Suggestions for pocket watch
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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for pocket watch

    Hi!

    A couple months ago I fell in love with the craftsmanship and history (and everything else) of American pocket watches. I quickly bought a beautiful 15j Illinois 16s, with slight damaskeening on the mainspring barrel and nice stripes everywhere else (grade 173). The watch is working great and is now my favorite watch.

    Of course, I now want another one. I want to save up eventually for a two-tone damaskeen movement, but for now I want something simpler and cheaper. I am looking for a pocket watch (doesnít have to be American) that has an engraved balance bridge, somewhat like the modern GO or A. Lange watches. I also would like blued screws holding the chatons, but that isnít required. My budget is up to $150, preferably less.

    I have somewhat settled on an Elgin gm wheeler like in the attached picture, and would like to know if itís any good. I also would like to hear if anyone has a different watch they would recommend (preferably not an Elgin, as I am not hugely fond of Elgin. Donít ask me why, thatís just how it is).

    Thank you!

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  2. #2
    Member rickhufnagel7's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for pocket watch

    G.m. wheeler is a great well built movement.

    The one you show is a grade 82, a nice one from the early 1880s. It has 13 jewels, and should be a very reliable watch after servicing.

    If you find a later grade 82, they are 15 jewel with a patent regulator... Very nice.

    Even further, if you like nickel and blued screws, the grade 103 g.m. wheeler is an incredibly pretty movement.

    You can find very nice examples of any of these in your price range.

    After being properly serviced it will last you.a lifetime.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Suggestions for pocket watch

    If you want a good reliable watch other than Elgin, you can look for a Hampden. Nice solidly built reliable watches.


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  5. #4
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    Re: Suggestions for pocket watch

    Thank you! Can you suggest any specific grades of a hampden you would recommend?

  6. #5
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    Re: Suggestions for pocket watch

    Absolutely. Here's a few of mine. Few nickel, few Gilt, some stemwind some keywind.

    First is Hampden Lafayette . Made in both 11 and 15 jewels. Key or stem wind. Nickel.

    Second is a Perry. 15 jewel adjusted railroad grade. Nickel. You could find a nice re-cased one in your price range.

    Woolworth, these are Gilt, stem or key wind available. Adjusted or unadjusted. Total workhorse movement. Adjusted marked are railroad grade

    Hayward is your Gilt 11 jewel movement.



    There are also nameless movements only marked "Hampden watch co". That's the last picture. It's a grade 33 and is a wonderfull watch.

    For $150 you could find a nice solid 15 jewel early Hampden no problem.

    I like the earlier ones, but there are loads of great hampdens.

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  7. #6
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    Re: Suggestions for pocket watch

    If you want a heavily engraved balance cock, my next fav is Rockford. These are also wonderfull watches

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  8. #7
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    Re: Suggestions for pocket watch

    Thanks so much for the great suggestions!

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