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  1. #16

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: kd8tzc)

    A mid-grade Waltham 1899 is (usually) a great choice for a regular carry watch. Durable, reliable, good accuracy, etc... but still as fragile as any other watch of this era.

    If you want something a bit more robust then any watch marked "shock protected", "shockproof" or "Incabloc" may be a good bet. Or pick up some £5 piece of mass-produced tat from your local market. It will likely break within a few weeks anyway, therefore it doesn't really matter whether you handle it carefully or not!.

  2. #17

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom McIntyre View Post
    If you contacted him through eBay you should hear back soon.

    The watch has eBay's money back guarantee as well as the seller's service warranty. I checked his feedback and it is all perfect, so I would just relax if I were you and wait to hear from him. He is a member of both the NAWCC and AWCI where the members subscribe to a code of ethical conduct.

    It is just possible that the Christian Holy Week has occupied some of his time since the sale.
    Thanks Tom... I tend to agree with you. Possibly he is on vacation and will get back to me when he returns. He has been very good in the past with my dealings so I doubt that would change. I just hope this falls within the warranty.

    Dumb question... are the certified Railroad watches more durable than something like an 1899 that I have? I know they had certain things they had to have in order to be certified as Railroad quality, but I wouldn't think that would make them more durable. I had a friend suggest to me last night to pick one of these up for a daily carry watch, but I would think it would need to be cared for in the same manner. Granted, the old timers who carried the railroad watches I'm sure bumped them quite a bit in the line of their work, but they still had the same materials to work with back then.

  3. #18
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: kd8tzc)

    the old timers who carried the railroad watches
    I'm sure bumped them quite a bit in the line of their work, but
    they still had the same materials to work with back then.
    There were a lot more watch repair people back then, people
    serviced their watches like people service their cars today(regularly).

    Make sure you always tether your watch with a strap or chain.
    I like a leather watch strap, it doesn't scratch my watches.
    I have stood up many many times and my watch was on my lap
    where the tether saved my watch from hitting the floor.


    Rob

  4. #19

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: musicguy)

    Rob, I always have mine tethered. I have a metal chain one, but that is an interesting comment about the leather not scratching the watch.

    I also always keep the watch in the coin pocket of my pants if I have one. If I am wearing suit pants that doesn't have one, I normally will keep the watch all by itself in that pocket and I also have it sandwiched in a handkerchief as well. Currently I don't have any suits with vests, but I'd sure like to pick some up to keep the watch where it is supposed to be.

    You say a lot more people repaired/serviced their watch back then. I can't imagine they took their watch apart, or did they? I would love to learn how to repair a watch, but the cost of all the tools is what has prevented me from going down that route. Also, I think I would want a non-running watch to practice on first before I destroy one. Technically, the one I have is non-working, but it also has a limited warranty still on it, so I hope that it will be covered. I know I didn't drop it and slam it into anything, but when I turn it over, I can hear something loose in it.

  5. #20
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: kd8tzc)

    Quote Originally Posted by kd8tzc View Post
    but when I turn it over, I can hear something loose in it.
    Hopefully that could be just a loose case screw, and the movement
    is moving around when you turn it over.

    Quote Originally Posted by kd8tzc View Post
    You say a lot more people repaired/serviced their watch back then. I can't
    imagine they took their watch apart, or did they?
    I think that most people took their watches in for service. If your RR watch
    needed service(and you worked for the RR), it had to be taken to an
    authorized person that the RR designated for you to bring your watch to.
    http://elginwatches.org/scans/non_el...omplaints.html


    Rob

  6. #21

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: kd8tzc)

    Quote Originally Posted by kd8tzc View Post

    You say a lot more people repaired/serviced their watch back then. I can't imagine they took their watch apart, or did they?
    Here's how to think about watches in those days - first consider the cost of a watch. It was a big investment for the average guy! I looked into this a couple times, but the one I best remember was checking out an Elgin ad from 1950 or so. Their cheapest watch was about $40. Doesn't sound like much, till you remember median family income was only $4200. So that watch was half of a week's earnings. Today, with median family at about $51,000, that's the equivalent of $500. So, you'd take care of it!

    Second, EVERYONE had mechanical watches, so pretty much every jeweler had a watchmaker on the premises. And there were more jewelers. You were advised to take your watch in for service every year or so. Just like cars, most people didn't service their own.

    I would love to learn how to repair a watch, but the cost of all the tools is what has prevented me from going down that route. Also, I think I would want a non-running watch to practice on first before I destroy one. Technically, the one I have is non-working, but it also has a limited warranty still on it, so I hope that it will be covered. I know I didn't drop it and slam it into anything, but when I turn it over, I can hear something loose in it.
    Definitely start with a broken one, and spend time just taking out screws, manipulating them with tweezers, and putting them back in. Good tweezers are vital, but you can get good used Dumont tweezers for cheap on Ebay. Screwdrivers - if you know how to sharpen them, a cheaper set can work for you, at first. You might find that you don't have the patience or dexterity for servicing watches - not everyone does. Or you might find it's your new passion.

  7. #22

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: GeneJockey)

    Let's separate the terms "durable" and "rugged". These jeweled watches are all durable--meaning that properly maintained they will keep good time. These jeweled watches are not rugged. They will not take a sharp blow without incurring damage. They are not impervious to dust and water. Each can cause significant damage.

    tom

  8. #23

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: Tom Huber)

    Big nod in agreement with Tom.

