Complete and working, this unusual key-wind watch still has the original pin and key. Made by Charles Oudin of Paris, the company is still in business, today, on the place Vendome in Paris. The signature, Charles Oudin, appears on the front face of the watch and on the back: Charles Oudin a Paris.
On the back, the only other stamp is an R and an A, separated by a snowflake type hallmark. The back opens so one can use the watch key to both wind and set the time.
Also on the face,” Palais Royal, 52 “ appears at the bottom; this was their address when this watch was made, probably in the 1920’s. Also on the watch face it is written: “Repasser Par, “ which might loosely translate to “time passing.”
I believe rock crystal is the material on the watch, pin and key and the metal tested for sterling silver. The original patina is untouched but one could easily polish the silver for a more contemporary and shiny appearance. Meant to be a lapel watch, a sleeve could be made for the bar of the pin to wear it as a pendant.
Under magnification, it appears that the initials in the pin are made of silver; they are beautifully constructed and artistically intertwined.
At this time, it is keeping very good time. One must open the back and use the watch key to wind it, being very careful to not over wind. The same key turns the hands on the dial.
Diameter of the watch is 31mm and depth is 22 mm. It is interesting that the front crystal is curved and the back is flat, so it rests comfortably on a surface. In the silver frame, the diameter of the pin measures 22mm with depth approximately 8mm.
The watch key is 32mm in length with a measurement of 10mm diameter of the crystal ball that is the decorative aspect of the key. Overall length, when worn, is just under 4 ¾.” It is wonderful how the key suspends so gracefully in the center of the silver chains and moves lightly when worn. Gross gram weight is 49.3 grams.