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Jean Louis Roehrich (Universal Geneve)

I just picked this one up and it's 18k and says Jean Louis Roehrich on the dial. It was sold as inop but wound right up and has been keeping time fine since I unboxed it. I think the seller was thinking the chrono sweep second hand wasn't moving therefore the watch wasn't working. ;-) The chrono return button does seem to be stuck though. Anyone have any guess what the age of this watch is? I'm not sure when three register watches first appeared but I'm guessing late thirties or early fourties.
The watch is inscribed on the back and both of the men were pilots of note in early US aviation history, both were authors, I have Dean C. Smith's book "By the seat of my pants" and an autographed copy of Jordanoff's "Through the Overcast." In this book Jordanoff mentions Smith in the introduction under American Airlines which would prove the connection between the two men.
I'm still doing research on the men but the history of both is pretty fascinating. Jordanoff's first wife was the granddaughter of Ulysses S. Grant and he met everyone who was anybody in early aviation including Amelia Earhart. Smith flew for the post office in the twenties, knew Charles Lindberg, and was one of Byrd's pilots on his expedition to the South Pole, and American Airlines until his retirement. I would love to find out the circumstances behind the presentation of this watch.
When I got around to removing the back cover it says 18k 0.750 & numbers 7055 & 683486 Universal Geneve. The movement is a Universal Geneve and is marked RXG & 281. It's a small fat watch measuring 30mm x 12mm w/crystal. I found an email address for Universal Geneve but haven't heard back anything. I guess I'll write them instead and see if they can date the watch. I did find out that Jean Louis Roehrich was an American and member #19 in the NAWCC. Evidently he was known for putting Henry Ford's watch collection together. Now the question is how do you place a value on a watch like this when it appears to have historical significance?
http://members.aol.com/gtopaul/private/jean006.jpg
http://members.aol.com/gtopaul/private/jean004.jpg
http://members.aol.com/gtopaul/private/jean012.jpg
http://members.aol.com/gtopaul/private/jean013.jpg
Regards!
Paul
Answer:
From the movement pic, it looks like the seconds return lever has hopped up over the chrono bridge, when it should be contacting the "heart" wheel on the seconds shaft. Could be an easy fix. As far as value? who knows, to the right aviation buff, it could be worth more, most collectors don't like engravings from what I can tell. Mark
"How you treat the weak, is your true nature calling."
Answer:
First off, that's a really special watch. I suspect it is much more valuable due to the history and the inscription than a standard version of the same model. Many colelctors do not like inscriptions, but with two notable personages named on the watch, that can only boost value if it is all original.
I suggest you contact Antiquorum, the auction house, hint that you are thinking of selling it, and see if they are willing to help place a value or expected auction selling price. Mr. Bernard Biegler works in the NY office and may be helpful.
Good luck!
Brad
Dr. Ranfft has an example from the mid-1950s. This should help you to roughly pinpoint the date.
Answer:
I emailed Antiquorum so we'll see what happens. The seconds return lever is loose in the back. I noticed that when I took the back cover off however I have no idea where it's suposed to be. best left to someone competent I suppose.
Paul