Pics of my Waltham pocket watch; couple of questions

Thread: Pics of my Waltham pocket watch; couple of questions

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  1. #1
    Member Maine's Avatar
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    Pics of my Waltham pocket watch; couple of questions

    I have actually had this for years, but totally forgotten about it. It was my great-grandfather's watch and is engraved as such.

    A couple of questions, if anyone knows the answer:

    1) How is the acrylic/glass attached? It seems to be just a push fit, but it has popped out once and doesn't seem 100% secure. Is there a recommended method of re-attachment?

    2) The crown pulls out very easily, and so it's easy to stop the watch by accident. Is that a usual issue?

    I have been tracking its timekeeping over the last couple of days and it's within a few seconds each day, so I'm very happy with that. I'll definitely keep and use it if it is. When I first tried this, it seemed to stop every minute at around 18:25. I finally figured out that the hour hand was catching on the second hand! So I carefully bent it upwards a little and that's fixed the problem.








  2. #2
    Member Outta Time's Avatar
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    Re: Pics of my Waltham pocket watch; couple of questions

    Very nice, and worth taking care of. If you plan to use it, I strongly recommend a service- they can address your keyless works issue and make sure it is clean and lubed. It is probably dry after years of sitting.

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Pics of my Waltham pocket watch; couple of questions

    If the crown pulls out very easily, likely there's something worn in the sleeve. There are lots of parts for these, but they're a bit annoying to work on due to the design of the keyless works. It's a model 1908, 16s watch made around 1917. Waltham made over 200,000 of this particular grade, and another 150,000 of the "hunting case" version of the same grade. All told, they made about 2.4 million model 1908 watches.

    The case is a very nice 9k gold case from Birmingham; I can't make out the date code (the letter in the shield on the right side of the case back); that'll tell you when the case was assayed.

    Definately get it serviced before you use it much more.
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  5. #4
    Member Maine's Avatar
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    Re: Pics of my Waltham pocket watch; couple of questions

    Thanks for the info chaps! I like it as a watch and I will definitely use it.

    Do any UK bods have particular recommendations for someone to service this?

    Also, I notice that the crown is dirty/dull. Will the crown on this be gold, or was this a component that is only plated? I suppose my question is, will it clean up nicely or has gold plating worn off? I'm not sure whether a hallmarked case can include a plated crown or not.

  6. #5
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Pics of my Waltham pocket watch; couple of questions

    Hi Maine,

    Your great-grandfather's watch is a good, mid-range pocket-watch from a reputable company. My own 15-jewel watch (an Elgin from 1918) keeps very good time and once yours has been serviced, I reckon yours will keep good time as well.

    As far as I know, most crystals are just push/friction-fit into the bezel of the watch (the bezel is the ring around the crystal). A loose crown is NOT normal and should be examined by a watchmaker for any faults. It was because crowns could get loose like that, that watches like these were banned for use on railroads, because it was too easy to set the watch to an incorrect time.

    Once this watch has been serviced and timed, it should have a pretty good rate of accuracy. Keep in mind though that some watchmakers will only do a very cursory timing on the watches that they service. These guys usually service lots of watches and they won't spend much time timing a watch (which takes considerably longer than servicing a watch, I would imagine). Timing your watch is something that you can do yourself, actually. You'll need a magnifying glass, a small screwdriver and reliable master-clock.

    I *strongly* suspect that the crown is NOT original to the watch. I used to own a Model 1908 Waltham (of a lower grade, and hunter-case, which I eventually sold) and it had a gold crown. Yes, crowns can get their gold worn off (they are handled every single day, after all), but I've never seen it to that extent. That makes me think that the crown isn't original and if possible, should be replaced with a proper gold crown.

    If the watch case is solid gold, then I *suspect* that the bow and the crown are gold as well, but I'm not sure.
    Last edited by Shangas; December 12th, 2010 at 02:29.
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  7. #6
    Member Chris Hughes's Avatar
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    Re: Pics of my Waltham pocket watch; couple of questions

    Very nice Waltham. Looks like it's in its original case, which is a very good thing. There's no question that the crown is incorrect. That may be why it pulls out easily. A good watch repairman can probably track down a more appropriate crown. One piece of advice: when you get it serviced (required for this kind of watch if you intend to run it even casually) make certain that the shop works with vintage American pocket watches first. Ask them how they perform the service. If they don't completely disassemble the movement for cleaning and adjustment, take your watch elsewhere.

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