Battered silver pocket watch found in Australian creek

Hello everyone,
I’m new to this forum and looking for help to identify the front cover of what I believe is a silver pocket watch I found in a creek here in Queensland, Australia.

I live in an area that has been mining Sapphires since the late 1800’s. We have had rain recently and our local creek is flowing. I was looking around for rock treasures this afternoon and came across an extremely battered piece of silver/metal from what I presumed was a pocket watch.

The hallmarks are very hard to make out but i can see a number 19, JJ and CF. At the bottom the numbers seem to be 17698.

I’m so curious and would love to know whether it is a modern piece or something left behind from Sapphire miners in our area from as early as 1875.

Thank you, any help is appreciated!

There is a nice clear uncrowned leopard’s head mark showing that the case was assayed in London. Although there is no obvious lion passant, the sterling silver guarantee, I have no doubt that the case is silver. There are 2 sponsor’s marks. CF was probably applied by the watchmaker as it is not a registered sponsor’s mark. JJ is James Jackson who registered this mark in 1851 and again in 1865. He registered a different mark (JJ in a rectangular shape) in 1870 so it is very likely that this dates from the early prospecting period which you mention.

Somewhere under the discolourations there may be a date letter which would confirm the exact assay date but you may wish to leave it as-is as a sign of its history.


Thank you for all of this info! I really appreciate it. Its such a special find.