Classic watches, watchmaking, antique tools, history, vintage ephemera and more!

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More Swiss Fakes

In the late 1800s high grade American watches were widely copied by Swiss companies, which produced amusing watches, very cheaply made, but designed to look like the superior American pocketwatches.

Here are two examples of the "Swiss fakes" from this era, both are large 18 size movements.  They have all the giveaways of fakes - bushing screws that do nothing, "jewels" made of cellulose, markings that make no sense, and more. 

The two exposed wheels at the upper part of the image of this second one are comical.  Close examination reveals that there is no click, nor ratchet.  In fact, these two wheels are not attached to anything but each other, they are just screwed to the plate, sitting there doing nothing!

I also like the rather cryptic marking "HEAT & COLD".

For more on early Swiss copies of American railroad grade watches, take a look here:


I have yet to run into anyone that collects these Swiss fakes.  They turn up now and then on eBay, generally not identified, generally in poor condition and generally cheap.  I find them interesting and telling of this early period in the watch industry.

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