Contact MeCopyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2020 all rights reserved.
My grandfather's 1918 and grandmother's 1917 Rolex wristwatches. My grandfather's watch is on one of my Type B straps. Click on the picture for an enlarged view.
Hi, I'm David. I am always happy to hear if you have comments on this web site, or questions about a watch, or about British or Swiss hallmarks.
I live in Cheshire, England. I am a Chartered Engineer with a background in Nuclear Power Station design and construction, nuclear safety and systems analysis, and also Information Technology. I am interested in history, engineering and technology generally. I got interested in early wristwatches when I inherited my grandfather's and grandmother's vintage 1917/1918 Rolex wristwatches, shown in the picture here.
I needed a strap so that I could wear my grandfather's watch, but I couldn't find one so I had some made, but in the process of researching what a strap should look like for an early fixed wire lug wristwatch. I got so interested in old watches that I now have a significant collection of early wristwatches, I have learnt to service and restore my own watches, and I write about the history of watches and the watch industry.
In January 2019 I was made a Fellow of the British Horological Institute (FBHI). I am also a member of the Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS) and the American National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). I am particularly interested in early wristwatches, especially with water resistant features. In addition to the research published on this web site, I have also had a number of articles published in the NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin and the British Horological Institute's Horological Journal.
Update 25 February: A significant update to the quick guide to British hallmarks, including additional sections discussing duty marks and foreign marks.
Questions and Comments
If you want to ask a question about a watch I am happy to try to answer. This is a free service, but I do not offer appraisals and I don't give valuations – if this is what you want, ask an auctioneer. Before emailing read the conditions below, and note no more than three clear good quality photographs taken in daylight!
Conditions and Requirements:
- I am interested in the history and technology of old watches not their value, don't ask for valuations.
- I can't usually help with modern (post-WW2) watches, or electrical, battery or quartz watches.
- If the watch case has marks that you think might be hallmarks, start at this page: Case Marks.
- If there is no obvious name or brand start at this page: Who Made My Watch?
- The meaning of the letters F.S.A.R, or A.F.R.S, is explained at Regulators.
- Please send no more than 3 photographs that are clear and in focus, taken using daylight but avoiding direct sunlight.
- Images in order of importance: 1: Inside Case Back, 2: Movement, 3: Face.
- Don't send photographs that are small, blurred or out of focus. If I can't see details I won't be able to tell you anything. There is no reason to send poor quality images. Mobile phone cameras are capable of taking perfectly good images if you use them properly.
- For some easy tips on taking great close up photographs, click on this link Taking Close Up Photographs.
- Photographs must be clear and in focus, taken in daylight avoiding direct sunlight. Don't send more than three photographs. It is easier for me if images are sent as email attachments, and please don't clog up my email inbox with massive image files.
- Anonymous Swiss movements made before the 1930s are not at all well documented, and catalogues of movements take a long time to search. If you want me to try to identify such a movement, it will have to be pretty special or you will need to be very persuasive.
I don't mind trying to help but a small number of people abuse this free service, wasting their time and mine, so questions and images must meet these conditions and requirements. Please email me at and call me David.
If you are inquiring about having a strap custom made, please state in which country you live so that I can advise about postage.
Remember; no more than three good quality clear photographs. I usually won't reply over a weekend, but if you don't get a reply within a few days, check your junk or spam folders. Please don't pass on my email address, refer people to this web page instead.
I am happy to answer questions for free, but if I have answered a question, or you find the information on this web site useful, and would like to express your appreciation, of course I am happy to receive a donation. Any amount is much appreciated and will help to keep this web site going. You can use the PayPal button below to make a donation.
Watch Care and Servicing
A watch is a complicated and delicate machine and it needs cleaning and oiling every so often to reduce wear and prolong life, even if it appears to be working perfectly well. Read more about this on my page Looking after a mechanical watch. There is also advice on that page about how to find a reliable watch repairer to service and repair your watch. Don't rely on qualifications alone, a certificate only shows that someone put in enough effort at one time to pass a test, it doesn't tell you about their approach to looking after a customer and their treasured watch, do some background research.
If you have a watch case that needs repairing, get in touch with my good friend Adam Phillips. Adam is a goldsmith with over 30 years experience in the making and repair of all types of watch case, from antique pocket watches to modern wristwatches.
Copyright NoticeCopyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2020 all rights reserved.
Some people seem to feel that anything published on the internet can be copied freely; this is not true. Everything belongs to its author or creator and, except where noted otherwise, all the text and images on this website are my copyright. I have put a lot of time and effort into researching and creating the original content on this web site and I would prefer my hard work to be acknowledged; I think that is only fair, don't you?
My copyright extends to images that I have obtained from original sources such as adverts, patents etc. that are out of copyright where I have gone the trouble of finding the original image, scanning or importing it, editing it to remove blemishes, repair defects and make it clearer, rearranged elements of the image to make it more suitable for a web page, colouring parts for easier understanding, etc., etc. In this case my copyright is in the resulting unique scanned, cleaned and edited image.
You are welcome to use quotes from the text or images for non-commercial use (including blogs and private eBay listings) provided that you include proper attribution. The statement Information/images from VintageWatchstraps.com © David Boettcher must be included with any material you use. If you use an image this must be in a caption below the picture.
For any other use, including any commercial use, please contact me first. Low resolution images are used on this web site because they are appropriate for computer screens and reduce loading time. These are not suitable for print medium and higher resolution versions are available on request.
Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2020 all rights reserved. This page updated February 2020. W3CMVS.