This very rare, very slim line model (8mm thick), 18K yellow gold, minute repeater pocket watch, circa 1910, has a swiss movement numbered 7312 and signed by Frankfeld Fréres of Geneva, Switzerland, and the dial is signed by Hardy & Hayes*, the famous three-story "Tiffany's"-quality jewelry store of downtown Pittsburgh, PA. Back of watch case is monogrammed with the noteworthy owner's initials in capital letters, "ELP". This gentleman was a Pittsburgh steel tycoon, President of the former Columbia Steeling and Shafting Company, as well as President of Merchants Savings & Trust Co.**.
The movement has a slide repeat, 29 jewels and 5 adjustments, keyless. Dial has arabic numerals in the Art Deco style, with blued steel breguet hands and outer minute track. Movement measures 41.49 mm, so it is a size 14. Straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance with blued steel flat balance spring, repeating on gongs through activating slide in the band - chimes the hour, quarter hour and minutes! Delightful sounds, with different chime tone for each one! Entire pocket watch has a diameter of 48mm or 1 7/8" inches.
Inside back plate cover is hallmarked, "Manufactured by Frankfeld Fréres Geneva Switzerland for Hardy & Hayes Co Pittsburgh" and "7312" and "18K". Movement is signed "No. 7312, five adjustments", "29 Twenty-Nine Jewels" and "Frankfeld Fréres" "Geneva, Switzerland". Five ruby jewels can be readily seen at the top of the movement. The hammer and spring system for the chimes/gongs is just an amazing sight to behold! This amazing watch is in excellent condition and works very well. Only flaw are several scratch marks on the back plate case cover near the winder wheel (less than 2mm long).
**This awesome minute repeater 18K gold slim pocket watch has a very interesting provenance. It belonged to a Pittsburgh steel tycoon, who knew the Carnegie's well and testified for the defense in the famous Sherman antitrust action against Andrew Carnegie in 1913. This tycoon also knew Winston Churchill well (In fact, Churchill gifted him an elaborate cigar humidor box made from solid sterling silver with a carved jadeite precious stone dragon handle (Which I have seen...Wow!). The family also has a photo of this tycoon playing badminton with Churchill (Winston wearing Bermuda-style shorts, no less!) , circa WWII era. Winston Churchill visited this tycoon several times during World War II, regarding production of steel for the war industry for Great Britain.
*Bit O'History: Hardy & Hayes, 1874-2003 J. Alex Hardy and Mr. Hayes had their jewelry store on Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA, and they eventually moved to the corner of Wood and Oliver, to their impressive three-story building. One of the original Hardy's went to Italy for the marble, the gorgeous Cararra marble...and the huge, beautiful crystal chandeliers that graced the interior of their elegant store. The Hardy & Hayes store interior was a magnificent sight, one only rivaled by their eye candy collection of fine jewelry, silver, and other fine gifts.
An Ocean of Vintage Jewels ~ Rare and Designer-signed
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