Exploring The Construction Of Antique Pocket Watches

by admin on May 11, 2012

Vintage Antique Pocket WatchesAntique pocket watches were primarily made as either open-face pocket watches or hunter-case pocket watches. In 1876 Franciszek Czapek, a polish watch maker, invented the open-face pocket watch. This type of watch does not have a metal covering. They frequently have some sort of decorative gem or design at the top.

The winding stem can be located the three o’clock point (these were known as sidewinders) or at the twelve o’clock mark. Hunter-cased antique pocket watches had a cover, generally made of metal, popped open due to a spring hinge, when a button was pressed. This protected the dial and the crystal from becoming broken or dirty.

While the hinged spring in modern days is most frequently at the six o’clock mark with current watches, antique pocket watches with hunter cases were almost always made with the hinge at the nine o’clock mark. A third but significantly less common type of antique pocket watches was called the demi-hunter. This had a case like the hunter-cased watches, however the case was clear, and the numbers were marked on the clear case, instead of this inside.

This method kept the inside of the watch safe and clean, however the time could be seen without the effort of opening the watch. These did not take off in popularity because it quickly became apparent that the case itself would scratch and be difficult to tell the time through, showing little improvement over the open-cased antique pocket watches.

Swiss vs. American Antique pocket watches

Inside An Antique Pocket WatchWhile in the early days of watch making the English had been well established as the best quality and most produced pocket watch makers, the Swiss gained ground during the 19th century as leaders in making the best priced watches. In 1857 the first American watch makers went into business, and introduced the Waltham Model 57 (name for the year of it’s creation and the location in Waltham, Massachusetts). This watch was available at much cheaper prices than the Swiss watches, because it was the first type of antique pocket watches to use standard interchangeable parts, allowing the cost to be significantly less.

Today, most associated Swiss antique pocket watches with quality. This is due to the fact that once the Americans entered the market of pocket watch making and were able to surpass the Swiss in cheap prices, the Swiss switched their focus to providing the best quality watches, giving them the competitive edge over the competition for more wealthy customers.

Collecting Antique Pocket Watches

As pocket watches were popular for roughly 500 years, there are a number of different types of antique pocket watches that can be collected. If you or a serious collector with a high end collection or a novice looking for their first reasonably priced piece, there are pocket watches to meet all levels of cost and interest. These antique pocket watches represent a revolution in technology, and are appreciated by many individuals around the world.

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