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The Electa Watch Company

Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2022 all rights reserved.
Prosper Nordmann founded 1890
Prosper Nordmann founded 1890: Click image to enlarge

The company was founded in Geneva by Prosper Nordmann. The notice reproduced here dated 24 December 1890 states that the head of the company Prosper Nordmann in Geneva, which was formed on 1 January 1890, is Prosper Nordmann from Hégenheim, living in Geneva.

The purpose of the company is stated to be the manufacture of horological items, especially complicated watches. The company specialised in watches with chronograph (stop watch) and repeater (sounding the time on bells) complications, many watches having both complications.

Hégenheim is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace, France. Hégenheim is adjacent to the border between France and Switzerland and the Swiss town of Allschwil and is part of the Basel urban area. Hégenheim had a small watchmaking industry. After Alsace was annexed by Germany in 1871, many families moved to Switzerland, to La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle in particular, to work in watchmaking.

Prosper Nordmann in New York

In 1876, Prosper Nordmann had moved to the USA. He worked in New York alongside, or perhaps been above, Henry Lugrin and Charles Morlet making repeating and chronograph watches for the Waltham Watch Company. Waltham movements were sent to New York where they were fitted with chronograph and repeating work. In 1884, Henry Alfred Lugrin of New York was granted a patent for a stop watch, which was assigned to Lugrin himself and Prosper Nordmann. Lugrin worked for A. Wittnauer Co. in New York.

While he was in New York, Prosper Nordmann was involved in a number of British patent applications.

Date Number Inventor Title/Description
6 August 1880 GB 3224 Henry Alfred Lugrin and Prosper Nordmann Stop watches
19 May 1891 GB 2185 Henry Alfred Lugrin and Prosper Nordmann A new and useful Improvement in Chronographs or Stop Watches
23 August 1887 GB 11,469 Prosper Nordmann Improvements in Repeating Attachments to Watches

Nordmann returned to Switzerland in 1890 to found his own company making watches using the lessons he had learned in New York.

Timing and Repeating Watch Company

In an article in the December 1960 NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin, Chorles Kalish remarks that “Due to the cost of manufacture in America, Waltham decided to stop making complicated watches and sold this branch of the business to the Timing and Repeating Watch Company of Geneva in 1891.” The Timing & Repeating Watch Company was founded in Switzerland in May 1891 as a public limited company with headquarters in Geneva. Its purpose was stated as the trade and manufacture of complicated watches. The managing director was Prosper Nordmann, watchmaker in Geneva.

In 1892, the Timing & Repeating Watch Company of Geneva began selling chronograph and repeating watches through wholesalers in Britain.

In 1892, the Timing & Repeating Watch Company advertised chronograph watches in the USA under the byline “Celebrated Lurgrin Patent formerly controlled by the American Waltham Watch Co.”

The Timing and Repeating Watch Company was struck off the register of Swiss companies in December 1907 due to inactivity.

Patents

The business of Prosper Nordmann appears to revolved around patents for chronograph and repeater work for watches, particularly patents granted to Henry Lugrin and Charles Morlet. Lugrin specialised in chronograph work and Morlet in repeater work.

On 30 April 1889, Swiss Patent CH 894 had been granted to Charles Morlet of Hoboken, USA, for a “Nouveau mécanisme de répétition” or new repeater mechanism. This patent was partially assigned (cession partielle) on 24 May 1889 to Prosper Nordmann of New York.

After returning to Switzerland in 1890, Prosper Nordmann was granted at least four patents between 1894 and 1902, three of which were in conjunction with Charles Morlet.

YearNumberInventorDescription
1894CH 7334Charles Morlet & Prosper NordmannNouveau système d'aiguille de montres
1894CH 8035Charles Morlet & Prosper NordmannBoîte métallique perfectionnée pour l'emballage de mouvements de montres
1895US 536,440Charles Morlet & Prosper NordmannWatch movement box (same as CH 8035)
1895GB 9685Charles Morlet & Prosper NordmannAn Improved Motive Device for Watches
1902CH 24339 Prosper Nordmann Barillet perfectionné

Charles Morlet was a prolific inventor. A number of patents granted to Charles Morlet were transferred to Prosper Nordmann and Charles Morlet. The same address was given for Morlet and Nordmann; “Usine de St-Jean, à Genève”.