    On the topic of learning servicing - although playing with an already-broken movement is harmless and useful up to a point, at some point it will be necessary to practise disassembling and reassembling a movement. If the movement is not running then I don't see an obvious way to tell whether it has been reassembled *correctly*.

  9. #24

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: topspin)

    Good point Topspin, but I guess people have to start somewhere. I know I have taken my Chelsea Shipstrike apart for some minor cleaning in the past, but that was a much larger piece to work on and completely different in some ways.

    I do like working on intricate things. A number of years back, I started building black powder rifles. Not the kinds that you buy in a kit that you can assemble in a week or two, but starting from a blank stock and carving very carefully the stock by hand, and fitting everything. In fact, I have one rifle that I have been very slowly been working on for almost 5 years now. The big issue with building these types of rifles is patience, acquiring the supplies, and finding a mentor who can guide you. With the art of repairing watches, I see many of the same qualities. Does that mean someone who likes to build black powder rifles would be skilled at repairing watches... well, I don't think there is a direct correlation.

    For me, I'm not sure I would want to get into that hobby as the cost of entry with the tools I think would be steep, and I don't know if I would want to undertake that. Would it be fun to try my hand and taking a watch apart and trying to put it back together again, sure! But I would only do that with something that didn't work to start with, and as you say, how would I ever know if I reassembles it correctly? I guess if it works, that might be an indicator, but was it done correctly? I would never know without the skillful guidance from an artisan like many of you.

    On a side note, the gentleman who sold me the watch did contact me yesterday and said to ship the watch back to him so he can take care of it. I will let you know what he finds out.

    On a different side note, I have often liked the dollar watches... yes, I know, cheap watches, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder too. I know they are not like some of the better watches, but for a few bucks, they can be had and they do still tell time and have a story. I decided to buy a pre WW2 Westclox Pocket Ben that I hope to see in a few days. I often wonder though, when the men went off to the two great wars, what did they use to tell time? Did they take their pocket watch with them? I know in WWI they had the "trench watch" which you wore on your wrist, but that had to cost a lot of money back then (and I think only the officers were issued them??). If anyone has any information on the watches of both wars. point me to where I can read up on that.

    Peace,

    John

  10. #25
    Registered user. ANDY YALE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    For a tough, dead reliable carry watch, I would suggest an Illinois 12s open face 17, 19 or 21 jewel like the grade 405 or 406. They keep great time, are easy to fix and parts are available.
    You should be able to get one cased for about 100.00
    If it's got to be a Waltham, a 636 is a sturdy, good looking and affordable choice.
    "Serviced" means nothing on E Bay.

  11. #26

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: ANDY YALE)

    Thanks Andy, I will keep that in mind for my next one. I have heard a lot of nice things about the Illinois.

    One question, how does one get only a specific watch to appear in eBay? If I type in Illinois 12s pocket watch, I get all kinds of other stiff too (elgin, etc). I have a feeling it has Illinois in the description someplace and that is why it returned a hit. Is there a better way to do the search (and include the grade, etc possibly)?

  12. #27

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: kd8tzc)

    kd8tzc: The best way to search Ebay, and anywhere else for that matter, is by putting specifics between quotation marks. In other words, if you type in "Illinois pocket watch" 12s, that should narrow you down a bit. I hope it helps. That may miss a few, so try it a few different ways and see what happens. Good luck.

  13. #28

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: kd8tzc)

    Quote Originally Posted by kd8tzc View Post
    Thanks Andy, I will keep that in mind for my next one. I have heard a lot of nice things about the Illinois.

    One question, how does one get only a specific watch to appear in eBay? If I type in Illinois 12s pocket watch, I get all kinds of other stiff too (elgin, etc). I have a feeling it has Illinois in the description someplace and that is why it returned a hit. Is there a better way to do the search (and include the grade, etc possibly)?
    I just did a search, with the query 'Illinois 12', and limited it to "Jewelry and Watches>Watches, Parts, And Accessories> Pocket Watches> Antique", and got 104 hits. Of the 104, only 4 were NOT 12s Illinois watches or movements. Lots to choose from!

  14. #29

    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: GeneJockey)

    Oh, and remember to save the search, so you don't have to re-do the query. And to get an idea what you should pay, click on 'Sold Listings' every so often. That will tell you what the watches are actually going for, so you know how much to bid in an auction, or when you see a watch you really like with a 'Buy It Now' price, you'll know whether it's a great deal or not.

    Knowledge is your sword and shield in collecting. It prevents you getting taken advantage of, and sometimes lets you snag great deals. Sometimes, watches come up with Buy It Now prices that are ridiculously low, because the seller doesn't know the brand, and has no idea what he's got.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: Durable pocket watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    I own 5 Waltham Pocket watches that are inexpensive models and all work. The earliest a 100 years old was serviced and keeps pretty accurate time. The others are older and still work pretty good. I stopped winding the ones not serviced to avoid costly repairs down the road. From what I read the Waltham Pocket watches are considered reliable. You may want to send again for service.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1883 Waltham Ser 20910151.jpg   1891 Waltham Ser 4852264.jpg   1891-1895 Waltham Ser 5226220.jpg   1896 Waltham Ser 7732688.jpg   1917 Waltham Ser 21113538.jpg  


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