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Pocket watch movements put into a wristwatch case

There is a eBay seller (from Poland) that buys old pocket watches, removes the face and movements, and put them into a wrist watch case. They end up looking a lot like a IWC F.A. Jones. They come from high end pocket watches like A. Lange, IWC, and PP.
Are there others that do this? What do you think of this idea?
Jim


"A man, like a watch, is to be valued for his manner of going." - William Penn
"Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash" - Top Gun

Doxa 750T, Fortis Spacematic, Glycine Observer, IWC 18KT 1960s, IWC converted pocket watch to wristwatch, Nomos Tangente Sport, Omega Aqua Terra, Omega Seamaster Bond, Oris BC PD, Oris Miles Davis Tonneau, Oris TT1, Rado Starliner 999, Sinn 856, Tissot Le Locle, UN 1846
Answer:
...I'm against the destruction of decent examples of intact pocket watches. However, I know that some people who make watches such as you describe are using loose movements or movements that are no longer in their original case. There are many of such movements available worldwide. Many originally gold-cased watches are now in silver or gold-filled cases because the original cases were sold for the value of the gold.
In practice, I've been involved in this sort of activity--re-caseing PWs as WWs--and have two examples which were created from vintage US-made movements. One movement was bought uncased for the purpose of building a wristwatch. I think this is a noble endeavor and the result is an interesting and unique watch made from a movement that most people would only be interested in for its parts. The following watch was made for me by Jochen Benzinger using the movement shown:
Another such watch was made as a special model in a series of watches RGM Watch Company has made from vintage Hamilton movements. Mine used a Hamilton 923, originally in a precious metal case, which had been re-cased in a gold-filled one. I'm pleased with this for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that it affords me to opportunity to use and view the lovely movement without it being consigned out of view in my pocket:
My greatest fears with this sort of re-purposing of PWs revolve around disclosure. Some sellers are very slow to admit that they are selling "recreations." I'd be fully behind any seller who refrains from deception and from destroying perfectly good watches in the interest of making $ off of the trend toward large and retro wristwatches.
It's a slippery slope for sellers those who aren't entirely up-front in their descriptions of such watches, especially the originality of the dials (and dangerous for buyers, of course). There are many issues that can confuse the topic: refinishing of dials, stamping/engraving cases or movements to approximate originals, putting a new name on a no-name watch. Much of this amounts to out-right fraud. However, there are also sellers out there putting vintgae WW movements & dials into nice modern cases...the sky is the limit. In all cases, I think honesty is the key.
Cheers,
Brad
Answer:
Check out RGM's offerings. They fetch higher prices than the stuff from Poland on auction sites, but I believe that RGM probably produces and stands behind good products (at least I hope so, since my '67 Speedmaster is on their workbench right now). I've considered seeking a pocket watch with a tasty movement housed in a throw-away case, and hiring RGM to build me a custom watch.
Omega: Seamaster Aqua Terra; '67 Speedmaster Professional; '60 Pie Pan Constellation. Rolex: Datejust 116234. Others: misc. vintage pieces.
Answer:
I have mixed feelings about this: On one hand, cannibalizing restorable pocket watches for their working movements does not make sense, especially since one can buy brand new more reliable ETA (e.g.) movements for less, if someone want to create something anew. On the other hand I think that if the watch is unrestorable, it makes sense to use the movement for parts or for repairing watches with dead movements. I know someone who collects Timex watches and retrofits them with Hamilton 770 calibers. To each his/her own :) Unless someone is trying to patch such a watch for something that it isn't, its fine. Its like driving a 70s Nova with a modern Corvette engine. Not collectible, but definitely enjoyable...
Emmanouil
Answer:
to pay +$1K for this type of watch assuming it is the genuine movement and original face used in the PW.
Or are you just saying you will never get that money back out of it?
Jim

"A man, like a watch, is to be valued for his manner of going." - William Penn
"Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash" - Top Gun

