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Weems Longines just a bit different

  1. powerclocks Nov 15, 2020

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    Hi, A newbie here with a first posting, I bought this from an Auction House and was going to use is a a daily wear, I paid way more than I was comfortable with but couldn't keep my hand down as they say. Auction fever.

    I then had to look at what I had, not being a watch collector I started trawling every site I could to get answers, someone else was willing to pay just a few dollars less than me, were there two idiots in the room or just one that knew what he wanted? I managed to authenticate the watch so that was the first thing that worried me done, It was a Weems, Longines stated that the watch was invoiced to Baume in the UK.

    The original serial number 5'415'488 identifies a wristwatch in stainless steel bearing the reference 3930. It is fitted with a Longines manually wound mechanical movement, caliber 12.68Z and was invoiced on 29 May 1937 to the company Baume, which was at that time our agent for the United Kingdom.

    The serial number was for 1935 but the odd adjusting wheel in the 4pm position started to become a problem, I had a nice collector send me a newspaper clipping of the same watch through the NAWCC forum but it did not identify the model or the reason for the odd positioning and style of the adjuster. I could not find another one like it anywhere. I needed to get it under the microscope to see it better and assure myself the case was not a later modification.

    I did that and I am satisfied the case is as it left the factory, as strange as it is. If it had been a later modification I would have had to congratulate the watchmaker as the workmanship would have been exemplary, as it is, I am satisfied as I earlier stated that it is factory made, but what for?

    The movement became another bone of contention, it is a 12.68z Caliber Longines movement with an offset center seconds hand, I had been informed this caliber did not have Centre Seconds? True. Yes No? Just speaking of seconds the chapter ring is divided into 60 seconds and then each second divided into 5. A stop watch style dial without the function.

    Looking further the case became a clue, it was marked A.T.C. 1938, this is I am told the Air Training Corps which started in London (look it up) in 1938, the Auction was for the personal effects of a Mr Buchanan who I am now researching. Is this a Civillian or Military Watch?

    Along with the watch came a Buchanan Family Crest on a pin buckle and a Prince of Wales Tie Pin both in White Metal that looked like stuff you would expect to be worn on a Kilt, Buchanan is a Scottish name so My quest continues. So before I rush in where angels fear to tread I am asking for help. Perhaps a member can remember or find details I do not already have so I can decide my next course of action, it is a working watch but could do with a clean, the dial is dis-coloured and could do with a cleanup?

    I am adding pictures for you perusal but really, this is an oddity in the Weems Longines World from what I can find on the net at the moment. I just love the odd stuff. Whats the thoughts out there on this?
    Graeme Power
     
    IMG_4821.JPG IMG_4828.JPG IMG_4831.JPG IMG_4832.JPG IMG_4838.JPG
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  2. oinkitt Nov 15, 2020

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    From Lawsons I presume.

    It attracted a bit of attention from ;local collectors.

    Its size and dial condition negated any interest I might have had. There is also the problem that Lawsons will not allow inspection at the moment due to the Woo Flu!!

    I doubt that anything can be done to "clean" the dial. In my experience, trying to do so would be very risky.
     
    Edited Nov 15, 2020
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  3. Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Nov 15, 2020

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  4. powerclocks Nov 15, 2020

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    Yep. even when I asked for "In Focus" pictures of specific items, they sent the worst possible pictures, just bidding was a leap of faith, I did not even know you could take pictures so out of focus with a phone camera these days with 12 mega pixel plus at their disposal and macro function, Still I think it is so odd as to make it collectable. As they say, "show me another one" if having a watch no one else has floats your boat then this is undoubtedly one to keep.
     
  5. Andy_timeman Nov 16, 2020

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    Watch looks totally correct.. most unusual crown set up and placement of Longines text at 6. The ref 3931 must have followed and this had the thumb lock lever at 6. There was a very good UK dealer (name starts with J) in Portobello who offered me one the same as this and kindly sent me an ad from the time. At this time most would have been going to some war time application. weems ad special crown.jpg
     
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  6. powerclocks Nov 16, 2020

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    Thank you, I was sent this picture earlier and it went a long way to dispelling my fears I had been duped into buying a fake or a modified watch, Military watches are a minefield. (pun intended)
     
  7. Syrte MWR Tech Support Dept Nov 16, 2020

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    Very cool, so did you buy it ?
    I won't claim dibs, as you wouldn't sell it and I wouldn't be able to afford it. :p

    @powerclocks, congrats on your purchase. You should not touch the dial. Whatever you do to it will make it worse.
    Lesson #1 when it comes to old watches: you cannot clean a dial -- unless you're prepared to destroy it.
    Sometimes the risk is worth it -- but in this case not at all. You'd be killing whatever value your watch has.

    PS you’ve been misinformed about the movement.
     
