What decade was the first tougher watches?
Like Tree26Likes

Thread: What decade was the first tougher watches?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Member MTHall720's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Frederick Maryland
    Posts
    41

    What decade was the first tougher watches?

    I don't know how to explain this exactly. I love the looks of larger size pocket watches from the late 1800's on up to the 40's. I have a Hampden from 1915 I believe. The question is what decade and brands started to make pocket watches that were not real delicate? I am looking to add something to my small collection which hold up better in more extreme temperatures, yet still retain a more vintage look. (no steam punk for me). Thanks much in advance for all advice.
    Using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Member Dan S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    5,745

    Re: What decade was the first tougher watches?

    Pocket watches were used by railroad employees as early in the 1890s, and these were used day-in and day-out under all kinds of conditions. I don't understand exactly what you are looking for in terms of "extreme temperatures".
    tinknocker, bsshog40 and busmatt like this.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  3. #3
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Western Australia
    Posts
    17,139

    Re: What decade was the first tougher watches?

    I think what you are looking for is a 'dollar watch' having a no jewels, a pin-lever escapement and conical balance pivots insead of staffs, as first made in the USA around 1880. The last pocket watch of this type was the Smiths PY made in the UK from 1948 until 1980.

    Extreme temperatures should not be an issue as you carry it in your pocket.
    busmatt likes this.
    Chascomm
    Moderator, Russian Watches & Chinese Mechanical Watches Forums
    (no, I am not going to list all my watches here)

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member Dan S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    5,745

    Re: What decade was the first tougher watches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chascomm View Post
    I think what you are looking for is a 'dollar watch' having a no jewels, a pin-lever escapement and conical balance pivots insead of staffs, as first made in the USA around 1880. The last pocket watch of this type was the Smiths PY made in the UK from 1948 until 1980.

    Extreme temperatures should not be an issue as you carry it in your pocket.
    Interesting that you interpreted his question this way since I was thinking along different lines since the OP specifically mentioned temperature. Maybe the OP should try to clarify exactly what he is looking for.
    Last edited by badbackdan; July 15th, 2018 at 20:23.
    busmatt likes this.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Wegberg, Germany
    Posts
    3,644

    Re: What decade was the first tougher watches?

    Hi there,

    Quote Originally Posted by MTHall720 View Post
    I love the looks of larger size pocket watches from the late 1800's on up to the 40's
    Most believe that big watches are durable and rugged. Unfortunately the oppisite is true. Assuming comparable production quality, bigger watches are more sensitve for wear and damages by shock, and their only advandtage is the higher accuracy. Vice versa smaller watches are less accurate but more durable. But for collectors thiese are no important arguments - they collect what they love. And that's fine, because even the oddest watch will find an enthousiast (polite term for idiot) who preserves it for the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by MTHall720 View Post
    ...which hold up better in more extreme temperatures
    Be sure that temperatures which harm any watch will surely kill its owner. So don't mind temperature ranges for your collecting decisions.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    busmatt and GeneJockey like this.

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    850

    Re: What decade was the first tougher watches?

    The vast majority of pocket watches, even late production ones, had no shock protection for the balance staff. Thus they were quite susceptible to breakage if subjected to a sharp impact, generally from doing dropped.

    Apart from the Dollar-type unjeweled pin lever pocket watches (and later, wristwatches) that benefitted in terms of robustness from the use of conical balance staff pivots that could better withstand shocks (but which would suffer from the limitations of their inherent design and greater friction), the early adoption of shock protection in *wristwatches* would likely be a point at which "toughness" took a significant practical step forward.

    To address your post more specifically I don't consider earlier pocket watches, such as the Waltham models from the 1880s onward to give examples, to be delicate, (aside from the balance staff issues common to pocket watches). Properly repaired as required and serviced these watches are as good to carry as later American watches into the mid-1900s. The later watches may benefit in terms of timekeeping due to incremental advances in technology and materials, sometimes in design, but I don't think necessarily so much in terms of toughness.
    Last edited by Gumby992; July 15th, 2018 at 18:41.
    Tick Talk, Chascomm and busmatt like this.

  8. #7
    Member MTHall720's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Frederick Maryland
    Posts
    41

    Re: What decade was the first tougher watches?

    Hi. Thanks for the replies. My problem is although I have loved pocket watches for over 40 years, yet my experience is limited. I have read so many articles that I am awash in a sea of information, and perhaps some misinformation. I read something the other day that gove the impression that my favorite era of pocket watches(1880-1925 aprroximately) produced many watches which were easily damaged by heat, humidity, magnetic sources, and a host of other things. Since I have a modest budget I was concerned that fully enjoying the two I have now (no rough treatment at all) by daily carrying might lead to them not working before too long; I have had at least 6 watches that were the dollar variety, which I truly detested. I love pocket watches which are fairly large, like 16-18s and the heavier the better. I am hoping to eventually get a hunter or full hunter case but most of what I have seen are out of my price range for older watches which are running well.
    busmatt likes this.
    Using Tapatalk

  9. #8
    Member Dan S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    5,745

    Re: What decade was the first tougher watches?

