A.W.W.Co. Power Reserve indicator...

Paul Helmuth

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Apr 25, 2019
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All,

I have a Model 1908 Vanguard with the Power Reserve indicator at 12.

When fully wound, should the indicator point at "12 (straight up)" - and when fully run down, point at "D'N/24" (toward the left side of the dial)?

Probably a silly question - I have just not seen any examples that I know to be correct - and when I got mine the power indicator hand was in a nonsensical position.

I positioned it at the "D'N / 24" when fully run down and when fully wound it points straight up at 12. This makes some sense to me. Though, I'm not sure about the "Up/0" part of the scale (to the right). Seems like that would be a good place to point when fully wound.

Please pardon the newbie/novice question. I am mostly a wrist watch guy. But recently have picked up a few interesting (to me) pocket watches.

Thanks in advance for any info!
-Paul
 

luvsthetick

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My model 1908 has a 36 hour scale. When fully wound it points to 0 (up) and when fully run down it points to approximately 32 (near d'n).
Notice the wind label @ 24 hours.

Hope this helps.

DSC_0008ad.jpg
 

Paul Helmuth

NAWCC Member
Apr 25, 2019
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My model 1908 has a 36 hour scale. When fully wound it points to 0 (up) and when fully run down it points to approximately 32 (near d'n).
Notice the wind label @ 24 hours.

Hope this helps.

View attachment 643996
luvsthetick,

Yes! Very helpful. Thank you!

Your scale and indicator positions make much more sense. Though I would have probably run the numbers in reverse (as in # of hours left).

I'm thinking that they changed that complication at some point - to make more sense (as yours does). Mine is a 1906xxxx serial number. I'd guess yours is later.

So, I'd conclude that the most important part is having the indicator point at "D'N" (and in my case 24) when it's out of wind.

-Paul
 

Kenny S.

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Paul, think of it this way, when it's pointing to "UP", the watch is wound up or tight, and when pointing "DN" it's unwound and needing to be wound. Does that help?
 

Paul Helmuth

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Apr 25, 2019
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Paul, think of it this way, when it's pointing to "UP", the watch is wound up or tight, and when pointing "DN" it's unwound and needing to be wound. Does that help?
No - that's not a point of "confusion".

The question is why did they change a system (with a 36 hr scale) that made sense - in favor of one that doesn't.

Unless my Vanguard was supposed to come with a "24-hr mainspring" (Pretty sure those didn't exist).

Perhaps a picture of mine would help you see what I mean...
Waltham_Vanguard_PwrReserve Face.jpg

Here you see it fully run down (with the indicator pointing at D'N). However, if you wind this fully, it won't be pointing at UP. It will be point straight up at 12.

Now do you see my question?

Seems that a change was made to the complication which (in my opinion) makes less sense.

-Paul
 

luvsthetick

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But I must admit, I'm at a loss to understand the facts.
I own 14 wind indicator watches, Rockford, Elgin and Waltham. Each and everyone is set up this way.

As Svenedin says, Wound up/run down!


To fix your problem Paul, you need to remove the indicator hand from the pinion, wind the watch fully and then reinstall the hand with it pointing to the 0 (up) position and all will be well.

This assumes that all the internal parts of the wind indication system are correct and installed correctly. Additionally, there is always the possibility someone installed a 36 hour mainspring which would allow the watch to run well past (and indicate) the 24 hour mark.
 
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Paul Helmuth

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Apr 25, 2019
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I hope you read all of my post #10 and not just the 1st part about my watches.
Sorry luvsthetick - no I didn't see the implication that there were 24 hour mainsprings specified for the power reserve watches with a 24 hour scale.

I was distracted by all of the responses trying to clarify Up & Down :chuckling:

So - there were 24 hour springs specified for these Power Reserves with a 24 hour index! I was totally wrong on this point. I suppose because this seems to be a step backward from the index and power reserve on your (earlier) watch.

But at least it does explain a 24 hour scale!

BTW - my "fix" is to "zero" the indicator on the run down location - and thus it points straight up at 12 when fully wound (as previously stated - because it has a "standard" mainspring for the size). But this makes more sense to me. As at least you can see how far you have to go to "D'N".

Thank you luvsthetick!

Still don't understand why they would have made a change to make something less desirable than the original.

-Paul
 

svenedin

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I don't understand this confusion. I know nothing about American watches but up/down indicators were reasonably common on English fusee watches. In post #1 the OP has a watch with Up (0), wind at 24 and down at 36 hours. This would seem absolutely normal. Watches are usually wound at the same time of day, once every 24 hours but they usually run a bit longer than that if not wound (around 30 hours or even longer). Then in post #9 we have a different watch with Up at (0) and Down at slightly over 24 hours.

