Pocket Watch

Gold keyless pocket watch with Swiss movement in an American case, the case by Keystone Watchcase Company.

The 14 carat gold, fully engraved, full hunter case is numbered: "4583223" inside the back, the inner dome and the cover, the inner back also stamped with "KEYSTONE", "14K" and the Keystone emblem; the inner dome also stamped: "WARRANTED / 14K / U.S. ASSAY" and the Keystone emblem. The leafy scroll engraving on the front cover incorporates a cartouche engraved within( in a less competent hand): "Tytanic / April 1912 / Jakob / Birnbaum". The back of the watch has a scrolling leafy pattern engraved over the whole surface and the band is similarly engraved. The gilt brass winding crown with oval bow, has a brass push-piece for hand-setting in the 11 o'clock position.

The white enamel dial has black, italicised arabic numerals and pierced gold hands.

The Swiss, gilt brass, going-barrel, 15 jewel movement, which appears to have been fitted later to this case, has a fully jewelled, club-tooth lever escapement and compensation balance with blued steel balance spring with overcoil and micro-metric screw regulation. The dial plate is stamped: "81931".

Belonged to passenger Jacob Birnbaum, lost in the Titanic disaster. The very clean condition of the movement in this watch, the fact that it is very slightly undersize for the case, the fact that the hand-setting push-piece in the case has no 'olivette', and that there are marks on the case for fixing screws which are no longer present, all suggest this movement is a replacement for the original, which would have been very badly rusted owing to its 12 days immersion in sea water. The original movement in the watch would probably have been made by the Hamilton Watch Co of Pennsylvania.

Object Details

ID: ZBA4529
Collection: Timekeeping
Type: Pocket Watch
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Anonymous; Keystone Watch Company
Vessels: Titanic (1912)
Date made: circa 1910-1914; circa 1914 / 1910
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Presented by American Friends of Royal Museums Greenwich, 2009
Measurements: Overall: 68 mm x 51 mm x 13 mm

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