DateNumberInventorDescription
17 février 18924649Charles MorletRemontoir perfectionné
28 février 18926339Charles MorletMécanisme perfectionné de montres à répétition
17 novembre 18937550Charles MorletMoteur perfectionné pour montres do tous calibres
7 avril 18948165Charles MorletRoue en laiton vissée sur axe en acier, pour montres de tous calibres
29 mai 18948430Charles MorletMoteur perfectionné pour montres de tous calibres

Geneva Exposition 1896

At the Swiss national exposition in Geneva in 1896, the Prosper Nordmann company was awarded a silver medal for horology. This made the headline news in the 17 September 1896 issue of La Fédération Horlogère Suisse; the description includes details of the range of watches, from simple to complicated, made at the factory and gives some interesting background.

Geneva Exposition 1896
Geneva Exposition 1896

Watchmaking at the Swiss National Exhibition. Geneva 1896

Descriptive notice of the clocks of Prosper Nordmann, Fabrique de St-Jean, in Geneva. — Silver medal at the National Exhibition.

This house exhibits simple movements, counter chronographs, split-second chronographs, repeaters, repeater chronographs and split-second repeaters, finished, adjusted, functioning, ready to be boxed. The various organs of these pieces in varying degrees of advancement. Ébauches, finishes, mechanisms and cadratures are entirely made by mechanical processes in the workshops of the factory.

The watches of the St-Jean factory, due to perfected tools and various inventions, are solid, carefully finished, with perfect running and adjustment.

The rational construction of the movements and the various mechanisms, the interchangeability of the parts simplify and facilitate cleaning and re-assembly. It is this result, at the same time as the good quality and the craftsmanship that the factory of St-Jean sought to obtain.

M. Nordmann exhibits a Chrononograph clock for racetracks and velodromes, with a dial 1 meter 25 centimetres in diameter. This clock marks minutes and fifths of a second with absolute precision. The movement is anchor, visible levers, compensated balance, Boudin balance spring. The pendulum has a diameter of 10 centimetres, and the motor is a weight of 60 kilos.

The minute and fifth of a second hands start, stop and return to noon (or zero) by means of an electrical device; a light press of a button is all it takes. In addition, since the chronographic functions are performed by means of electricity, the minute and fifth-of-a-second hands can be started, stopped and returned to Zero, from as many points as desired, and at any distance from the clock. This is very useful for racetracks, as the start and finish of the horses rarely takes place at the same post.

It is, to our knowledge, the only company that has built a similar clock.

M. Nordmann began the manufacture of complicated watches by mechanical processes in New York in 1876, where he made, until 1890, all the complicated watches that the "American Waltham Watch Co" sold under its name. It was in 1890 that he moved with his tools and machines to Geneva. About fifty workers are currently employed in the St-Jean factory.

The balance spring, a spiral Boudin in the original, is a cylindrical or helical spring with terminal curves such as used in box (marine etc.) chronometers.

Writing about the same exhibition, Jacques David, chief engineer at Ernest Francillon & Cie (Longines), in St-Imier said “Mr. Prosper Nordmann transported to Geneva, in 1890, a production which he had begun in New York. He deals especially with split-seconds and repeater chronographs, which he builds with a certain number of small improvements in detail which are considered in the United States as very important because they have been brought into fashion by American factories in the plain watch. His showcase presented a great variety in all genres and he managed to create this assortment starting from the same ébauche and the same escapement.”

Société d'Horlogerie de Genève

The company of Prosper Nordmann was taken over in March 1897 by the Société d'Horlogerie de Genève. The Société d'Horlogerie de Genève was incorporated as a public limited company in France on 10 January 1897 with the power to establish branches or agencies in France and abroad. Its registered office was at 4, Rue de Mulhouse, Paris. The specific purpose of the company was to acquire the business established by Prosper Nordmann, the rights to patents granted to him in different countries, the manufacture and sale of watches, and all operations related to the main object of the company.

On the same date, the Société d'Horlogerie de Genève established a branch in Geneva under the same corporate name. It was this branch, a “succursale de la maison de Paris” or “branch of the house of Paris”, that took over the company of Prosper Nordmann, which was struck off at the same time. The company was administered by a board of directors. Prosper Nordmann was been designated by the articles of association as a director, with powers to sign alone in the name of the company all commitments with regard to third parties.

