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  1. #1

    Question Waltham Pocket Watch

    I have a Waltham pocket watch and trying to determine best course of action.

    The watch has historical value, and expect is from 1920's or '30's. It was a gift from the boxer Jack Dempsey to the New York State Athletic Commissioner, William Muldoon. Photos attached.

    I would eventually like to sell or perhaps donate it to a museum/historic society. The watch s in need of repair.

    <> Should I get it repaired first or sell/donate without repairing? How would repair affect the value?

    <> Suggestions as to where to get it repaired. Am in NY State, so NY City is viable option.

    Thank you for you feedback.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: KNM)

    Welcome to the board, KNM. Nice watch. I'll let the experts answer your questions.

    Robert

  3. #3
    Registered User richiec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: Accutronica)

    KNM, things that affect the value of the watch are the quality of the movement, need a photo of that, second is provenance, don't know how popular boxing ephemera is these days. Is the case solid gold, platinum, gold filled, base metal? As a collectible, whether it is working probably doesn't make much difference and the cost of repairing the watch is unknown at this time but just a clean and oil will cost over $100 so you have to take that into account, I would donate it to a boxing museum of some sort but you may want to find out all you can about the watch before trying to hawk it or donate it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: richiec)

    Thanks for your reply and suggestions, richiec.

    What is the best way of determine the quality of the movement? I am not familiar with watches, so not comfortable trying to open it. Would most jewelers be able to open it with out damaging so I could take a picture.

    As far as provenance, it was given to my parents by a family connection with William Muldoon. Don't have any documentation.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: KNM)

    Since NYC is no problem for you, finding a good watchmaker should be no problem either.

    Robert

  6. #6
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: Accutronica)

    Based on the case style and other features I would say that this is a Waltham Colonial-A model watch, probably 14 size. These only came in two grades - Riverside or Maximus. Both are very good quality, but the Maximus was the top of the line and rathery pricey in its day. If the watch is just going to be displayed, all I would do is have a watchmaker put the minute hand back on. The charge should be minimal (or even free, in the interests of good will).

    If the movement is the Maximus grade (quite possible with a presentation watch of this sort), it would have significant value. Whoever fixes the hand for you can tell you what the movement is.
    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
    Charter member of Pocket Horology Chapter 174

  7. #7

    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: Jerry Treiman)

    I'm going to move this thread to the American Pocket Watch forum.

  8. #8
    Registered User Clint Geller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: Dave Coatsworth)

    If I had to bet, my money would be on a solid platinum case, based on the time period, the fact that it's a presentation piece, and Jerry's information that the watch likely has a high grade movement.
    Clint Geller, FNAWCC, # 84,947

  9. #9
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: Clint Geller)

    I am familiar with this case model. It is made by Wadsworth and was commonly 14K white gold.
    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
    Charter member of Pocket Horology Chapter 174

  10. #10

    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: Jerry Treiman)

    So is there provenance that the boxer Jack Dempsey gifted this watch?
    If so I would find an expert restorer to put it back to near original.

  11. #11
    Registered User richiec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: PWfanatik)

    KNM, where are you? Please upload some pictures of the inside of the case and the movement, pretty please.

  12. #12
    Registered user. Dutto11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch

    KNM,
    I live in Brisbane and can have a look for you and clean and oil it if that is the way you would like to go.
    For what its worth I'd get it running and then decide which way you would like to go.

    Cheers
    Gary

    PS. Richiec going by the flag in his Avatar he live in Australia, not sure what state but we'll just have to wait and see.

  13. #13
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch

    RE: " Am in NY State, so NY City is viable option"

    Yes I am also in NY, and there are many places to take it in NY and New Jersey.
    It shouldn't cost you anything to have someone
    open it and look at the serial number. With the serial number
    you can easily look up the watch using on-line databases.
    Just search for waltham serial number and you will find them.

    It will cost in NY a minimum
    of $150 -$200 just for regular service assuming it only needs
    to be cleaned and oiled(serviced).

    RE: "I am not familiar with watches, so not comfortable trying to open it"

    The back should screw off fairly easily. Don't touch the movement with your fingers(the works)
    but you won't hurt it by opening it up and snapping a few photos.

    Rob
    Last edited by musicguy; 03-21-2017 at 09:15 AM.

  14. #14
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: musicguy)

    The back of this watch is hinged!. It does NOT unscrew.
    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
    Charter member of Pocket Horology Chapter 174

  15. #15
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltham Pocket Watch (By: Dutto11)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutto11 View Post
    KNM,
    I live in Brisbane and can have a look for you and clean and oil it if that is the way you would like to go.
    For what its worth I'd get it running and then decide which way you would like to go.

    Cheers
    Gary

    PS. Richiec going by the flag in his Avatar he live in Australia, not sure what state but we'll just have to wait and see.
    Either a slip of the fingers or he thought the flag was pretty. The post says he lives in New York City. (and so does the ip address).
    Tom McIntyre Click me.
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    you won't have anything to laugh at when you're old.
    Will Rogers

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