Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Jerry Treiman, Dec 6, 2001.

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  1. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Does anyone else share an interest in Waltham watches made for Bigelow, Kennard & Co.? I am compiling a database of known production. Movement and case information will be appreciated. Thank you.

    [This message has been edited by Jerry Treiman (edited 12-06-2001).]
     
  2. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Does anyone else share an interest in Waltham watches made for Bigelow, Kennard & Co.? I am compiling a database of known production. Movement and case information will be appreciated. Thank you.

    [This message has been edited by Jerry Treiman (edited 12-06-2001).]
     
  3. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    I just thought I would bring this topic up for a breath of air. I am still actively researching this topic and would like to hear from readers with examples to share. Thanks!
     
  4. Steve Maddox

    Steve Maddox Guest

    Jerry,

    I think you and I may be the only members of the "Bigelow, Kennard & Co." Collectors' Society! :frown:

    By the way, did I tell you that I've traced the heritage of my 12s example to a Harvard graduate who was a noted expert in antique weaponry, and curator of the City Museum of St. Louis?

    ======================

    Steve Maddox
    President, NAWCC Chapter #62
    North Little Rock, Arkansas
     
  5. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Cort, thanks for checking. You needn't feel bad if all you have are Swiss movements for BK&Co. They were a high-end jeweler and most of the Swiss movements I have seen for them are by Vacheron & Constantin. These usually have snap-on dials.
     
  6. Brian C.

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    I'm working on a Waltham pendent watch that is 15j, ser# 12,996,3**. Dial is signed Bigelow Kennard & Co. Boston. The 14k case is signed the same.
    Brian C.
     
  7. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Thanks, Brian, for the info. At the time of the pendant watch you are working on (and even a little earlier) Waltham seems to have sold BK&Co standard Waltham movements with private-label markings on the dial only. Around 1905 they began making special marked movements which also included a patented recoiling click which was exclusive to this private-label contract.
    5.jpg
    This early example is marked "PAT.PDG.". The 1904 English patent is assigned to Bigelow Kennard & Co.

    I have documented 12-size and 0-size Waltham movements for this jeweler, in several grades (15j up to 23j). I would like to be able to document any other sizes, as well as document the total production. Two other examples are shown at the following links
    http://www.nawcc-info.org/Treiman/JT011BKmaxm.jpg
    http://www.nawcc-info.org/Treiman/JT011BKmaxd.jpg

    Most of the BK&Co movements are cased in private-label marked cases such as your example, and I am also trying to include in my research the case details.
     
  8. Dave Chaplain

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    sn 376079 (looks like) V&C 8-10s movement 'stretched' to OF 12-14s 14K YG case, solid gold or gold colored dial with short bold black roman numerals, no seconds register, wolf's teeth winding wheels ... :)

    Member #152553
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  9. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Thanks, Dave. If it looks like a V&C it probably is. I have #345,309 and it is marked Vacheron & Constantin on the pillar plate, under the dial. Is your case marked for Bigelow Kennard & Co.? If so, can you tell me the case number? Does it have a presentation date?
     
  10. Dave Chaplain

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    Corrections and more: previously I was going from an old eBay photo and bad description - I've dug it out now and see that it's more like a 1s stretched to 12s, 19-21 jewels, marked Adjusted, sn is 336,079 - case is 45mm, numbered 1003 and marked 14K.

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  11. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    I am still researching these interesting private-label Waltham watches and would like to hear about other examples, with details on the movement and case. I have found them in solid gold, silver and steel cases and most of these cases are also marked for Bigelow Kennard & Co. A few are not in jeweler-marked cases and I am trying to understand if these are necessarily re-cases or if BK&Co. may have used some unmarked cases.
     
  12. Fred Hansen

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    Hi Jerry -

    I know you had seen this one, but if anyone else is following these ... 17 jewel 12 size Waltham "Bigelow, Kennard & Co." movement/dial/hands serial 18135102 showed up recently.

