• Master
    27 Mar 2016, 10:47 a.m.

    The Titanic and the absolute top end of luxury it represented at the time, was
    for many an unobtainable dream. Very few, were able to live that dream - and
    sadly most that could, died living that dream, when the Titanic sank on it's
    maiden voyage.

    One of the few survivors and one of only 7 male passengers to make it out of
    the freezing waters was Mr. Henry Blank a 1st Class passenger and listed
    as a Jeweler by trade. He was 39 years of age at the time.


    In the Spring of 1912, Henry Blank travelled alone to Europe to conduct the
    customary dealings with watch movement manufacturers in Switzerland (he was
    the sole importer/distributor of IWC watches and movements into the USA) and
    stone dealers in Paris, Belgium and Amsterdam. This particular journey was
    devoted more toward business and Henry was bringing back very few pleasure
    items home with him.

    On his return home, Henry made reservations in Paris to embark on the maiden
    voyage of the Titanic. A man known for his taste in anything new and the
    latest in design, it would have been unnatural for him to turn down the
    opportunity of sailing on the world's largest and most luxurious ocean liner.

    Henry boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a first class passenger (ticket
    number 112277, £31, Cabin A-31).

    This post assumes the reader has read part Part #
    and [Part


    After I had discovered the initial 2 Cal. 77 movements (one in the Gold
    elaborately adorned Cresarrow pocket watch case, and the other a bare movement
    which had lost it's pendant case I contacted IWC in Schaffhausen, where Dr.
    Seyffer curator of the IWC Museum confirmed that indeed they were "twins" with
    both movements having been sold to Mr. Henry Blank - I was pleased to have
    both these movements reunited together again but as I wrote, simply felt that
    the 2nd movement needed to be cased.

    And so it was, that my journey began. My own dream to re-unite the "twins"
    in full glory!

    And so it was that I set about to have a manufacturing jeweler recreate a case
    on the lines of the original pendant watch. Now, this forum would not be the
    the watch forum on the internet if it was not for it's members - and Watch 77
    came to the rescue. After a face to face meeting in Switzerland, Ralph agreed
    to loan us his Cressarow pendant watch, so that my case maker / jeweler could
    manufacture a replica. It needed to be a replica, as unfortunately the
    Cressarrow manufacturing facility no longer exists.

    The pendant cased Cal.77 was stripped and the work began.

    Measuring Up: An renowned Dutch expert on measurements was called in....
    and was willing to assist.


    This is complicated stuff....

    Note the actual "height" of the main case. The Cal. 77 was manufactured by IWC
    to be only an unbelievable 4.3mm in height!





    The quality and the detail of Cressarow work is amazing.

    Note the jeweled Sapphire Crown.


    And the extreme amount of actual case workings - lips, ridges and grooves !


    A rough sketch is made


    And after 101 checks and rechecks (that happens in the lab - on a 100% flat
    hard marble measurement table with full digital and laser measurement
    equipment being used) - and only then is a professional Cad/Cam drawing

    Just how complicated is this case? Does it really have all those measurements?


    Off to manufacturing. But then the setup checks began (they have to program
    this all into a computerized milling machine.

    Unbelievable, but did we miss this measurement on the drawing (here in red)?.


    My case-maker in the UK (who is also a jeweler by trade) is perplexed by my
    instructions. Yes, I know the original has a solid gold case back.


    BUT YES - I REALLY DO WANT A GLASS CASE BACK on this job - I want to be
    able to show off that magnificent Cal. 77 at any time!

    Here, the new glass case back - temporary fitted with a normal Sternkreuz M338
    (that's 33.8mm) miconcave glass - where hopefully with some help from Heiko we
    will replace this with a flat AR coated lens to even better show off that
    magnificent Cal. 77.


    Then at the Collectors meeting in Schaffhausen some months later, I meet up
    with Ralph again, where thanks to support from RAVE (the UK Ralph) the
    original case is returned to Watch77 in Switzerland where Ralph then asks
    politely how the project is going. Ralph listens to all of this story, and
    clearly understands my passion - the fire driving the dream " These "twins"
    need to be re-united as 2 complete watches !

    And in an extraordinary gesture of IWC passion, watch friendship and some
    elaborate wheeling and dealing with pocket watches and monies and trilateral
    arrangements (with MF involved too!) more activities around the Twins and the
    Pendant watches is conducted.

    It's a long journey and one which I was happy to be at the helm of the ship,
    driving this project forward. But then, as was the case with the Titanic,
    myself and the crew, were surprised along the way too.

    However, unlike the Titanic this journey was completed and I am happy to
    announce that on last Saturday my watchmaker put the final touches to the
    project - assembling (after full service to all movements) the watches,
    polishing the cases and helping bring the ship safely home and not just two,
    but all the "children" safely reunited.

    So without further ado - I'm proud to show here the newest complete members of
    the family!

    The two pendant watches - side by side

    The one fitted with a glass case back

    A small GTG with the dizygotic twin

    Note the emerald crown as opposed to the sapphire (after all dizygotic twins
    are meant to be slightly different!)

