Djezvedjian was a well known distributor of high end Swiss watches, including Longines and Vacheron Constantin, and official watch supplier to His Majesty Sultan Mehmed V. There are no agents listed here for Canada or Australia. Henry Birks was a Canadian, born to parents who had emigrated from Yorkshire, England before his conception. Henry Birks opened a jewellery shop in in Montreal.
In he took his three sons into partnership. Back to the top of the page. In two brothers, Louis Victor Baume? The brothers insisted on high quality and personally inspected each watch, their motto was "Accept only perfection.
Only manufacture watches of the highest quality". However, although they may have been well made, the watches were not at first very technically advanced. In , ten years after the founding of the company, the brothers decided to stop using export agents and to set up their own sales organisation. The choice was between Paris or London as a base, and London was chosen because it was starting to outstrip Paris in international trade.
As well as the market in Britain, this opened up the whole of the British Empire to Baume's watches. The English and Swiss companies were separate legal entities from the start, although of course there were strong family bonds. In the census he is 39 years old with wife Zephirine and five children aged between 12 and 4. In they were listed at 21 Hatton Gardens.
Lezard would have been 60 so he most likely retired. One of his executors was his nephew Louis Celestin Alexandre Baume - , a native of Les Bois who had been naturalised as a British citizen on 10 June Arthur Baume had a partner Alexander Baume until 31 December when the partnership was dissolved. This was Celestin's nephew Alexandre, presumably a son of Louis Victor but not mentioned in the company records.
Alexandre died in Germany in The Swiss branch of Baume didn't always make simple movements with cylinder escapements. By the late nineteenth century it had leapt ahead technically and was known for chronographs, tourbillons, and grand complication models including watches with minute repeaters and calendars. In a Baume watch with a single overcoil balance spring and tourbillon chronometer escapement took eighth place in the Kew watch trials with In the same watch, No.
The record stood for many years, in Baume advertised that they still held the Kew record with In a split seconds minute recording chronograph was awarded In something happened, a family dispute. Baume, fabricant, purchase and sales of horological items and jewellery.
In March he was joined by a friend, Paul Tchereditchenko, a Ukrainian who had adopted the name Mercier. What happened to the Les Bois factory is not known; Les Bois is a tiny hamlet with a population in of only around 1, people, which would not have sustained a significant watch factory. Today it is a pedestrianised area with swanky shops. Arthur Baume was a prominent figure in Europe. He retired in and died in Folkestone, at the age of 84, on 24 September Time Products continued to distribute Longines watches until Longines decided to set up their own UK office.
The first style of mark with cameo letters in curly script within an oval surround was registered at the London Assay Office on 18 November A week later on 25 November an incuse mark of the letters "AB" was also registered. The second cameo mark shown here, with block capital letters AB within a rectangular surround was first registered on 24 April Swiss watches with gold or silver cases were imported into Britain without hallmarks until , when some Swiss made cases began to be sent for hallmarking at British assay offices.
English watchmakers objected to this, but the practice continued until when it was stopped from 1 January by the Merchandise Marks Act. Two punches with the cameo AB mark were registered on 14 September , as were two punches with the incuse mark.
I was puzzled by this because the Merchandise Marks Act effectively stopped importers of Swiss watches from sending them to be hallmarked after 1 January A punch with the second style of mark, block letters in a rectangular shield, was registered with the London Assay Office on 1 March , no doubt in anticipation of the requirement that all imported watches must be hallmarked in a UK assay office, which came into force on 1 June Additional punches with the same mark were registered in March, August and November Punches with the second style of mark, block letters in a rectangular shield, were registered with the Birmingham Assay Office in January and July Birmingham was the principal jewellery making centre of the UK at the time and it seems likely that Baume were having items such as watch chains made there.
In the advert reproduced here from the Horological Journal of April Arthur Baume is listed as an owner of Longines, so it seems likely that he purchased a share of the company. Longines' first lever movements had a distinctly "continental" appearance. Starting in Longines introduced a series of movements that that looked much more like English three quarter plate movements, with concealed winding wheels and frosted gilt plates.
The earliest published mention of Baume in conjunction with Longines that I have found is a notice in regarding the International Inventions Exhibition where Baume were showing, amongst of items, "The new Longines watches and chronometers", which is curious.
Perhaps Longines introduced some new, improved, models at that time. I have a Longines pocket watch with London Assay Office hallmarks for sterling silver, the date letter "B" for the year to , remember that date letters span two calendar years. However, not every movement with the Baume marks is a Longines.
