1920s Art Deco Havila Watch Co Geneve Niello Silver HF cased high grade movement.
The movement is 16 jewels with screwed Chatons, a temperature-compensating bimetallic screw balance with a Breguet hairspring, demonstrating the quality of the movement. The movement is functioning very well for its age, keeping time to +30 seconds a day.
This is a very Art Deco and very good looking pocket watch, with a Niello Silver case that is in excellent condition. Combine this with the interesting numerals and the high grade movement and you have an enjoyable pocket watch from a good quality Swiss brands in the early 1920s, for a collector.
A history of Havila Watch Co
The Depose no. 9293 marked on the movement refers to two movements, which can be found in the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce from 1903. The movement no.2 has the same characteristics as the movement found in this pocket watch. This enables a delve into the historical context of the brands.
Havila's story begins with Constant Houriet-Gindrat, when in August of 19885 he founded a company in Tramelan-dessus, that bears his name, together with a family member M. Constant Houriet-Gindrat (Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce 31.08.1885). In 1907 Houriet-Gindrat registered the brand name Havila (Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce 14.01.1907).
Constant Houriet-Gindrat was dissolved on 28.96.1916 after the new company Houriet et Co. was founded, which had also registered Havila Watch Co as a second company name. The company was now based in Geneve with the original owner, Contant, having retired. The company was liquidated and revived two weeks later in early 1920. It was then named Fabrique de Montres Havila S.A.
Advertisements in the Revue Internationale de l'Horlogerie from 1920 shows three Lepine calibres A, B and C, with varying quality levels.
Havila A 16 Jewels, 4 of them in screwed Chatons Swan neck regulator Escape wheel cock separated from the wheel bridge Regulated to a maximum deviation of 10 seconds per day
Havila B 15 Jewels, 3 of them in screwed Chatons Swan neck regulator Escape wheel integrated in wheel bridge Regulated to a maximum deviation of 20 seconds per day
Havila C 15 Jewels, no Chatons No swan neck regulator Escape wheel integrated in wheel bridge Regulated to a maximum deviation of 30 seconds per day
In 1930 the company went bankrupt but rose again in 1932 under the control of Emma Houriet, the widow of Constant Houriet, the original founder. The company is then heard of 15 years later in 1947 when it was dissolved, with Havila Watch, Rene Houriet was founded. Then in 1953 the company is finally over with the owner dissolving it.
(Information is this listing was gained from the watch movement EU website from Andreas Kelz interesting movement post on 5/3/2020)
This puts this specific pocket watch within this early 1920s period. The advertisements in the Revue Internationale de l'Horlogerie from 1920 show this to be a Grade "A" with a maximum deviation of 10 seconds a day, excellent for the time. There were mixed forms of movements, with this particular pocket watch being a Grade "A", but without swan neck regulator and jewelled and screwed chaton centre wheel.
Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
The dial is a dark cream colour, with a powder coated satin shine. It has Art Deco numerals, with 24 hour time in red around the outside. It has cut out sectors for the sub second dial and the dials centre adding depth and texture. Scratching by 7 o clock and near the centre of the hands, probably from poor removal.
The hands are original and are in excellent condition with a beautiful thermally blued finish.
The crystal is a replacement and is in very good condition, with no noticeable scratches.
The loop is incredibly Art Deco in style and is in average condition, with wear to the Niello finish.
Period correct replacement in good condition.
In very good original condition with very light surface scratches.
The case back is Silver and is in excellent condition, with only light surface scratches and little to no wear on the finish. The inside is machine finished with Neil HF for the casemaker with Niello finish, as well as the Swiss Silver hallmark 0.800 with the Havila name signed.
This specific pocket watch within this early 1920s period. The advertisements in the Revue Internationale de l'Horlogerie from 1920 show this to be a Grade "A" with a maximum deviation of 10 seconds a day, excellent for the time. There were mixed forms of movements, with this particular pocket watch being a Grade "A", but without swan neck regulator and jewelled and screwed chaton centre wheel.
Keeping time to within +30 seconds a day, with an amplitude of 250 degrees and a beat error of 5.0 m/s.
Case width: 50.5mm
Case Length: 50.5mm
Case with crown: 60.5mm
Case depth: 11mm