Doxa 750T, Fortis Spacematic, Glycine Observer, IWC 18KT 1960s, IWC converted pocket watch to wristwatch, Nomos Tangente Sport, Omega Aqua Terra, Omega Seamaster Bond, Oris BC PD, Oris Miles Davis Tonneau, Oris TT1, Rado Starliner 999, Sinn 856, Tissot Le Locle, UN 1846
Answer:
Some of those coming out of Eastern Europe use genuine movements (some of the Omegas are genuine) but many of them are actually Russian Molijna copies that have been marked with more prestigious names. And even the genuine ones often haven't been well-maintained or else have been modified (non-original "regulator" dial layouts are a common perversion) so reliability isn't always the greatest.
That aside, the wisdom of these conversions can be questionable, as a large-ish movement without shock protection isn't the greatest choice for wrist wear.
IMHO it would be crazy to pay more than $70-$100 for one of these unless you really were sure you knew exactly what you were looking at and were absolutely confident that the watch would actually arrive as promised.
-r
"Mechanical watches are so brilliantly unnecessary. Any Swatch or Casio keeps better time, and high-end contemporary Swiss watches are priced like small cars. But mechanical watches partake of what my friend John Clute calls the Tamagotchi Gesture. They're pointless in a peculiarly needful way; they're comforting precisely because they require tending." - William Gibson
How old is my vintage Omega? - Omega Serial Numbers by Year
Answer:
..you gotta ask yourself: Why would anyone go thru the trouble of recasing a PW? It's either a dog..or it should be.
It's very appealing to get an early 1900's watch that you can wear on your wrist, but other than the bastardization factor, there's the mechanical factor as well: There are certain components of a PW that are simply not able to withstand the gravitational pull of being held horizontally on your wrist (remember, PW's are designed to be held vertically in the pocket).
If something's to good to be true ot probably is. And although it might seem appealing, it has limited usefulness (and no realseablitiy to those who know).
~Dylan
Answer:
Thanks.
I'll back off.
Jim
"A man, like a watch, is to be valued for his manner of going." - William Penn
"Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash" - Top Gun

Doxa 750T, Fortis Spacematic, Glycine Observer, IWC 18KT 1960s, IWC converted pocket watch to wristwatch, Nomos Tangente Sport, Omega Aqua Terra, Omega Seamaster Bond, Oris BC PD, Oris Miles Davis Tonneau, Oris TT1, Rado Starliner 999, Sinn 856, Tissot Le Locle, UN 1846
Answer:
While most of the stuff put up on eb*y does in fact seem to be simply old
pocketwatch movements of questionable condition and value, encased in
similarly uncertain ways, remember that before there were (men's) wristwatches,
there were only pocketwatches and while obviously huge progress has been made
so that contemporary wristwatch movements are far more duitable to their task,
the factors of:
-- old
-- pocketwatch movement
-- non-shockproofed
don't really disqualify a watch for (reasonably careful) wrist-wearing.
Some examples include early (WWI era) trench and aviators' watches, early
IWC Portuguisers, and the watches provided by Watch Carefully, below. Also,
the most famous military watches, the "Mark X" WWW of the British Ministry of Defense
were almost all non-shockproof.
I have several watches which use pocketwatch movements, I don't find them unduly
fragile nor more unusable than ordinary similar-vintage wristwatches.
You might be interested in my posting:
<---click!
Answer:
Thank you for adding your perspective on this, Steve.
Of all the hunderds of wrist and pocket watches without shock protection that I have owned, I've never broken a balance staff.
For general use, shock protection seems almost unecessary to me.
Brad
Answer:
The poster wasn't asking about IWC Portugiesers or WWW's, he was asking about the Eastern European recent conversion jobs that tend to be at best a hodge-podge of original and unoriginal parts converted by someone who may or may not know what he's doing. And that's before getting into some of the concerns like cheap cardboard dials and poorly constructed alloy cases. That was mainly what I was hinting at - there's no consistency to depend upon, no name standing behind it, so these might not be wise purchases (at >$1k) for the novice collector who might not know what he's looking at.
You are of course quite correct that early wristwatches were essentially converted pocketwatches, and indeed more than a few that started life in a pocket case were subsequently converted over the years by owners. And if I remember correctly the original MoD W.W.W. spec called for non-shock protected movements; the Omegas lack it as well, perhaps as a cost-controlling measure.
Shock protection might not be an absolute necessity, but there are some good reasons it's been incorporated into most wristwatches for some 70 years now. I've broken a pivot and a jewel myself, and several vintage acquisitions have arrived in such a state. I do find myself trying to protect non-shock protected watches from untoward abuse.
Regards,
-r
"Mechanical watches are so brilliantly unnecessary. Any Swatch or Casio keeps better time, and high-end contemporary Swiss watches are priced like small cars. But mechanical watches partake of what my friend John Clute calls the Tamagotchi Gesture. They're pointless in a peculiarly needful way; they're comforting precisely because they require tending." - William Gibson
How old is my vintage Omega? - Omega Serial Numbers by Year
Answer:
Thanks
Jim
"A man, like a watch, is to be valued for his manner of going." - William Penn
"Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash" - Top Gun

Doxa 750T, Fortis Spacematic, Glycine Observer, IWC 18KT 1960s, IWC converted pocket watch to wristwatch, Nomos Tangente Sport, Omega Aqua Terra, Omega Seamaster Bond, Oris BC PD, Oris Miles Davis Tonneau, Oris TT1, Rado Starliner 999, Sinn 856, Tissot Le Locle, UN 1846