Mens All Original 1917 Signal Corps Usa Hy Moser & Ce Wwi Military Trench Watch For Sale
holben store There are nice antique wristwatches and then there are extraordinary antique wristwatches. This original men’s SIGNAL CORPS USA swivel lug watch falls into the latter category, the type of watch that I’m lucky to find once every year or two.
It was made ca 1917 by the venerable Henry Moser & Company ("Hy Moser & Ce"), a firm established in Le Locle Switzerland in 1826 and one of the more collectible higher grade Swiss brands on par with (yet scarcer than) comparable Omega, Zenith and Longines models of the same era.
This is a quadruple-signed (case x 2, dial & mechanism) men’s WWI military timepiece, made specifically for the U.S. Army by Hy Moser. When the US Expeditionary Forces joined the First World War in 1917, elements of the Army Signal Corps were issued "wristlets" procured from various Swiss firms. Notable is the fact that early US military aviators were recruited from the Signal Corps as it had its own flying wing.
Moser also supplied wristwatches to Russia and other countries during the war and if you have a copy of Faber and Unger's American Wristwatches, Five Decades of Style & Design you'll see the same model on page 160, where the authors note that it is "highly collectible, especially prized by military collectors."
This watch measures 49mm from lug tip to lug tip and 34.5mm in width (36.5mm with original Onion style crown). This works out to be 2 inches lug tip to lug tip and just shy of 1-3/8 inches wide, not including the winding crown. It is powered by its original and high-grade 15 Jewel, gold finished Hy Moser & Ce stamped movement that has been fully serviced by my watchmaker David to ensure it winds and sets smoothly while keeping accurate time.
The 100% original, white porcelain enamel dial is in excellent, original condition with absolutely no hairlines – truly pristine. It features a 60 minute outer track border, original blue steel Skeleton hands, stylized Arabic numbers with RED 12, a 24 Hour Military inner track with red numbering and a recessed sub-seconds dial with 60 second outer chapter and sweeping blue steel seconds hand. Signed Hy Moser & Ce - Cytis Watch below the 12 and Signal Corps U.S.A. above the seconds dial.
The solid glass crystal is in flawless condition. The four-piece, hinged back case is complete with swivel lugs and in excellent shape. It is not marked for content but is either solid nickel or nickel silver. Note the nail set feature below the crown. You press the pin "IN" with your fingernail and then move the crown to set the hands. The original silver winding crown is "Onion" style and in excellent shape, operating as it should.
Turning this beauty over I note that the back lid is in excellent shape with no wear, dings or engravings, extremely well care for.
Peeking inside I discover there's an inner dust cover that protects the mechanism from dust and debris. It is nicely signed in both Cyrillic and English "Hy Moser & Cie" along with the firm's Coat of Arms and serial number #194,904 ‘A.’
Removing this snap-down lid reveals a beautiful gold-finished 15 jewel movement that is signed HM & CO. within the firm's trademark "Coat of Arms." I’ve magnified this hallmark so you can see it better – the same hallmark that’s on the dust cover AND also the case back. Speaking of the case back, it is signed "HY MOSER & CE – 194,904" – the same number that’s on the snap down dust cover lid.
This museum-grade WWI military timepiece has been fully serviced to ensure that it winds and sets smoothly while keeping accurate time. It is fitted on a new men’s length 14mm wide oil leather strap with fold-over ends and matching silver steel buckle, ready to be worn and enjoyed or made the new “prize” of your wristwatch collection. An investment-grade watch at a 10 cent opening offer – I hope I don’t regret selling this one!
- Since 1998, Holben's Fine Watches' goal has been happy customers. I treat buyers as I like to be treated: with courtesy and respect. I’m especially proud of my excellent response and high number of repeat clients. I’m a long-standing member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC), and have collected watches since I was a kid.
- Watch sizes: I provide exact measurements in millimeters (the watch industry standard) and inches, and include a U.S. quarter in photos as a size reference. Draw the measurements on paper to help visualize the watch on your wrist. Remember, men’s watches from the 1910s - 1960s were smaller than considered normal today.
- Buyers outside the United States with less than five response: Please introduce yourself via email PRIOR to offerding. Otherwise, your offer may be retracted.
- Note: The USPS has raised its fees for all services as of 1/27/20013 – including a 100% increase of first class international rates. I charge less than actual cost for fully insured, shipping with tracking – there are no handling or packing fees. Overall, I spent $1.22 for every $1 received for shipping costs in 2012 (source: Quick books data).
- U.S. winners pay $12.75 for fully insured, safely boxed USPS First-Class Mail shipping. Washington State residents (and those with shipping addresses in Washington State) add 8.6% sales tax.
- Canadian buyers pay $40 for EMS Global Express shipping and International buyers pay $55.00 for EMS Global Express Mail with tracking and insurance.
- International Buyers – Please Note: Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to offerding. While I ship within 24 hours of receiving payment but your local custom authorities can delay the delivery of your package. As such, it can take anywhere from 7 days to 30 days before final delivery is made.
- Payment is due within three days of sale end, unless you’ve contacted me prior to arrange otherwise. In accordance with policy, payments not received in four days will initiate an unpaid item case through the Resolution Center.
- In the rare event that a watch needs further service upon receipt, I ask that you return the wristwatch to me (or mailed to my watchmaker, David) at my expense. It will be corrected and quickly mailed back to you.
- If you like unique and collectible vintage or antique wristwatches, add holbensfinewatches to your Favorite Sellers. I specialize in American and Swiss timepieces from the 1900s – 1970s. My selection changes weekly, and is comprised of manual wind and automatic watches from the following categories: WWI trench; WWII; military; fancy case, art nouveau; art deco; mid-century modern; stainless steel; sterling silver; white, yellow and rose gold; solid gold; platinum; and diamond, ruby and/or sapphire ladies’ cocktail watches.
Our sister store, Holben's Fine Watch Bands, offers an extensive selection of straps including Bonetto Cinturini, deBeer, Di-Modell, Hadley-Roma, Hirsch and Staib; deployment clasps and buckles; metal bracelets; German military Bunds; UTC ballistic nylon G10; open-ended; James Bond striped, leather and woven NATOs; WWII canvas military; genuine and silicone rubber divers; carbon fiber; Kevlar; LORICA; Cordura; GT rally tropic perforated; alligator-, crocodile-, lizard-, ostrich-, shark- and buffalo-grain; chrono sport; riveted; waterproof / water resistant and woven/braided.
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