Well Chris, its circa 1880
09/28/2013 - 19:20
within a 20-year range based on what can be seen . I agree that any info would be welcome . How 'bout you tell us a bit about the history of this piece, is it running, does your wife wear it, perhaps what is engraved on the bottom of the cuvette, and maybe the size, serial numbers....
Re: Well Chris, its circa 1880
09/29/2013 - 00:31
hi there thanks for reply i rescued this little beauty at auction ,it movement number is 325573 ,case 193761 it also has a name engraved ,berthoud berne inside case not sure if that is a retailer ? regards chris
Perhaps Alex can help
09/29/2013 - 04:36
There aren't enough sales records online to establish a date of manufacture for those numbers, so perhaps Alex can step in... I can add something about the inscription "Berthoud Berne", which is a town in the Emmethal valley of canton Berne (yes, the home of tasty cheese). In the quirky manner of things Swiss, it also goes by the German designation of Burgdorf, Bern! The name Berthoud reminds us Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807), who was born in Neuchatel and relocated to Paris where he became one of the few really important watchmakers. If you would like more feedback, please post some large, focused pictures of case and movement - the more the better.
09/30/2013 - 07:31
The Archives are the final word. Estimates can be inaccurate since movement and case were sometimes not "married" upon completion but occasionally a few years later. Yours I would estimate at 1900-1905, probably about 1903. In addition they were often sold later, in some cases decades later. It looks in fantastic shape. Has it been refinished? Hopefully will be able to check it for you. Congratulations! Joseph
09/30/2013 - 07:33
I meant, Alex will be able to check the Archives for you.
Archives not always complete
10/02/2013 - 23:24
Hi Joseph, I just got around to reading your comments and would like to add some details for the benefit of others. As you've described, V&C archives generally give the date a watch was "completed", which means the case and movement have been married, the movement is running properly, and the piece is ready for sale. Sometimes the archives will also give the date a completed watch was retailed, especially if it was sent to an established jeweller with an account. When fortunate, the archives will indicate the date of manufacture for the movement itself, which can be years prior to a watch's completion. It seems to be rather inconsistent as to which of these tidbits, in addition to date of completion, may be found in the records. Now here is the tricky part. When V&C supplies ebauche kits to specialists such as Verger Freres and the numerous American private labels, the archives only reveal the date of manufacture for the movement and its date of sale to the retailer. As most of these private labels are dead names today, we must rely on other sources to date when the retailer completed their watch. Inscriptions, bills of sale, family records, comparisons with known timepieces; all this become very helpful in these cases. Some retailers, such as Birks in Canada, still have their records. Unfortunately since the retirement of Helmut Hargassner there is no longer anyone assigned to research them. Also, there are gaps in the archival history. I learned this first hand when I aquired the deck watch described here: 1942 Kriegsmarine Chronometer. V&C archives only recorded the date of completion and it was left to the Observatoire de Geneve to reveal the movement won 3rd Prize at trials competition in 1927...the archives did not have this information! You'll recall it was my estimation of the movement's much earlier date of manufacture that led to the research which established this provenance. As with the Krieg example, I don't always feel the date of completion or sale is the most interesting aspect of a timepiece. If the movement reveals something of horological interest that was developed some years before, such as the Leschot Calibre in Mrs. TT's collection, then I submit this date defines the piece for collectors. Our tool kit must be varied as to the sources of information for the only thing certain about vintage V&C is uncertainty .