What is confusing? The different models of watch clearly have different run times.
 

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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You are supposed to wind your watch once a day. Considering a work schedule that would be every 24 hours. This is not a power reserve indicator, it is how long the watch has been running indicator, designed to remind you to wind your watch. Anything beyond 24 is a loss for the 24 hour reminder as you are already late.

To go further, the watch (with a proper mainspring) should give the best rate between fully wound and 24 hours of running. After 24 hours, the rate will not be as good as that range, therefore proper timekeeping of the watch is within that 24 hour range.
 

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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And the mechanism inside changed. Again it is not a power reserve indicator. The most basic function is to remind a busy sometimes forgetful person that they need to wind their watch as it has been running for 24 hours. Timekeeping degrades beyond that 24 hours. At least in these models.

This is why it is called a wind indicator, to remind you to wind the watch.
 
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Paul Helmuth

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Apr 25, 2019
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I don't understand this confusion. I know nothing about American watches but up/down indicators were reasonably common on English fusee watches. In post #1 the OP has a watch with Up (0), wind at 24 and down at 36 hours. This would seem absolutely normal. Watches are usually wound at the same time of day, once every 24 hours but they usually run a bit longer than that if not wound (around 30 hours or even longer). Then in post #9 we have a different watch with Up at (0) and Down at slightly over 24 hours.

What is confusing?
I totally agree that the wind indicator function - as pictured first - makes complete sense.

Which is what I said about that picture.

However, I am the OP and I have a Power Reserve with a 24 hour scale (which I eventually posted (#9 in this thread).

This was my first and only pocket watch with a power reserve - and I am not that familiar pocket watches in general.
So, I was a bit confused with a scale that didn't match the mainspring. Never thought there were special 24 hour springs for the variant that I have.

The reason for my question in the first place is that my wind indicator was pointing to a nonsensical position when I got it. Which was because it had a 30-something hour (regular) mainspring in it.

So - I'm completely straight (at least based on what has been posted here) - but I'm sure there will be some more "explanations" coming. :)

Thanks for taking the time to post!
-Paul
 

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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There are not 24 hour springs to my knowledge. But... I think some context on a wind indicator, 36 hours and power reserve is needed.

Power reserve is the total run time of the watch. How long it will run from full wind to full stop. I think in these Walthams it is about 36-40 hours.

However, these are professional tools for the working man on the Railroads. They had to be good timekeepers.

A watch does NOT keep good time over the length of the power reserve. The torque output from the mainspring gets weaker the longer it unwinds in the barrel from full wind. Good rate comes from good amplitude. These watches were designed to keep their best rate within that first 24 hours of wind, because there is already decades of precedent of winding your watch daily. The best time being in the morning.

This is a wind indicator to help the owner remember to wind their watch, that it has been running for 24 hours. That is why the first version had WIND written at the 24 hour mark. That version of the wind indicator was designed to rotate in that small arc. I believe that was pre 1908 model. *Corrected, it was the 1912 model that changed*

In the *1912* model the wind indicator mechnism was simplified abit, and it just rotates clockwise. The scale was dropped to 24 because that was the intended purpose, to show the watch has been running for 24 hours. Anything beyond that is just hurting the timekeeping of the watch and the owner will readily know that his watch has been running longer than 24 hours as the hand will be past that mark.
 
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Paul Helmuth

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Apr 25, 2019
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And the mechanism inside changed. Again it is not a power reserve indicator. The most basic function is to remind a busy sometimes forgetful person that they need to wind their watch as it has been running for 24 hours. Timekeeping degrades beyond that 24 hours. At least in these models.

This is why it is called a wind indicator, to remind you to wind the watch.
SpringDriven,

Thanks!

The additional input is great for context.

Personally, I still think they made a change to something that makes less sense. But it clearly didn't make less sense to Waltham at the time.

In any event, I can see where they were thinking you need to keep the watch running in the first 24 hours of wind. Which, of course, anyone can do without a wind indicator. Just wind your watch to full every morning. :)

Thank you sir!
-Paul
 

Paul Helmuth

NAWCC Member
Apr 25, 2019
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There are not 24 hour springs to my knowledge. But... I think some context on a wind indicator, 36 hours and power reserve is needed.

Power reserve is the total run time of the watch. How long it will run from full wind to full stop. I think in these Walthams it is about 36-40 hours.

However, these are professional tools for the working man on the Railroads. They had to be good timekeepers.

A watch does NOT keep good time over the length of the power reserve. The torque output from the mainspring gets weaker the longer it unwinds in the barrel from full wind. Good rate comes from good amplitude. These watches were designed to keep their best rate within that first 24 hours of wind, because there is already decades of precedent of winding your watch daily. The best time being in the morning.