    Fred
     
  13. Jon Hanson

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    I believe there also was one up on web horology recently:???:
     
  14. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Yes, I am still researching Waltham's production for Bigelow, Kennard & Co. These private-label movements were made in at least five sizes: Colonial Series (14), 12-size, 0-size, 6/0 (Jewel Series) and 10-ligne. Here is a 10-ligne example that I found last year. Also shown are some of the styles of signature on the movements. I am interested in both movement and case information, as many of these were cased by BK&Co in their own privately-marked and numbered cases.
    BK_10L.jpg BKlogos.jpg
     
  15. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    ... just kicking this up to the top as a reminder that I am still researching these interesting watches that Waltham made for Bigelow, Kennard & Co. Below is a copy of the 1904 British patent for the click that Waltham used (see movement in post #7). Note that it is assigned to Bigelow, Kennard & Co.
    LakePat3.jpg
     
  16. John Cote

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    That's pretty neat Jerry!
     
  17. Jerry Treiman

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    #17 Jerry Treiman, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2018
    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    I am still researching Waltham's watch production for the Boston jeweler - Bigelow, Kennard & Co. Waltham made private-label movements for BK&Co. in several grades and several sizes over a period of years (roughly 1904-1912). This photo shows 12-size, 0-size, 6/0 and 10-ligne watches. I am working on the history and production of these interesting private-label watches, so please share any serial numbers and descriptions you might have. I am also looking at how these were cased, so case info is also appreciated.
    4bk.jpg
     
  18. Clarems

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    I have what I believe to be an 8s Bigelow & Kennard open face pocket watch. It has a movement marked Bigelow & Kennard, "Adjusted", Serial # 15110131. It comes in a 18K gold case marked Bigelow Kennard & Co. Boston. It has an inscription on the movement cover "Presented to Edmund P. Phinney by the Assistant Clerks of the Superior Court October 1919. Case #407.
    FullSizeRender (1).jpg FullSizeRender (2).jpg FullSizeRender.jpg

    Can You tell me anymore about this watch? Year it might have been made? Is this a Waltham Movement and can I check the serial number on the Waltham database? What would the going price for this watch be? I'm not selling as it was passed down to my father from my grandfather then to me. I have to provide estate value if any. Any information would be greatly appreciated. The movement looks identical one of the ones in Your picture and the serial number is very close.
     
  19. Ethan Lipsig

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Jerry, I am sure you already have information on this pretty little BK PL Waltham in my collection. I have a half dozen or more BK PLs, but only one is a Waltham. The rest are Swiss V&Cs, Meylans, IWCs, etc.


    IMG_3829 (479x640).jpg IMG_3831 (508x640).jpg IMG_3802 (640x591).jpg IMG_3805 (640x630).jpg
     
  20. Jerry Treiman

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Ethan - that is a lovely higher-grade example. Thanks for sharing it with us. However, my usual excitement at these is overshadowed right now by Clarem's watch.


    Clarem - Your watch is definitely made by Waltham for Bigelow, Kennard & Co. You can look up the serial number in the databases. But, not only is your watch a less-common (for BK&Co) Colonial Series (14-size dial plate) and a fine 19-jewel movement, but it also happens to be in an interesting case made by Henry Matalene - my principal collecting and research passion. In your photos I can see his patented setting slide on the edge of the case that releases the stem/crown to setting position. I can also see his patented pendant construction.


    Clarem - could you please post a few more pictures showing the markings inside of both case backs, for my research purposes? This is the first Matalene case that I have seen that is privately marked for Bigelow, Kennard & Co. Even if you can't add any pictures, can you tell me all the markings (stamped, not scratched) inside each of the covers? Does it include any patent dates?
    Are you sure it is #409 and that there is not another digit that might be almost worn away? If it is really just #409 it would be the earliest pocket watch I have seen cased by him, dating to perhaps 1909 or 1910 (although the movement was probably made a couple of years earlier, probably around 1907). All of his other watches that I have seen from this time-frame are ladies pendant or wrist watches. The 1919 presentation date is not surprising to me as Matalene watches were on the expensive side and sometimes remained in inventory for several years. I am sorry, but we cannot give values on this board, but if you send me a private message I can offer some of my thoughts.