In March 1901, Prosper Nordmann resigned as a director and was replaced by Jules Grumbach, domiciled in La Chaux-de-Fonds. At a meeting on 1 May 1900, the Board delegated its powers to Charles Perret, administrator, who was also domiciled in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Société d'Horlogerie Electa

1903 Electa Advert
Advertisement from 1903: Click image to enlarge
Registration of Electa name in 1900
Registration of Electa name in 1900: Click image to enlarge

In Latin the word Electa means “chosen”. Electa is an important figure in Freemason tradition, being the anonymous “chosen lady” to whom the Apostle John's second letter is addressed.

The name Electa was registered as a trademark for watches and other items of horology on 8 March 1900 by the Société d'Horlogerie de Genève, as shown in the notice of record for the Swiss trademark No 11,984 reproduced here.

On 12 July 1902, the Société d'Horlogerie de Genève was converted into a Swiss public limited company under the name Société d'Horlogerie Electa with its headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds and whose purpose was the manufacture and sale of watches. The share capital was two hundred and forty thousand francs (fr. 240,000) divided into 2,400 bearer shares of 100 francs. The company was to be represented by a director appointed by the board of directors; Jules Grumbach from Morteau. The company office was at 17 Rue du Ravin, La Chaux-de-Fonds.

The advertisement from 1903 says that the Société d'Horlogerie Electa is the former or old (ancienne) Société d'Horlogerie de Genève.

Electa Patents

Between 1903 and 1904, the Société d'Horlogerie Electa was granted at least three patents.

YearInventorDescription
1903Société d'Horlogerie ElectaMécanisme de remontoir et de mise à l'heure
1903Société d'Horlogerie ElectaDispositif de fixation des mouvements de montre dans les boîtes
1904Société d'Horlogerie ElectaMécanisme de remontoir et de mise à l'heure

No 13661 Electa Raquetterie 1906: Click image to enlarge

Electa Registered Designs

On 1 November 1906, the Société d'Horlogerie Electa registered a design which was given the number 13661. This “modèle” or registered design was of “raquetterie”.

The “raquet” is the regulator lever, the racket shaped part on the balance cock that forms the regulator lever and carries the curb pins which allows adjustments to be made to the rate of a watch. The raquetterie includes other parts closely associated with the raquet, which in this design comprises a micro-adjustment system provided by a spring and cam, rather like a Reed Regulator, sometimes called a swan's neck from the shape of the spring.

From the image of the regulator shown in the image reproduced here, the spring arching over the regulator lever to press on its root and the cam bearing against the tip of the regulator for the fine adjustment can be seen. It is not clear how the cam is turned, but the teeth on its edge suggest a smaller pinion might be provided that can be turned by a screwdriver.

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Gallet

Gallet trace their history back to one Humbertus Gallet, who in 1466 moved from Bourg-en-Bresse in France to Geneva and was a builder of tower clocks. His descendants in Geneva were joined some 220 years later in 1685 by other members of the Gallet family, who were recorded as goldsmiths and watchmakers.

The Gallet watchmaking company was founded in 1826 in La Chaux-de-Fonds by Julien Gallet (1806 - 1849). This company was taken over in 1883 by Julien's two sons, Léon (1832 - 1899) and Lucien (1834 - 1879). Léon Gallet was a significant figure in the Freemasons, becoming a Grand Master. When he died in 1899 he bequeathed a large sum, part of which was used to set up the Musée international d'Horlogerie (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Gallet Acquires Electa

In 1906, Gallet acquired the Société d'Horlogerie Electa. This was obviously a significant event because, on 14 January 1907, Gallet & Co added to the business name the words "Fabrique d'horlogerie Electa" so that the name of the company became Gallet & Co, Fabrique d'horlogerie Electa.

The subsequent history of the company was turbulent, with periods of boom and bust followed by the sale of Electa to Rotherham and Sons of Coventry in 1926.

The beginnings of the relationship between Gallet and Electa is difficult to understand. From Gallet factory records, it appears that a working relationship between the Gallet company and Société d'Horlogerie Electa existed as far back as the 1880's, which is long before the Société d'Horlogerie Electa was founded and the Electa name registered 1902. Gallet sales records are said to show delivery of movements and fully finished watches from Electa to Gallet's New York offices and T. Eaton's Canada department store beginning in 1890's. These could have been made by the company founded by Prosper Nordmann in 1890 and are perhaps evidence of an earlier use of the name Electa before it was officially registered by the Société d'Horlogerie Geneve in 1900.

