Great forum! I have a pocket watch I'd love to learn more about!

Thread: Great forum! I have a pocket watch I'd love to learn more about!

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Great forum! I have a pocket watch I'd love to learn more about!

    [ROW]
    Hello, I received a pocket watch that belonged to my great-great-grandfather, William Shemwell Parran. I was able to open both sides (it opens in the front and back. A third opening at the back houses the movement. I'm ashamed to say I know nothing about pocket watches, and would love some advice on how best to take care of this one. It is engraved with 14K on both sides, and has some very detailed (curvy) writing on one side, which I'm guessing are Will's initials. The other side has the same scroll-type writing, which reads "1892." The watch is not marred in anyway (it had been stored lovingly in a box and forgotten about for about the last 70+ years). The inside reads "A.W.W. Co. Riverside Waltham, Mass. Adjusted, safety pinion. 4268221. I wasn't expecting it to tick, but I wound it slightly and discovered that it runs like a champ. I wondered if there is any significance to the numbers (serial number?) on the inside of the watch? Any illuminating thoughts would be appreciated. I took some pictures, and will upload them to my computer in a day or two. Thanks!
    [/ROW]

  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Great forum! I have a pocket watch I'd love to learn more about!

    In the absence of a photo I have checked the Waltham serial number database online and I think you have a 16S Model 1872 Riverside from 1889. It sounds like you have a hunter case model from your description.
    The serial number on the movement is very useful in identifying American watches because records were meticulously kept.
    Please take your watch in to a good watchmaker for service. You should not run a 120 year old watch dry as you think it probably hasn't been serviced in 70 years. A pocket watch should be cleaned and oiled every 5-10 years depending on usage. If you run the watch dry you'll destroy it in short order and you don't want to do that with a family heirloom.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  3. #3

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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Great forum! I have a pocket watch I'd love to learn more about!

    Thank you, Ray. We siblings and cousins are the happy beneficiaries of a large collection of old pocket watches held by my father, and your advice will be invaluable, I believe, in keeping the pieces in their best possible condition, considering their age, and my relative ignorance about pocket types. It wouldn't have occured to me not to wind the watch to hear if it still worked. Now, until I can get to a watchmaker...fingers off!! :) Here are some pictures I took last night. I'm finding my way around a new fangled camera, so fear quality in lighting/composition is lacking. Thanks again for your reply.







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  5. #4
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Great forum! I have a pocket watch I'd love to learn more about!

    Yes it definitely is a Riverside Model 1872 hunter case. This is a very fine quality business man's watch from the late 19th century.
    A railroader at that time would have had an 18S model- a bit bigger and in an open face case. This one is just about railroad grade though. A bank president or senior bureaucrat's watch. It'll keep time beautifully if cleaned and adjusted.
    It's a lovely piece and thanks for posting.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Re: Great forum! I have a pocket watch I'd love to learn more about!

    That's terrific news. I'll have to ask my dad about its history when I next see him. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge about this watch! Susan

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