A favorite wristwatch

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Tom Huber, Feb 20, 2001.

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  1. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2000
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    I thought that I would relay a story about one of my prized ww's. It is a Timex. Before you run away and boo-hiss, let me tell you the story. I got the watch for xmas in 1957--a gift from my mom and dad. It's a silvertone self-winding Timex. I had it about a month when it quit running. I took big time heat from my mom. Now, John Cameron Swazee could stomp on his with an elephant or douse it in water on the blade of an outboard motor and it would keep on ticking. Just give one to me and I'd break it in a month. I tried several times to get the watch fixed, but as a 12 year old I just went on to other things. I never threw the watch away, but put it away in a box. About two years ago, my mom found the box at home and gave it to me. I found the watch and decided to look inside. What I found was that the watch had not been assembled properly when it was built. The two screws which held the self winding rotor had never been torqued down tight. One screw was loose, and the other screw had come out and fallen into the balance. When I picked out the screw, the watch took right off--running strong after 42 years in the box. I put the screw in and tightened them both. The watch keeps time to about 15 sec/day. What I now have is a 44 year old Timex, a gift from my mom & dad, which is essentially a new watch with about one month's running time on it.

    Be it only a Timex, it is still a cherished possession. Tom
     
  2. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2000
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    I thought that I would relay a story about one of my prized ww's. It is a Timex. Before you run away and boo-hiss, let me tell you the story. I got the watch for xmas in 1957--a gift from my mom and dad. It's a silvertone self-winding Timex. I had it about a month when it quit running. I took big time heat from my mom. Now, John Cameron Swazee could stomp on his with an elephant or douse it in water on the blade of an outboard motor and it would keep on ticking. Just give one to me and I'd break it in a month. I tried several times to get the watch fixed, but as a 12 year old I just went on to other things. I never threw the watch away, but put it away in a box. About two years ago, my mom found the box at home and gave it to me. I found the watch and decided to look inside. What I found was that the watch had not been assembled properly when it was built. The two screws which held the self winding rotor had never been torqued down tight. One screw was loose, and the other screw had come out and fallen into the balance. When I picked out the screw, the watch took right off--running strong after 42 years in the box. I put the screw in and tightened them both. The watch keeps time to about 15 sec/day. What I now have is a 44 year old Timex, a gift from my mom & dad, which is essentially a new watch with about one month's running time on it.

    Be it only a Timex, it is still a cherished possession. Tom
     
  3. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    Tom,

    Timex made a 21-jewel automatic which was written up in an NAWCC BULLETIN a number of years ago. It was then and still is now reasonably scarce. Particularly since many that were made have been buried in the landfill. Might yours be one of those? I suspect yours is one of the ones that was made in Great Britain.

    I too have a Timex in my collection! It was one of the earliest of the battery powered (electro-mechanical, not transistorized, not quartz) movements from the early 1960s. At the time you could buy one in a chrome case, black strap, for $ 39.95 Canadian. The movement was made by Durowe in Germany, and it was vastly superior to the Hamilton electric of the time at a fraction of the cost. To this day it STILL runs better than my Hamilton Electrics!

    Thanks for your posting. This is a site for anyone who loves watches, of any kind, as they are all part of the evolutionary story.

    Regards,
    Doug S.

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    P. S. I believe that John Cameron Swayze was the president of the CHICAGO SCHOOL OF WATCHMAKING in those days! Do you remember how he seemed to be mis-cast for the part he played in those ads? I always felt that Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Durward Kirby, or anyone other than Swayze would be better for the job! Well, ok! Kirby was locked in advertising for Hamilton, so maybe he wasn't available. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this affiliation with the school, someone!

    [This message has been edited by Doug Sinclair (edited 02-20-2001).]
     
