Help Appreciated in Dating and Knowing Details of this Watch

I have owned, but not used, this watch for some 45 years now. It was my grandfather's and perhaps his father's.

What I can tell you is this.....

1. It still works

2. Inside the the back case cover is a stamp indicating 18 K and the number "115226". Also just above the number and upside down is a very small, hand written number "+30901+"

3. On the face of the 'inside cover' are the words "fabrique pour Vacheron & Constantin  Geneve"

4. There are numbers on the inside mechanism, but I am unable to see them properly.

5. There is a fob attached that has the same patina as the outside casing of the watch.

It would be appreciated if anyone could date this watch and provide me with the maker (considering it was "fabricated for"). 

Any other background or pertainant information would be appreciated, as I would like to include these details to whomever inherits the watch from me.

Thanks in advance.


Marc
Hi Marc, hard to give any info without scans of the watch (nt)
11/14/2008 - 18:37
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Re: Hi Marc, hard to give any info without scans of the watch (nt)
11/14/2008 - 19:30
Hi Alex, Thanks for the prompt reply. I will post some photos, and I am sorry that I don't know how to post them all in the same message. If you need more close-up detail, please let me know. Thanks again, Marc
hmmm, interesting. Does the movement have
11/14/2008 - 20:44
Vacheron & Constantin inscribed on it? The case is interesting as it does not say Vacheron Constantin but made for V&C.  I need to check or others more knowledgable may be able to shed some light on the case number.
Re: hmmm, interesting, indeed!
11/14/2008 - 20:58
This is a very interesting watch. The absence of VC on the inside of the case indicates that it was not made by VC. But such was often the case with watches made for some foreign markets or retailers who made their own cases. What is even more intersting is that there do not appear to be any markings on the movement. Futhermore (maybe its just the photo) the movement does not have a quality finish. But also,  the quality of the metal makes it look much more recent than the case (ie 1940's - 50's vs 1900-1920 for the case). Perhaps it was some watchmakers project in copying a VC movement and he happened to have a old case in which to place it. This is just speculation on my part. Regards, Joseph
Re: Re: hmmm, interesting, indeed!
11/14/2008 - 21:07
Thanks for that.  Would you like me to try to take a better photo of the workings?
Bull's eye, Josep.
11/14/2008 - 21:21
I think your logic is absolute correct. It's a classic Franken. Cheers Doc
Re: hmmm, interesting. Does the movement have
11/14/2008 - 21:03

I have looked carefully at the movement (with a magnifying glass) and saw no inscription other that a number (393522) on a plate near the hinge (just below and to the left).

Thanks,

Marc

Re: Re: hmmm, interesting. Does the movement have
11/15/2008 - 00:15
That would be great Marc, If you could, take a few shots looking straight down on the movement so that all the parts can be seen clearly. Thanks, Joseph
Re: Re: Re: hmmm, interesting. Does the movement have
11/15/2008 - 00:58
Re: Re: Re: Re: hmmm, interesting. Does the movement have
11/15/2008 - 04:05
Thanks Marc, Its a bit dark but not too bad. Anyway, to amplify on my original comments. I don't think the case dial or movement are VC. VC would never use "fabriqué pour" The case also lacks all the hallmarks but that in itself is not an issue since often cases were made locally. The dial is a decent but not outstanding copy of a VC design but they usually had "Vacheron & Constantin and/or the name of the retailer on the dial. The hands and the overall design looks not bad. But watches of this era often were 2 toned and/or had a guillochéd central portion but not always. But the case is likely from the time period that the design represents (1900-1920). But the movement is another matter. Whoever, made this clearly knew the designs of the period since the layout of the bridges looks very much like a VC. It looks like the maker tried a bit of "anglage" as well and the results are not too bad. However the bridges at that time were not generally made of steel, but rather brass or were plated. Those few that were made of steel and this was more common later on had  "Geneva stripes", which this does not have. I also think that the quality of the steel is much better than was generally available in the early part of the century. The screws are mismatched as well. The seating of the jewels looks a bit rough too. I was trying to get an idea of the quality of the teeth on the wheels but the lighting isn't good enough to tell. My guess is that the watch was made by someone as a copy or tribute to VC designs; that the resources available were limited but it was nevertheless a good effort. Perhaps in was a study or a gift for a friend. It does not look like a commercial effort but rather a one-off hand made piece. That's just my 2 cents worth; just some educated guesses. But enjoy it! Its still an interesting piece and if it keeps reasonable time, your ahead of the game! Regards, Joseph
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmmm, interesting. Does the movement have
11/15/2008 - 04:16
Joseph, Many thanks for your very comprehensive answer. While you were typing your thoughts, I did a Google search for "fabrique pour vacheron & constantin "....and came up with this listing....xxx link to commercial site deleted I took a close look at the movement and noted that it looked, to my untrained eye, virtually identical to the movement of mine. Sorry that my photography was still not clear enough. Perhaps some day when I head down to TO, I will bring it with me and you have have a first-hand look. Thanks again and cheers, Marc
Case & movement numbers
11/15/2008 - 06:49
Thanks for the link Marc. I checked the numbers on your watch and the ones in the link. Those case numbers are from around 1865 or earlier, whereas the design of the movement and the number in your last pic (if I read it correctly) 39352? are from around 1905-1915. I don't know of any VC movements from around that time that were unsigned by VC. I guess the metal may be nickel and not steel. I have to question the authenticity of the other watch too given the numbers and lack of signing on the dial and movement. But , hey, I would love to be proven wrong. I'm basing my conjectures on my references sources which are not exhaustive by any means. Perhaps Alex will shed some further light on this matter? Regards, Joseph
Movement doesn't look familiar.
11/15/2008 - 07:18
I can't recall ever seeing a V&C movement with the two opposed jewels in the center bridge.  The finish doesn't seem to be V&C standards either.  While Vacheron retailed their second quality watches under other names like Girod-Colomby, they didn't contract out watches under the Vacheron name as that piece suggests. Now I believe there were contract cases from the US and South America that were made for V&C, but the movements were genuine Vacheron.  A real mystery
Re: Movement doesn't look familiar.
11/15/2008 - 14:54

Thanks Tick-Talk,

The more I read, the more interesting and mysterious this is. My great-grandfather was a world traveller (for pleasure) so if he bought it, he could have done so anywhere. On the other hand, by grandfather did not venture much outside of Canada.

Looking forward to hearing more from the other experts in this forum.

Thanks again,

Marc

Henry Moser
11/24/2008 - 04:34
I've found a similar bridge design on a Henry Moser supplied movement from a Ulysse Nardin PW.  The opposed jewels on the center bridge are most distinctive.