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Hebdomas watches. "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
Something we don't see much of on the boards are these quite unusual style watches.

Although the name 'Hebdomas' was patented by the original manufacturer in La Chaux de Fonds in the late 1800's, the name has become pretty much a 'catch all' term for any pocket or wristwatch that has a visible escapement next to the dial.

'Hebdomas' was renowned for its 8 day movement, which Is what stands for : 'Hebdomandaire, Eddomadario' −− a statement that the watch should be wound once a week, on the 7th day.

These movements were copied by many makers, but only the genuine article will have 'Hebdomas Patent' on the dial and it's Huge mainspring barrel.
If you ever take the barrel off one of these, wrap it in a cloth, because it's awfully long to have 'let go' on you!

Curiously enough, I've found that everything will interchange between these movements whether Hebdomas patented or not.
Quite unusual to say the least for a Swiss watch!

This watch sports a Turkish dial, made for the Turkish market - no surprise there then!
Although the symbols at first glance look pretty much the same, each has unique figuring - and as one scholar of the language commented to me, 'Under a loupe the figures are quite beautiful, but otherwise totally impractical and almost impossible to read'.

He has a point!

Any more of these out there?

John.

Hebdomas
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
posted
Big mainspring barrel to keep the watch running for 7 days!
JW.

Mainspring barrel
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
posted
Dial without the crystal obscuring it.

Many of these dials suffer bad cracks and hairlines, which is a real shame, because some of them really are beauties.

JW.

Hebdo Dial
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
IHC Member 1016
posted
I have some similar watch to this, but not Turkish dial. Do these have an approximate value? I'm thinking I need to sell SOME watches soon.

Mike

 
Posts: 3112 | Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon in the USA | Registered: October 13, 2007
IHC Member 1016
posted
Nice dial

 
Posts: 3112 | Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon in the USA | Registered: October 13, 2007
IHC Member 1016
posted
Another but different.

 
Posts: 3112 | Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon in the USA | Registered: October 13, 2007
posted
Mike, thanks for posting these, they're quite unusual and very very nice!.

Looks like both have escaped dial damage too, which is often caused by a case knife sliding too far under the bezel and nicking the edge.

Like the first one I posted, they're not 'Hebdomas Patent' hence the label 8 Days / 8 Jours, and lack of on the second, but no less desireable becaue of it.

The square dial on your first watch is quite different! Most of these have a standard chapter in either upright or Hunter orientation, and sometimes the actual dial shape is formed by the outer bezel.
The dual A/F - S/F, would suggest it was made for export as well as the home market.

The filligree work is quite typical on these watches, and very beautiful - especially when unmauled. Take a really good look at that work under a loupe - it's all hand applied before the dial enamel is fired!

Your second watch is unusual too, especially as the dial appears to be a standard dial with the seconds bit removed - but the 'Avance - Retard' script at the bottom gives the game away, and I would guess from that, it was never meant for export outside French speaking countries.

The name on the dial is a nice touch too 'Bon Heure' ......... I like that Cool

Values of these watches have been creeping up steadily for a year or two now!

Using the usual auction site for comparison, even dead beat incomplete non running 8 day 'bitzers' with a cracked dial generally fetch more than £40GBP - say around 80 - 100 bucks!
If they have 'Hebdomas' on a mint dial, add another $20+ or so - because they all swap over!

In the UK auctions before the market took a dive, I would have expected to see your watches easily into the £80 - £120 GBP area and maybe more on a good day!
Good unusual examples will still find good money with serious buyers though!

Great examples, thanks for showing them.

John.

Forgot to add, the Turkish dial watch is now actually living in ......... Turkey Big Grin
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
IHC Member 1016
posted
John, Thanks for the reply. Yes, they are unusual and pretty. I'll put them up for sale sometime soon.
Mike
 
Posts: 3112 | Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon in the USA | Registered: October 13, 2007
posted
This is another 8Day watch that passed through my hands a while back, it's now residing in the collection of a friend of mine.

Again, not a 'Hebsomas Patent' watch, but totally interchangeable with them as far as components go, and just as many medals awarded according to the artwork on the mainspring barrel!

This one I would say is typical of the 'Art Nouveau' period, and with a beautifully chased Nickel case.
The intricately engraved dial is a real work of art, and is a Solid Sterling Silver (0.925) disc a millimetre thick!

John

Hebdomas 2
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
posted
Dial with bezel removed and before the watch was cleaned up.

JW.

Hebdomas dial
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
posted
Case back.
JW.

Hebdomas Caseback
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
posted
Mainspring Barrel, showing off the medal awards.
Note the 'Guarantee of Interchangeability!
Almost a unique feat in the world of Swiss watchmaking!
JW.

Hebdomas Mainspring Barrel
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
IHC Member 1016
posted
Wow, that's nice. Thanks for posting this.
 
Posts: 3112 | Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon in the USA | Registered: October 13, 2007
posted
Thanks Mike, that was one of my favourites, looks even nicer 'in the flesh' too.
I've another one to post yet, which is a 'Hebdomas patent' watch, just need to get some pic's done.

Anyone else got any of these?

John.
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
The cool part is this has a seconds chapter! Eek
Some more views; Cool

 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
posted
Great looking wrist. ive seen a few of these on ebay and i really would love to have one(ultimate "trench" watch), but they usually run as high as $2-500. Ahh... one day....one will be mine.. all mine. haha
 
Posts: 112 | Location: Missouri in the USA | Registered: May 16, 2008
posted
Certainly a 'different' looking Hebdomas wristwatch!
The dial would almost appear to be a 'cut and shut' afterthought had it not been for the Hebdomas name on it.
Not convinced it isn't an 'aftermarket' mod!
Shame about the dial damage though, and something that not many of these enamel dials escape.

The 'Real' Hebdomas wristies that collectors go a bundle on, are miniatures of the pocket watches shown so far and far more attractive.

Watch this space Darren, one of these 'Trenchies' with a 'proper' visible escapement and 'Hunter' dial coming along!

John
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
posted
re turkish dial

i have one just like this.....same dial.....same
flowers.........

does anyone know where i might find staff and hairsprings for these?
(i'm in U.S.......couldn't find any..)
thanx much.

doc
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Fullerton California in the USA | Registered: October 06, 2008
posted
Tim,
Many thanks for the post and (a belated) welcome to IHC 185.
Couldn't reply before now as was using a dial-up account and couldn't get the pages to load!

Any chance of a photo or two of your watch?

If you follow this link to another topic, you might just get lucky with a staff, not sure about a hairspring though.
The Hebdomas types came with either a flat blued steel spring or an overcoil type, so you'd need to check which you need.

https://ihc185.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2386036171/m/7111021523

Best regards

John
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
I have always liked the looks of these & I was able to pick up a working model on Ebay pretty cheap. I liked this one because it has the day & date.

Tom

8day
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
posted
Beautiful watch Tom, these calendar types fetch a small fortune in Europe relative to the standard item.

If you bought at a good price, you did well!

I've seen them go on eBay for between £150 - £250 Sterling, but on BIN shop items anywhere between £400 - £1200+ especially those with Moonphase dials etc in addition.
Don't know if they ever sell any at that price though, especially now!

If you google 'Atlam' (in London), they often have some spectacular examples available.

Thanks for posting it for us.

Best regards

John
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
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