    I tend to think you are overly concerned with temperature, humidity, and magnetic fields. These do not usually damage watches, except in extreme cases. Yes, long-term exposure to high humidity can cause corrosion, but the only solution for this would be a water-resistant case, which you are not going to find in a vintage PW. If you avoid direct exposure to moisture, and have the watch serviced regularly, you should be ok.

    I really think that the major concern is the one you haven't mentioned, mechanical shock. And this was addressed by some of the responses above. Also, if you wear the PW on a chain, you can reduce the likelihood that it will be dropped.
    busmatt likes this.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3,093

    Re: What decade was the first tougher watches?

    I think you will be fine.

    If a watch gets magnetized then a quick trip to the watchmaker will demagnetize it for $10 or less.

    I would enjoy your watches. They were made to be used and a properly serviced one will run well for years before it needs another service. Back in the old days, pocket watches were expensive and a good one was the equivalent of a month(or more) wages for a lot of people. Therefore a person buying one would expect to get decades of use out of them.

    Get your 2 pocket watches serviced and wear the heck out of them.

    Unless you leave the watch sitting out in the rain or drop it in the loo, then the watch should be fine. I wear my pocket watches in the pocket watch pocket in my jeans(that is what that small pocket in the front right pocket is for). I have it attached to a chain that is attached to my belt loop and they have been fine in all weather. In the winter I wore one shoveling snow. I just got this Illinois Sangamo railroad pocket watch. It is a harder to find watch with a solid gold case. I wore it Friday and yesterday while cutting my grass, washing my car and pressure washing my deck. This watch is most likely worth a goodly amount but I am not going to baby it and put it in a box and leave it there all the time. I am going to enjoy it using it like it was meant to be used.

    In the 1800's to 1930's the pocket watch was used by millions of folks. Not all these folks were siting around a fireplace sipping tea like in those Victorian movies. They were used by laborers, farmers, railroaders. All crucial railroading folks (conductors, engineers, brakemen etc) needed to carry a pocket watch. Some of these got pretty banged up.

    Also cowboys(the reason jeans and that watch pocket in jeans were created) used them and these watches get pretty jarred during a day of horse riding.

    Carrying a vintage pocket watch is safer then wearing a vintage watch as the pocket watch is safe in a pocket. The wrist watch can get banged up just reaching for something.

    If you are looking for a hunter pocket watch to add to your collection that is cool. If you are wanting to use one as a daily watch that might be bad. (especially if you look at your watch many times a day) as it really can be a pain to use because you have to carefully open it and then carefully close it without snapping the lid(closing the lid without pushing the pendant in(as if you were opening the watch) so it does not snap against the clasp and wear out the lip) or cracking the crystal.

    An open face watch(non hunter) is probably the best watch for a daily wear.

    Go around to your local pawn shop and look at the pocket watches they have. Most pawn shops I go to will make you a good deal to buy one from them as most folks dont want them and they hang out at the pawn shop a long while. You would be amazed at all the pocket watches that are well below your budget.

    In the 1920's a lot of watch manufacturers started to use metal dials that were painted instead of porcelain enamel. The result was a less fragile dial.

    I would stick to a 16s, 12s,10s and not get a 18s for a daily wear watch. wearing a 18s watch is like carrying a boat anchor around

    Here is my vintage Illinois watch for reference.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Last edited by journeyforce; July 16th, 2018 at 00:32.
    badbackdan and busmatt like this.

  11. #10
    Member MTHall720's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Frederick Maryland
    Posts
    41

    Re: What decade was the first tougher watches?

    I am a big fan of chains, and always carry mine that way. Some day I mean even get a vest so I use a variety of chain designs.
    Using Tapatalk

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Replies: 15
      Last Post: April 28th, 2018, 02:29
    2. What was the first external rotating bezel watch?
      By dan4138 in forum Dive watches
      Replies: 18
      Last Post: January 12th, 2018, 22:30
    3. What was the first Vostok watch?
      By oscarfranciscovich in forum Russian watches
      Replies: 33
      Last Post: September 29th, 2016, 02:29
    4. What was the first Automatic Watch likely to have flown in Space?
      By Geo7863 in forum NASA and Space topics
      Replies: 8
      Last Post: February 20th, 2015, 18:33
    5. What was the first watch to use a thermo-insensitive crystal?
      By Bruce Reding in forum High Accuracy Quartz watches
      Replies: 3
      Last Post: April 7th, 2007, 13:07

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •