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David Spicer Watches


Brand: Borgel
Model: N/A
Reference: N/A
Date: 1918
Movement: Hand Wound
Calibre: N/A
Jewels: N/A
Power Reserve: N/A
Case Material: N/A
Case Diameter: N/A
Case Thickness: N/A
Lug to Lug: N/A
Lug Width: N/A
Crystal: Acrylic
Weight: N/A
Water Resistance: N/A
Bracelet Material: Leather
Functions: N/A
Original Box & Paper: N/A

The Borgel Watch Case Company of Geneva

Best known in the form of the Borgel officer’s watch or Borgel trench watch, so called because they came into popular use during the Great War (The First World War or WW1), when many Borgel wristwatches were bought by officers and used in the trenches at the front, Borgel watches have a history that stretches back into the nineteenth century when in Geneva, Switzerland, a young François Borgel started a business making watch cases. He patented the eponymous Borgel watch case in 1891, making at first pocket watch cases and then later wristwatch cases as the fashion changed from carrying pocket watches to wearing wristwatches.

François Borgel was a talented inventor and successful businessman, and the business he created was to grow into one of the most important Swiss watch case manufacturers. Early adopters of the Borgel screw case included Longines and the International Watch Co. (IWC). After François Borgel’s death in 1912 the business was carried on by his daughter Louisa. Louisa Borgel sold the business in 1924 to the Taubert family of Le Locle, who carried it on until the 1970s supplying many watch manufacturers including the illustrious Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.

There used to be a great deal of misinformation concerning the history of Borgel watches and the development of the waterproof watch case, such as the suggestion that one Francis Baumgartner made cases based on the Borgel patent, and was involved in the design and development of waterproof cases culminating in the Rolex Oyster. Francis Baumgartner is in fact a chimera: no watch case maker of this name ever existed. The name arose because two real Geneva case makers, François Borgel (FB) and Frédéric Baumgartner (also FB) had the same initials and the two identities became conflated, in the process turning “François” into the Anglicised “Francis”. A further source of confusion is that after the business had been sold the Taubert family they continued to use François Borgel’s famous trademark.

Work Required
Watch works, cannot set hands. Need to strip the keyless works and find out the issue. May just need cleaning and oiling. The rest of the watch is in very good condition.