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Looks like a FHF 1, 18.5'''H5.9
open face calibre
options: bimetallic screw balance, Breguet hairspring
These pocketwatch calibres were made with 18.5 und 19''', and the heights 4.2, 5.0, and 5.9mm.
There are various bridge layouts, two base plates with differing dial-feet positions, and two slightly differing setting-lever springs.
The assignment of such differences to the groups FHF 1 to 14 and the calibres FHF 1144, 2144, 2146, 4144, 4146 is just partially known. But comparing the according calibres gives an imagination.
FHF 1 to FHF 16 designate movement groups containing calibres of different dimensions; individual designations start with FHF 22.
Example, year: signature; shock device
ca. 1930: Doxa, Doxa Locle - FHF 1, Depose+
(FHF 1, 18.5'''H5)
It is a nice looking pocket watch, but I do not think is was military. All of the militaries of the various countries were very zealous about marking their timepieces of all kinds for several reasons. One of these reasons is for their internal inventory control to know what they had procured and when it came into their inventory. A second big reason was theft control. Timepieces were high value and very portable and by clearly marking them it cut down on timepieces being sold for quick profits by enterprising soldiers.
Thank you for your input.
Anyway to date it with the case numbers, especially the "3" at the top?
Was Doxa considered low/medium/high grade for the time?
Not my area of expertise but I can tell you that British Mark V aviation watches made by Doxa had case serials in the 12xxxxx range and that these date from the second half of WWI so your watch is presumably a bit earlier than that?
Hope this helps,
Since there are no military markings, and if this is pre WWI(if original case) for whom would this type of watch with a black dial and luminous markers/hands been marketed?
I see no place of manufacture on dial or movement, is this significant for dating it?
Thank you in advance.
The serial number of the case often is different from the serial number of the movement so going by that alone for a date is a bit soft. Doxa was not putting serial numbers on their movements at that time so dating such movements accurately is not possible so far as I know. The overall style of the movement and the case do appear to be from the 1915 to 1920s range though. The dial seems to be more late teens to 1940s in style - it is hard to tell as this general style civilian dial was used for so many years. I have a 1940s civilian wristwatch with a dial that is very similar for example.
The black dial (now faded to a brownish color?) is not indicative of military use. Many military watches of WW1 had white dials also; and conversely many civilian dials are found in black. The numbers on this one, and the hands as well, seem to have a luminous material on them which is the reason why the dial is black - so the numbers are more easily readable at night. That would be a mixture of radium and zinc sulfide and even though is would not glow today, the radium would still be close to full strength since the half-life is around 1,600 years. It is not something to worry about very much so long as you do not disturb it and you keep it away from children. It would be a problem if you try to scrape it off and wind up breathing in a few dust specks of it and it gets into your lungs.
Again by reference to the Mark V, both Doxa and Electa stamped serial numbers on the top plate of their movements, visible only with the dial removed. FWIW, I have observed Mark V Doxa movement serials in the 107xxxx range and Mark V Electa serials in the 20xxxx range.
Hope this helps,
Thanks, Martin. This is great information.
Richard, have you had a chance to look at the movement on the side under the dial?
Jim, whatever info is there will be documented when this one gets taken for a COA.
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