Internet Horology Club 185
What is this Private Label? Longines maybe? Agassiz?
December 28, 2019, 19:33Harry J. Hyaduck Sr.
What is this Private Label? Longines maybe? Agassiz?
Anyone have any idea who made this watch for W. F. Englehart of Philadelphia?
I found another picture of one just like this one and it is a PL from St. Louis and the dial says Agassiz but I don't know if that is the correct dial . My PL has the same name on the dial and the movement.
December 28, 2019, 21:17William Thomas
Agassiz was a 19th century watch company that was a predecessor of Longines. Founded by August Agassiz, his nephew Ernest Francillon joined the firm, later built a factory in St Imier Switzerland and eventually registered the name Longines. Longines kept the Agassiz name alive. The damaskeening here is typical of Longines, who did quite the export trade to North America and business in private label watches. (Side note: another member of the Agassiz family, Louis Agassiz, was a geologist who demonstrated the existence in recent geological times of the Great Ice Ages).
December 28, 2019, 22:57Harry J. Hyaduck Sr.
Thank you William! I love the regulator on this watch along with the dial is what lead me to get it. It appears to be between 19 and 21j. I read a lot of the information about Agassiz and Longines in the price guide but not owning either and not seeing this model in any of their illustrations I had no idea what I have. Sounds like you know a lot about the Swiss watches and demaskeening patterns and sounds like you think it is a Longines. Now I have to determine which model it is so I can get an idea if I paid too much for it.
P.S. I found it. I found a picture on the internet. I actually found two pictures. The newer on was PL and the ratchet and crown wheels had straight teeth and the regulator arm had a more pronounced bend in it but everything else looked identical. The other one was identical down to the wolf teeth and regulator arm. It was a 17j version and said "Agassiz Geneva" on the plate.
December 29, 2019, 13:36William Thomas
I have been in the watch material supply biz since '76,(working for a descendant of the Julius Garon Co.of Duluth) and one of my mentors tutored me long ago on what he called the Wittnauer family (A. Wittnauer being originally their importing agency, never an actual factory as such). The family being Longines/Wittnauer, Agassiz, Patek, Vacheron, and Lecoultre. Not common ownerships, but partnerships, formal and informal. I inherited his collection of vintage Longines material catalogs going back to the 1920s, so I am pretty familiar with vintage Longines watches.
December 29, 2019, 13:47William Thomas
BTW WhenLongines/Wittnauer was importing Vacheron and Lecoultre movements to be cased in the USA an importation code of VXN was assigned to both companies. It amuses and irritates me to see sellers on Ebay offer a LeCoultre watch as being made by Vacheron when it's the opposite. Here the tail wags the dog. The importer code does identify the factory.
December 29, 2019, 14:23Harry J. Hyaduck Sr.
I think a lot of ebay sellers do not have a clue to what they are selling. Some ebay sellers intentionally try to mislead buyers. I know less than nothing about Swiss and European watches. I am mainly a American watch collector and of those brands mainly Hamilton. The only reason I think my watch is an Agassiz or a Longine made by Agassiz sold by Longine when Longine was selling leftover movements after the acquisition of Agassiz with their name on it or PL's is I found an identical Agassiz with Agassiz Geneva name on it. I also found a couple of others with straight ratchet and crown wheels instead of the wolf tooth wheels like mine. It seems to be a very high quality watch. When I and if I take the dial off I will know if it is 19, 20 or 21J. So I think I am satisfied that it is either an Agassiz or an Longines made by the old Agassiz after the merger or take over. Looking at the price guide it is very difficult to determine which watch I have. Not enough info in the price guide.
As for all the incorrect info on ebay I gave up trying to correct the mistakes sellers were listing. I would get sincere thanks yous and they would correct their ad to being blocked. I think the ones who block me were the ones trying to mislead the buyers.
Here is a picture of the front of the watch. Are you a material house for American and Swiss material or just Swiss? I have a friend who has been a watchmaker for 40 years in Ca. and he occasionally ask me to help him find material he needs to fix watches.
December 29, 2019, 20:56William Thomas
In my previous paoss I stated that the 3 letter importer code indicted the factory that made the movement: not always, and obviously does not here!
December 29, 2019, 21:04William Thomas
AS for watch material, we are full line"American, Swiss and other European, Japanese and now Chinese. Most desireable watch parts-American and Swiss high end, are long gone. Swiss companies restrict parts availability. I am semi-retired now and I don't wish to assure anyone that we have hard to find parts anymore. Nowadays it's mostly batteries, crystals, Seiko and Citizen parts, quartz movements, pretty much what every other parts house has.
December 29, 2019, 22:19Harry J. Hyaduck Sr.
Thank you William for the help. Yes you are right. Marty tells me he can't get the high end parts anymore that the high end watch manufacturers want you to send the watch to them so that they can repair it. Monopoly like the diamond industry.
Thanks again for the help and education!