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  1. #1
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    Default Show and tell your 5star Vanguard

    Here's mine, quite possibly the finest Vanguard from the pinnacle of Waltham production, a grade 1623 6 posn from 1936 (cough)... and I know from research on this forum it's one of Jerry T's favorites too



    At just under 100$ I am happy to daily carry this one with it's scratched glass, broken reg., 'warts and all'!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Van 1623 face.jpg   Van 1623 mvmt.jpg  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Mark UK)

    I'd say that your Vanguard would make a great carry watch. I'm sure it can be very accurate, and is a nice RR-grade pocket-watch.

    The only Vanguard I own is the second pocket-watch that I ever owned. Presently it's in a nice GF hunter-case, but is at the bank, so I can't show it in its entirety. I do, however, have an image of the movement around here somewhere. Oh, there it is...

    It's relatively scarce '92 model HC that's marked "21 Ruby Jewels" as well as "Non-Magnetic". Cheers.

    (Scan was performed by the very Jerry T. you mentioned.)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails VangNM2.jpg  

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: MrRoundel)

    That is one very, VERY nice Vanguard! I have a few 08's but still waiting for a '92 to come along.

  4. #4

    Question Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Mark UK)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark UK View Post
    Here's mine, quite possibly the finest Vanguard from the pinnacle of Waltham production, a grade 1623 6 posn from 1936 (cough)...
    What's a "5star Vanguard"?

    Also, I don't wish to rain on your parade, but although this watch is beginning to approach "the pinnacle of Waltham production", there were quite a few watches that Waltham built of much higher quality.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Kent)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent View Post
    Also, I don't wish to rain on your parade, but although this watch is beginning to approach "the pinnacle of Waltham production", there were quite a few watches that Waltham built of much higher quality.
    I have an umbrella at the ready Kent Just a bit of tongue in cheek hence the (cough)! I have heard it said that my new acquisition is possibly the poorest finished of all the Vanguards from a period where Waltham seemed to have hit bottom. It certainly is the least impressive to look at compared to my earlier Vanguards but it will make a great daily carry.

  6. #6
    Registered User 34Ford5W's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Mark UK)


    Here is one of my 5 Star Vanguards. This one is a Model 82 17 jewel OF, I have a 17 jewel HC as well. 17 jewel Vanguards had just over 2000 total production.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_4662.jpg  

  7. #7
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: 34Ford5W)

    Among the 16-size Vanguards, I think the 23-jewel indicator model with the Lossier inner terminal curve hairspring is considered quite collectible. I haven't checked the "star" rating in "the Bible" on this one. I have shown it face side and movement side. This one has diamond end stones on the balance staff. More a bragging point than anything.

    I have also shown my 1950s vintage 23-jewel Vanguard from one of the last runs before Waltham ceased production. Melamine dial, very plain. You want to see homely, basic! Look at that one. Only virtue of this one as I see it, I am the third owner, and the watch still has never been used!


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0062.JPG   IMG_0063.JPG   IMG_0065.JPG   IMG_0066.jpg  

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: 34Ford5W)

    Quote Originally Posted by 34Ford5W View Post
    Here is one of my 5 Star Vanguards.
    I could quite simply look at those early 92's all day long!

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    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: doug sinclair)

    Quote Originally Posted by doug sinclair View Post
    ...Melamine dial, very plain. You want to see homely, basic!
    Plain it may be but an impressive 8 adjustments!!!

    Why do you suppose manufacturers moved away from the fine damask finish and screw settings, was it change in fashion taste or simply to keep prices competitive?

  10. #10
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Mark UK)

    My read on how things changed tells me that the damask finish, gold jewel setting, high polish, ornate engraving, may well go back to the days when watches were sold, un-cased. Watch buyers didn't understand about heat and cold compensation, isochronism, and position adjustments, and how they added to the selling price. But they did understand "window dressing" when shown the higher priced movement. Later, when watches were sold, cased, maybe window dressing was less important. As time evolved, movements got plainer and plainer, gradually adopting many Swiss ideas about how movements looked. The later Vanguard I showed was produced when cost cutting was the main motivation.

  11. #11

    Smile Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Mark UK)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark UK View Post
    ... Why do you suppose manufacturers moved away from the fine damask finish and screw settings, was it change in fashion taste or simply to keep prices competitive?
    As doug put it so well, once the watches, including the popular railroad watches, were sold cased from the factory in the early-to-mid 1920s (yes, I know; factory-cased railroad watches were available much earlier, but the ratio of factory-cased railroad watches vs. movement-only shot up steeply in the early-to-mid 1920s), the appearance of the movement became much less important. A few short years later the great depression hit, forcing the watch companies to look very carefully at their costs. The U.S. was stuck in the depression for about ten years until WWII created the prosperity the ended the depression. But the was also brought a manpower shortage that again forced the watch factories to reduce labor. As a result, war era Vanguard movements looked plainer than plain (see S/N 30567653 below). After the war, the damaskeening returned, but it was rather modest compared to the pre-war damaskeening of the mid-to-late 1930s (see S/N 33370573 below).

    There had always been price competition, but in the post-war era, once the immediate demand caused by wartime shortages was satisfied, the price competition grew fierce. $71.50 seemed to be the magic number is the early 1950s (see below) and costs had to be watched so that the watches could be retailed at that price.


    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  12. #12
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Kent)

    Mark - thanks for the tease.

    MrRoundel - I always enjoy seeing that movement. That was a great find!

    34Ford5W - Oh my … that 17j Vanguard is lovely, and with very unusual damaskeening.

    Doug - I actually kind of like that late Vanguard of yours with the Geneva striping. Although simply finished, after a rather ugly period I think Waltham finally started to show some pride in their product again.

    Here are my two ’92 models.
    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
    Charter member of Pocket Horology Chapter 174

  13. #13

    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Jerry Treiman)

    Here's a couple of mine. A late one from the war 1940 I believe and another which I think is one of only 500 made in that configuration.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails $_32 (5).JPG   $_32.JPG   $_32 (1).jpg   $_32.jpg  

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Jerry Treiman)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Treiman View Post
    Mark - thanks for the tease.
    Jerry, tease aside, I always enjoy reading your contributions and your insight is of great benefit to us newbies. I have a 'parts' Crescent St much like your early 21J which I would love to restore but I don't think I will ever replace the missing bits It is clear from looking at both of your two '92's and at the other Vanguards that have been posted here that one could build a life-long collection of just the Vanguard model alone.

    Rolandantrobus - the uncluttered lines of your 1940 model is a great combination with the no-frills Dennison gold case. Is it hallmarked for the same period? I have only the one case like that but from 1919 which has one of my Russell Walthams in it.

    Kent - I had forgotten about the great depression and the impact that would have had on all manufacturers. I presume that period was also the least productive in terms of numbers produced/sales. The price point of USD71.50 in those ads got me running to google. The exchange rate at that time would have been around 2.8 Dollars to the Pound so that would have had a price tag of £25 (or more) over here in the UK which would have been the best part of a months wages in the early 50's for those in skilled employment - there aren't many things that I buy even today that would consume a months salary!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Show and tell your 5star Vanguard (By: Mark UK)

    Yes Mark, the case is from the same period as the movement. I have a thing about Dennison cases, most of mine are in them but unfortunately only three are solid gold.

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