SALE

2.0381 SEARS for Philadelphia Lodge Police Masonic watch, Automatic, Swiss 1970s

£330.00 (incl. VAT) £297.00 (incl. VAT)

A highly individual piece with some compromising history associated with it. This Fraternal Order of Police Swiss-made automatic watch from the 1970’s appears to have been given to members of an active United States law enforcement union. There is some unusual Masonic imagery on the dial that forms the identifying insignia of the FOP. Beyond these idiosyncratic details, this is a robust timepiece with an automatic movement boasting a 44hr power reserve and desirable quickset date feature.

SKU: 20381 Category: Tags: , , , ,

Key Features

This rare find comes from a collection where it has been in storage for decades, which explains its almost immaculate condition today. The gold-plated case is almost completely free of any sort of tarnishing, there’s a nice sunburst brushing on the front facet. The dial is in equally impressive condition, sporting a silver tone sunburst finish with the masonic F.O.P. insignia printed in high quality below the 12 position, and a slightly askew printed ‘Philadelphia Lodge No. 5’ above the 3.

The movement is of notable quality. A 17 jewel AS 1913 calibre movement, it can hold 44 hours of power on a single wind, and features a desirable quickset date mechanism which can be operated by pressing the winding crown. There exists an alternative of this movement that has a ‘flash seconds’ module, a rapidly rotating pair of ‘flags’ that, when viewed through an optional round hole in the dial, gives the effect of a flashing LED. An example of this mechanism at work is in the Mondia Top Second automatic watch.

About Sears-Roebuck Co Watches USA

Sears-Roebuck was the partnership of American entrepreneur Richard Warren Sears (1863-1913) and American watchmaker Alvah Curtis Roebuck (1864-1948). Sears was a railroad agent who caught wind of a pocket watch wholesaler who would ‘scam’ jewellers by leaving a crate of watches at their door, and later send a telegram claiming it was an accident, suggesting they purchase the stock for a discounted rate. Sears got involved and sold the watches himself, later seeing great success in this venture, so much so that he was saddled with dozens of repair and service jobs that he could not fulfil. Roebuck was a self-taught watchmaker who responded to the advert Sears put out seeking an experience watchmaker to handle his service jobs, and the rest is history!

About the F.O.P.

The Fraternal Order of Police is an organisation of US police officers that reports a membership of over 355,000 members in 2,100 local chapters (lodges). Founded in 1915, the FOP is often described as one of the largest police unions in the USA, participating in activism and lobbying that serve the interests of United States law enforcement. The symbolism, practices and terminology (lodge, handshakes, passwords) associated with the FOP share a lot in common with Masonic organisations. This is particularly obvious in the flag of the FOP, which is explained in detail on their website:

“The five-cornered star tends to remind us of the allegiance we owe to our Flag and is a symbol of the authority with which we are entrusted. It is an honor the people we serve bestow upon us. They place their confidence and trust in us; serve them proudly.

Midway between the points and center of the star is a blue field representative of the thin blue line protecting those we serve. The points are of gold, which indicates the position under which we are now serving. The background is white, the unstained color representing the purity with which we should serve. We shall not let anything corrupt be injected into our order. Therefore, our colors are blue, gold and white.

The open eye is the eye of vigilance ever looking for danger and protecting all those under its care while they sleep or while awake. The clasped hands denote friendship. The hand of friendship is always extended to those in need of our comfort.

The circle surrounding the star midway indicates our never ending efforts to promote the welfare and advancement of this order. Within the half circle over the centerpiece is our motto, “Jus, Fidus, Libertatum” which translated means “Law Is a Safeguard of Freedom.”

If the sentence referring to the colour white as “the unstained color representing the purity with which we should serve” makes one’s eyes narrow, this discomfort is not unfounded. Indeed, the fraternity appears to have strong right-wing values and has been involved in controversies that suggest association with active white supremacist groups. Some other facts about the FOP that have caught the public’s attention are the explicit endorsement of Donald Trump’s presidency, vehement opposition of vaccine requirements for police officers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and lobbying the US government for the recognition of crimes against police officers as hate crimes.

Servicing and Guarantee

This timepiece has been serviced with full disassembly in our Bristol workshop. There is a 6-month guarantee, subject to the usage and care guidelines.

Overview

Case and Strap

  • Gold plated tonneau shaped case body.
  • Sunburst brushing on front facet.
  • Stainless steel screw-down caseback.
  • Acrylic crystal.
  • Original gold plated winding crown.
  • Splashproof/weatherproof.

Dimensions:

  • Width w/o crown: 34.5mm
  • Width w/ crown: 38mm
  • Height: 42mm
  • Thickness: 11mm
  • Strap: 19mm

Dial and Hands

  • Silver-tone sunburst dial.
  • Fraternal Order of Police insignia stamped under 12 position.
  • Signed  ‘Philadelphia Lodge No. 5’ above 3 position.
  • Gold tone indices, Arabic numerals at 12 and 6.
  • Date indicator at 3 position.

Movement

  • Swiss made movement.
  • AS 1913 calibre
  • Automatic.
  • 17 jewels.
  • 44hr power reserve.
  • Quickset date.

Servicing and Guarantee

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