There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch
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  1. #1
    Member Literustyfan's Avatar
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    There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    Hey guys!

    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.























    Last edited by Literustyfan; May 28th, 2014 at 15:29.
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  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    Clearly museum quality. Impressive! I am so happy for you
    Literustyfan likes this.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    Cool watch, and very impressive research on the guards
    Thanks
    Literustyfan likes this.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

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    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    Amazing, looks like it was made only last week.

    Nice one.
    Literustyfan likes this.

  6. #5
    Member Literustyfan's Avatar
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    Re: There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    Thanks guys!

    Here are the other 3 guards that Tim from Turn Key Coatings did for me.

    From left to right: "The Cross", "The Daisy" and "The Telephone Dial".

    The finish on these is superb!

    All three of them were nickel plated guards originally and they were all in pretty bad condition, just about worn down to the nub.




    "The Cross Watch Protector" made by Mealy Manufacturing of Baltimore, Maryland. Mealy came out with this guard in late 1917 or early 1918.

    It was available in nickel plated like this one or in solid sterling silver, the sterling silver versions are VERY hard to come by (but so are the nickel plated ones).




    "The Daisy Snap Protector" was made by Glagovsky of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Designed by Calvin Dean, patant granted on September 4, 1917.

    This is the nickel version and you can see the gold plated version above, they were also available in Bronze and Gun Metal.

    The "Daisys" were available in a "snap-on" version like seen here but they were also available with lugs so they could be strapped onto the trench watch case.




    "The Telephone Dial Guard" as they are affectionately called, the exact proper name for this guard is unknown.

    But, it was designed by Louis Jacot, a Swiss national living in Birmingham, England on January 19, 1918. His patent was granted on July 23, 1918.

    I believe that this guard was only available with a "strap-on" design, they were also available with different lug diameters ranging from 12mm up to 20mm.




    Of these three nickel plated guards I would have to say that the first one is the rarest of the lot, "The Cross Watch Protector".

    You simply don't see many out in the wild!
    Last edited by Literustyfan; May 28th, 2014 at 19:55.
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    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    Very interesting info.
    I personally own about 5 guards, the PTO you recommended me, but there after I have no knowledge on this side of Horology at all, it never 'dawned' on me to think about it, so very interesting.

    The Museum have about 20 Pcs ( I did once send you pics) and I have about 4 or 5 on display, plus watches with 'integral.

    Interesting. Thank You
    adam
    Literustyfan likes this.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  8. #7
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    Re: There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    I can't lay off of the shrapnel guards!

    The "Crystal Guard" chapter of my book is the largest chapter of my book.

    It is VERY possible that the Illinois Watch Case Company made a case with a semi hermetic integrated guard in a GIANT size 6s that measured 38mm.

    A few of the clues are out there.......................now I just have to figure it all out!

    I actually have the threaded crystal guard section of one of these 6s cases but the rest of the case has been lost in time.

    So keep your eyes open................one just might pop up someday!

  9. #8
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    Re: There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    Here is the integrated shrapnel guard for a GIANT size 6s trench watch case that was made by the Illinois Watch Case Company that I was talking about.

    I bought this case at the NAWCC Daytona Regional about 4 years ago.

    But, there is an issue!

    The semi hermetic integrated guard is made of sterling silver, the rest of the case is solid nickel so they obviously don't match.

    Somebody over the years pared these case parts in order to try and make one case.

    If you look closely the body of the nickel case and the sterling silver guard are just SLIGHTLY different in size.

    But, exact case sizes sometimes depended on the case material that was being used.

    Meaning that a complete solid nickel case might be slightly larger or smaller than say an identical case completely made of sterling silver, empirical evidence suggests this.

    But, sense the sterling silver integrated guard (threaded) does in fact exist logic tells me that the IWCCo did make them.

    This is the ONLY one that I have ever seen, actually finding the rest of this case could take a lifetime!

    But, if the project could ever be finished this watch would be EPIC!

    What I am keeping my eyes open for is a sterling silver semi-hermetic Illinois size 6s case with a REGULAR screw down bezel, I would like to see if this sterling silver screw down integrated guard would be a perfect fit.

    I have a 90% feeling that it in fact will be a perfect fit.

    But, even finding one of these sterling silver semi-hermetic Illinois 6s cases with a regular bezel in nearly impossible.









    Just imagine this 38mm GIANT size 6s Elgin Trench Watch pictured below with an integrated shrapnel guard, crazy stuff!

    Last edited by Literustyfan; May 29th, 2014 at 15:48.
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    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    I like the design of the guard.

    Here is one that I had to write an article for, at the Museum "Enlisting Time" exhibition in 2012.

    This is a true WWI 'trench watch' that saw active service. Strap was original and very fragile. I liked very much the shape of the guard. Please note this is neither my watch nor the Museums, it was on loan.





    Pictured with the WWI US Veteran.

    radger, bobbee, Emre and 1 others like this.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  11. #10
    Member Literustyfan's Avatar
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    Re: There are WWI Waltham Trench Watches and then there is this WWI Waltham Trench Watch

    Here are a few shots of "The Telephone Dial" guard installed on a 1917 Waltham Trench Watch with a Kitchener Strap.










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