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Rebuilt?

From Horology magazine, May, 1938

REBUILT?

Ever since metal dials became so popular the names of many manufacturers and retailers have been unlawfully borrowed on numerous occasions. At first, evidence of such practice was rare and was usually the result of an individual act.

In later years larger establishments took up the duplicating of dials, especiaIIy for American watches, which were sold to unsuspecting jewelers at low prices. More recently, however, this has become unprofitable because of the reduction in prices made by the watch factories.

Nevertheless, this sort of infringement of trade marks has not been stamped out.  In fact, even bolder acts are being committed. Not only are dials being imitated but movements are being resurfaced and engraved with new names calculated to make an appeal to buyers.

The illustrations of the barrel bridge and dial shown here were made from actual photographs taken in the laboratory of Horology. The perpetrators of this act of misrepresentation apparently failed to cooperate for the name on the dial is correct while on the bridge it is badly misspelled, reading Julius Jurgesen instead of Jules Jurgensen.

Upon examining the watch it was found that the movement itself was not a poor imitation, but one of high quality which needed no particular name to make it attractive. However, as it was, the entire combination of case, diamond dial and movement seemed to say, "I am a fraud." In the first place, the original finish of the bridges had been removed with emery paper. This, of course, was done to erase the old scratches and provide a new surface for engraving.

The casing was an example of the poorest possible workmanship. The watch, being a repeater, had had in its original case a coiled spring for returning the slide. In the new platinum case this was omitted and the moving lever of the striking mechanism had to drag the slide with it when in action. Most horologists would call this watch a worthless piece of trash although it is reported to have been sold for $450.

The original hands, which were undoubtedly made with well fitting sockets, were replaced with cheap flat spade hands, apparently because the "rebuilders" thought they matched the diamond numerals of the dial better. These hands were not parallel to the dial but had to be raised at a steep angle in order to clear the diamonds. This, coupled with the fact that the minute hand was held by a knife edge socket, was enough to condemn it. 


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