American Waltham 1877 - information please

Thread: American Waltham 1877 - information please

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  1. #1
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    American Waltham 1877 - information please

    I have an American Waltham Pocket Watch and would like to know more about it.

    The watch is in an 18K gold (solid I believe) hunting case, with designs on both sides.

    The serial number on the movement is 1,091,445 which dates it at 1877 as far as I can tell.
    I’m not sure how many jewels are used in the watch. The watch does work, but there are 2 areas of concern regarding the crystal and the big hand hand. The big hand appears to be slightly bent, and the crystal has a hairline crack in the center.
    I have attached a few pictures of the watch.

    I would appreciate ANY feedback on the piece, such as "is it rare?" "was it in fact made in 1877?" "how many jewels does it have?" "what is the size?"

    I recieved it from my Grandfather's estate when he passed, and look forward to passing it along to my own children someday.

    Thanks for your time!
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    Last edited by mcb2197; December 15th, 2010 at 09:50.

  2. #2
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: American Waltham 1877 - information please

    Hi. That's a fine looking watch. I know little about pocket watches, but there are plenty of folks who do who will stop by in due course. I know 'Riverside' was a high grade though. Please note that we do not attempt valuations in here.

    Cheers.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

  3. #3
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    Re: American Waltham 1877 - information please

    Thank you for the comment, and I can understand why you would not want to attempt to place a value on it. I suppose the value is not important to me anyways, as far as I am concerned it is priceless. It belonged to my Grandfather, and I hope to pass it on to my own son. I'd really just like to know as much as possible about it. Thanks agian!

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  5. #4
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: American Waltham 1877 - information please

    Hi, looks like a cracker of a watch!

    Your watch is a WALTHAM...MODEL 1873.

    It was MADE IN...1877.

    It is an EIGHT-SIZE watch. That would make it a woman's watch. A man's watch has to be 12-size or higher.

    11-13 Jewels.

    That information is according to the online Waltham serial-number database and the serial-number that you provided.

    By the way - In the first photograh - Your watch-chain is on the wrong way around. The teardrop clip goes around the watch-bow, not the ring-clip.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

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    Re: American Waltham 1877 - information please

    Thanks so much for the info!

  7. #6
    Member Chris Hughes's Avatar
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    Re: American Waltham 1877 - information please

    Cool Waltham. Thanks for sharing. Yes, it's a lady's watch. These were usually worn on a chain around the neck. Waltham made a lot of the 1873 grade in 8 size, so it's not especially rare, but yours looks like a particularly clean example. If you're going to run it, even casually, you should have it cleaned and oiled by a qualified serviceman first. Running vintage pocket watches without servicing them first can damage them.

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    Re: American Waltham 1877 - information please

    I noticed a small crack in the crystal, and then noticed the crystal was actually made of plasitc. Is this common?

  9. #8
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: American Waltham 1877 - information please

    At that age I guess glass would have been more common. But this article from 1910:

    CELLULOID WATCH CRYSTALS. - Many Advantages Alleged for Latest Substitute for Glass. - View Article - NYTimes.com

    discusses the use of celluloid crystals and refers to their use for 25 years' or so. Acrylic crystals, on the market from 1933, were often preferred to glass for safety reasons. It could be that your watch started out with a glass crystal and had an acrylic replacement at some time.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

  10. #9
    Member Chris Hughes's Avatar
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    Re: American Waltham 1877 - information please

    Yes, "plastic" crystals have been around for a long time. New plastic crystals are fine to place on a vintage watch because they're made of materials that don't throw off any harmful vapors, but if you have a plastic crystal on it that predates the 80s, you should have it replaced with either glass or modern plastic. Otherwise you risk doing damage to the face, hands and even the movement.

  11. #10
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: American Waltham 1877 - information please

    Some trivia for you; it's actually not an "American Waltham"...in 1878 they were still the "American Watch Company. They didn't change their name to "American Waltham" until 1885. According to the database, this watch is an 11 jewel model; one of a run of 600 made between August and November, 1878. They made close to 9000 of this specfic model between 1874 and 1879, another 29,000 Riverside models with different configurations, and around 500,000 1873's total. In its original solid gold case, this is actually a fairly desirable watch (at least, relative to your average ladies pocket watch from that era).
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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