Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A Fake "Saleman's" watch case.

Occasionally in the USA you find watches advertised as being in a "Salesman's" or "Display" watch case that has has a transparent back so that you can see the movement working.

I am a little suspicious that these were not actually for salesmen but I should have been more suspicious of the American watch with such a case I bought in UK where these cases are very rare and never seen on English watches - at least I don't recall seeing one - not least because English watch case construction does not generally lend itself to the form.

Here are the front and back of the case in question side by side.


If you look at the enlarged version of the picture, by clicking on the image,  you can see more clearly see that the front bezel on the right has a very worn pattern on it whereas the one on the left does not. What has almost certainly happened is that someone had a watch with a damaged screw-on back and they found an almost matching front bezel that fitted the back and we suddenly have a more valuable display case.

The main body of the watch has a different pattern on it so it is even possible that the case was constructed from three different cases!

I must try and study the pictures more carefully but it's difficult when you are looking at several hundred in a sitting.

1 comment:

  1. John these sort of watch case modifications have been around in the States for many years and I do not think it would be regarded as a fake.
    Just imagine that you have just bought yourself a watch. The movement sparkles and it keeps good time but the case is not so good. It's a gold filled case and the rear cover though nicely engraved all over has a few dings in it and the gold has worn away a lot and it's even got some fancy initials in the centre, but they are not your initials!
    You cannot afford a new case so you take it to a watchmaker/workshop and they cut out the centre of the rear cover and make a rebate and fit a crystal and wow! you have got rid of all the problems and you can now see the best part of the watch.
    As you say you can see some worn pattern on one of the bezels. This is in fact the outer edges of the original engraving on the rear cover. If you look inside this bezel you will probably be able to see that it doesn't have the correct finish like the front bezel.
    New owners even today have this modification carried out especially on those rear covers that have very large ornate initials.
    Okay the case is not in it's original state, but I do not think it was done to deceive anyone, and collectors of American watches are pretty aware of these cases. They are a 'display case' but are certainly not a company sales rep display case.
    These cases are very plain in appearance. Usually made of a base metal such as silveroid. The front and rear bezels are very plain and are boldly engraved with the makers name such as Waltham Watch Co. I think I have had three or four in my time of collecting.

    Ben Anderson

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