Internet Horology Club 185
Hallmark ID

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November 01, 2019, 11:40
John Kennedy
Hallmark ID
Hey all,

This is a hallmark on a curious Abra pocket watch. It has an octagon case. The dial has brass or gold(filled) dot inserts on the minute chapter. Six jewel movement with two adjustments. A real combination of attention to craft and economy. Anyway, I can't find this hallmark anywhere and want to know what it is. TIA

November 01, 2019, 11:59
Ethan Lipsig
Henri Sandoz et fils? By the way, I would refer to to the mark as a trademark stamp or a logo, rather than a "hallmark." Hallmarks, in my book, are government mandated stampings that show the metal content and, in the case of English hallmarks, other information.
November 02, 2019, 09:07
John Kennedy
That's helpful and makes sense, although if that is true then there is no clue as to the metal composition. Did Sandoz make cases for resale?
November 02, 2019, 10:59
Ethan Lipsig
I don't know whether Sandoz sold cases. I know next to nothing about Sandoz. I don't collect Sandoz watches, except for a modest collection of the Tavannes La Captive model and the similar Cyma model. Tavannes and Cyma were or are Sandoz brands. My little collection consists of

1. A silver example, signed "Cyma"
2. A silver and onyx example, signed "Tavannes La Captive"
3. A green-enameled silver "Tavannes La Captive"-signed example, shown below
4. A silver Dunhill PL exanple, signed "Chronometre Tavannes"

None of these watches have the arm-and-hammer stamping of your watch.

November 03, 2019, 11:38
Lindell V. Riddle

Hello John,

Ethan knows European Watches far better than I do so I would defer to his experience with them.

But of interest may be the fact there is more than one variation of "Arm and Hammer" design Trade-Marks we are aware of. I am familiar with one of them as being on Gold Plated Brass Cases which raises the question of your case content.

Here is an "IHC Find-Or-Search" for the phrase "Arm and Hammer" (Our "Find-Or-Search" is always a good place to begin research) which brings up a number of postings and some information you might find interesting.


I would also ask if your watch might have been produced for sale in North America, often we find F and S for Fast and Slow rather that the A and R meaning Advance and Retard on such examples. Though not definitive it could be something to consider.

The Trade-Mark shown in the image below is often found on some of the "Swiss-Fakes" sent to the North American market around the turn of the Twentieth Century and usually sold on the street by face-to-face peddlers. They are known as "Swiss Fakes" because they were very cheaply-made to resemble name-brand American Movements and dials in order to fool the unsuspecting buyer something they are still doing more than a hundred-twenty years later.

During that time the Swiss had not yet attained the prominence in quality we associate with them today. I remember when Japan began with "cheap" goods and rose to become known for quality, same has been true of Chinese products more recently. The Chinese have in recent years been producing high quality tools, bicycles and some very impressive engines.

Please do not take offense, my explanation of "Swiss-Fakes" does not necessarily imply your watch is such an example. My point is only that your case may turn out to be some form of plated brass of some other Base-Metal which might be worth considering. Check the posts in that link I provided for more.



Similar trade-Mark on a Gold-Plated Brass Case...

November 03, 2019, 12:50
Ethan Lipsig
I defer to you, Lindell. The only reason I suggested that Sandoz might be possibility is that it used an arm and hammer in some of its trademark stamps. The only example I saw on Microlisk's site didn't closely resemble the one initially posted in this thread. The example you posted is an identical or fraternal twin of that one.L
November 06, 2019, 09:07
John Kennedy
Thanks to you both. Comparing it with other hallmarks I doubted that it was indicated a precious metal. Abra was a legitimate watch maker and I don't think that there was any attempt to deceive. The dial and movement is plainly marked. As I said, it is a curious blend of economy and attention to detail. Six jewels with two adjustments? Regulator marked both A/R and F/S? Somebody here was trying!