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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 08-04-04 , 04:43 PM


Hi..
Can anyone tell me anything about this old watch?

The face says: "Bucheret 17rubis". the case and band are set with rose cut diamonds and rubies (natural?). the band "stretches" (I guess there are springs in the links of the band.) It's platinum.

I googled "Bucheret" and found that there is a long-established retail store in Switzerland of that name.

There is an inscription on the back with initials, and the date: 1911.

Surely it's not THAT old!

Isn't it neat?

Any thoughts?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 08-04-04 , 04:49 PM


wow, what a cool watch!!

Forgot to ask, is it yours or are you thinking of buying it?


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 08-04-04 , 05:17 PM


I don't have any information for you, but I just wanted to say wow! That's one of the most beautiful watches I've ever seen! I just love rubies


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 08-04-04 , 05:20 PM


It is beautiful. My guess is that the rubies are natural.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 08-04-04 , 05:22 PM


hi jasmine and Ginger...

no, it's mine!! I'm wild with excitement because I've JUST NOW figured out how to post pictures!

This is a photo my son took for me a couple of years ago when I was thinking about insuring my stuff. I just "re-discovered it in a file!

NOW I'm going to get a digital camera of my own...no excuses!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 08-04-04 , 05:35 PM


It's yours? Lucky Lady

Is there a story to go with it?


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 08-04-04 , 05:50 PM


Thank you!

No story, except the usual one...I saw it, fell in love, and bought it.

There is a jeweler in So. Cal I used to visit often, who only GRUDGINGLY sells on commission estate stuff..as a curtesy for his old long-time customers. He doesn't seem to know or care too much about it, and I've found a couple of real treasures there for what I think were really good prices.

I saw this watch the same day it was brought in, and bought it before it was ever tagged or displayed!

I'm really curious about it's age...I hope someone here can give me a guess.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 08-04-04 , 08:22 PM


My guess is circa 1910 because of the inscription, but the watch face looks far more modern; maybe it had been changed out??

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 08-04-04 , 08:34 PM


Hi, Itbit...

I read somewhere that wristwatches in general, for both men and women. really didn't come into fashion until after WWI..1917..

It if that's true, then maybe the date on the back represents an anniversary date, or birthday, or something.

The roundness of the case IS very remeniscent of a pocket watch, though.

I actually emailed (well, my son did it for me ) a picture and inquiry to Bucherer is Switzerland.. They had no information, and suggested I consult an antique watch specialist.

Oh, well!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 08-04-04 , 10:04 PM


have you tried going to one of those watch forums? There might be someone on the forum that is familiar with those watches...let us know whatever you find out, that watch is so beautiful!


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 08-05-04 , 06:13 AM


That watch is exquisite!


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 08-05-04 , 07:25 AM


I LOVE that watch. Congratulations on the great find.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 08-07-04 , 04:48 PM


Thanks, Webgal!

I don't wear it very often...I worry about "stretching" the band getting it over my big hand...I'm guessing there are tiny springs inside the links. It works perfectly, though..

I took Jasmin's advice (Thanks, Jasmine! ) and last night joined "timezone.com", then had to join "Photobucket" , had a TERRIBLE TIME, but finally got it posted, with help...and haven't heard anything back yet.

(I'm not sure, but I think they're more serious over there! I'm MUCH happier over here at DT! )

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PS: I just got back from buying a Digital Camera!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 08-08-04 , 01:09 AM


great Widget! hope that helps, let us know what you find out...


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 08-10-04 , 11:16 AM


Jasmin...

I didn't get ONE response on Timezone regarding that watch!!!

I'm going to try one more time, and post it in a different thread along with the watch that follows.

(Maybe not many people visit posts that start: "Hi I'm new and lost..." :p

This is a Hamilton...I'm guessing c.1930-1950; platinum, I think designed as a men's dress watch, but great for today's ladies styles:


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 08-16-04 , 02:48 AM


It's possible it was made in 1911, but not knowing much about early Swiss wristwatches I can't say for sure. (I'm a pocketwatch guy, not really a wristwatch wearer ) From the dial I'd guess "not" but that's strictly all it is, a guess. That dial style looks much later, say 40s or 50s anyway, but I've been fooled many times before.

Click here for an example of an early ladies' Rolex circa 1910. Note how relatively crude the watch strap fittings are and the dial design is much more typical for that era. Expandable bracelets were available pretty early on (before 1910 I believe) but I'd guess they were a lot cruder than the one on your watch.

