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Reproduction of Quartz watchcase for Cartier pocketwatch

This is a Cartier 18kt gold gentleman's dress pocket watch which was made in Paris, circa 1920. The case which housed the movement was made from a solid piece of rock crystal Quartz which had been faceted and machined to accept the movement.

The jeweler sent it to me to see if I could reproduce it. This is the most difficult single cutting job I ever did.

Photo of octagonal Quartz watch case which is broken

Broken Quartz watchcase

This photo shows the original broken watch case.

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The jeweler who was having the repair work done learned that only a very small number of these watches had been made in the Cartier shop. He was told that the quartz case may have been made using specially designed tools for the project which are no longer available.

Side view of the same octagonal Quartz watch case which is broken

Side view showing groove

This photo shows an inset rim or groove into which a slip ring was inserted from the top. The slip ring was compressed smaller and then released inside the groove.

The movement was then to be dropped into place inside and on top of the slip ring. The slip ring had 6 places to accept screws. The movement was then screwed to the slip ring which held the movement in place.

This concave groove needed to be perfectly round and of exact tolerances and contour for the slip ring to fit. If the groove was too small, the ring would not fully open after being inserted. If the groove was too wide, the ring would expand too wide.

The new piece also needed 3 drill holes from the outer edge to the inner edge. One for the stem to pass through and two for the brackets of the bail over the stem.

The outer dimensions of the watch case measures 1 3/4" x 1 3/4". The thickness of the quartz is 4.0 mm and the thinnest part in the center is .9 mm.

The back of the watch case acts as a quartz window through which the inner mechanical workings of the movement can be viewed. I wish I had a picture of that, it was impressive.

Finished pocketwatch with the movment mounted into the octagonal carved Quartz watch case.

Finished Cartier pocketwatch with
new Quartz watchcase.

This photo shows the watch with the movement in place and the faceted surfaces of the rock crystal showing around the outside edges of the pocket watch.

The watch was auctioned at Sotheby's in 1992.

→  Take me back to examples of Antique watch pieces we have Restored parts for in gem materials


Denton Anderson,
Gemologist & Gem Cutter
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Photo of Denton the gem cutter.

Graduate Gemologist, GIA, GG
Over 20 years of experience.