  4. Tom, This is a wonderful story. Sometimes the story is more important than the watch. This is one of the reasons that I, personally have no problem with buying a previously engraved watch. Think of the love and the story that is associated with it. One of my recent disappointments was not winning an IWC that was auctioned on Ebay sometime last year. It was from the 30's, 18k case and inscribed "to the Chairman of great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co." for X years of service, etc. What a great history. One of my favorite watches is a GP gyro-50's that I bought from an Australian fellow. The leather band had been worn on each notch. I don't know the real story, but I can visualize the watch being passed from father to son to son. Thanks for the story.
    Best Regards, Marty
     
  5. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

  6. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    Mike,

    Thanks for the link to Swayze's bio. It doesn't mention a connection with the Chicago School of Watchmaking, but I am certain that I have read of a connection, somewhere. Timex advertising certainly was successful, I'll have to give Swayze that.

    Regards,
    Doug S.

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  7. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

    Doug, I agree. Timex was/is certainly successful, and you can't think of Timex without thinking of Swayze.

    By the way, it's great to be associated with people who recognize that all watches have collector interest.

    Regards,
    Mike

    [This message has been edited by Mike Kearney (edited 02-21-2001).]
     
  8. Dave Haynes

    Dave Haynes Registered User

    Sep 12, 2000
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    Timex actually made a pretty good watch. I remember reading about a test of like 100?
    Timex watches and the criterion was to hold a minute a day, which was supposed to be the standard for Swiss jewelled watches. Anyway,
    only one watch failed the test. I used to buy Timex because they were cheap, $10 or so when a comperable Bulova was $40. But then, I still have my first Bulova, $37 paid off at $10 a month. It finally quit in Vietnam, like everything else. I just recently cleaned it and it's running again.
     
  9. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Doug, I'm familiar with the 21J Timex's. Right after I read the article in the NAWCC Bulletin, about 10 years ago, I found one at a yard sale, bought it of $1. I still have it. Mine that I referenced above is the regular pin lever movement and is marked made in USA at the bottom of the dial. At the time that I got it in 1957, it was big time to have any watch that wound by itself.

    Tom
     
  10. Rick White

    Rick White Guest

    Tom, you should enter your Timex story here http://www.timex.com/html/our_company_stories.html It is a pretty fun page I really got a kick out of the story about The Dog who ate a watch talk about taking a licking and still keeps on ticking. ;)


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    Rick White
    Pocket Watches Moderator
     
  11. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Registered User

    Nov 29, 2000
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    I have too many watches to pick a single favorite, though I do seem to have a favorite from day to day. For example, I picked up a nice Bulova from the early 60s over the weekend at a local chapter 1-day event. It's gorgeous (not that I've married it to a proper leather strap).

    Many of my watches are salvaged from junk boxes. I buy bulk lots at about a buck-a-watch, and find the gems in the rough (sometimes VERY rough). Case in point, I recently found a Caravelle automatic in such a box. The dial and case were encrusted with gunk to the point you could not make out the name or the time. It was missing its crown, so by all rights the works should have been gummed up too... but they weren't. So I poliched the crystal, wiped off the case and replaced the crown. Now it is one of the most accurate watches I own.

    Oddly enough, most of the Bulovas I own were acquired in this fashion. And for reasons that escape me, it seems that Bulovas tend to survive better, on average, in junk boxes than other brands. At least that is my experience. I now have about a dozen Bulovas in the collection... some very nice, some so-so... but all keep time fairly well.

    In al honesty, though, I confess to being superficial in that aesthetics are the single most important factor to me. I like unusual numbers, fancy dials, golden movements, gold-inlaid markings on the movements. Accuracy is important too, but if you show me an ungly accurate watch and a beatiful watch that loses 10 minutes a day, I'd probably make an offer on the latter.

    And, for what it is worth, I have NEVER been partial to Rolexes. No offense to anyone, but they bore me aesthetically.


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    Regards,

    - Greg
     
  12. Julian Smith

    Julian Smith Registered User

    Sep 1, 2000
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    Does anyone remember the timex that was sold in a 14 karat gold case?I think it was in the 60's.I have never seen one but I think it would be a neat watch.

    Talking about tough watches , my cousin gave me a 10BPAC in a GF case that had been run over on the road.I beat out the back put in a weight arbor, crystal and hands. It's still in my pile somewhere.I wore it doing construction for years.

    Cheers
    JS
     

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