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1930s Pierce Autowind "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 155
Bulova Watchmaker

Picture of Rich Kuhn
posted
I came across this watch at the Fairlawn mart last Sunday. It is a Pierce Parashock Automatic from the 1930s
It has some different features like an early use of Inca-block and a most unusual self-winding system. The weight move back and forth between 12.00 and 6.00 in a straight line. The self-wind is performed by a straight ratchet (see the picture).
The watch is listed in the Shugart book on page1031 top left hand corner. I am wondering if anyone has any further information on Pierce and specifically this watch.


Rich Kuhn

NAWCC 128623
IHC Member 155

eMail: rich@watchmakerfinds.com

Web-Site: http://watchmakerfinds.com

eBay Auctions: watchmakerfinds eBay Auctions

 
Posts: 896 | Location: New Jersey in the USA | Registered: December 16, 2002
IHC Member 155
Bulova Watchmaker

Picture of Rich Kuhn
posted
Picture 2


Rich Kuhn

NAWCC 128623
IHC Member 155

eMail: rich@watchmakerfinds.com

Web-Site: http://watchmakerfinds.com

eBay Auctions: watchmakerfinds eBay Auctions




 
Posts: 896 | Location: New Jersey in the USA | Registered: December 16, 2002
IHC Member 155
Bulova Watchmaker

Picture of Rich Kuhn
posted
Picture 3

 
Posts: 896 | Location: New Jersey in the USA | Registered: December 16, 2002
IHC Member 155
Bulova Watchmaker

Picture of Rich Kuhn
posted
Picture 4

 
Posts: 896 | Location: New Jersey in the USA | Registered: December 16, 2002
IHC Life Member
Wristwatch Host
Picture of Tony Dukes
posted
Rich,
i have never seen an automatic like this before. I hope some of our fellow members can share some of their knowledge about this watch.

Tony Dukes
 
Posts: 1953 | Location: Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S.A. | Registered: August 01, 2003
Watch Repair Expert
posted
Rich,

The Incabloc "lyre-shaped" shock springs like those used in your Pierce, were first introduced in 1938, and assuming they're original to your watch, it can't be any older than that. In my opinion, it probably dates from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s, but that's just an educated guess. I don't know much about the particular movement in question, but I have seen a few of them over the years.

Pierce watches are interesting, if nothing else, because they made all their own stuff -- movements, cases, etc. One of their primary characteristics is that their movements are always very, very strange. They didn't attempt to make watches in the conventional manner, they "reinvented the wheel," and started from completely different perspectives every time.

I can't think of any significant "breakthroughs" ever made by Pierce, but it wasn't because they didn't try new and different ideas! Overall, I'd classify their watches as "medium" to "low grade," but they are interesting, and I must admit that I have several of them myself (mostly chronographs).

The movement in your watch is a wonderful example from the "Rube Goldberg" school of watchmaking, and it certainly makes an interesting addition to a collection of unusual self-winders!

Thanks for sharing the images of it, and I hope this helps shed at least a small amount of light on the subject!

==============

Steve Maddox
Past President, NAWCC Chapter #62
North Little Rock, Arkansas
IHC Charter Member 49
 
Posts: 618 | Location: North Little Rock, Arkansas USA | Registered: December 05, 2002
IHC Member 155
Bulova Watchmaker

Picture of Rich Kuhn
posted
Tony and Steve,
Thanks for the input I have one Pierce chrono and it is also different.


Rich Kuhn

NAWCC 128623
IHC Member 155

eMail: rich@watchmakerfinds.com

Web-Site: http://watchmakerfinds.com

eBay Auctions: watchmakerfinds eBay Auctions


 
Posts: 896 | Location: New Jersey in the USA | Registered: December 16, 2002
posted
This is off the top of my head, so I amy revise...but I THINK (no it does not hurt).. I THINK that this is a later version of the WIGWAG system and one of the many offshoots of the FORTIS/BLANCPAIN/selza collaboration of the 1920's with A. Schild movements?

Is this possible Steve? Or am I remembereing this incorrectly?

Jeff Hess
 
Posts: 764 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Florida USA | Registered: June 26, 2003
posted
Come to think of it, I have had Harwoods with signed "PIERCE" dials and cases!

It must be a part of or an offshoot of that deal?

Jeff
 
Posts: 764 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Florida USA | Registered: June 26, 2003
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle
posted

That's a really COOL WATCH you found there Rich!

