Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Its been ages since we spoke about pocket watches...

It's been ages since we've talked about pocket watches - and today is a perfect day to share with you a couple of horological gems. The first find is a recent discovery of two Japanese National Railway pocket watches which come with very exotic 'service papers'.

The first watch was manufactured in Showa 31 (1956) and issued to JNR as watch number 1747. Recorded in fine ink are six consecutive services, specifically noting the timekeeping and beat error in the years Showa 38, 39, 40, 44, 47, 55 (1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1972, 1980). The circular Kanji print instructs the watchmaker to fill in all the fields. Of course, my Japanese is very shaky but it looks like the label comes from Shizuoka service centre.
The second watch is JNR 5279 issued in Showa 30 (1955) with the same label.

A reliable service history record of a precision instrument like a railway pocket watch provides priceless historic data and adds significantly to the value of the watch itself. Not to mention the obvious, the trustworthy number 1747 was continually in service for at least 25 years.

The second little beauty is this Japanese National Railway watch shipping container.
This one is designed to accommodate two pocket watches while transported around. I have not seen anything like this before! The industrial robustness of the container is clearly evident,  but the box is an art piece in itself showing the impeccable attention to detail of the Japanese. The latch still works perfectly despite at least 50 years of use. If you ever come across one, snatch it in a heartbeat!
Speaking of Shizuoka, this is the view of Mount Fuji from the city edge. 

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