This is a wind indicator to help the owner remember to wind their watch, that it has been running for 24 hours. That is why the first version had WIND written at the 24 hour mark. That version of the wind indicator was designed to rotate in that small arc. I believe that was pre 1908 model.

In the 1908 model the wind indicator mechnism was simplified abit, and it just rotates. The scale was dropped to 24 because that was the intended purpose, to show the watch has been running for 24 hours. Anything beyond that is just hurting the timekeeping of the watch and the owner will readily know that his watch has been running longer than 24 hours as the hand will be past that mark.
Yes - thank you, thank you, thank you!

I had pretty much drawn that out of your previous post - but the detail is nice for anyone reading.

-Paul
 
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Jerry Treiman

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Some of the confusion may be related to the fact that Waltham used two different indicator mechanisms and dials on their 16-size watches. The first was the "1908 Model Winding Indicator" which has a 36-hour indicator dial. A short while later they began using the "1912 Up and Down Winding Indicator" which has a 24-hour indicator dial. The indicator hand moves the same distance on either one, so if you have the wrong indicator dial it will not display correctly. For example, a later 1912 model dial on an earlier indicator watch will read 24 hours when it has really run 36 hours.

Here are the parts pages -
1908 WI parts.jpg 1912 up-down parts.jpg
 

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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SpringDriven,

Thanks!

The additional input is great for context.

Personally, I still think they made a change to something that makes less sense. But it clearly didn't make less sense to Waltham at the time.

In any event, I can see where they were thinking you need to keep the watch running in the first 24 hours of wind. Which, of course, anyone can do without a wind indicator. Just wind your watch to full every morning. :)

Thank you sir!
-Paul
Your statement of "anyone can do without a wind indicator" is indicative of the fact that you probably would not have purchased one. And also why only Waltham was prolific in making them. It was not a common function that most people needed!
 
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Paul Helmuth

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Apr 25, 2019
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Some of the confusion may be related to the fact that Waltham used two different indicator mechanisms and dials on their 16-size watches. The first was the "1908 Model Winding Indicator" which has a 36-hour indicator dial. A short while later they began using the "1912 Up and Down Winding Indicator" which has a 24-hour indicator dial. The indicator hand moves the same distance on either one, so if you have the wrong indicator dial it will not display correctly. For example, a later 1912 model dial on an earlier indicator watch will read 24 hours when it has really run 36 hours.

Here are the parts pages -
View attachment 644025 View attachment 644026
Jerry,

Thank you for this additional input!

Fantastic - this is getting more interesting than I thought it could get.

My Vanguard has an approximate manufacture date of 1913 - and hence the dial that you see in my photo. It looks like the 1912 Up and Down Winding Indicator in the document that you linked.

Thank you!

I don't think I have seen any reference to a 1912 Model, but as I have mentioned - I don't have much/any experience with pocket watches.

Should I consider mine a 1912 Model?

-Paul
 

viclip

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Jul 20, 2018
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The following thread may prove of some assistance respecting an American WI pocket watch having a 24-hour WI indicator with a 36-hour mainspring.:

Winding Indicator

When initially fully wound the WI hand will show less than 0 & when fully unwound the WI hand will show more than 24. ( I picked up somewhere that the old time watchmakers used to place the WI hand straight up when the watch was fully unwound. at least as a starting point prior to any fiddling.)

This reflects that the Winding Indicator function is not a Power Reserve; the former depicts how long ago the watch was last wound whereas the latter shows how long the watch will continue running. The idea of the WI is to get the user to wind the watch daily around the same time such that the most linear portion of the mainspring's power curve is utilized, calculated to optimize time keeping.

Setting up the proper functioning of an American 24-hour WI watch is a multi-day affair:

Day 1 ~ at the time that you would normally wind it, fully wind the watch up. If properly set up the WI hand will point somewhere < 0. This is the only occasion on which you will ever again fully wind the watch (unless & until it stops for whatever reason, in which case you'll need to repeat the process).

Day 2~ at the time that you would normally wind it, wind the watch but only until the WI hand points exactly to 0. That is, do not fully re-wind the watch, stop winding when the WI hand is at its 0 mark.

Day 3 & thereafter daily ~ at the time that you would normally wind the watch, you should see the WI hand pointing to 24 i.e. it's telling you that the watch was last wound 24 hours ago. All's well, proceed to wind it but stop when the WI hand points to 0. The watch is then telling you that it was last wound zero hours ago & it will then tell you that it has run for 24 hours the following day at the usual winding time.

Essentially the properly set-up & religiously wound watch will alternate between its WI 0 & 24 positions. Of course you could wind it earlier or later than when you normally do, just be sure to stop winding when the WI hand shows 0; do remember though that the idea was to wind the watch at the same time every day for precise time-keeping's sake. (And strive to not let the watch run completely down to avoid going through the set-up process again.)

