My new baby Ball

Thread: My new baby Ball

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  1. #1
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    My new baby Ball

    There is a little shop I hit about once a month that usually has a few broken watches every time. I decided not to go this one day, and my wife went without me. About an hour later, she called and said "Get over here!!!" Figuring it must be good, I went.
    She had a small plastic bag of wristwatches, maybe 15 or so, and 4 pocket watches on the counter when I got there.
    Asking price is always very reasonable, and usually discounted for us, because we are there so often. The bag got knocked down to 10.00, and the highest pocket watch was 30.00.
    A quick glance at the stapled shut bag revealed a nice jeweled Waltham, an Omega, and various other nice old pieces.
    I opened the backs on the pocket watches, and the movement immediately fell out of the Ball onto the floor. :oops: Well, the second hand was gone already, and the balance staff was broken now for sure. I bought them all and went home to play.
    After a little research, it was decided by my wife and I to take them to the watchmaker to be repaired professionally.
    She replaced the plastic crystal on the Ball with a glass one, and repaired the broken staff and did all the other magic to make it run perfect. The case is not a Ball case.
    The Waltham wristwatch she just had to clean, and I elected not to restore the face, but keep it original. It runs very well too.
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    Last edited by Rip Tombstone; September 24th, 2008 at 06:11.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: My new baby Ball

    I love the Ball... I have never seen a multicolored logo on, I assume, an enameled face...
    "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: My new baby Ball

    That is the Order of Railway Conductors emblem. It is repeated on the gold medal on the movement. I cant find a lot of info on that tho.

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  5. #4
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: My new baby Ball

    Thanks for posting. I think the serial number is 211XXX which means it's a Ball-Waltham from 1907 or so. Looks like a 16S. Might be a good idea to post in the Ball forum here as they may have more info on the Ball Vintage stuff.

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

  6. #5
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    Re: My new baby Ball

    I read a previous post on pockets there in the Ball forum, and that person got referred to somewhere else as they were a wristwatch group. Oh well.
    The watch lady did confirm it as 1907.
    From what I can tell from the price guide, the ORC or any other like monogram on these watches is quite a premium. I have only been able to find one other online, and it was on Ebay and the reserve didnt get met.


    The wristwatch was 1937 if I remember right.

    DM

  7. #6
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: My new baby Ball

    Well we know pocket watches here so no problem. I would have thought the Ball Co. would know its own history but...
    If you get the serial number off the Waltham wristwatch movement we can ID that for you as well.
    We don't give valuations here but you do have a pretty nice watch there. If you can quote me its serial number I can certainly verify who Ball's sub-contractor was. I think it's Waltham though.

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

  8. #7
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    Re: My new baby Ball

    Nice dial on that Ball that one brand of railroad watch that I don't have in my collection when I was new to collecting watches I went to a nawcc mart up in Reno Nevada I passed on one I regret it.It had a white gold case with that stirup bow real nice and they go for 400.00 more than the price I could of got it for.I thought the price was a little high little did I know it was a deal I will get a Ball one of these days Nice watch you got there.

  9. #8
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    Re: My new baby Ball

    Yes, Ray its definately a Waltham made Ball. Heres the numbers.
    Waltham Wristwatch 17J SN# 29538798
    Ball-Waltham 16S 19J SN# B211223

    My watchmaker had it for a little over a month before I could get back, and she said it was running more accurately than a quartz. Lost like 1/10th of a sec is all. Very accurate. She seemed a little amazed. DM

  10. #9
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: My new baby Ball

    The wristwatch :
    17 jewels grade 737 Model 7.25-L rectangular movement made 1935.

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

  11. #10
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: My new baby Ball

    Hi -

    The railroad-certified movements are arguably the finest mechanical movements ever made, and while they lack many modern refinements - shock protection for one - the workmanship is absolutely second to none. Only the most refined Swiss watches of today come close to the workmanship and quality.

    To build such a watch today would be virtually impossible due to the price of labor and the fact that if you need such extremely high precision, you can use a high-end quartz movement for a fraction of the cost.

    The reason such watches would be so expensive today is the cost of labor: you take a very well-designed movement and have a master watchmaker work on the movement until it reaches the desired accuracy. This may entail 10+ disassembly/assembly cycles with modifications, testing, etc., and a watchmaker would normally spend several weeks doing this until the watch met the railroad specifications. The only watch movements that are similar in terms of time-keeping abilities would be marine chronometers, and for a Hamilton marine chronometer in excellent condition you're talking serious money (like $5k plus) and it's not something you can really contemplate wearing, even as a pocket watch (they're mounted on gimbals in a wooden box to insulate them from movement shocks and to keep gravity constant).

    Lovely, lovely piece. The finishing on the movement is outstanding and the multicolor logo - to die for.

    JohnF
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