Monday, December 4, 2017

Geneva Roots of the Watchmaker Patek Philippe

A Northern California businessman who guides Heritage Management Services, Inc., Craig Duling has a longstanding interest in vintage timepieces. As a testament to his work as antiquarian horologist, Craig Duling maintains the website, which offers a full range of resources on timepieces of distinction.

Featured are the unparalleled creations of Patek Philippe, which originate in the work of Polish migrants Antoni Patek and Franciszek Czapek, who created a pocket watch company in Geneva in 1839. After parting ways with Czapek in 1844, Patek teamed up with keyless winding mechanism pioneer Adrien Philippe, with Patek Philippe & Co. established in 1851. 

In 1868, Patek Philippe created its first wristwatch, with innovative components, such as a split-seconds hand, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and chronograph, added in quick succession. The company has been under the ownership of the Stern family for the past 75 years and produces an average of 40,000 timepieces each year. One distinction of the company is that it produces its full range of watch components in house, which enables the highest levels of quality control. Timepieces manufactured as late as the 1960s regularly fetch more than $1 million at auction.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Five Indicators of a Fake Rolex Submariner

Craig Duling

A watch collector based in California, Craig Duling shares his knowledge about antique pocket watches on his website, Craig Duling also offers information on how to differentiate between a fake Rolex watch and an authentic specimen. The following list covers some of the basic ways of recognizing a fake Submariner Rolex.

1. Hands that rotate counterclockwise. If you set the time and rotate the winding stem clockwise, the hands will also rotate clockwise on a real Rolex. Hands that rotate the opposite direction of the winding indicate you own a fake Rolex.

2. Rolex crown symbol. Rolex began mirco-etching the brand’s symbol beneath the 6 o’clock position on the underside of the crystal. The symbol is almost impossible to see with the naked eye on an authentic Submariner and requires the use of a magnifying glass and a near perfect positioning to view. Manufacturers of fake Rolexes may put the crown symbol in plain view to reinforce the association.

3. Multi-colored illumination. The hands, hour markers, and dot in the bezel triangle on a Rolex Submariner illuminate as teal in the dark. You can check the authenticity of your Submariner by holding the watch under a light for a few moments, then bringing it into a dark room. Manufacturers of fake Rolexes often use cheap materials, which can illuminate in a variety of colors.

4. Caseback window. An authentic Rolex does not feature a window on the caseback that allows you to see inside the watch, so do not be fooled by this feature. Additionally, many fake manufacturers will engrave the Rolex name and crown logo on the caseback.

5. Fake sapphire crystal. The Submariner features a transparent sapphire crystal over the face of the watch. You can confirm the presence of a sapphire crystal by dripping a single drop of water in the center. If the drop remains in place and keeps it shape, then it is sapphire.

For more tips from Mr. Duling, click here.                       

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The 2017 Ward Francillon Time Symposium

Craig Duling serves as chairman of the board of Heritage Management Services, but he also enjoys collecting rare timepieces, which he writes about on his website In addition to sharing his knowledge about watches, Craig Duling is a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC).

For the past 30 years, the NAWCC has hosted the Ward Francillon Time Symposium, an annual educational conference in which its 12,000 members are able to gain further knowledge in the field and meet with fellow horologists. The 2017 conference is being held at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts in October with the theme of horology in art. Since the advent of mechanical timekeeping in the 13th century, watches and clocks have been prominently featured in the works of artists such as Jacques-Louis David and Salvador Dali. Many of these pieces will be on display throughout the conference, while numerous art curators and professors will present lectures on the subject.

The conference begins on October 26 with a welcome followed by free-of-charge museum tours. Guest speakers throughout the three-day event include Dennis Carr, Donald Saff, Philippe Bordes, and Louise Cooling, while lectures feature subjects such as "Ancient Egypt: Keeping time in a timeless society," and "The significance of clocks in French portraits from Boucher to David." The program concludes with a reception and dinner on October 28.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Factors that Affect the Value of a Pocketwatch

Craig Duling is an expert in rare timepieces who currently applies his knowledge as an antiquarian horologist as the owner of A former missile and space engineer, Craig Duling has extensive experience in the assessment and evaluation of pocket watches

The assessment and valuation of pocket watches, particularly vintage models, is extremely complex due to the wide variety of designs, styles, dates of production, and components. Identification, which requires the age and manufacturer to be pinpointed, is often a first step. Quality is also an important factor. The number of jewels, finish quality, and the materials used can be used to grade the quality of a watch.

In addition to the overall quality of the watch, the visual appearance and working condition are also factors that impact value. For example, water damage, cracks, or other damage can impact the internal functions and appearance of a pocket watch. Alternatively, unique features such as an uncommon effacement or diamond accessories, and the rarity of the watch can enhance value.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Development of the American Railroad Pocket Watch

An entrepreneurial leader, Craig Duling guides Heritage Management Services, Inc., and has contributed extensively to his local community. Away from work, Craig Duling has a passion for antique timepieces and maintains a blog in which he provides information oriented toward investment-grade pocket watch collectors.

Of particular interest to American collectors are railroad pocket watches, which were standard issue for conductors from the 1820s, when railroad travel emerged. Brakemen, enginemen, and yard foremen were also required to carry these pocket watches, for which railroad-grade guidelines were developed in 1893. 

The timepiece was of critical importance prior to the invention of the telegraph in the 1840s, as trains often shared a single track in opposite directions, and communication while in transit was not possible. Timetables emerged to ensure that trains did not collide and were kept on the most efficient schedule possible. Unified standards for the watches came into being after a fatal head-on collision in which a faulty watch, which started and stopped, thus losing four minutes, was the culprit.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Uses of Jewels within Timepieces

Craig Duling is a California entrepreneur who serves as CEO of Heritage Management Services, Inc. In terms of hobbies, he has a longstanding interest in collecting antique pocket watches. On his blog site Heritage Pocket Watch, Craig Duling features a wealth of information on vintage and collectible timepieces and archives rare pieces for the sake of historic documentation.

One article on the site explains the non-decorative use of jewels to eliminate friction in watch movements to the maximum extent possible. Smooth and hard, faux rubies used for this purpose are made from ammonia and aluminum, and put through a variety of heat and chemical processes, ultimately resulting in what is known as a boule. The boule then undergoes as many as 50 additional cuts and processes, which ensures that it is as hard and smooth as possible. 

These jewels have a variety of cuts and uses, with timepieces of higher quality often featuring a 17 or more of them throughout the watch mechanism. One key advantage they provide is in enabling the mainspring to be designed in as efficient a manner as possible, which boosts the running times.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors – Craft Competition

An avid collector of pocket watches, Craig Duling serves as the creator of His website allows him to share his interest in timepieces and educate the public about the rich history of clocks and watches. Additionally, Craig Duling is a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). 

The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors is dedicated to the art and science of timekeeping. Its members work to preserve timepieces and their heritage, provide timepiece education, and pay respect to the long-held tradition of creating mechanical clocks and pocket watches. 

Each year, the NAWCC hosts a national convention in order to celebrate timepieces and the people who love them. Attendees can view and learn more about a wide range of clocks and other horological items at this exciting event.

The convention also features a Crafts Competition, an event for the artists who build, restore, and decorate timepieces. This contest includes 27 categories that cover everything from clock movements to cosmetic details like gold leafing. There is also a special People's Choice Award, that honors attendees favorite timepiece each year.