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MOVADO WW1 era WW. "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 1892
posted
Thought I would share with you my WW1 era (1916) Wrist watch . It has a 13 L Movado 420 cal movement( just now identified it after many months of looking). Housed in a sterling ALD case with screw on bezel and back Hallmarked Birmingham 1916. Case in beautiful condition with original Onion crown still with its silver cap on. Dial is about perfect but missing quite a lot of original lume as are the original hands. I think it may have a new crystal as it looks a little too good to be original. Overall the watch is in remarkabe, wonderful and original condition. I don't imagine it spent much time in the trench but may have been an officer's watch at some time Case is 36 mm across with out crown. Would like any info on this that anyone would have. Thank you, John

 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
IHC Member 1892
posted
#2

 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
IHC Member 1892
posted
#3

 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
IHC Member 1892
posted
#4

 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
IHC Member 1892
posted
#5

 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
IHC Member 561
posted
Nice trench watch John. I have a trench watch in a Borgel case with what I believe is a Font movement, but I don’t know the caliber.
Is your watch pin set?
 
Posts: 763 | Location: Tijeras, New Mexico USA | Registered: July 12, 2005
IHC Member 1892
posted
Thank you Ernest. My watch is pendant set. I have had a couple of Borgel watches. Can't remember the movements but good quality case and movements. Unfortunatly they slipped through my fingers some time ago. Thanks for your interest, John
 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
posted
The difficult thing about these kinds of watches is trying to determine whether they were ever worn by someone in the war as I have never seen anything yet proving they were issued by the militaries as opposed to being private sale items purchased at a local jewelry shop. Also their lack of any military markings makes them more likely to be private purchases rather than military issued. They certainly could have been purchased by a soldier, likely an officer who had the money, and used as a personal item in their time in the war, of course. But then again, there was an ongoing demand for watches by civilians at that time and this general look was a popular one. Do you have provenance for this watch? That would be very helpful in determining whether it was used by someone in the war.
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Member 1892
posted
Hi Jim: Thank you for your interest in this watch. I do not have any evidence that this watch was used in service. As you will note in my description I said it was WW1 era and may have been used by an officer. My understanding of events during this time is that often young "gentlemen" joining the service would be given a commision in accordence to their position in society. They then would be given an amount of money to purchase their "kit" . They would be expected to purchase certain items eg. watch, compass, uniform, sidearm and a few other things that met certain requirements. As a result few ww from this era were marked by the allied services (some where according to specific requirements and were supplied by the govt.))' This watch meets the general requirements for an "officers watch".
I think enlisted men usually supplied their own watches so the watches worn "in the trenches" would be of a more varied and usually lesser quality watches. Most would be considered civilian watches I think, some were converted PW and some maybe wore an early ladies ww. I think most so called "trench watches" spent their working lives many miles from any battlefield!!
I have owened a few dozen "WW1 era/Trench" watches and I think only 2 or 3 would would qualify as an "officers watch". My understanding is that they would have a silver case with screw down back and bezel, radium dial & hands, minimum of 15 jwls.
I think the most unusual thing about this watch is the Movado movement. I have seen others with Rolex, Longines, Omega, Gallet, and probably a few others It is the only one that I have seen with a Movado in it.
I am sure not any expert on these watches but that is my understanding at this time. I really appreciate you input, Thanks, John
 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
IHC Member 1892
posted
I forgot to add a website I found very helpful. It is the web site of David Boettcher in London England. He makes and sells watch straps but has done a lot of research on these watches.
<www.vintagewatchstraps.com>
 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
posted
Hi John.

Have you had a chance yet to look at this posting of wristwatches that were issued by the US Army to officers in WW 1? This collection is breathtaking. https://ihc185.infopop.cc/eve/f...141038851#6141038851
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Member 1892
posted
Jim:Thank you for the information. I had not seen this before. They sure look nice. I hava not had one of these but occasionally one shows up on the big auction site but I have never gone after one. Most are a bit chewed up. Thanks again.
 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
posted
The thing about wristwatches and pocket watches that were issued by militaries is that there seems to have been a very strong penchant by the militaries to mark them with military markings and military serial numbers (which are different from watch maker serial numbers that were also typically applied by the makers). The reason is these are small, valuable, untraceable, and easily sold by less than completely honorable people if they are not marked as belonging to a military. And it is difficult to assign likelihoods of a soldier having a particular watch over a civilian during WW 1. For example, in the US there were about 50 million males in the population, of which about 2 million wound up in the military, of whom many did not reach the front or see action before the war ended. This style of watch was popular among civilians as well as with military men. This is where provenance comes into such importance on private purchase watches such as this one.
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Member 1892
posted
Hi Jim: Thanks for the input. John
 
Posts: 322 | Location: Kincardine, Ontario in Canada | Registered: November 25, 2013
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