    Sorry for all of the questions back at you, but this is, to me, a truly wonderful watch that may tell me a lot more about the case business of Matalene.
     
  21. Dave Chaplain

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Jerry, here's what I have on the two that I have:

    SN 69,170 - no case or dial, fusee, signed 'Bigelow Bros. & Kennard Boston', 36mm pillar, 32mm top
    SN 336,079 - 14K open face, unsigned, hidden hinged rear cover with snap bezel, signed 'Bigelow Kennard & Co. Boston Adjusted Swiss', 39mm dial, 27mm top

    sn 69170 mvmt2.jpg sn 69170 pillar2.jpg sn 336079 case mark2.jpg sn 336079 dial2.jpg sn 336079 mvmt2.jpg

    sn 69170 mvmt2.jpg sn 69170 pillar2.jpg sn 336079 case mark2.jpg sn 336079 dial2.jpg sn 336079 mvmt2.jpg
     
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  22. Jerry Treiman

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Thanks, Dave. I had snagged the fuzzy auction photos of that fusee back in 2000. I guess you are the one who outbid me :) I don't have a whole lot of info yet on their English import movements but am slowly building a database there, too. I am guessing this one is from the 1860s.

    Your other movement is by Vacheron & Constantin. V&C made many fine movements to be cased by BK&Co. Can you share a few more case photos and the case markings from the other cover? I may have some thoughts on that as well ... I believe that BK&Co did not make their own cases but had them made for them by various casemakers (often J&S). Those hidden-hinge cases are very nice. (You can see the hidden hinge on Clarem's case, above, too).
     
  23. Dave Chaplain

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Hi Jerry - thanks for the info but the case pic I provided is the only surface available, I.e., the inner rear. It's a thin watch and has no cuvette.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi Jerry - thanks for the info but the case pic I provided is the only surface available, I.e., the inner rear. It's a thin watch and has no cuvette.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi Jerry - thanks for the info but the case pic I provided is the only surface available, I.e., the inner rear. It's a thin watch and has no cuvette.
     
  24. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    #24 Jerry Treiman, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Ok Ok Ok :)

    Do you have a picture of the entire watch so that I can see the form of the pendant? Sometimes that is distinctive. The serial number would fit within Matalene's case numbering but the font and karat mark are different. I also have a number of BK&Co watches with low (4-digit) case numbers that I think are from J&S, probably numbered in their own sequence for BK&Co. ... several of these also have hidden hinges.

    [.. also an oops. I mis-typed clarems' case number in my response to him as 409... I recognize that he said 407]
     
  25. Dave Chaplain

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    LOL - responding from a mobile phone in spotty coverage does weird stuff ... ;)

    Here's a view of the front of the watch with pendant - I've done nothing yet to clean up the watch. Note that the font snap bezel and rear hinged case cover converge to a thin 'knife edge' at the center housing ...

    sn 336079 front2.jpg
     
  26. Clarems

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Jerry,
    The watch case is a #407 not a #409. I am definitely sure there are no scratched out numbers on the case after the 7. Here are the best pictures I could get. The inside cover shows the Bigelow & Kennard Stamp with no other information except what is just below it. Inside the inscription cover shows the Patent stamp and what is below it and nothing else. I am enclosing the best pictures I can using a Samsung phone. If You expand the Bigelow & Kennard stamp, you can see there is no other number following the 407. It is quite sharp and deeply stamped. The Patent Stamp says "Patented Apr.20.09, 18K, 407 The Bigelow & Kennard stamp reads "Bigelow Kennard & Co, Boston, 18K, 407 I am also enclosing a better picture of the movement and also a picture of the back of the watch cover.