I hope this helps. There's a more detailed thread kicking around but I was unable to find it.
 
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Paul Helmuth

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Apr 25, 2019
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The following thread may prove of some assistance respecting an American WI pocket watch having a 24-hour WI indicator with a 36-hour mainspring.:

Winding Indicator

When initially fully wound the WI hand will show less than 0 & when fully unwound the WI hand will show more than 24. ( I picked up somewhere that the old time watchmakers used to place the WI hand straight up when the watch was fully unwound. at least as a starting point prior to any fiddling.)

This reflects that the Winding Indicator function is not a Power Reserve; the former depicts how long ago the watch was last wound whereas the latter shows how long the watch will continue running. The idea of the WI is to get the user to wind the watch daily around the same time such that the most linear portion of the mainspring's power curve is utilized, calculated to optimize time keeping.

Setting up the proper functioning of an American 24-hour WI watch is a multi-day affair:

Day 1 ~ at the time that you would normally wind it, fully wind the watch up. If properly set up the WI hand will point somewhere < 0. This is the only occasion on which you will ever again fully wind the watch (unless & until it stops for whatever reason, in which case you'll need to repeat the process).

Day 2~ at the time that you would normally wind it, wind the watch but only until the WI hand points exactly to 0. That is, do not fully re-wind the watch, stop winding when the WI hand is at its 0 mark.

Day 3 & thereafter daily ~ at the time that you would normally wind the watch, you should see the WI hand pointing to 24 i.e. it's telling you that the watch was last wound 24 hours ago. All's well, proceed to wind it but stop when the WI hand points to 0. The watch is then telling you that it was last wound zero hours ago & it will then tell you that it has run for 24 hours the following day at the usual winding time.

Essentially the properly set-up & religiously wound watch will alternate between its WI 0 & 24 positions. Of course you could wind it earlier or later than when you normally do, just be sure to stop winding when the WI hand shows 0; do remember though that the idea was to wind the watch at the same time every day for precise time-keeping's sake. (And strive to not let the watch run completely down to avoid going through the set-up process again.)

I hope this helps. There's a more detailed thread kicking around but I was unable to find it.
Thank you viclip!

-Paul
 
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GaryWoodward

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My casual observation has been that the 18s Vanguards had a 36 hr wind chapter and the 16s had the 24. Am I on the right track here? luvsthetick: Is yours an 18s? The bulk of my modest collection is of 16s Vanguard UP and D'Ns. All of them point to '0' when fully wound. Will be posting pix soon...
Edit: Jerry's post answered me, thanks. 1908 vs 1912 instead of 16 vs 18. Here to learn - thanks!
 
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viclip

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My casual observation has been that the 18s Vanguards had a 36 hr wind chapter and the 16s had the 24. Am I on the right track here? luvsthetick: Is yours an 18s? The bulk of my modest collection is of 16s Vanguard UP and D'Ns. All of them point to '0' when fully wound. Will be posting pix soon...
Edit: Jerry's post answered me, thanks. 1908 vs 1912 instead of 16 vs 18. Here to learn - thanks!
If the WI hand points to 0 when fully wound on the 16s models (with the 24-hour WI register), it's because the last person servicing the watch put the hand on that way. The hand can be installed pointing in any direction whatsoever same as the the other hands. Placing the hand to point at the 0 at full wind means that the initial portion of the mainspring's power curve forms part of the relevant portion being used for timekeeping, which was not the idea..

If the WI hand is affixed correctly, it should point somewhere less than zero at full wind, usually it points towards 1 o'clock on the main timekeeping dial. Of course partially set blue mainsprings & later white ones introduce variances into how to affix the WI pointer, calling for some fiddling about before fully seating the WI hand..
 

grtnev

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My casual observation has been that the 18s Vanguards had a 36 hr wind chapter and the 16s had the 24. Am I on the right track here?
No - not the case

Please refer to post #21 above from Jerry Treiman. Attached is my Waltham 16s, Model 1908, 23j, Vanguard grade with a 36 hour wind indicator from ca: 1910. Attached are also some notes of mine as I tried to determine approximate production of 16s Model 1908 Vanguards with a 36 hour wind indicator.

I would also suggest that you read: " WIND INDICATORS, PART 2: WALTHAM , by Ed Ueberall and Kent Singer, NAWCC Bulletin Feb 2008, pp 51-61. The article is available to NAWCC members on line here: Log In. (Not sure why it says Log In, I inserted the link and the thread changes it - just click on it and it will take you to the article.)

Richard

2 Dial.JPG DSC04485.JPG 16s Vanguard Wind Indicator Info.jpg
 
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