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1914 trench watch, a picture tour "Click" to Login or Register 

Posts: 39 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: June 01, 2007

I have a similar watch. Does smeone know how to remove the winding button? - I wish to replace mine as it has worn smooth.
Posts: 264 | Location: Westbrook, United Kingdom | Registered: June 15, 2007
IHC Life Member
If there is a square stem protruding from the stem tube into the case (the more usual negative set system) hold this with pliers and rotate crown anti-clockwise to unwind it off its thread.

If like the case above I'd suggest fit something into the female square end visible, to prevent rotation, and again unwind the crown - but I have not met the system illustrated - so no guarantees !
Posts: 423 | Location: West Walton, United Kingdom | Registered: November 16, 2005

You have a nice watch. Even with it's generic Swiss movement, it's an excellent example of a World War One "trench watch."

The "FB" stamp in the caseback is the trademark of Francois Borgel, a well known and highly innovative case designer, active until at least the 1930s.

Your case is perhaps the best known of his designs, and was one of several versions of "hermetic" cases made in early attempts to seal out water and dust, and to protect the movement. Borgel's design was innovative enough that the rights to it would eventually be bought by one Hans Wilsdorf of Rolex fame, either to adapt into his eventual "Oyster" case design, or just to eliminate some competition. The crown should have a deep shoulder channel, with a rubber gasket, to seal against the heavy and deep case tube.


Posts: 267 | Location: Huntsville, Alabama USA | Registered: December 12, 2005
thanks cary. i've seen many referred to as 'borgels' but hadn't really had any confirmation. it's bit worn and weathered, but i like it that way. i wonder if it was actually involved in WW1?
Posts: 39 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: June 01, 2007
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