    Bigelow and Kennard front.jpg 20150413_150255 (1).jpg 20150413_150217.jpg 20150413_150058.jpg 20150413_145348.jpg

    Hope this helps with Your research. I am more than Happy to try and take as many types of photos that you like. I think this is one of the cooler watches that My grandfather left to my father. And its wonderful to hear the history about this watch.
     
  27. Clarems

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Forgot to include a better picture of presentation cover. And I think the first picture shows the slide near the stem you were talking about.
    unnamed.jpg 20150413_145423.jpg
     
  28. Jerry Treiman

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    Re: Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

    Thank you for the excellent pictures of the inside case markings. This is definitely the earliest pocketwatch case I have recorded from Matalene and perhaps the third earliest of his cases of any type that I have seen. It is nice to learn that he started out making pocketwatch cases as well as the smaller cases that I was familiar with. This case must be from 1909-1910 and was used on a movement that I believe was shipped to Bigelow, Kennard & Co. in 1907. The movement must have remained in inventory until they had the case made for it and then it still sat until purchased for presentation several years later.


    Before Matalene set up his first case business in New York he was a salesman at Bigelow, Kennard & Co. for at least six years. During that time he began to develop his various case patents, two of which are incorporated in your case. Apparently Matalene maintained some relationship with his old employer.
     
  29. Jerry Treiman

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    Just to provide a little more background on this company, it got its start in 1830. That was when John Bigelow started in Boston as a silversmith and jeweler. Among other items, he sold contract watches that were made for him in England and marked with his name. He was shortly joined by his brother, Alanson Bigelow, and they called themselves John Bigelow & Co. and in 1840 became Bigelow & Brothers, again selling watches made and marked for them from England. Kennard joined the firm in 1845 and they became Bigelow Bros. & Kennard, changing to Bigelow, Kennard & Co. (BK&Co) around 1863. Whereas the earlier partnerships sold mostly English watches, BK&Co sold Swiss and American watches, the latter provided by Waltham. The firm appears to have gone out of business in the 1970s.

    Here is an English movement from the 1840s --
    BigelowBros2305m1.jpg

    Here is a Swiss movement by Vacheron & Constantin, probably from 1900-1905 --
    345309m.jpg

    And here are two movements from Waltham, an 0-size and a 12-size --
    BKmaxd.jpg BKmaxm.jpg

    The two Waltham movements shown above are both Riverside Maximus grade, but Waltham produced a complete line for BK&Co including sizes of 10-ligne, 6/0, 0, 12 and Colonial Series (12x14) and grades from a 13-jewel 6/0 movement up to the 23-jewel Maximus grade. Most of the watches sold by BK&Co are in cases that are also marked with their name and have marked dials, so they are almost all triple-signed.
     
  30. Jerry Treiman

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    The movement by Vacheron & Constantin in the post above is about 12-size or about 17 lignes - a very fine man's dress watch. Here would be a nice companion piece for the gentleman's wife. I just got this lovely ladies pendant watch which was originally a Christmas gift in 1904. The movement is 12-lignes, or about 4/0 in American sizes. I think the dial is really special!
    VC_313350_f.jpg VC_313350_m.jpg

    The next photo shows my new watch in between an 0-size watch and a 6/0 watch (both by Waltham) for size comparison.
    3BK_line.jpg
     
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  31. musicguy

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    Beautiful Jerry


    Rob
     
  32. artbissell

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    Here a maybe 10 size special Waltham. Was shown here in past so possibly listed then? Like a Colonial Maximus 2 diamonds visible and has a crown form escape wheel. Art

    IMG_4344x.jpg IMG_4348x.jpg
     
  33. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Art - do you have a picture of the front of the movement and dial, but without the case bezel? I would really like to figure out what this watch is. It is from a run listed as 17-jewel B&K but the run appears to actually include several sizes and grades. For example, I have two different grade 6/0 movements from the same run.

