This post evolved from my original idea.  I was just going to show off some of the treasures around my room, such as:

an antique birdie that a family friend gave me in third grade
my wedding dress…I was so little!
watercolors…gifts from an elderly French lady, painted just for me, from my trip to St. Die in 1997. I picked out the left one for her to do a replica, and she surprised me by doing the second because it was a familiar town.
picture of Minnie Turner Harrell on her 90th birthday, in a frame made by my GaGa, my mom's dad
pocket watch that belonged to my dad's grandfather, Charles Porter Wynn, and my very own Royal Doulton mug, given to me at Rock Steady's baby shower

 

I suppose that would have been the end of it, had I not gotten curious about the origin of the pocket watch.  The face says “Plan Watch Co.”  The watch has been a familiar part of my “special pretties” for 18 years or so, as it was in the hope chest that my Ike, my dad’s mom, left to me.  When we moved into this house, I decided to get it out of the chest for display, but I didn’t think to research its origin until now.

After some research, I discovered it was likely what’s called a “Swiss fake.”  At first my heart sank, but I decided at the very least I could make it pretty.  So, I got out my silver polish:

beautiful, polished antique watch from my great-grandfather Charles Porter Wynn

Then I did some more research.   I knew where to find C.P. Wynn’s birth year, which was 1870.  According to the website National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Message Board, the brand “Plan Watch Co.” falls into the category of “Swiss fake.”  This means that it was meant to imitate the more popular American pocket watches of the time.  The website Antique Pocket Watch has an excellent article on fake pocket watches, which explains what a “Swiss fake” would be.  The information in the article led me to force the back of the watch open, so I could see the mechanism:

I couldn't find the country of origin on the movement. Does this mean it's older than 1871? Who knows. At this point, it's irrelevant.

The National Watch and Clock Museum has a Plan Watch Co. pocket watch listed which matches the patent number of 1042 on the inside of my watch, which confirms for me that it’s a Swiss watch.  The Museum’s watch dates from 1895.  At the very least, I would guess that this antique watch I’ve inherited is at least 115 years old or so.

One day, it will belong to Be-Bop, since Be-Bop is named after C.P.Wynn.  I’m very, very proud to have something to pass on to Be-Bop from his namesake.

 


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