Waltham Car Clock turned Desk Clock
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  1. #1
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Waltham Car Clock turned Desk Clock

    I picked this up at an auction, thinking it would be a neat complement to my Waltham collection.
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    This is a model 1910, size 23, 7 jewel 8 day automobile clock. The main parts of the case are likely original, although the bezel glass looks like a bit of a hack job. Not sure exactly how these "fitted" into the cars, so don't know how original the bezel is.

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    It dates to around 1915, the heyday of the Model T. Would love if anyone has a picture of one of these actually mounted in a dashboard.
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    Based on the gouges in the dial, I'm guessing that the retaining screws in the bezel originally went into the little slots around the edge, and sent in far enough for the vibration of the car to cause the gouges. As a desk clock, I don't have to worry as much about the bezel, so I have it at the top (there's another hole in the bezel on the opposite side, but no screw).
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    As a watch, it's a pretty simple design. Two barrels drive a intermediate wheel that connects to an otherwise normal watch train. You can see in the movement picture above that the escape and fourth wheel bushings have been drilled out and replaced with newer brass bushings. And under the loupe, the escape wheel bushing is worn oval again. Clearly this clock saw a lot of use!
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    The winding is likewise straight forward; similar crown wheel design as their other watches. Only one click. Both the click and the two winding gears held down only by a plate that goes overtop.

    When I got it, it looked like it had been serviced in the same garage as the original car; there was thin sheen of oil over the entire winding mechanism and keyless works. But after a good ultrasonic scrub and some pampering at the benchtop spa, it's running like a champ and keeping perfect time (despite the wear in the escape wheel bushing). Waiting to see how long it runs for; I'm expecting much less then 8 days 'cause of the wear, but we'll see.
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    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Waltham Car Clock turned Desk Clock

    Keep us posted! These were dash mounted and the crown stuck out through the bottom of the dash. They were usually where the radio would be today. I don't think this style lasted much past the 30's. After that the crown was through the dial and they were electrified.

    My parents had a couple of cars with electric mechanical watches. They were 'self regulated'. You set the time and if you were advancing the time, they moved the regulation faster, etc. The problem with that scheme was if the car battery died and you advanced multiple hours, you set the watch to run way too fast. It would take months of resetting to get the clock back to decent timing. So we stopped using them. Heck, back then everybody had watches anyway
    "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!

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Waltham Car Clock turned Desk Clock

    Well, day 8, it's still ticking. Its been within about a minute of my laptop clock all week, but predictably, it's starting to speed up now. I guess the wear in the escape wheel bushing isn't enough to add much drag to the movement. Impressive!
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Waltham Car Clock turned Desk Clock

    Neat. I would not mind that on my desk. Nice that it keeps good time too.

  6. #5
    Member Tremec's Avatar
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    Re: Waltham Car Clock turned Desk Clock


    1919 model T depot delivery... im not too sure of how original the setup is but there's an idea

    Ford 1919 Model T Depot Delivery Truck, - Cowan's Auctions

  7. #6
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Waltham Car Clock turned Desk Clock

    Thanks! Interesting; not quite how I envisioned it. Although I imagine the setup on a delivery truck would be a bit more utilitarian then other types.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  8. #7
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    Re: Waltham Car Clock turned Desk Clock

    HERE A 1940 I5J DELUXE TRAVEL CLOCK IN FINE LEATHER CASE. i WONDER HOW MANY MADE IN TOTAL OVER HOW MANY YEARS AND IN HOW MANY DIFFERENT FUNCTIONAL PURPOSE DESIGNS. WOULD MAKE A BIG COLLECTION. THIS ONE i THINK REPRESENTS A BEST OF ITS PORTABLE CLOCK DESIGN. DO NOT KNOW OF ALARM CLOCK VERSION. PROBABLY THE SHIP CHRONOMETER VERSION IS BEST.

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    Last edited by artb; September 6th, 2013 at 07:56.

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