    Based on careful comparison with other examples I have, your dial seems to be a 38-mm dial for a 12-size Waltham. Keep in mind that the dial for a Waltham 12-size movement is actually smaller than 12-size (closer to 10-size) because it has to fit into a recess in the 12-size pillar plate. From your previous descriptions it sounds like your movement may have been cut down to a smaller size.
     
  34. artbissell

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    #34 artbissell, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
    Very much appreciate your interest in identifying this 10 or 12 size. Watch is unavailable to me today, here a photo with ?14s . Art

    IMG_4367x.jpg
     
  35. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    I notice some images are missing in the older posts:

    > for the bottom of post #7, showing a 12-size and an 0-size, both Riverside Maximus grade -- these two images were repeated in post #29

    > for post #14 --
    BK_10L.jpg BK10L_b.jpg

    > for post #15, here are the U.S. and British patents --
    Cunningham.jpg LakePat3.jpg
    Both are assigned to Bigelow Kennard & Co. It is interesting to me that BK&Co. sought to protect this patent in the U.S. and Britain.
     
  36. Jerry Treiman

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    I have been playing around with production numbers for the Bigelow, Kennard & Co. (BK&Co) movements that were made by Waltham. Exact numbers are almost impossible to determine since many of the models and grades were in mixed runs or were not indicated at all in the records. Nevertheless, I believe that there were probably around 1200 movements in total that Waltham finished for BK&Co. Most of these had a custom recoiling click patented by BK&Co and all of them, in order to be included in my count, are marked for BK&Co on the movement. They also should have BK&Co dials.

    The highest production model was a 15-jewel 6/0 movement, of which there were more than 210 made.
    BK_JS_15j_m.jpg BK_JS_15j_f.jpg

    The lowest production model was the 23-jewel Colonial Series (12x14 size), of which only 7 were made. In regular 12-size there were another dozen 23 jewel movements (see post #29) and there may have been as many as two dozen 21-jewel movements, like Art’s (post #32 or mine in post #7), that were made earlier. All of these 21-23 jewel movements are specially finished Riverside Maximus grade movements. The 12-size look the same as the Colonial Series from the back but the Colonial Series has a larger pillar plate and seems to usually have a metal dial.
    BK_ColSer_23j.jpg BK_ColSer_23j_dial.jpg
     
  37. MBNelson

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    First timer here! I'm interested in information on this BK&Co watch. It's obviously a very tarnished silver case. I'm most interested in the age of the watch. Surprisingly, it still runs quite well! Those hairline cracks in the face make it look quite old.

    IMG_3608.jpg IMG_3609.jpg IMG_3610.jpg IMG_3611.jpg
     
  38. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Unfortunately I am not as familiar with the several Swiss-made watches that they sold. That is a beautiful carved case that should clean up nicely ( a little bit heavier bow would also look more in proportion). Based on the style of the case I might guess that this one dates a little later than the Waltham-made watches -- perhaps 1910-15? Maybe others will have a better idea.
     
  39. MBNelson

    MBNelson New Member

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    Thank you. I really like the pattern on the case. I'm also impressed at how thin this watch is. It's half as thick as every other pocket watch I own.

    IMG_3613.JPG
     
  40. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    My most recent Waltham for Bigelow, Kennard & Co. is in surprisingly nice condition with very little wear, and has also provided me with additional insights into this multi-year year series of private-label watch orders (1904 to at least 1914).
    20309196_f.jpg

    My new watch, a 15-jewel 12-size movement that is equivalent to Waltham’s grade 220, is the latest movement I have recorded that Waltham finished for this Boston jeweler. With a serial number in the 20-millions it would date from around 1914. I also have a BK&Co grade 220 from several years earlier (13-million serial number from 1905) and it is interesting to compare the similarities and differences in how these were finished. Some differences are significant and some are more subtle. How many can you find?
    BK_gr220.jpg

    Getting a movement of the same grade but several years apart prompted me to look at some of my other BK&Co movements for similar differences in finish. This next pair is much more obvious. I show two 12-size Riverside grade movements, one is an older movement but finished for BK&Co around 1904 and the other is from around 1910.
    BK_Riv.jpg

    A third pair is shown here - two 0-size 15-jewel movements (grade 115 equivalent), one from 1904 and one from 1908. Can you spot the differences?
    BK_gr115.jpg
     
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  41. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    I guess no one else wants to play.

