30+ size watches as Chronometers, car and travel clocks

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by artbissell, Aug 27, 2015.

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  1. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    Waltham got many years of a variety of applications from their 37s open face watch? movement if 16 and 30 million serial numbers I have are valid. Here are 15j 1909 travel clock and 1942 chronometer. Was it originaly designed as a car clock? Unlike the similar size Hamilton 22 that was I guess designed to be a large precision watch? Could someone refer me to good reference info about the Waltham? artbissell

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  2. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    I think Don Dahlberg did a nice story on this on these boards a few years back. Something about the real precision aspect of a chronometer being the balance wheel maybe? And how they put new balances in the old Waltham car clocks to make them into chronometers during wae times?? I may have that all wrong. But I cannot seem to find the discussion.
     
  3. Andy Dervan

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    Hello,

    They DO NOT meet chronometer specifications, so they can not called chronometers. They were designed for use on small naval vessels for short trips that needed rugged and reasonably accurate short duration timekeeper.

    These 15 jewel car clock used two different hairsprings; Waltham changed them in 1925.

    Be careful about interpreting serial numbers and dates watches were completed - Waltham setup the serial number blocks, but some watches in those blocks might have been completed years later.

    Andy Dervan
     
  4. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    ANDY; the 16 million serial travel clock style seems to me newer than 1909 and the adjusted version is certainly not chronometer rated, although commonly so named. Good comments. artbissell
     
  5. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    #5 artbissell, Aug 27, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
    I am interested in the improperly chronometer named version. Many made? Accuracy? How it was used. No military use? Jewelry store decoration? Novelty? artbissell

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  6. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I would not be so dismissive of these. I believe they were used on small boats for navigation. Certainly Waltham advertized them for that purpose and Whitney gives them some space in Military Timepieces.

    Here is certificate supplied with one of mine.

    certificate.jpg

    I have mentioned before the presentation that is posted here on the Waltham 37 size. It is also on my new presentations web site. http://mcintyre.com/present/From War to Boudoir.pdf
     
  7. artbissell

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    THANKS TOM for info and 1935 WALTHAM CHRONOMETER performance paper copy. I saw a Waitham 18s p.w. chrono boxed version. Finer, rarer, war time only? artbissell
     
  8. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I have seen a couple of those and believe they were WWII conversions but I have no documentation on them.
     
  9. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I think Tom's document is a bit thin. US law on what can be called a chronometer does not to my knowledge exist except when the Swiss enforce it in regard to their use of the term. The time they enforced it was against Seiko who responded by just doing as Swiss demanded (and then going on to beat them in the Swiss competitions)

    For instance The Howard series 11 was called a "Railroad Chronometer" and Illinois made a private label "interstate Chronometer".

    The problem with the Waltham "Chronometer" certificate is that Waltham did it. It has no temperature data as do Naval Observatory certificates.

    These oversize Waltham watches were certainly good enough for short term use, as was any decent railroad watch, especially with wireless time broadcasts. Also nav watches were in desperate short supply.
     
  10. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The Railroad Chronometer and Interstate Chronometer were clearly just names with no intent to describe a timepiece used for navigation. Waltham, on the other hand did make and sell the 37 size chronometers for navigation purposes. They were sold for exactly the same purposes that the Hamilton 36 size and Model 22 were sold for. They were less expensive and they had an 8 day reserve.

    They were not meant to complete with the larger marine chronometers such as made by the English. Swiss and Germans or those made a bit later by Hamilton and Elgin.

    Page 197 of Whitney's The Ship's Chronometer lists Waltham's 37 size along with Elgin, Hamilton, Longines and Zenith. He refers to the Walthams as up-jeweled car clocks, but that is an error since the first ones made were in fact the 15 jewel, adjusted, gimbaled chronometer watches.

    The Zenith watches were up-jeweled by the Vail Watch Co. of Chicago for Navy use and during the crisis at the start of WWII many Waltham travel clocks were converted to Navy service by the Roth Brothers and others.
     
  11. artbissell

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    #11 artbissell, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    THANKS again TOM for your, I expect herein, final comment about the interesting Waltham navigation watch. Before 2004 I loaned Whitney Elgin's 1944 own 8x10 record photographs of their 17 different military specification watches, aircraft clocks, and Hamilton 21 chronometer copy. These were obtained directly by a friend from final Elgin factory sale. I lost a copy of the fine Whitney book. There was no Elgin photo of an equivalent Waltham 37s or the Hamilton 36s. artbissell

    Who might be interested in donation of these to NAWCC collection?
     

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