Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vintage Birks Ellis Longines

Sorry if I'm boring anybody with all the vintage watches, but I have a number of them that I virtually never wear so I figured it's about time. I'll try to wear something non-vintage tomorrow, but today, I'm wearing this vintage Birks Ellis Longines from about 1933 (according to the dates here and the serial number of 5241951 on the movement.) I think the case looks like a newer case, possibly from the 1940s, and the case is marked "Wittnauer" on the inside, but the movement fits so perfectly that it's possible it is original. Surprisingly enough, and I really did choose this watch at random today, this is another watch that originally came from Canada. Birks Ellis was the name of a large jewelry chain (now just Birks) who sold watches made by major manufacturers under their own name, much like yesterday's Solar watch from Eaton's. Birks (who bought PW Ellis & Co in the 1930s) seemed to sell a number of watches from both Longines and Eterna that also featured "Birks" or "Birks Ellis" on their dials. This is yet another watch that came from my father's collection, so I don't know a lot about it. It has some serious wear on the case, especially on the caseback where the gold plate is worn through and the base metal is pitted. Likewise on the corners on the front of the case (another reason to suspect that this is not the original case as I would think a Longines would be more likely to have a 14k solid case than a plated case.) The watch does seem to run pretty well, although the power reserve is low, less than 12 hours, so it probably needs to be serviced. I actually like the looks quite a bit, so perhaps I can find an original case for it, and maybe my local watchmaker knows something about it as well.










4 comments:

Z4MC said...

I like that one a lot- very cool

Louis said...

Hay--love the watch and is 100% as I see it as a Longines by a canada top jewler like Audemars Piget would be tuler swiss jewler dial----but the witinaure case -- its 100% correct as two companies the same for many decades--and does not have to be gold case to be super value longines-and a very cool 2-300 value right day rare jewler signed Longines --save it --dad was smart!!!-and yes same problem here which old or new watch to wear each day--Louis NYC--

Kevin said...

I noted your Birks Ellis watch, very elegant and you are not boring us with your collection. I am glad to see such a passion in a watch collector. I have many vintage classic dating from 1899 to 1960s. My latest find is a late forties rotomatic with a 14kt gold filled cusion style case. The crystal is cracked, but still is favorite.

Kevin

Louis said...

Always great to meet collectors who know the complex watch world--and each day chats between us collectors would be a fantastic learning experience--so as today a I am wearing a suissa single buton chrongraph 1930s-- with a super complex telemetre dial, Blues and red--chrome case fixed lugs----the dial makes the watch--why is this special ?--well when this was single button chrono was made its brothers are now at auction from patek for $300,000++++++ or more !!!! so for a few hundred we can own a generic single button 1930s chrome chronograph and relish the savings--what watches are up this week you are wearing -- I try to wear on one day a swiss generic--and another a top house-- keep up blog as its great!!!!