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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys !

I just got finished putting this one back together the other day.

This case is quite the ODDITY, it's a sterling silver Depollier Cushion Trench case with a Khaki Crown!

I can only recall seeing two of these cases over the years and neither one had the original Khaki crown.

It weighs in at a WHOPPING 18.6 grams without the movement or strap.

This is more than DOUBLE the weight of your normal run of the mill sterling silver trench watch case from the Great War era.

The case shape is is rather strange as well, it's cushion shaped!

Depollier is mostly known for their round wrist watch cases during this era, NOT cushion shaped cases.

The lugs are fixed, those are NOT spring bar lugs.

The KHAKI REG. USA signed crown is in EXCELLENT condition with hardly any wear.

The case back is curved so it better conforms to the wrist, once again, VERY advanced for this era!

The case measures 40mm lug tip to lug tip, 31.7mm without the crown with a 20mm lug diameter.

Still waiting for the 20mm black & white Pigskin strap to arrive, I normally don't have straps this wide in my bins.


I just checked my files for any advertisements pertaining to this case but I could NOT find any and my Depollier file is pretty thick!

















 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Adam!

I just went through my files again in the hopes that I missed the cushion shaped adverts the first time for this case but I could not find any.

I would date this case back to 1917 if I had to take a guess, very advance for it's time.

I looked at all of the other Depollier cases that I have had from this era and I am making this guess from the case serial number and what I know about Depollier as a whole.

The movement probably pre-dates this case by a few/couple of years though.

This case was built like a tank ! ! !

VERY heavy duty ! ! !

STILL waiting for the new 20mm strap to arrive, **** postal service!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just happen to have 4 Depollier cases here with me right now so I thought that a nice family group shot was in order ! ! !






Here are the weigh differences all side by side.

All of them are sterling silver cases and all 3 are a size 3/0s.


Depollier Cushion Trench Case: 18.6 grams





Depollier Round Trench Case: 12.4 grams





Wadsworth Round Trench Case: 8.8 grams





As you can clearly see the Depollier cases are much heavier compared to your average WWI Trench Watch Case.

18.6 grams is INSANELY HEAVY for a size 3/0s case ! ! ! !
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not all Depollier cases had a Khaki Crown, the very earliest ones did not.

Usually when you see a Khaki Crown the lettering is rather worn down, this one is in very good condition though.

I love original sterling silver crowns but the metal is very soft so the threading gets stripped and the crown is then toast.

This is one of the best that I've seen!
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is a picture that shows the curved case back on this Depollier, sorry I forgot to add this picture before.

I cannot think of another American case that had this "comfort feature" so early (1917), eat your heart out Gruen ! ! ! !

Everybody else was manufacturing FLAT case backs at this point.

 

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I just happen to have 4 Depollier cases here with me right now so I thought that a nice family group shot was in order ! ! !






Here are the weigh differences all side by side.

All of them are sterling silver cases and all 3 are a size 3/0s.


Depollier Cushion Trench Case: 18.6 grams





Depollier Round Trench Case: 12.4 grams





Wadsworth Round Trench Case: 8.8 grams





As you can clearly see the Depollier cases are much heavier compared to your average WWI Trench Watch Case.

18.6 grams is INSANELY HEAVY for a size 3/0s case ! ! ! !
Very, Very interesting stuff on weights. Really
I love 2nd on left 1st Pic
 

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Yesterday I corresponded with Stan of LRF Antique Watches about our grandfather’s and his brother’s trench watchs. I was just seeking info about them to help fill us in on them. My wife and I were on a cruise recently and there was an onboard lecture about watches that I attended. Here I learned that World War I started the wrist(let) watch trend. I have been the caretaker for the watches for several years and thought I would try to find out more about them. On the internet I made the connection with Stan. He has been very helpful and introduced me to this forum. He suggested that several of you might enjoy seeing these watches. So here they are along with the military history of the owners.

Grandfather’s inscribed Jos. R. Guiteras
Joseph Ramon Guiteras’ World War I service 1918-19, U. S. Army, private to 2nd Lt., 27th Engrs. (Mining Regiment) A.E.F.; after the armistice appointed By Gen. McKinstry to value war damage to French Iron Mines, Briey & Longwy Districts For President Wilson's American Commission to Negotiate Peace to Valuate War Damages.

Great Uncle’s inscribed JGG
Julian George Guiteras, Captain, Engineers' Corps, A. E. F., France, died of pneumonia on October 12, 1918, in Base Hospital No. 15, Chaumont, France.
In January 1917 Captain Guiteras passed successfully an examination for a second lieutenancy in the Regular Army, and upon receiving his commission was ordered to Fort Leavenworth for training. Upon the completion of his course there he received a first lieutenant's commission and was sent to Vancouver Barracks, Washington, whence he sailed for France in December 1917 with a captain's commission. In France he was instructor in pioneering in the Pioneer School of Chatillon-Sur-Seine and was later ordered to bridge reconnaissance work. It was while on this work that he contracted influenza which developed into pneumonia.
Pictures in next post
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
David,

Thanks for taking the time to share your Waltham Depolliers with the forum!

David's second watch is VERY interesting. (the 1st one is very nice as well!)

It has a patent date stamp of May 11, 1915.

It is NOT made of sterling silver, it's a nickel case ! ! !

(or nickel alloy like silverode)

We very rarely see one of these.

This might just be the earliest one that I have seen, checkout that case number and movement number.



Take a look at the wear on the outside of the case back, sterling silver will not do this.

 

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Hi David
First welcome to the forums
Lovely very early timepieces - thanks for sharing them.
The wristwatch started in Europe a bit earlier, we can trace it roots to the Boer war 1899 to 1901, then taking strength in WWI otr 1914.
USA followed later about 1916 (talking men's wristwatches her)
That said, the wrist watch only overtook the pocket watch in 1930.
So yours is an early and lovely piece.

And as Stan said. We know Waltham patented that Depollier style in 1912 but Depollier not till 1917. So yours is truly early as Stan says

Adam
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just noticed something.................


On David's watch, look at the top of the case where the crown is located, it has a rounded curve just below the crown.






This design was soon changed over to the block style that we are all used to seeing.

I just checked all of my Depollier case pictures from past years and ALL of them have this BLOCK style, not the curved style.





I guess that this will give us a tell tale sign of the VERY early models from now on.

Cool stuff !
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The reason I ask is so we can get a good look at the top of the bezel.


In 1915 through September 11, 1917 these watch cases did not have the patented "double clinched bezel"


This case pictured below has one, it's the small raised ring on top of the bezel so it was made after September 11, 1917.





This case pictured below does not have the "double clinched bezel" so it was made before September 11, 1917. (late 1915 probably)


 
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