Non-Magnetic Walthams
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  1. #1
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Non-Magnetic Walthams

    Does anyone else on here collect these, or have an interest in them?

    For quite a while, Waltham offered a non-magnetic hairspring and balance wheel on many of their watches. I'm not exactly sure when they were first offered, but believe it was around 1890, and probably continued until 1910 or so. The hairspring contains platinum and palladium, as do both layers of the non-magnetic balance wheel. Watches could either be purchased fitted with the non-magnetic balance and hairspring, or refitted at a later time.

    Many also had a non-magetic phosphor bronze roller table and pallet fork.

    Non-magnetic watches can be found both marked and un-marked "Non-magnetic", but the tell-tale feature on both is the white balance wheel and white split bi-metallic balance. Some also had tell-tale platinum timing screws on the balance wheel.

    Here are a few of mine





    SilkeN, James A, bobbee and 3 others like this.
    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
    Member, NAWCC Chapter 149. Vice President and Secretary NAWCC Chapter 140. Member, NAWCC Convention Committee.
    Serious collector of American pocket watches-Waltham(and the predecessor companies) is my specialty.

  2. #2
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    Re: Non-Magnetic Walthams

    I learn something new here all the time...very cool. Great photography (again, and as usual from you).

  3. #3
    Member grnjp88's Avatar
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    Re: Non-Magnetic Walthams

    Nowhere near as pretty as yours and sadly I have no shots of the movement, but does this count?



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  5. #4
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: Non-Magnetic Walthams

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben_hutcherson View Post
    Does anyone else on here collect these, or have an interest in them?
    Hi Ben,

    you might remember mine, the 130th in the first run of non magnetic Crescent Sts made by Waltham. It is my only one however - so I can't say I collect them. This one is not explicitly marked as you indicated in your original post.

    I've reposted the following from my original thread.

    Model is a Crescent St, which was the top Model 1883 grade, Adjusted to temperatures and 6 positions. Marketed as the "finest full plate movement in the world". Cost in 1887 was US$70 - the next best grade Appleton Tracey was US$48, a 7 jewel Broadway $7.



    To convert a Crescent st. to non-magnetic cost $10, and took 5-8 weeks. Buying one from new was presumably also a substantial premium over the normal price.

    What is to my mind rather special about this particular watch, is that it is in the very first run of 300 non magnetic Crescent Sts. Number 130 in fact. This one was made Jan/Feb 1888. They did make some earlier runs in lower grades, but this was the first Crescent St run. Later on they stopped making the higher grades non magnetic as they were apparently too hard to adjust to positions.



    I bought this one purely because of the hands, 3 line original dial, and because I didn't yet have a Crescent St 1883. The whole non magnetic thing was a lucky bonus.




    Last edited by trim; September 23rd, 2014 at 04:18.
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    Re: Non-Magnetic Walthams

    Seen many 18 size model 83 and 92 nonmagnetics. Do not remember any 16 size so marked. Appreciate now knowing how they were done. This one maybe before 1890? artb
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    Last edited by artb; September 23rd, 2014 at 04:39.

  7. #6
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: Non-Magnetic Walthams

    Quote Originally Posted by artb View Post
    Seen many 18 size model 83 and 92 nonmagnetics. Do not remember any 16 size so marked. Appreciate now knowing how they were done. This one maybe before 1890? artb
    Art,

    I know I've seen at least one gr. 645 so marked.

    I've also seen plenty of 72 model non-mags-most are unmarked but I've seen a handful of marked ones.
    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
    Member, NAWCC Chapter 149. Vice President and Secretary NAWCC Chapter 140. Member, NAWCC Convention Committee.
    Serious collector of American pocket watches-Waltham(and the predecessor companies) is my specialty.

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