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  1. #31
    Registered User Ethan Lipsig's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: John Cote)

    That's really something, John!

  2. #32

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Ethan Lipsig)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Lipsig View Post
    That's really something, John!
    Thanks Ethan...I was pretty thrilled to find it. It came almost directly from the family with a lot of provenance.
    John Cote
    Past President, Indiana Chapter 18 - Membership Chairman, Chapter 149

  3. #33
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?"

    As my post above (post #18) about Waltham’s Colonial Series Riverside Maximus illustrates, how scarce one considers a watch to be depends on how the watch itself is defined. When you have an entire grade or model that is rare, such as Greg’s grade no.37 Aurora, there is little dispute, but what if it is the jewel count or a special contract characteristic that makes a watch rare? If my example is defined as just a Colonial Series Riverside Maximus that happens to be finished a little differently then it is not scarce or rare.

    We have seen in the realm of railroad watches, for example, that collectors have identified many variants of Illinois Bunn Specials or Sangamos. While the basic grade is not rare, specialists have identified uncommon variants that they feel are important. In contrast, I pointed out similar variants in Waltham’s 12-size Riverside grade ( http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?85327 ), but how many collectors are clamoring to acquire all of the variants. Others have already asked: a watch may be rare according to some criteria, but how many people want it? We have seen through the years that tastes will change and what was ignored yesterday may be the hot item tomorrow.

    Here is another rare watch that might be open to interpretation. In 1938 the Hamilton Watch company made just 12 pocketwatches marked “E. Howard Watch Co.” after they acquired the rights to the Howard brand. It is basically a specially finished grade 917 and is designated as a grade H917 in the Hamilton records. They produced these in their own serial number sequence - HWR1 to HWR12. This is the only example yet known. Is it a rare watch or is it just another grade 917 that was marked differently? Is it a Hamilton or a Howard?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regarding the Illinois “Illini” discussed several post above — Ethan, you can add or amend the following to your Illini tally:
    2,933,946 (no case; enamel dial)
    2,933,964 (14K case but with different case number than on certificate)
    2,933,992 (possibly recased)
    2,933,997 (14K case)
    2,935,044 (recased)
    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
    Charter member of Pocket Horology Chapter 174

  4. #34
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Jerry Treiman)

    Waltham made approximately 3,000 of their “American Watch Co.” grade 16-size bridge movements, and a little more than 1/3 of those were finished for the E. Howard Watch Co. Most of the 16-size bridge movements had 21 or 23 jewels, but they made a few (probably only 70, but certainly less than 100) that had just 17 jewels yet were otherwise top-of-the-line in finish and features. All of the 17-jewel models were made for Howard.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails H829522f.jpg   H829522m2.jpg  
    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
    Charter member of Pocket Horology Chapter 174

  5. #35
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?"

    RE Tourbillon by Jules Jurgensen

    Wow, very nice, and its
    provenance is fantastic! (and in it's original box too).
    Thanks for sharing that.




    Rob

  6. #36

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: musicguy)

    Neat watches. I find the explanations for their rarity illuminating. How we divide the pie makes all the difference.

    Re production totals (or estimates) vs. survival estimates, which is more significant? For example, the Illini mentioned above has a probable production of 200 but only 13 reported. Given that there are millions of watches still in private non-collector hands, should we use 200 or 13 when considering its "rarity"?

  7. #37

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?"

    Here's another example of how one can divide the pie:


    All of the following numbers are best estimates.

    Aurora = 105,000
    18s Aurora = 97,500
    Grade No. 10 = 720
    Grade No. 10 open-face = 300 (41 known examples evenly spaced from 101,001 to 101,300)
    Grade No. 10-OF nickel (as opposed to two-tone) = 40-50
    Grade No. 10-OF w/ Johnson's regulator (all known are nickel rather than two-tone) = 10

    Two examples are known (from the most extensive accumulation of Aurora 15 Ruby Jewel serial numbers, see Encyclopedia article): 101,001 and 101,003. Only 101,003 appears to be in an original case.
    Last edited by Greg Frauenhoff; 02-27-2017 at 08:53 AM.

  8. #38

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?"

