Best American Repeater? Complications?

DTSPatrick

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Jul 9, 2020
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I’ve been going down a mental rabbit hole… Ive been thinking about pocketwatch complications. Whether a relatively simple complication like a power reserve or a complicated complication like a repeater.

A few questions:

What American pocket watch manufacturers made watches with a repeater? Which brand and model was the nicest repeater?

What other complicated complications (not chronographs) are found in American pocket watches? I don’t think I’ve ever seen an American jump hours or calendar watch, etc.
 

Ethan Lipsig

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As far as I know, only Waltham made repeaters, rattrapantes, repeater/chronographs, or repeater/rattrapantes. Waltham, Elgin, Hamilton, and Rockford made wind indicators. Waltham, Hamilton, and perhaps Elgin made chronographs, as did some makers of lower grade watch companies. I think that's about it for "complicated" U.S. watches. I don't think any U.S. makers made sonneries, perpetual calendars, simple calendars, seconde mortes, foudroyantes, or other exotica.
 

DTSPatrick

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I guess that’s why I don’t see very many American complications in the wild. Too bad.

Does anybody know the models of Waltham repeaters? Is any particular model higher grade?
 

Ethan Lipsig

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I have a 14k Waltham 5-minute repeater/chronograph. It is a thick, heavy watch, 162 grams gross weight, cased.

The only article about Waltham's repeaters that I recall ever seeing is Thomas De Fazio's 1977 NAWCC Bulletin article. He estimates total production to be around 1250-1350, of which 200 were combination repeater/chronographs or repeater/rattrapantes. Mark Kauzlarich's recent article on C.H. Meylan has a significant amount of information about Waltham complicated watches, many of which C.H. Meylan helped make. See In-Depth: C.H. Meylan And The Living History of America's Most Complicated Watch. In looking at Mark's article again just now, he reports that Waltham made at least one 5-minute repeater/rattrapante/perp. calendar with moonphases. I'd forgotten that likely one-off in my prior post.

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darrahg

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You might want to post this in the 'Complicated Watches' section to see if you get any other responses.
 
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