Need Help on ID

Thread: Need Help on ID

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  1. #1
    Member Buffalo Bill's Avatar
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    Question Need Help on ID

    This watch belonged to my Great Uncle who was an engineer for the New York Central RR. It came to me in a Bunn Special box but it is a Ball Cleveland.
    The serial number on the movement is B648300. It has 23 jewels. It has blue hands and black numbers.
    Is it just in the wrong case or is there a link between Bunn and Ball? Also does 17, 18, refer to size? If so can someone tell me what size this watch is?
    Any info or insights will be appreciated.
    Thanks an best regards,
    Bill
    Here are some pix:





  2. #2
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    Re: Need Help on ID

    First, the box and watch don't belong together.

    Your 16 size watch is a Ball 998 made for Ball by Hamilton in the 1938-1940 time frame (probably 1938). The watch is based on the Hamilton 950 with an Elinvar hairspring. The Hamilton 950 was their highest level watch during this era. Your watch is a very desirable sought-after collectable.

    Ball was a Cleveland jeweler famous for setting up RR time standards. He did not manufacture his own watch movements, but assembled his watches using distinctive plate designs on movements made for him by most major American watch manufacturers such as Hamilton, Elgin, Waltham, Illinois and Hampden. Ball also utilized Swiss movements at the end of RR pocket watch production. These movements were cased in specially marked Ball cases with distinctive bows.

  3. #3
    Member Buffalo Bill's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help on ID

    Hi Ron,
    Thanks so much for the info. One more question. I plan on getting the watch serviced should I also have it polished?
    Regards,
    Bill

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  5. #4
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help on ID

    Hi Bill,

    You look like you have a very nice 1930s railroad watch there. Certainly get this beauty serviced before you use it. Regarding polishing: I believe most watchmakers will polish the watch-case anyway, in the course of a regular servicing.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  6. #5
    Member Buffalo Bill's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help on ID

    Thanks for the reply.

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