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    Elgin convertible 3 finger bridge

    I was reviewing this thread today, and realized I had just seen a grade 90 movement on ebay. 13 jewels, gilt, not marked adjusted, simple regulator: SN 941,782. Based on that, at least 800 should have been manufactured.
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    Gruen 179- Valuable or not?

    In short, they're not worth a whole lot. The 179 is probably worth the most of the batch, you might get more than $100 for a nice example if you're lucky. There is one particular seller on ebay who gets 5-10x average market value when he sells - I wouldn't be surprised if you saw one of his...
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    Tudor Oyster & Tudor Oyster Air Tiger

    I would redo the Air King - it's unusable. At this point, the original dial is not adding anything good to the watch. On the Oyster, I would leave it. I like the look - it's relatively evenly toned, with an interesting gradient effect. The fact that it is still readable factors in heavily for...
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    Military Tissot or not?

    The last 3 digits of the case number on the case lug shows that the back and case are original to each other (and helps a watchmaker to pair them correctly after disassembly, even if there are many cases mixed together). With earlier cases, this was a common feature, but progressively more...
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    Swiss Emperor

    I can understand why an auto winder would be convenient if the wrong date bothers you though - particularly on these older watches without a quick-set feature. I still think they're a bad idea. Would you leave your car idling so the battery stays charged?
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    Hamilton Balance Wheel Patent:

    That was a good read. I have no further comment on this subject.
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    Hamilton Balance Wheel Patent:

    Ok, I have checked and you are right about the Model 21. That's what I get for not being an expert - I generalized the M21 and M22 together. Since the M21 uses Elinvar Extra, it shows that the bimetallic balance can still be used/still has value over solid Invar type even when an Elinvar Extra...
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    Hamilton Balance Wheel Patent:

    Yes, by bimetallic, I meant "made of stainless steel and Invar" (to compensate for the Elinvar hairspring). The M21 and M22 did use this principle, at least the earlier ones did. I would not be surprised to find that Hamilton switched them to Elinvar Extra once it became available - it is the...
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    1917 Gruen Precision Pocket Watch

    That's what I thought too, and that's what it "ought" to be, to be correct. But you're the one holding it in your hand! Your watch movement was built in 1915-16, and sold/engraved in 1917. This type of delay after manufacture is typical for Gruen's highest grades (and everyone else's too) -...
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    1917 Gruen Precision Pocket Watch

    Yep! A special movement indeed! That is a 19 jewel V2 "Precision" caliber. Special features: a special click spring arrangement, counterweighted "moustache" lever, and a very special balance arrangement unique to Gruen (the "Chronometer Balance" referred to on the movement). This caliber, and...
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    Hamilton Balance Wheel Patent:

    Surely the primary application of that patent was to the Model 21 and 22 marine chronometers. They feature an Invar and stainless steel "ovalizing" balance with Elinvar hairspring, which use case was described using almost that exact wording in the patent application. The patent timeframe also...
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    1917 Gruen Precision Pocket Watch

    Yes, with movement pictures we should be able to tell you a fair bit. Not much we can tell you that you can't see for yourself about the case. The inner back pops open the same way the outer back did. The dial has been redone, and very poorly at that. Fortunately it can be redone rather...
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    Fancy Swiss metal dials

    I can confirm the stamp "ZJ" on the back several Gruen dials of various types. If you would like, I can dig through some loose ones. I ought to be able to turn up a few. I don't have any of the super-fancy enamel types, though.
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    Lovely Ladies -- European

    What a beautiful watch! Could I get case and movement serials for my Gruen records? I think I see SN 137,728 but unsure. It's clear that the center wheel is running in at least one jewel, which makes this the first Gruen I've ever seen to have an incorrect jewel count on the movement. It's at...
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    How many interesting collectible watches are in the hands of collectors

    The 50th Anniversary Gruen VeriThin is the only watch Gruen made that has exactly-known production numbers. 650 were made. I have confirmed the existence of 34 of them. 34/650 = 5.2% Of those, 25 still have cases, though one is a known recase. (Standard Gruen cases fit, so more could be...
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    Dating Watches Imported to the U.S. By Tariff Law-Required Markings

    I have been working on this for a while as part of the effort above, though my contribution was limited to providing observations from my data. An important note: the 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariff requires differentiation of Adjustments, if movements are marked for adjustments at all. It also raised...
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    left a Columbus King by my grandfather

    So it *does* have an internally jeweled barrel! Truly fascinating! But apparently only on the very top of the top-of-the-line movements. I wonder if they had to pay a patent-holder for the use of the internally jeweled barrel, and that's why there are so few 25 jewel watches? The thought...
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    left a Columbus King by my grandfather

    Something I've wondered for a while on the 25 jewel models: where are the last two jewels? I can see 23 on this Columbus. Does it have an internally jeweled barrel as well?
  19. T

    19.2 karat gold?

    19.2 karat gold, aka 800/1000 or 80% purity gold, appears to have been a standard used only by the Portuguese. Judging from your watch, it is clear that Wadsworth made some cases specifically for export to Portugal. I suppose the question would be whether they were intended to be exported as...
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    Star watch case company, “ Defiance” model info

    Chrome looks amazing out of the gate and doesn't dull or corrode under conditions normal pocket watches are subject to. The problem is that the only way to go is "down" - the plating layer is thin and soon wears through with regular use. The brass underneath is rather unsightly. These were the...

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Weekly News 7/7/19 by Tom McIntyre