    Edited Nov 16, 2020
  8. DirtyDozen12 Thanks, mystery donor! Nov 16, 2020

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    Cool watch. I echo the sentiments about not cleaning the dial. Caliber 12.68Z is normally a sub-seconds movement but also came with centre seconds, prior to the introduction of caliber 12.68N. The fully graduated dial is not uncommon for time-only, centre seconds Longines of the period.
     
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  9. LarryG not KennyG, not OG, just LarryG Nov 16, 2020

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    Some wise people have chimed in and there’s little more for me to add. Longines certainly toyed with various bezel locking devices. Id reach out to them and see what they have to say about the reference.

    Im curious about the caseback inscription. Ive not come upon that in my too many days looking at longines and military timpieces.
     
    Edited Nov 16, 2020
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  10. JwRosenthal Nov 16, 2020

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    I have nothing of value to add other than I can empathize with the impulse buy of a Weems. Sadly, mine is just a plain-Jane 1943 cased in the US with a ratty bezel (but the dial is sensational).
    3C6C7803-AF73-46FE-86FE-D9658D6549A8.png
    Currently in cue for a service so not wrist shot worthy at the moment.
    Longines archives was great to deal with and they sent me a digital EOA within 2 days and a paper extract for free-
    Ya’ hear that Omega- Free!
     
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  11. jaguar11 Nov 16, 2020

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    Don't forget a wrist shot when you get it back!!!!
     
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  12. powerclocks Nov 16, 2020

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    Thank you for your input, I am drafting a letter to the A.T.C. for archival material as I write to you, I will see what they say. I received a reply from the NAWCC, they were unable to assist with an exact match and their thoughts are that it was a Prototype Watch, explaining the odd movement and positioning of Longines on the Dial as for how it got into the retail system is anyone's guess.

    Longines do not have one in their collection and Longines call the odd 4pm Adjuster "A Shoe" Well it appears to be a Unique Shoe, I only have one fuzzy picture which is a photograph of a news Paper Clipping sent to me and I think it is somewhere above in this Posting. It appears to be this type of watch. I have to wonder if it is this actual watch being displayed but never meant to be sold?

    The movement whilst an oddity was transitional, only the odd placement of the word Longines on the Dial appears completely Unique in this style of watch. This leads me to the overwhelming response being "Don't Touch The Dial" Ok I am onside with that I do not love it but it is what it is.
    My fears of buying a DuD at Auction seem unfounded. It has a uniqueness not obvious to most.

    G J Power
     
  13. powerclocks Nov 16, 2020

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    I would not say sadly, this was what I really wanted, a genuine Military Weems Watch, I got something really different but it was Dumb Luck not a result of Fastidious Investigation, as I did state I paid way more than I would have done comfortably on say eBay. I would not have bought it on eBay, I am a bit timid when I have to time to think (what am I doing) It was an online Auction and it is way too easy to keep clicking, throw caution to the wind and forget the additional (massive) Fees Involved.
    G J Power
     
  14. powerclocks Nov 16, 2020

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    I just ordered my Certificate, they did get back to me on the serial number info within 48 hours, exemplary service, when it get cleaned up a bit and a nice leather (please dont get agro that I am not using a military band) I will post a picture to end this posting.
     
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  15. powerclocks Nov 17, 2020

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  16. powerclocks Nov 29, 2020

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    I found out that it is simply the owners initials A.I.C. 1938. the I looked like a T and the errors cascaded from that point on. It is a privately owned Military Watch bought by Arthur Irwin Chapman RAN Commander, he was from available records in the South China Sea Region in 1938 and was never in England in that time so it may have been bought by him through Mail Order he was around 21-22yo this was a purchasing method which was often used in those days, the Internet of the era.
     
  17. mahamithra Nov 29, 2020

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    What a great character watch. Not the beauty queen, but certainly a nice part or history and patina.
     
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  18. powerclocks Nov 29, 2020

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    Thank you. I am researching as much as I can the 12.68z movement and variants, if you have pictures of these watches and movements you could send to me it would be appreciated, they must be your pictures though and include permission to publish them as I am inserting some in a periodical magazine soon.
    G J P
    p.s. send to [email protected]
     
  19. powerclocks May 22, 2021

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    I finally received it back from Longines St Imer. Only took about 5 months. They issued a Certificate of Authenticity but did say the Winding Crown was not correct, I am looking into acquiring one but there are no photographs of this watch to be found anywhere. I have a grainy picture from a news paper cutting dated November 1937 with this watch shown so I may be able to have one crafted from the dimensions visible in the photograph.
    A very rare watch once owned by a Royal Australian Navy Commander. Now the clean up begins
    GJP
     
  20. powerclocks May 22, 2021

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    It is not finished yet but is looking a bit cleaner than the last pic.
     
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