Vintage Pocket Watch Discussion Forum
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Inherited pocket watch 4 need help with identification and average value. Please add your input if familiar. Thank you.
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As the inscription on the dust cover indicates, this watch has a cylinder escapement (as opposed to the earlier verge and fusee or the later lever escapement on the IWC watch). It's Swiss or French, probably in the first half of the nineteenth century. It's obviously missing its minute hand.
Thank you for your help on all watches, appreciated. Would you know why is this watch background turning with rainbow colors when looking at it at the angles. How did they do it back those times? Firstly I thought this is some kind of mother of pearl, but this is metal. Looks like silver. Any idea?
I would say it is tarnish on a silver dial that is creating the rainbow colors.
I suspect that the dial is silver with guilloche engraving: that is, there are very fine parallel lines engraved, and depending on how light falls on the metal and how the surface has aged, it can look like mother of pearl or it can even act as a diffraction grating and produce rainbow effects. Guilloche dials were popular among French and Swiss makers in the early nineteenth century. There was a revival of the technique on American men's dress watches in the 1920s and 30s; Illinois also used it on some ladies' watches in the 1920s. RGM is currently making some guilloche dials, using a rose engine.
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