I have a German wristwatch from the early 1920s, and it's... well, let's just say it's rather primitive and looks much more like that Rolex watch. The early Elgin wristwatches I've seen look pretty basic as well. (Which brings up a funny anecdote: my German wristwatch has "bruchsicher" written on the dial, which means "unbreakable mainspring"... but it's the only watch I've ever owned that's broken a mainspring. )

I've seen a few inscribed pocketwatches that listed the person's birth year or marriage year, so the date doesn't mean all that much. I don't know where this practice came from...

If the name on the watch is indeed the name of a retail store, the movement was manufactured by someone else and they just relabeled it (a very common practice). So: next time you have it cleaned you should ask your jeweler if he/she can find any identifying information on the movement--frequently the movement has the manufacturer and the serial number stamped in it. Even if it turns out it isn't that old, at least you can find out who made the movement and (hopefully) get a precise year for when it was made. The jeweler can probably also make an estimate as to its age based on the appearance of the movement.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 08-16-04 , 08:59 AM


CCP: THANK YOU SO MUCH for the input on that watch.

Having a jeweler look at its innards is a great idea, and I will do it soon.

The link to the old Rolex certainly disproves my understanding that ladies' wristwatches didn't come into fashion until after WWI!! (Itbit..what do I know? )

By the way..I goofed when I first posted the watch: The retailer's name is "Bucherer", not "Bucheret".

Thanks again!
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 08-17-04 , 12:49 AM


Ahhh, ok. Bucherer is a fairly well-regarded maker of expensive (er, sorry, "high-end" ) wrist watches, and they used to manufacture pocket watches as well. At one time they made parts for Rolex, and a few of their designs had interchangeable parts with Rolex watches; don't know if that's still the case.

Unfortunately I don't have any reference books that cover wristwatches in any great detail, so that's all I was able to learn--couldn't find anything else on the web either. I did run across several photos of Bucherer watches, but nothing nearly as nice as yours (though I did find one Bucherer from the 1950s that used a few rubies and diamonds on the case in a similar "motif"). I suspect your watch is fairly valuable just because of the nice case design and the number of gems--if it turns out to be vintage/antique, so much the better.

Wrist watch history is really kinda interesting. They actually were first made in the early 1800s, but they quickly gained a bad reputation because wearing them on the wrist subjected the watch to far more shocks and stress than a usual pocket watch and the designs (based on existing pocket watches) couldn't handle it. In the 1880s more rugged watches became available, but they were a tough sell because of their previous reputation. They were popular among British soldiers in Egypt and India, but even that wasn't enough to overcome their previous history...

European mass production of wrist watches started in the early 1900s by Rolex and Cartier, but 90% of them were ladies' models (theory being that women didn't need a "rugged" watch, and they were far more convenient than the usual ladies' pendant watch--"proper" women didn't have pockets, of course). In the US Elgin started making wristwatches for both men and women in 1915, but they didn't have to overcome the reputation problems that the European companies had.

WWI turned the tide, as soldiers found the wrist watch to be far more convenient to use--and it became all the rage when they returned to civilian life. (Boo! Hiss! Down with the wrist watch! ) Some of the weirdest watch designs I've ever seen came out of that era, including one that used a shuttered metal cover to protect the glass from damage. Another design used a fixed louvered metal window that you had to peer through at certain angles...

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 08-17-04 , 08:51 AM


CCP: THANK YOU!!

You are a veritable fountainhead of information!

Regarding the watch...I'm still going to take it to the jeweler to look at its innards, but it sounds more and more like it's from the '50s. I know it's a treasure, and I'll still love it...but I confess I'll be disappointed if it is. I guess I'm sort of biased against that period.
It was the rose-cut diamonds set in milligrained stations that made me think (hope?) it was older.

The history of wristwatches is fascinating! (I love history in general) I thought WWI played a role, somewhere! Unlike you, I LOVE wristwatches, so you'll hear no hissing and booing from me!

Again, many thanks for the help.
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 08-18-04 , 08:44 PM


Very interesting! CargoCultPriest, I appreciate the excellent information you share in all your knowledgeable posts.

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Update:
Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 10-01-04 , 09:28 PM


I finally got the watch into the jeweler (who works a lot on old watches). He looked at the innards, and he thinks it's much older than the fifties....more likely the twenties, or even 1911 (date on the inscription)

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