    A Trio of Beauties

    The author wishes to thank all his friends involved on this journey, Watch77,
    Alan for help in securing the other twin, Bill for the transfer to the life
    boats, Rave for the expert handling around the cargo manifests, MF for
    facilitating as well as my friend Peter who painstakingly drew up the
    technical drawing of the case, my case-maker Mr. Adam Phillips of the UK, my
    watchmaker Mr. Jeroen Blonk of my local IWC AD, Tonny for jumping in at the
    last moment to help with bringing the life boats to shore - and of course Dr.
    David Seyffer for assistance with the archives.

    Finaly of course you all realise that not all dreams can come true - and there
    could even be up to 72 good reasons (or was that A or B choices) why some
    dreams are maybe not what they seem...but then, thats what is so great about
    this hobby! (And at least some of you will be looking forward to the next saga
    which will follow in due course.

    Last but not least I wish to confirm that no animals and/or watches were hurt
    or abused in this entire journey and let it be known, that all IWC movements
    are today fully housed in proper cases. No dial, case, part or case back was
    destroyed in the making!

  • Master
    28 Mar 2016, 8:55 a.m.

    This is still the best tale told here on the Forum Mark!

    Edit - WOW Mark, that is just an incerdible story of adventure, history, friendship, cooperation, determination and a taste for beauty - resulting is two fantastic timepieces with a spectacular history. Chapau my friend!

    PS! The best tale ever told on this forum just got even better:-)

  • 28 Mar 2016, 12:43 p.m.

    Mark, it is an honour to be a ( small ) part of this journey to reunite these twins. I admire your passion for these pocketwatches. I was fortunate to see some of these live and I must say that the quality is of the highest standard. Well done.

  • Master
    28 Mar 2016, 12:49 p.m.

    Mark has been kind enough to keep me up to date on his pursuit of history with these watches. I've told him many times that he is essentially a forensic watch pathologist. And this latest chapter just proves that to be true.
    If you read all three chapters of this story, surely you recognize these pieces are privileged to have been reunited in history and horological passion.
    Bravo Mark!

  • Master
    28 Mar 2016, 1:23 p.m.

    Well done Mark. IWC is lucky that there are dedicated and tenacious collectors like you. Looking forward to your next project.

  • Master
    28 Mar 2016, 1:40 p.m.

    What an incredible story! Your passion, forum fraternal cooperation and expert craftsmanship brought two pieces of IWC history back to a pristine state...to be admired by this excellent community. Congratulations, Mark and thanks for sharing this journey.

  • Master
    28 Mar 2016, 2:10 p.m.

    Wonderful project. Thanks for sharing the details here.

  • Master
    28 Mar 2016, 2:45 p.m.

    Incredible work, Mark!
    The reverse engineering of the case alone was no mean feat, and the history of it all is simply fascinating.
    I happen to know where the archives are stored for the Henry Blank Co & someday we shall visit them and rifle through the boxes and see what treasure we can find.
    Congratulations on the outcome and thanks for sharing this incredible adventure with us all!


  • Master
    28 Mar 2016, 3:33 p.m.

    Wow, what an amazing story! I somehow missed parts one and two so I was in for a good read and I'm still baffled by this entire project. Kudos to all involved and especially to Mark for being so persistent in getting it completed in the end.

    Congratulations on bringing so much history back to life and to share it here with us.

    Kind regards,


  • Connoisseur
    28 Mar 2016, 3:39 p.m.

    Fantastic set of posts! Congratulations, and thanks for the ride.


    Tony C.

  • Connoisseur
    28 Mar 2016, 4:55 p.m.

    What a great story and a happy ending.

  • Master
    28 Mar 2016, 5:47 p.m.

    Simply stunning PWs and an incredible story of history and perseverance by our friend Mark. I was surprised to find my name in the dialogue. After all, all I did was stick a small package in my luggage, but I am certainly amazed at the end result.

    Like Alan, Mark kept me informed with his progress. Part #3 is a long awaited completion of this phase of Mark's never ending journeys.

  • Master
    28 Mar 2016, 6:52 p.m.

    What an amazing fairytale and Happy Ending Mark.
    The journey has been amazing and your tenacity, resourcefulness and ingenuity is legendary.

  • Master
    29 Mar 2016, 8:35 a.m.

    The Watch Sherlock Holmes!

    Fantastic Mark,

  • Master
    29 Mar 2016, 5:35 p.m.

    The passion, tenacity and sheer brilliance of a very special collector is astounding. It was a privilege to play a small part in Mark's quest reunite the dizygotic twins. It's a fascinating tale.

  • Master
    29 Mar 2016, 5:55 p.m.

    Lucky or rather fortunate find.
    Skule is right it is the best tale ever.
    Mark I am very happy for you buddy.

  • Master
    30 Mar 2016, 7:42 a.m.

    Absolutely fantastic story Mark, a story that could only have been brought together by you! Thank you so much for sharing - hope to see these beautiful pieces in the flesh some day.

  • Connoisseur
    30 Mar 2016, 12:46 p.m.

    Beautiful watches and a mindblowing journey to achieve this!

  • Master
    30 Mar 2016, 9:25 p.m.

    Incredible story of determination.
    Well done Mark

  • Master
    22 Dec 2021, 11 p.m.

    It sure was a pleasure Clemr

  • Master
    22 May 2024, 2:11 a.m.

    What a fantastic story buried in the archives almost impossible to find. We need a search function!