Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

Thread: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

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  1. #1
    Member watch origins's Avatar
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    Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    Friend bought this was hoping we could help. Name:  DSC03124.JPG
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Size:  235.6 KB As far as I can find it is not an official Railroad Watch. I am curious is it a fake. The age of the watch seems genuine. The detail is very good. All the parts are stamped A.

    21 Jewels Railway Time Keeper

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    Looks to me like this is the remains of a parted out watch. How is it known this dial goes with this movement base? The dial looks way too modern to me...
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
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    Re: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    Looks like a dial, a barrel bridge, and the top plate. No bottom plate, no barrel, no wheels, etc.

    IIRC, the regulations required that all American Railroad Watches all had Arabic numerals, not Roman. Also, it seems to have an off-center center wheel. I'm thinking fake, and only part of it at that.

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  5. #4
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    Gene; that was only true in the states (Candian railways allowed roman numerals) and it was only a guideline. These parts are designed to mimic the design of the early Waltham and Elgin full-plate watches that comprised the bulk of "railroad grade" watches in the late part of the 1800's. I'm not sure how they got to "21 jewels" since I don't see any cap jewels, and I dont' think the even the center wheel is jeweled.

    This was likely part of a "swiss fake". These were watches that were commonly sold through mail order newspaper ads; the low-resolution of the images in these ads meant that they could get away with selling a watch that "looked" like the real thing. The image of a train on the dial is reminiscent of some of the dials found on Columbus "Railway King" watches.
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  6. #5
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    ... The image of a train on the dial is reminiscent of some of the dials found on Columbus "Railway King" watches.
    I thought the image very cartoonish when compared the the Columbus watches. But they are similar.

    When did 21 jewels become common for railroad grade watches? I thought 21 jewels were relatively rare until the 20th century.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  7. #6
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    Quote Originally Posted by watch origins View Post
    Friend bought this was hoping we could help. Name:  DSC03124.JPG
Views: 1240
Size:  1.32 MBName:  DSC03125.JPG
Views: 856
Size:  183.7 KBName:  DSC03127.JPG
Views: 757
Size:  235.6 KB As far as I can find it is not an official Railroad Watch. I am curious is it a fake. The age of the watch seems genuine. The detail is very good. All the parts are stamped A.

    21 Jewels Railway Time Keeper
    Why fake? It doesn't claim to be a US Railroad Grade watch or anything like that. In fact the word "Railway" suggests that it was not intended for the North American market.

    Most of the world's railways have had timekeeping standards, but few have been as rigorous (or as famous) as the US standard, although I'm sure countries like Canada and Australia which also had long stretches of single track also needed highly accurate timekeeping.

    Anyway, back in the 19th century, railway-themed watches fulfilled a similar niche to aerospace-themed watches today. I wouldn't call a Poljot Aviator watch a 'fake' just because it was not official-issue to an airforce.
    Chascomm
    Moderator, Russian Watches & Chinese Mechanical Watches Forums
    (no, I am not going to list all my watches here)

  8. #7
    Member Chris Hughes's Avatar
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    Re: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    The use of the word railway in no way implies it was destined for a marker outside of the US. In point of fact, the Hampden company trademarked the word railway back in the early 20th century, so that word was used on many railroad grade watches. Also, roman numerals were allowed on many American roads in the infancy of the railroad watch era. Arabic became the standard later. Even some hunters were allowed early on. The field of railroad standards is an inexact science. There was never a single standard most roads developed their own and refined them relatively frequently.

    I've seen dials like that before, always on inferior Swiss imports looking to turn a buck on the railroad watch trend that dominated the American watch market for decades.

    Edit: those plates look Swiss to me as well. I think what you have is the remains of a cheap Swiss import.
    Last edited by Chris Hughes; December 17th, 2010 at 07:11.

  9. #8
    Member Chris Hughes's Avatar
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    Re: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    I thought the image very cartoonish when compared the the Columbus watches. But they are similar.

    When did 21 jewels become common for railroad grade watches? I thought 21 jewels were relatively rare until the 20th century.
    15 jewels were the standard for quite some time. Jewel count started to go up when Hampden started offering up jeweled watches to distinguish their watches from the rest of the field.

  10. #9
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    The earliest record I can find of a 21j Waltham Vanguard was in 1894; the first 21j Crescent Street shows up in 1897. There was also a rubn of 100 AWCo grade 1888's that were made starting in 1893, but they only made 100 of those. Of course, this only lists the factory finishing of the runs; there could well have been special orders made earlier (I believe that Ball watches were typically finished by Ball, and often vary from the factory specs). Waltham, even then, tended to sit slightly behind the curve, so they would likely have been responding to one of the other watch companies.
    Last edited by AbslomRob; December 17th, 2010 at 16:52.
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    Re: Ladies & Gentalman Please "Railway Time Keeper"

    I was going through some of my belongings that were left to me by my grandfather. He would buy a lot of things from flea markets and yard sales and my mom found this watch in a box of things of his and she gave it to me. I would really like to find out if it has any value. I took some additional pictures of this watch and some of its gears in hopes that it will help. Thanks.




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