Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch
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Thread: Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch

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  1. #1
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    Question Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch

    I found a railroad wristwatch that appears to be pretty nice. It is a Wyler 3425M-1200 with an automatic Swiss movement. Any thoughts on the quality of Wyler? I believe this watch is probably from the 1960s when Wyler was the official watch of the Santa Fe Railroad.

    busmatt and bobbee like this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch

    I went ahead and purchased this watch for a reasonable price. It appears many of the members here like the Wyler Incaflex brand. The only drawback I see is that the movement can only be accessed by removing the dial because the case back is permanently attached. Any thoughts on this piece?

    I currently wear the newest Seiko solar railroad watch that has been amazingly accurate. It has only lost one second in two months. I was, however, looking for a mechanical railroad wrist watch (I own a vintage Hamilton 992E pocket watch). I know the accuracy will be nothing like modern quartz.

  3. #3
    Member James A's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch

    Hi Bokaba,

    Nice pick up. From the pic the dial and case look to be in excellent condition. Looking at others on the net the date to 1960's is right. Back in the 60's the one piece case was the coolest thing, the thinking was that it offered more protection against dust and water. Should you need to access it, you can use a crystal puller/lifter, but do a little research before you go ahead as it may have a two part stem or just ask you watchmaker to open it for you.

    Regards,

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    Re: Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch

    Will post a wrist shot when I get it in a few days. I was looking at some Hamilton electrics, but I thought they would be too risky.

  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch

    Quote Originally Posted by bokaba View Post
    I went ahead and purchased this watch for a reasonable price. It appears many of the members here like the Wyler Incaflex brand. The only drawback I see is that the movement can only be accessed by removing the dial because the case back is permanently attached. Any thoughts on this piece?

    I currently wear the newest Seiko solar railroad watch that has been amazingly accurate. It has only lost one second in two months. I was, however, looking for a mechanical railroad wrist watch (I own a vintage Hamilton 992E pocket watch). I know the accuracy will be nothing like modern quartz.
    please forgive me if you already know any of this, but it sounds like you may be new to the brand.

    wyler was for the most part an assembler, not a manufacturer. they bought ebauches and modified them, usually with the incaflex balance wheel. this was a wheel that has spiral arms to better absorb shocks. they would do all sorts of terrible things to the watches to prove how tough they were- drop them off the eiffel tower, throw them against walls, etc. and, apparently, they usually went right on ticking.

    they also began, sometime in the late 40s or early 50s i think, using front loading cases as in your example. this aided with resistance against foul watch damaging elements. it isn't really a knock against the brand, but it can be inconvenient if you like to pop the hood and look at the engine. i really wouldn't recommend it unless you're well versed in the process and fairly nimble of finger.

    a little trivia- elgin used a very similar design to the incaflex spiral arm balance when they developed their free sprung line of movements. now there's no evidence elgin did this in any nefarious way- the durabalance was different after all in that it was free-sprung, the only mass produced american watch to be so, but still, i've read that wyler successfully sued elgin for patent infringment. i have zero idea if this is true though, perhaps some of our scholars can shed some light on that.

    all in all, wylers are nice watches with an interesting pedigree and a decent value in the vintage world. they probably deserve more love than they get.
    Charon likes this.

  7. #6
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch

    While I've heard rumors about the alleged "lawsuit" between Wyler and Elgin, it seems unlikely; Wyler's patent (CH120553) was filed in 1927, while Elgin's "adjustable moment of inertia" patent (US2770942, and improved in US2880570) was filed in 1956 and 1959 respectively; well past the window of patent infringement. It was 2880570 which made the "Shock protection" claim for the balance design, but the main thrust of the patent was the adjustable moment of inertia. Espacenet - Original document

    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch

    I agree the closed case back may be a problem if regulation is needed. I presume a competent watch maker could remove and service from the front. I don't need to look at the movement because it is a standard ETA.

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    Re: Vintage Wyler Railroad Watch

    Just to update, this watch ended up being returned because the stem was broken.

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