Van Cleef & Arpels Pocket Watch, ca. 1930
I brought a pocket watch-- it's wood and metal-- from Van Cleef & Arpels. I got it from my Great-Uncle Barney. And he and my Great-Aunt Tiny had a dry cleaning store in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, back in the 1930s and '40s. And they had several famous people as customers. One of them happened to be Josef von Sternberg, who was the director for most all of Marlene Dietrich's films. And so he went over to Europe on vacation one year, and came back with this pocket watch, which he gave to Uncle Barney. They did such a great job in their dry cleaning establishment that he was very appreciative and wanted to show them that, so...
This is really a great piece. The maker, Van Cleef & Arpels, was synonymous with Hollywood, with Hollywood jewels, with movie stars.
I didn't know that.
Van Cleef was a French company. They were represented here in the States. Their quality is phenomenal. Everything they made had a lot of thought and a lot of design. So this was done around the Art Deco period, early '30s, right around the age when Van Cleef was at its height. It's a manual-wind jeweled Swiss movement. In this configuration, as a man's pocket watch, I've never seen one. They're usually a ladies'... what we call a purse watch-- little mini watches that open and close that were for women. This was made for a man, and to see something like this in wood… well, they didn't survive very well. Retail on this watch would be about $4,000.
Oh, okay, awesome, awesome. That's very nice, yeah.
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