    How about this. Vanguard model 1908 19j Htg. One of only 500.


    Maybe a lot less as this is an export one for the UK.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails $_32 (1).jpg   $_32 (7).jpg  
    Last edited by rolandantrobus; 02-27-2017 at 09:30 AM.

  9. #39

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Greg Frauenhoff)

    Since the Illini is included here, here's a similar one that predates the Illini and may not require the budget that John's fantastic Jurgensen, and some of the other awesome examples listed here, might require ...

    The Illinois 12s 23j grade 299 ...

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2208435 12s 23j gr 299 model 1 mvmt3.jpg  
    Member Chapter 149

  10. #40
    Registered User Ethan Lipsig's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Dave Chaplain)

    230 of these Grade 299's were made. I have a private label Phelps & Perry example.

  11. #41

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Ethan Lipsig)

    Somebody made a good point a while back. I see many watches (particularly modest-grade 16s hunters) with inscriptions on the case - telling us that this was a gift from so-and-so to so-and-so in recognition / remembrance / thanks for some particular event/anniversary, or for many years' service to such-and-such.
    It seems likely that most of these are effectively unique - just like all the others.
    Unless by some random chance I happen to have a special interest in one of the people / organizations / events mentioned in the inscription, to me it may as well be just a bit of extra decoration.

  12. #42

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: topspin)

    Quote Originally Posted by topspin View Post
    Somebody made a good point a while back. I see many watches (particularly modest-grade 16s hunters) with inscriptions on the case - telling us that this was a gift from so-and-so to so-and-so in recognition / remembrance / thanks for some particular event/anniversary, or for many years' service to such-and-such.
    It seems likely that most of these are effectively unique - just like all the others.
    Unless by some random chance I happen to have a special interest in one of the people / organizations / events mentioned in the inscription, to me it may as well be just a bit of extra decoration.
    In a sense all mvts with a serial number are unique.

  13. #43

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: topspin)

    Quote Originally Posted by topspin View Post
    Somebody made a good point a while back. I see many watches (particularly modest-grade 16s hunters) with inscriptions on the case - telling us that this was a gift from so-and-so to so-and-so in recognition / remembrance / thanks for some particular event/anniversary, or for many years' service to such-and-such.
    It seems likely that most of these are effectively unique - just like all the others.
    Unless by some random chance I happen to have a special interest in one of the people / organizations / events mentioned in the inscription, to me it may as well be just a bit of extra decoration.
    In that case, my Grandfather's old 7j Reliance is unique! Inside the back cover is inscribed 'Return to Geo. H Smith Jr' and his address. It's especially unique because we all immediately recognized his handwriting. He'd done it himself with something sharp, when he was a teenager, before 1910!

  14. #44

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: GeneJockey)

    I'm too new to pocket watch collecting to have any expert opinion, but it would seem to me if you had the only dollar pocket watch in the world IT would be rare. The only pocket watch I have is in a run of 100 private label watches that is split between Louis H Jerger Thomasville GA & The American Leader, N. Gamse, New York. So my watch may be one of fifty ( if split down the middle ) and that would be rare in my mind. I've read some threads that seem to discount P.L. watches because anybody could get their name on the movement & or dial, but if it was a RR ( Santa Fe Route or others ) it was rare. As far as the bickering I thank it adds a little spice to what could sometimes be a dry subject. Keep up the good work I'm learning all the time.

  15. #45
    Registered User Clint Geller's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: John Cote)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Cote View Post
    OK, I'll play. I think the watch I will post would be considered extremely rare. It is generally thought that only 6 Tourbillon watches were produced by Jules Jurgensen in the entire history of the company. I have seen pictures of 3 beside mine. They are all somewhat different. Mine is certainly the only one to have been presented to GB Simonds, who ended up being a Commodore in the Union Navy during the civil war. Mine is the only one I have seen with factory stem winding and lever setting. One other example, a later one, is also in it's original box.

    Here is one picture:



    Here is a link where you can see more photos and some more of the history.

    http://www.johncotephotography.com/W...r_3/index.html
    Fabulous watch, John! Thanks for sharing.
    Clint Geller, FNAWCC, # 84,947

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