Some accounts say that Gallet acquired Electa in 1855 by taking over a firm called Grumbach & Co, which produced watches with the brand name Electa. But the Grumbach Company didn't disappear in 1855, Kathleen H. Pritchard “Swiss Timepiece Makers, 1775-1975” shows an advert by Grumbach from 1920, and the Electa name was not owned by Grumbach & Co. Another version of the story is that rather than acquiring the company, Gallet purchased a factory building from Grumbach that was adjacent to the Gallet factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds to accommodate increasing Gallet production. However, it seems likely that the name of the director appointed to represent Electa, Jules Grumbach, has got mixed up with a watchmaking company of the same Grumbach name that was taken over by Gallet in 1855 but was not connected to the Société d'Horlogerie Electa.

1918 Electa Advert
1918 Electa Advert.
Copyright © The Gallet Group
1907transfer
Modèle 13661 Transfer Notice

Whatever the relationship between Gallet and Electa before, the notice shown here from the February 1907 edition of La Féderation Horlogere Suisse shows the rights to a design registered on 1 November 1906 being transferred from "Société d'Horlogerie Electa" to "Gallet & Co., Fabrique d'Horlogerie Electa". This is further evidence for a takeover of the Société d'Horlogerie Electa by Gallet in Late 1906.

The number 13661 refers to a “modèle” or registered design of “raquetterie” or regulator lever, the racket shaped part on the balance cock that forms the regulator lever and carries the curb pins which allows adjustments to be made to the rate of a watch. This design was registered by the Société d'Horlogerie Electa on 1 November 1906, showing that at that date the company was still a separate entity.

This activity corresponds with an entry in the Gallet timeline which says that in 1906 "The company name "Gallet & Cie, Fabrique d'Horlogerie Electa" is registered to reinforce Gallet's ownership and control of the Electa brand. Under the Electa name, Gallet produces its highest quality timepieces." These two items suggest to me that Société d'Horlogerie Electa was still an independent company until at least 1 November 1906, and that Gallet actually acquired the Société d'Horlogerie Electa some time after this date, but before the new name was registered on 14 January 1907.

In Swiss Timepiece Makers, 1775-1975 Kathleen Pritchard says that "A new name was registered for [Gallet & Cie] in 1907 - Gallet & Cie, Fabrique Electa. Electa marks were transferred from the Société d'Horlogerie de Genève and from its successor, Société d'Horlogerie Electa, La Chaux de Fonds. In 1913 the name was changed slightly to Fabrique d'Horlogerie Electa, Gallet & Cie SA.

I am particularly interested in Borgel watches, that is watches with a Borgel screw case. Many Borgel watches, and also watches in ordinary cases with hinged backs,from the time of the Great War are fitted with the Electa movement illustrated above, or in versions of this movement, some with higher jewel counts, with jewels set in chatons and/or with centre seconds. You can see a selection of these movements illustrated on my Movements page.

The Great War at first required, and ultimately legitimised, men's wristwatches. British military officers were expected to wear a wristwatch, which they purchased as part of their kit, hence these watches are often referred to as officer's watches, and also as trench watches because of their use in the trenches. The take up of wristwatches among military men during the Great War (1914 - 1918) was rapid. A book published during the war in 1916, "Knowledge for War: Every Officer's Handbook for the Front" included a list of items required in an officer's kit. The first item on the list, ahead of such otherwise indispensable items such as "Revolver" and "Field glasses" was "Luminous wristwatch with unbreakable glass".

The advertisement shown here, from the 1918 edition of the Indicateur Davoine, was provided to me by David R. Laurence, Managing Director of The Gallet Group, Inc. www.GalletWatch.com, and shows a cavalry officer inspecting his "Electa" wristwatch. Whether it was a Borgel watch cannot be determined from the picture, but many Electa watches were cased in Borgel cases and this advertisement is a clear indication of why these watches are often called "officer's watches."

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First Liquidation

1914 notice
Notice of radiation 1914

The notice of "Radiations", which in this context means something like "Striking off", shows that on 4 May 1914 the company Gallet & Co., Fabrique d'Horlogerie Electa, was in liquidation.

It appears that the main Gallet company decided to close down the Electa factory and the easiest way to do this was to put this subsidiary business into liquidation and the hands of administrators. However, it appears that production of Electa watches continued, most likely under the administration of liquidators who were trying to find a buyer for the business as a “going concern”. It is interesting that the earliest Electa wristwatches that I have seen, imported by Rotherhams of Coventry, date from 1914.

Subsequently, in August 1914, quite out of the blue, the great upsurge in demand for wristwatches caused by the Great War (WW1) filled the order books of Electa, along with many other manufacturers, for the next four or more years. It appears that Gallet regained some role in the administration of the company.

