Next present revealed

My dear wife has been gaining interest in watches; a process previously akin to glacial activity until a lady's V&C was gifted to her.  Since then she's aquired another pendant watch (we have two female heirs after all).  Aside from comprehensive mechanical restoration, more to please me than she, these pieces were properly dressed this Christmas with a few vintage accessories; a lovely Victorian gold chain and lapel brooch...

Next present revealed

Next present revealed

The watch featured in the bottom picture has been previously discussed (Calibre Leschot), but the first piece was only hinted at (A Surprising Find) so this may be a good time for a more formal introduction, while we are all basking in the warmth of the season.

This 1879 demi-bassine measures 36mm and features a lovely guilloché case with polished borders and band.  The front cover has a glazed aperture to reveal the time without opening the front cover, although that is easily enough accomplished by depressing the stem to release a spring catch.  The window is surrounded by blue enamel radial Roman numerals and an inner minute track "en reserve", on a polished chapter ring.  The back cover is engraved with an intricate foliate monogram that features a discrete and historically interesting Maltese Cross.
 
The movement is 12 lignes and, in comparison with the 1867 Leschot movement, demonstrates more modern straight bridges.  It has 10 jewels, matt gilt finish, wolf’s tooth winding and flame-blued screws.  In another concession to modernity, the watch abandons the older key-wind, key-set system for stem-winding and lever-setting.  The anchor escapement has a full moustache counterpoise, club-foot escape wheel, cut bimetallic balance with adjustable poising screws, blued steel flat balance spring, and simple index regulator.
 
A flawless white enamel dial with radial Roman numerals and outer minute track finishes the presentation. Blued steel hands show the double-spade hour indication typical of demi-hunters.

My watchmaker shared an interesting discovery...the Maltese Cross or Geneva stop works had been removed from the watch very early in it's life.  Why on earth?  Well, recall that early mainsprings were of simple steel and exhibited uneven torque characteristics; being very weak for the first few turns and overly strong at the last.  In 1860, the Maltese Cross mechanism was introduced to limit the power of the mainspring to the most even torque available during the middle period of uncoiling.  This had a side-effect of also reducing running time from a few days between windings to less than a day.  It would appear the original owner found the compromise unacceptable and removed this limiting device.  As this early modification now forms part of the watch's story, I've determined to leave it as is.  Careful adjustment has kept time-loss to less than a minute in 24 hours yes.

Next present revealed

Next present revealed

Next present revealed

Next present revealed

Next present revealed

You may notice the crystal viewing window is heavily scratched.  The practice was to wear a pendant watch face in to protect the front from severe damage by accidental blows.  However, this did not prevent the "protected" side from being subject to abrasion by clothing, jewellery, etc.  This weathered crystal will be replaced sometime in the New Year.  Hope you enjoy the pictures with my new light box enlightened.
Real Beauty Dean. The dial is not only amazing
12/29/2012 - 20:40
as a classic, but the quality is simply spectacular. I will enjoy these photograghs for days as we sit through all the rain storms. Happy New Year to you all, Tim
Happy New Year to you as well, Tim :-) nt
12/30/2012 - 20:49
nt
a very VC Christmas! the case work gets my vote, just amazing!
12/29/2012 - 21:53
s
Agreed Alex
12/30/2012 - 20:50
pocket watches provide an excellent palette for such artistry heart
Something Different and Lovely
12/29/2012 - 21:55
Thanks for the beautiful photos and write-up, Dean. It really is great when your spouse or significant other appreciates your horological passion. In addition to making it easier to spend time and money on your own pursuits, it can take you in new and interesting directions like this. Congratulations and happy new year!
Don't think I fooled her one minute...
12/30/2012 - 20:56
as to my nefarious scheme to subvert her from shoes to watches wink.  Your insight as to "new and interesting directions" is very accurate as the small movements of lady's watches provided the challenges to watchmakers which eventually led to the wristwatch!  Happy New Year to you and yours, Mike.
Lovely watches, Dean!
12/30/2012 - 00:11
Beautiful case and dial. They have weathered time well. May your wife enjoy them in good health. all the best for the New Year! Joseph
Thanks Joseph, and
12/30/2012 - 20:57
wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year!
two great holiday gifts Dean!
01/02/2013 - 13:00
Hi Dean,  it looks like your family was really good this past year...look at the results!  laugh I hope to see them in the metal soon, BR, Dan
Certainly will, Dan! nt
01/03/2013 - 18:22
nt
Re: Next present revealed
01/07/2013 - 07:48
How lucky your wife. Very nice watch,beautifully detailed.. This beauty comes is real expensive.I wish I could also get one for my wife. I spent a lot a had to consider a lot of bills to be paid. Good thing I could use a little help paying for presents for my friends or family because I can always get a pay day loan. Get more data at: <a title="A little extra help with holiday gifts" href="https://personalmoneynetwork.com/payday-loans/">Payday Loan</a>
Re: Next present revealed
01/07/2013 - 07:53
How lucky your wife..Very nice watch,beautifully detailed. Obviously,such beauty comes with expensive price. I wish I could have one for my wife but I had to consider a lot of things to settle this year. Good thing I could use a little help for paying my gifts to my family and friends by getting a payday loan.