Let's see, another day, another something new to learn...

Yup, that's the watch all right! Just amazing what is out there!

Page 1,031 of the 24th Edition "Complete Guide to Watches" says:


"PIERCE, 17J., Early Auto-Wind, Circa 1930's...$300.00 to $450.00"


 
Posts: 10552 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
Watch Repair Expert
posted
Jeff,

You and Lindell are both right -- the watch in the images above is a later version of an idea that had been around for a number of years. A careful comparison of the movement in it with the one shown in the Shugart book will reveal several subtle differences, which indicate something of an "evolution" over the years.

As with the vast majority of their movements, Pierce actually made the ones in the images above (both are basic calibre 861s). All the Harwoods I've seen used "bumper" automatics, but I certainly wouldn't say it's beyond the realm of possibility that some of their later models may have used Pierce movements. Both companies seemed unusually attracted to strange ideas.......

===================

SM
 
Posts: 618 | Location: North Little Rock, Arkansas USA | Registered: December 05, 2002
posted
Steve, the example that i recenlty has was marked pierce on the dial and the case but harwood on the movement and was the standard harwood bumper

Jeff Hess
 
Posts: 764 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Florida USA | Registered: June 26, 2003
Watch Repair Expert
posted
Jeff,

I don't think I've ever seen a watch signed by both Pierce and Harwood, and I wasn't aware there was a connection between the two companies, but there might have been for all I know. Like I said before, both companies seemed particularly fond of strange ideas, so they at least had that in common.

It'll be interesting to see if any additional information turns up.

BTW -- The "standard" Harwood bumper movement didn't have a winding stem or crown; what about the Pierce/Harwood you saw?

============

SM

Steve Maddox
Past President, NAWCC Chapter #62
North Little Rock, Arkansas
IHC Charter Member 49
 
Posts: 618 | Location: North Little Rock, Arkansas USA | Registered: December 05, 2002
Picture of Dave Turner
posted
Pretty old post here, but wondering if we have any Pierce wisdom in the group now.
I dug out this old Pierce ParaShock, wound her up and it's running fairly well. Needs a good COA and case cleanup. Looks like it belonged to a painter!

Hoped it might be automatic, but I don't think it is?

Might clean her up and treat her to a new band.


Dave Turner


 
Posts: 1978 | Location: Wilson, North Carolina in the USA | Registered: November 15, 2011
Picture of Dave Turner
posted
Pierce back


Dave Turner


 
Posts: 1978 | Location: Wilson, North Carolina in the USA | Registered: November 15, 2011
Picture of Peter Kaszubski
posted
well how about movement picture.
But new hands ,crystal and buffed out case will make her looks good.
 
Posts: 4395 | Location: Arizona in the USA | Registered: July 23, 2011
Picture of Dave Turner
posted
Thanks Peter, but I haven't opened her up yet. It has a thin gasket for waterproofing and I don't want to damage it. Maybe I could fabricate one if I ruin it.


Dave Turner
 
Posts: 1978 | Location: Wilson, North Carolina in the USA | Registered: November 15, 2011
Picture of Dave Turner
posted
Okay, you talked me into it. Looks like your basic 15J manual wind. Appears to be running well with brisk balance movement.


Dave Turner


 
Posts: 1978 | Location: Wilson, North Carolina in the USA | Registered: November 15, 2011
Picture of Dave Turner
posted
Back cover, with at least 4 prior service etchings. Can't make out most of them but looks like it was in the late 60's and early 70's. Not really sure.


Dave Turner


 
Posts: 1978 | Location: Wilson, North Carolina in the USA | Registered: November 15, 2011
Picture of Peter Kaszubski
posted
clean looking movement
 
Posts: 4395 | Location: Arizona in the USA | Registered: July 23, 2011
posted
I think this company still exist, I should have link to website, will post it when I get home. They used to have different name and changed it to Pierce later. I believe I have pocket watch made by them (before name change, watch seems to be made around 1940) I can post it.
 
Posts: 266 | Location: Wroclaw in Poland | Registered: May 06, 2013
Picture of Dave Turner
posted
Thanks Rafal,
That would be great. I think mine is a fairly average example, but still, it would be nice to track the number to see the date of production.


Dave Turner
 
Posts: 1978 | Location: Wilson, North Carolina in the USA | Registered: November 15, 2011
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