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In fact, the apparently huge variety of Swiss watches is explained by this phenomenon: once the basic layout in a round movement of the barrel, train wheels, escapement and balance was arrived at, there was little scope, let alone need, to change it.

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If you have any knowledge about this, please let me know.

Once this system had been introduced it was quickly taken up by other manufacturers.

Movements from the 1920s or earlier, with cover plates that don't have integrated detent springs, don't generally appear in the Bestfit or similar books and are therefore harder to identify. The first step in identifying a movement is to determine its size in lignes.

The cover plates are often just as unique, it's just that by the time the Bestfit books were introduced, watches with such movements were considered "obsolete". The image here from the "Official Catalogue of Swiss Watch Repair Parts" issued by the Watchmakers of Switzerland in 1948 shows how movements are measured for diameter D and height H.

By the time the Bestfit and other similar movement identification books were introduced, which seems to have begun in the 1940s, most of the watches current at that time had cover plates with integral detent springs.

The fingerprints in the Bestfit book can be used to easily identify these movements.

To see a clear example of this look at the section below about Eterna movements customised for Stauffer & Co.

Compare the bridge shapes shown in Jobin for the Eterna movements and those seen on Stauffer branded Eterna movements.

The movements are definitively identified as Eterna by their keyless work, but their top plates are different from those shown in Jobin.

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