    These two watches have the same jeweling, same bridge layout and damaskeening and the same jeweler’s label. When Bigelow, Kennard & Co. first ordered PL movements from Waltham there were two custom features they wanted to see: a “swan-neck regulator” (whiplash regulator to most of us) and a recoiling click. Waltham was not yet using a recoiling click in 1904, but BK&Co. held the patent on their own recoiling click which they instructed Waltham to use. Note the “PATENTED” notation next to the click on the earlier movement.

    Waltham started using their own patented recoiling click around 1908 or 1909 and, although BK&Co clung to their click for a few more years, by the time the later movement was made they probably did not want to incur the extra costs of the custom-milled plate and specially manufactured click. That is the biggest difference. We also see a mix of cheaper and nicer feature changes. Economy is seen in the lower-grade winding wheels with steel disc instead of cupped and polished centers. The later movement also, now, has the number of jewels stamped on it. On the higher-finish side, the later movement has raised jewel settings instead of flush settings and a cupped and polished dome on the balance cock. The very highly finished regulator spring on the later watch is also a nice touch.

    A few other changes were just part of Waltham’s evolving production standards: riveted balance staff to friction staff, newer pallet fork with improved lift angles and their new expansion jewel setting on the pallet bridge rather than the older burnished jewel.

    Anyone want to take a crack at the other two examples?
     
  42. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    I will take a stab at the pair of Riverside grade 12s.

    Although the top plates look quite different, they are both Model 1894s. I don't know of a name for the different styles of bridgework or whether both were produced contemporaneously, but the style on the older one is what I believe to be the original style used on Model 1894. The other style I believe was introduced later, perhaps to follow the design of the 16-size Model 1899 or perhaps before then and then followed in the Model 1899,

    Because of the different to plates, the location of most of the markings differs between the two watches. On the older one, by the click it says "Pat. Pdg" whereas the other watch says "Patented" by the click. The older watch does not state the jewel count. The newer one states that it has 19 jewels.

    The new watch looks like it has a diamond endstone at the end of the balance staff. The older watch has a ruby jewel there.

    The center wheel on the older watch looks like it is a flat stamped brass wheel. The center wheel on the newer one looks like a more highly finished (rounded spokes) and is made in rose gold or rose gold plate.

    The older watch's winding wheels have a nice satin finish. The newer watch's winding wheels have a less refined finish.

    All jewels in the older watch's top plates are in screwed down chatons. The same is true for the new watch except for the jewel over the escape wheel, which is in a raised setting like the others, but not screwed in.

    I hope I got something right.
     
  43. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Excellent! You caught just about everything.

    The older plate pattern is what many call a split 3/4-plate layout. The later bridge plan I call a semi-bridge layout to differentiate it from the full bridge layout of the “American Watch Co.” grade. It was around 1903-04 (12-million serial number range) when Waltham began using the semi-bridge layout for their 12-size Maximus and Riverside grade movements. I like your suggestion that it was designed with the 1899 model in mind and find this quite plausible.

    My 3/4-plate movement (7-million serial number) was evidently roughed out, but not finished, in the late 1890s and then finally finished in 1904 as one of the first special movements Waltham made for BK&Co. The patent (finally granted in 1905) was still pending at this time, hence the “PAT.PDG.” notation. The center wheel is gold, but lacks the rounding of the spokes. The satin-finished winding wheels are unusual for the Riverside grade, usually being reserved for their very best private-label movements; the winding wheels on the later movement have a more typical finish.

