girard Perregaux, Cyma, and even 1 Jaeger-LeCoultre (478/C) in solid 14K, it is time to try for a Vacheron, Audemars or Patek (preferably all 3 someday) ...

 

Reason I am posting now, is that I'm evaluating a vintage Vacheron here where I live (Philippines) & have run into what appears to be a rather unusual movement:

Hello! Help with ID'ing a movement/watch please...

It is a center-seconds calibre, that I know. But, the gold-colored plating, the lack of a swans-neck regulator, the plate/bridge architecture, lack of the typical shock-protection, and the jewel count (18) taken all together with the fact it is center-seconds make it somewhat of a puzzle to me in comparing to movement shots available to me so far.

I have not been able to positively identify it from the online resources available to me. So far the seller has been sick & not able to answer my questions on it. In the meantime though, I'm doing my best to research this piece. Following is a shot of the inner case-back. There is no ref#, but there is the serial#. This (plus other clues lead me to believe it is pre-1950 in style):

Hello! Help with ID'ing a movement/watch please...

Finally, a picture of the dial:

Hello! Help with ID'ing a movement/watch please...

 

Well, I enjoy reading through this site & hope to soon have my 1st V & C if this proves out to be "legit". Anyway, thanks in advance if anyone has some positive identification on ref# and/or movement for this!

07/29/2016 - 05:40
07/29/2016 - 06:55
07/30/2016 - 02:31
07/30/2016 - 02:35
Welcome to THL
07/29/2016 - 05:40

Hello Ninja01,

The movement looks like an early version of the Cal. 466.  This is based on the round Cal. 458/457 family.  (Cal. 458 has a small seconds hand, while the Cal. 466 adds the center-seconds hand.  The addition of this extra wheel for the center seconds is the reason for the additional jewel, from 17J to 18J.

(Cal. 466/3B has a different regulating system...but I am guessing an earlier version of Cal. 466 has the system shown in your picture, early Cal. 458 movements had the system in your picture as well).

These were early generation wristwatch movements, before shock protection was introduced.

The case serial number leads me to believe the watch was manufactured in the mid to late 1940s.

If you are serious about this watch, I suggest providing both case and movement serial numbers.  That way, VC can confirm the watch left the factory with the match as well provide the Reference number and exact year of production.

 

Re: Welcome to THL
07/29/2016 - 06:55

Thanks Dan! for that initial response/info

I was thinking of cal. 466 but wasn't sure if they did make them without the "pitchfork" fine regulator. Makes sense if indeed early 466s came without shock-protection & without that fine adjuster.

I do know that in Jaeger-LeCoultre, the cal. 478 in earlier days than my particular one, the plate finishing was different than mine (478/C from mid '50s): I've seen examples of them with gold-colored plating & Geneva stripes, where mine is white (rhodium?) plated and plain "texture". So, my thinking was that earlier versi ons of some of the movements I was investigating could have been made in that manner as well.

I'm also guessing the movement & case size based on the photos alone, with assumptions such as the sellers hand size being about the same as mine. If those assumptions are correct (and assuming that in the time-frame this one was made, it was a rather small sized case, not an "XXL") it seems reasonable to think of an early 466 (as my size estimates, using the assumptions I mentioned earlier would place this as a 9''' rather than 12.5''' size movement). But, I'm unsure of the accuracy of my estimates.

Of course, once the seller recovers & is able to provide me the data I've asked for, these questions may be resolved with certainty. From the pics alone, I do see that the case# appears to be 287005 and the movement serial# starts with 44 and appears to be 44?465 where unfortunately, the "?" digit is unreadable (at least with certainty) due to the lack of resolution in the shot. Your estimate of '40s production does agree with my own guesses of mid '40s to about 1947 or 48 based on dial & case style considerations, look of the movement, and the composition of the inner case-back text.

Maybe an old 466 ...
07/30/2016 - 02:31

OK Dan,

 

using your statement "(Cal. 466/3B has a different regulating system...but I am guessing an earlier version of Cal. 466 has the system shown in your picture" as a way of refining my searches online, I did come across this picture in a post about a 466-based Vacheron:

Maybe an old 466 ...

 

It (speaking of the movement only) does look a lot more like the one I'm evaluating. In fact, the only significant differences I can see are:

1. the color of the plating of bridges, etc. [white metal vs. the gold color]. Again, this may be analogous to what J-LC did with the cal. 478 {early ones in gold color plating, later ones in white}.

2. the calibre number is engraved within the rectangular frame on the barrel bridge on this example. The one I'm evaluating does not have calibre# anywhere on that bridge.

3. some other differences in the text printed on that same bridge (movement serial# for example).

 

So, thanks to your "lead", I may indeed be looking at an early production type of 466!

Plus:
07/30/2016 - 02:35

Forgot to say in my last reply:blush

 

4. Jewel count: 17 vs. 18.