William Shaw pocket watch info needed
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  1. #1
    Member Datreedude's Avatar
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    William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    Hey all,
    Another from the local shop. I can't find much about William Shaw pocket watches. The porcelain dial is marked William Shaw, Boston, Mass, case is I believe coin silver, but only took a photo of the movement. Any insight into this would be appreciated as always....
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  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    It looks to me like a Model 57 produced by the American Watch Company; not sure of the date with a serial that low though. It matches the known information for that serial (7 jewel, steel balance) and the layout and screw locations are spot on though.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  3. #3
    Member Datreedude's Avatar
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    Re: William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    I'm having problems looking up the serial number as well, best guess if it is from AWC, is between 1858 and 1859. I had one site tell me that it was a Bartlett. That's why I was hoping that I'd find some info on here. Is it worth picking up?


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  5. #4
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    Well, if it IS AWCo, it's from very early, which is always somewhat desirable. That said, it's also a pretty plain, basic movement. Hopefully, Ben will come along and give us more info; early American is his thing.

    As far as I can tell, the serial numbers for "Waltham" pocket watches mostly started with the introduction of the Model 57, which was introduced" in 1857 shortly after the "Boston Watch Co." was purchased at a sherriff's auction by group of investors led by Royal E. Robbins. It was renamed "Appleton Tracy & Co." (after two of his co-investors). The Boston Watch Co. was the "Watchmaking" company, which was separate from the "Waltham Improvement Corporation" (which owned the lands and machinery). Robbins merged those two companies into the "American Watch Company" in 1859.

    Wikipedia (Waltham Watch Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) suggests that serial numbers up to 14,000 were ATCo., which puts <this> movement very very close to the switchover. Not sure if that improves its "collectibility" or not.

    BTW, although the databases list this as "Barlett", it's obviously a private-label watch produced for a specific retailer.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  6. #5
    Member Datreedude's Avatar
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    Re: William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    So, I broke down today and purchased it...don't know why, I am not a P/W collector. Couldn't find a single mark on the case, adding a few new pics to see if it sheds any light....
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  7. #6
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    It is a beaut - I like the coin-edged case. Sometimes a watch just speaks to you - even if it doesn't really 'fit'.

  8. #7
    Member Datreedude's Avatar
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    Re: William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    Well, I finally had a chance to show it to my watch repairman, and he confirmed that it is a Model 57. Now I have to do the tedious process, and find the history behind William Shaw. There was a silversmith in Boston around the same time period, but with a different first name. If anyone has any insight into William Shaw, the info would be greatly appreciated.


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  9. #8
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm afraid that I'm going to have to call Swiss Fake on this one.

    The big clue for me is in the font used on the serial number, which is unlike any I've ever seen used on a Waltham product of this time period. It's one of the more convincing ones I've seen, but after looking at it for a half hour or so that's what I can come up with.

    Look at page 23 of Ron Price's '57 Book, and you will see Wm. Ellery 72448

    http://www.plads.com/m57/monograph/main.pdf
    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
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  10. #9
    Member Datreedude's Avatar
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    Re: William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    Thanks Ben, well since I figured no harm, no foul, I took of the dial. Hey, the serial numbers match up on both sides of the movement....but then I saw the little LP&M stamp. Oh well, not retiring anytime soon...lolName:  ImageUploadedByTapatalk1434770020.099450.jpg
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  11. #10
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: William Shaw pocket watch info needed

    The dial side still looks like the Waltham Model 57 design?

    Edit: I found this interesting site discussing what may be "fake" James Russel watches that bear far too strong a resemblence to true Waltham '57s to really be fake. Or at least, not 100% fake. Perhaps Robbins (still struggling to turn his auction-block bargain into a company) experimented with the Swiss "ebauche" model, and was selling raw plates to local watchmakers to finish?

    http://www.pricelessads.com/m57/JamesRussell/index.html
    Last edited by AbslomRob; June 20th, 2015 at 13:37.
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