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Second Liquidation

1926 notice
1926 auction notice
1923 notice
1923 advert for sale or rent

In the depression that followed the Great War, orders decreased or stopped. The company appears to have continued for a short while, probably still under the administration of the liquidators. However, in the early 1920s a post war depression hit Swiss exports hard. Trade statistics show that the value of Swiss watch and clock exports in the first quarter of 1921 were Fr. 44,791,252, significantly down from the first quarter of 1920 when the total was Fr. 78,832,970: a decrease of 43%.

Again it was decided that Electa operation was not viable. The 1923 advert shows that the Electa factory is offered for sale or to rent complete, including a machine shop suitable for making watches, ébauches or other parts.

It would appear that this offer did not resolve the problems because the 1926 auction notice advises of the dispersal sale, i.e. sale in parts rather than as a whole, of the Electa factory, land, and contents.

It appears that the Electa company was merged into the Gallet company in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1906 and the company rebranded as "Gallet & Co., Fabrique d'Horlogerie Electa". This new company was very successful in the run up to and during the Great War, but during the post war slump it suffered from reduced orders and got into financial difficulties. A new Gallet business, isolated sufficiently from Gallet & Co., Fabrique d'Horlogerie Electa, was formed so that the liquidation of that branch did not affect the main business. Gallet could have acquired the trademark of Electa from the liquidators if they wished to carry on using it, although the last mention of Electa in the timeline is 1915 and says "Gallet supplies hand held and cockpit mounted timers to the British Air Force during WW I. Movements are produced in Gallet's Electa workshop and marked with the Electa name."

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Electa and J. S. Clarke & Co. Ltd.

In the years 1923 and 1924 the company of J. S. Clarke & Co. Ltd., successors to Eugene Gerber & Co. Ltd., advertised in the Horological Journal that they were the importers of Electa watches. It is difficult to work out what went on here, but it seems likely that the auction sale of Electa failed and the receivers kept the factory going to give the staff employment and cover the bills with a view to selling it as a going concern.

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Rotherham & Sons and Electa

1926 notice
10 August 1926 transfer of trademarks
1927 notice
July 1927 notice

In 1926 the Electa watch movement factory and its contents were purchased from Gallet by Rotherham and Sons after the Electa business was liquidated.

The notice reproduced here dated 10 August 1926 records the transfer of the trademark names Eureka and Electa to "Rotherham and Sons, Overseas Limited" based in London with a branch in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The notice also says "fabrication, La Chaux-de-Fonds". This implies that there was a factory, so it seems that Rotherham's bought the Electa factory as well as the trademark names.

The second notice reproduced here, from a Swiss trade journal of July 1927, warns that the trademarks Eureka and Electa are the exclusive property of Rotherham and Sons Overseas Limited and that they will pursue judgment against anyone who uses these marks without their authorisation.

My records show that the involvement of Rotherhams with Electa goes back to before the Great War. I have seen wristwatches from the pre-war period with Electa movements in sterling silver cases with Birmingham Assay Office import hallmarks carrying John Rotherham's registered JR sponsor's mark. This relationship must have convinced Rotherhams about the quality of Electa watches.

Electa wristwatches from the war years of 1914 to 1918 have London Assay Office import hallmarks and the sponsor's mark A•G•R for Robert Pringle & Sons.

It seems that not only did Rotherhams cease or sharply curtail manufacture of watches at their factory in Coventry for the duration of the war, they also stopped importing Electa watches. During the war Rotherhams were heavily involved with the production of war materials, mainly fuses for which they gained a high reputation for their accuracy, and it appears that they gave up the import of Electa watches to concentrate on this.

There is a gap in my Electa records from 1918/19 to 1924/25. During 1923 and 1924 J. S. Clarke & Co. Ltd. advertised that they were the importers of Electa watches, but no watches imported by them have been seen.

After 1924 Electa data continues with watches having cases with Rotherham and Sons R&S sponsor's mark and Chester Assay Office import hallmarks for the years 1925/26 to 1926/27. These dates include watches imported by Rotherham and Sons in the period between the Electa factory being offered for sale or rent and the liquidation sale in 1926. It seems likely that Rotherhams rented the factory in 1923 and continued production of Electa watches until the dispersal sale, when they acquired the factory and contents.

The latest wristwatch with an Electa movement in sterling silver case that I have records for has Glasgow Assay Office import hallmarks and Rotherham and Sons R&S sponsor's mark. The date letter is "i" for 1931 to 1932.

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Electa Wristwatch Movements

Electa%2017j%20with%20Reed%20micro-regulator
Electa 17 Jewels with Reed's whiplash regulator. Click image to enlarge

This is the movement I have found most frequently in my collection of Great War Borgel wristwatches or trench watches. Although there is no maker's mark anywhere on the movement I first identified it as an Electa movement from the name “Electa” which appears on the dial of one of the first watches I collected with this movement. It turns out that I was pretty lucky, very few watches with this movement have a name on the dial or on the movement and are completely anonymous. At the time, Electa was a division of Gallet.

Electa movement
Electa Savonnette Movement 15 Jewels. Click image to enlarge

The first movement shown here is a savonnette layout with the small seconds on the dial at 6 o'clock. It has 15 jewels, a split bi-metallic temperature compensated balance and Breguet overcoil balance spring.

In addition to the 15 jewel type, there was also a higher grade 17 jewel version with the jewels set in chatons, with Reed's whiplash regulator adjuster with swan neck spring for precise adjustment of the regulator lever. The swan neck springs of the Reed adjuster of these movements are often broken. I am planning to make some of these swan neck springs to replace the ones that are missing from my movements - I don't expect that it will be a quick or easy exercise. . . .

I also have an indirect centre seconds version of this movement, with the seconds hand driven off the arbor of the third wheel by multiplier gearing. This is the bottom picture to the right. A full explanation of the working of the centre seconds of this watch is given on the Watch Movements page.

This movement was also available with "negative set" or "American system" keyless mechanism.

Electa catalogue 1914
Electa catalogue 1914
Copyright © The Gallet Group. Click image to enlarge
Electa%20centre%20seconds%20movement
Electa Centre Seconds. Click image to enlarge
Electa Negative Set
Electa Negative Set

When a negative set mechanism is present a setting lever screw, which normally releases the stem, is not fitted, as you can see in the picture to the left. To remove the movement from the case, there is no need to undo the setting lever screw as you would do for a positive set movement, just pull the crown out to the hand set position and the movement can be removed from the case by tilting it slightly.

Electa Catalogue 1914

Confirmation that these are indeed Electa movements was provided to me by David R. Laurence, Managing Director of The Gallet Group, Inc. www.GalletWatch.com who kindly provided me with the scan of a page from an Electa catalogue dated 1914, you can see some of the Electa movements I have pictured. It's interesting that even the 7 jewel basic version had a Bréguet balance spring and temperature compensated balance. The red rubies seem to be rather expensive, presumably they were natural gem stones rather than synthetic. You can read more about Electa and Gallet on my Gallet and Electa page.

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Electa Pocket Watch Movements

Electa Savonnette Movement
Electa Savonnette Movement Click image to enlarge
Electa pocket watch movement
Electa Lépine pocket watch movement Click image to enlarge

The photograph shows an Electa movement from a Borgel pocket watch. It is an open face pocket watch with the pendant at 12 o'clock so the movement is a Lépine layout. The fourth wheel arbor, which carries the seconds hand, is pivoted in the cock at the bottom of the picture, the one with "17 jewels" written on it. This is directly in line with the winding stem, which enters the movement at the top.

It is a high quality movement, jewelled to the centre with 17 jewels, four set in chatons as you can see in the picture. It has a Reed's whiplash regulator adjuster with swan neck spring for precise adjustment of the regulator lever.

The bridges and cocks are decorated with stripes or bands of decoration called Côtes de Genève, and you will notice that the stripes line up across all the bridges and cocks. I often wonder exactly how they did this, the stripes must have been made with all the cocks and bridges assembled on the bottom plate before the parts were nickel plated.

The second photograph shows a savonnette version of this movement. The similarity between the two movements is striking although they are quite different layouts. The barrel bridge is similar but reversed because the crown wheel and ratchet wheels are transposed. Close examination shows that this results in the centre bridge being completely different too, although at first sight it looks very similar.

The similarities between the two movements have allowed economies in manufacture to be made. The layout and positioning of the train wheels is identical in the two movements, and the fourth wheel cock, the escape wheel cock and the balance cock are all identical. The use of an identical layout for the train means that the wheels and arbors in the two different styles of movement are the same.

If you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch via my Contact Me page.


Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2022 all rights reserved. This page updated August 2022. W3CMVS. Back to the top of the page.