VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard
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Thread: VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard

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  1. #1
    Member Literustyfan's Avatar
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    VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard

    Hey guys.

    I just finished up restoring an extremely rare WWI Waltham Trench Watch.

    This is a GIANT 39mm Semi-Hermetic "General Joffre" with Swivel Lugs.

    A few things make this one stand out.

    First is the enamel military dial, Waltham made VERY few size 6s shadow box enamel military dials and this one has the original skeleton hands to boot.

    I have only seen a very small handful of these 6s dials but they are common for sizes 6/0s, 3/0s and 0s.

    This is the ONLY time that I have seen this dial on a General Joffre case.

    I re-lumed the hands using Bergeon luminous material.

    Second is the movement, a size 6s with 16 jewels featuring a solid gold center wheel, solid gold jewel chatons and solid gold balance wheel screws.

    Usually when you see a 6s Waltham Trench Watch the jewel count is much lower.

    According to Waltham company records this was the FINEST size 6s movement that was made during the Great War years, it did not get any better than this!

    Threaded case so the bezel and case back screws on and off rather than pop on and off, a far superior design.

    The solid nickel case was made by the Illinois Watch Case Company, you can't call it a General Joffre unless it has swivel lugs.

    The case measures a whopping 50mm lug to lug, 39mm going across not including the crown with a 14mm lug diameter.

    One September 5, 1917 the IWCCo gave proper names to four of their top of the line trench watch cases and this is one of the four.

    The four proper names given were General Joffre, General Funston, Admiral Evans and Admiral Benson.

    This Waltham has been fitted with a snap-on Mealy Manufacturing "DUO" Crystal Guard, the 6s version is MUCH beefier when compared to the 0s or 3/0s versions.

    14mm dark brown leather strap to finish it all off.

    Enjoy!

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    Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War" & "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

    www.lrfantiquewatches.com

    www.facebook.com/WWITrenchWatch

  2. #2
    Member JOSE G's Avatar
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    Re: VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard

    Here is my GIANT 39mm Semi-Hermetic "General Joffre" with Swivel Lugs.
    This watch has presence on your wrist.
    It has the civilian dial, is on page 209 in Stans book.
    I wander how mine would look with that DUO guard?
    Stan, it looks awesome with that military dial.
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    Literustyfan, CC Texas and busmatt like this.

  3. #3
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    Re: VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard

    Jose,

    Your dial style is the one shown in the September 5, 1917 advertisement for the "named" cases.

    I scored a small handful (maybe 7 of them) of these 6s Mealy "DUO" guards about two years ago, I still have two of them.

    Your General Joffre still looks great!
    busmatt and JOSE G like this.
    Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War" & "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

    www.lrfantiquewatches.com

    www.facebook.com/WWITrenchWatch

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  5. #4
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    Re: VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard

    Elgin General Joffre Trench Watch next to a Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch.

    The Waltham is FAR more rare!

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    busmatt, CC Texas and JOSE G like this.
    Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War" & "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

    www.lrfantiquewatches.com

    www.facebook.com/WWITrenchWatch

  6. #5
    Member JOSE G's Avatar
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    Re: VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard

    Any particular reason ,why Waltham did not produce more of these dials?
    Literustyfan likes this.

  7. #6
    Member Literustyfan's Avatar
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    Re: VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard

    Jose,

    I honestly have NO idea with any certainty.

    But, here is my best guess.

    Waltham did not make very many size 6s movements during the Great War so fewer dial styles were made too.

    This Waltham 6s military dial is only the 5th one that I have seen in nearly 9 years now.

    Now that is what I call rare!
    JOSE G and busmatt like this.
    Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War" & "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

    www.lrfantiquewatches.com

    www.facebook.com/WWITrenchWatch

  8. #7
    Member JOSE G's Avatar
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    Re: VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard

    Quote Originally Posted by Literustyfan View Post
    Jose,

    Your dial style is the one shown in the September 5, 1917 advertisement for the "named" cases.

    I scored a small handful (maybe 7 of them) of these 6s Mealy "DUO" guards about two years ago, I still have two of them.

    Your General Joffre still looks great!
    Stan you don't think the hands on mine would be to thin to view under the guard.

  9. #8
    Member Literustyfan's Avatar
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    Re: VERY Rare WWI Waltham General Joffre Trench Watch w/ Crystal Guard

    Maybe.

    But it is all personal preference.

    I have certainly seen trench watches with guards that had thin spade hands before.

    Thicker hands would be better in my opinion if you put a Mealy DUO on your Joffre.

    Dials and thicker hands can be found if you hunt hard and long enough, they are the easy part.

    A 6s Joffre case and a 6s Mealy DUO guard are the hard part in my opinion.
    busmatt and JOSE G like this.
    Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War" & "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

    www.lrfantiquewatches.com

    www.facebook.com/WWITrenchWatch

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