In Stauffer had actually started to use a mark with three stars, which Baume pointed out was their registered trademark, so Stauffer quickly swapped the stars in their mark for triangles. Caution Simply finding Baume's name or trademark on a watch doesn't mean that it is necessarily a Longines.
This is separate from the mention of Longines watches, which refers to them as "Longines levers". Before the Longines factory was opened in the comptoir of Auguste Agassiz had produced watches with verge and then cylinder escapements, but from the Longines factory produced only lever escapement movements. Click to enlarge Longines Calibre 19B Movement: Click to enlarge The pocket watch shown in the images here is an early Longines watch. The serial number is 94, which, according to the table at the foot of this page, puts its date of manufacture at around The watch has a key wound and set 15 jewel Longines calibre 19B movement, with right angle lever escapement and club tooth escape wheel.
This calibre was first produced by Longines in as one of three closely related versions of a 19''' movement, referred to as 19B, 19M and 19V. Although Francillon wanted to abandon key winding, problems with stem winding, possibly in producing sufficient quantities of the keyless work components to keep up with production, meant that the 19B and 19M were key wound. The 19V was stem wound. When I got the watch the bow, the ring at the top of the pendant, was made of brass.
This was a replacement for the original sterling silver bow that was worn though by the swivel clip used to attach it to the owner's Albert chain, which itself was attached to a waistcoat button hole for safety.
Many pocket watches of this age have had their bows replaced because of wear from the swivel clip. How do I know that the original bow was sterling silver? Because the Assay Office would not hallmark the case without the bow, and they would not hallmark unless all parts were made of sterling silver, including the inner case, which is not shown here but is hallmarked.
The bow would have had a "part hallmark", the sponsor's mark and the lion passant of sterling silver. I have made a new bow in sterling silver, which has been hallmarked with my sponsor's mark and the English lion passant standard mark, just like the original would have been. The inside case back has London Assay Office hallmarks for sterling silver with the date letter "B" for the hallmarking year to Hallmark date letters span two calendar years because the punches were changed when new wardens were elected.
At that time, imported gold or silver watch cases were not hallmarked in Switzerland — Swiss hallmarking of gold and silver watch cases started in — or in Britain.
In some importers started to get small numbers of Swiss gold and silver watch cases hallmarked in British assay offices. Longines watches were high quality and it appears that Baume decided that British hallmarks in their cases would be a useful endorsement of this, which is most likely why he registered his details and a punch mark at the London Assay Office in November , shortly after the agency agreement was made with Longines.
The practice of getting Swiss watches cases hallmarked in British assay offices was effectively stopped from 1 January by the Merchandise Marks Act. During the period from to when it did happen, only a minority of imported Swiss watches, of high quality where the extra expense was worthwhile, were hallmarked in this way, so it is quite unusual to find a nineteenth century Swiss watch with British hallmarks.
British hallmarking of all imported gold and silver watch cases became compulsory from 1 June See Foreign Watches with British Hallmarks for more details about this.
Longines Wristwatch Movements Over the many years of its history, Logines produced many different movement calibres. Patrick Linder's book Ref. It is a monumental book, weighting in at over 4kg, which makes it physically quite difficult to read, as well as being a bit dry in the subject matter.
I am not going to even think about showing examples of every Longines movement in this section, I intend to highlight just a few that are encountered in the watches I am most interested in, early wristwatches with 13 ligne movements.
Until about , Longines movements were identified by their size in lignes and then a unique number. For example, the number The 13 before the decimal point is the line size, the 34 after the line size is the unique number and doesn't mean any else.
At the same time as the Most of the parts of the Longines movements for the British market are usually "frosted and gilded". Frosting is a fine matt finish given to the brass plates, bridges and cocks, which are then gilded or gold plated. They also usually have blued screws. This was to make them look more like traditional English watches and so more acceptable to British customers. For the same reason the winding wheels, the crown and ratchet wheel, are usually concealed below the barrel bridge, and the movements are often unsigned, a requirement of British retailers until the s.
Longines movements for other markets usually have a more conventional appearance; the brass parts are nickel plated, the winding wheels are visible, the screws are polished but not blued, and they carry the Longines name. Click to enlarge Longines Click to enlarge Introduced in , the Longines Often they do not carry the name Longines visibly, but the movements are quite easy to identify.
The calibre number