There are your regular run of the mill WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch.....................
This is a 1917 WWI Waltham Trench Watch that features a 14k solid gold size 0s case made by the "Roy Watch Case Company"
The Roy Watch Case Company was located in Brooklyn, New York and they ONLY made cases in 14k & 18k solid gold.
Actually finding a ROY trench watch case is extremely difficult, there are not many of these out in the wild.
This is the only one that I have ever found and this example is in pristine condition.
Dennison also made 14k solid gold trench watch cases during the Great War but Dennison was an English company, not and American company.
Getting your hands on a 14k solid gold trench watch case in the bigger size 0s from any American company is an incredibly difficult task!
What sets this trench watch above the rest is the fastener (aka buckle) that was with this watch when I first bought it several months ago.
This watch features a 14k solid gold J.F. Sturdy & Sons "US" fastener!
J.F. Sturdy & Sons were located in Attleboro Falls, Massachusetts.
These fasteners were designed to be used on the green cotton one piece Khaki straps.
This was Sturdy's absolute top of the line product, it's product ID number was the "7530 US".
There fasteners were available in sterling silver, nickel silver, 12k gold filled and 14k solid gold.
I have only seen two of these "US" fasteners in the past but both of those was the lower end sterling silver, this is the ONLY 14k solid gold version that I have seen.
These WWI "US" fasteners go for big bucks all by themselves without the watch even attached!
When I bought the watch the original cotton olive drab strap was gone but the 14k "US" fastener was sewn onto a multi color Zulu Strap that looked pretty bad.
So, I made the current strap that you see now from scratch using 100% cotton material without any poly-nylon mix, just as they were made during the Great War.
I have an old tattered Sturdy cotton strap and I made a pattern from one a few years ago, I've made about 5 of these straps now but all of those had sterling or nickel original WWI fasteners.
If you can tell by now I am really into the WWI crystal guards, aka shrapnel guards!
I obtained this Glagovsky shrapnel guard awhile back, it's proper name is "The Daisy" Snap Protector".
Glagovsky (the manufacturer) was located in Haverhill, Massachusetts but the guard was actually designed by a gentleman named Calvin Dean, he patented this design on September 4, 1917.
What makes this guard stand above the rest is that it is the gold plated version, NOT the common nickel version, plus the "snap" versions of a Glagovsky are pretty hard to come by, the "strap on" versions are far more common.
It was originally plated in 12k gold but it was in rather poor condition with a ton of wear spots so wanting perfection to match the rest of the watch I started looking for a reputable company that does re-plating.
I called several companies in the Houston area and kind of got the run-around until I spoke with Tim, the president of Turn Key Coatings.
Tim just happens to be an active member of the NAWCC so we had a lot to talk about.......................
He put the guard in their x-ray fluorescence machine and concluded that the guard consist mostly of brass and it was then plated with 12k gold.
Their operation is very impressive and professional, they do a lot of work for NASA here in Houston!
I could not be more pleased with the final results!
The guard was upgraded a bit, they used 14k gold to plate the guard this time rather than the original 12k gold.
The 1917, size 0s, grade 165 Waltham movement features 15 jewels and is in pristine condition!
I completely broke down the movement for a proper cleaning and then put it in my ELMA RM-90, then installed a brand new mainspring.
I installed a brand new inner sleeve on the crown tube so it has a nice firm pop on the crown now.
I re-lumed the original skeleton hands using Bergeon luminous material.
I have restored well over 1000 WWI American trench Watches over the years but this one...................this one take the cake!
Highly doubtful that this one ever saw an actual trench during the Great War, it obviously belonged to somebody of great prominence, this is obviously not an enlisted man's wrist watch.
I had a few other guards re-plated by Tim at Turn Key Coatings that were also in very poor condition, I'll post some pictures of these shrapnel guards later on today when the light gets better.