    I will also give you credit for noticing the different jeweling at the escape wheel. The 3/4-plate movement has a capped escape wheel, for 19 jewels, whereas the semi-bridge model has a jeweled mainwheel (not really visible at all, but typical for a later 19-jewel movement). However, the reason the later one has no visible screws for the un-capped escape wheel jewel has nothing to do with presence or absence of the cap -- the reason is that screws would be difficult to apply on the narrower finger bridge, so it has a friction setting.

    Two subtle changes you missed are the pallet fork with new lift angle (hard to see or notice unless you are looking for it) and a riveted versus friction balance staff (also hard to detect unless you are very familiar with Waltham construction).
     
  44. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    I had noticed a few differences, but Ethan saw a lot more than I did.
    Plus I would never(ever) have seen, "the pallet fork with new lift angle and a riveted versus friction balance staff".
    Thanks for the lesson.


    Rob
     
  45. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Jerry, just like Rob, I don't know how to spot those differences in your photos. If the lift angle and balance staff differences can be seen in your photos, please explain how to identify them. Perhaps you should post close-up pictures showing the visible indicators of those differences.
     
  46. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Of course you cannot see either the riveted balance staff or the minute alterations in the pallet stones and escape wheel teeth, but there are clues to tip you off. Waltham put these clues there for the watchmaker.

    On Waltham's 12-size models they changed the shape of the balance wheel arms when they switched to a friction staff. (The blued steel hub on a friction balance is also intended to alert the watchmaker, but you definitely can't see that in my movement photos).
    fric_riv.jpg

    For the escapement change, made on several models, Waltham printed the following illustration and explanation in several versions of their material catalog, and the revised parts have different part numbers. One can see the shape of the pallet fork in most images. The earlier forks have noticeably square profiles around the pallet stones. This change in escapement is why one has to be careful to get the proper part when replacing escape wheels or pallet forks on these models -- you can't just swap parts between 1894 models (or 1892 models) without paying attention to this or you will have a mis-matched escapement.
    pallet change.jpg
     
  47. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Thanks ,Jerry. I obviously did not see the differently shaped balance wheel arms. Had I noticed them, I wouldn't have known that they signified different staff-types. While I should at least have noticed the different balance wheel arms, I doubt that anyone could see the pallet stone differences from your photos.
     
  48. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    The differences here are fewer, but there was not as much time elapsed between their production. The most significant difference is the “PAT.PDG.” on the earlier movement, telling me it was made in 1904. We also see flat winding wheels changed to higher-grade cupped-center wheels yet they substituted lower-grade composition jewel settings in place of the lovely gold settings of the earlier version. There is also a change to the regulator grid, introducing a pattern I do not see very often, except on some higher-grade 16-size models with whiplash regulators. (Remember that whiplash regulators are scarce enough on smaller size Walthams).
     
  49. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    silver ladies.jpg

    I’ve really fallen for these small ladies watches from Bigelow, Kennard & Co. These three all have mid-grade (15- jewel) Waltham movements cased by BK&Co in silver. The contract movements for BK&Co. have a custom finish with patented recoiling click and whiplash regulator. The one on the left has a 6/0 movement from 1905 and the typical BK&Co dial for this period, with the minute track contained within two lines. The one in the middle has an 0-size movement from 1908 and a slightly more modern dial that lacks the lines around the minute-track.

    The one on the right is my latest acquisition and has a 6/0 movement from 1907. I think I will leave the “patina” (or tarnish, if you will) as it helps show off the lovely carved case. The carving even carries around the edges, right across the seams between bezel, body and back of the case. It also has a beautiful custom creme-tinted dial with blue numbers and gold minute marks.
    15110309_f3.jpg 15110309_b3.jpg 15110309_obl.jpg
     
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  50. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    VERY fine historical and interesting informative comments by Jerry make this thread A+. artbissell
     

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