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Compatibility of Watch/Watch Case Sizes?

Bill Stockton

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My understanding is that specific watch movement sizes may vary for one manufacturer to another. Example: I have read that a South Bend 12 size watch movement is slightly larger (or smaller) than 12 size watches from other manufacturers. Therefore they won't fit in cases made for other 12 size watches. To my specific issue, I have a very nice hunter style 6 size case. When I got it, it contained a 6 size South Bend watch. The watch is "toast" I need to know what manufacturers' 6 size movements will fit in it and which (if any) won't fit. Is there a guide somewhere that lists size compatibility of various manufacturers? If so, where can I find it. If not, can someone at least tell me if a case made for a 6 size South Bend will fit other manufacturers movements? FYI, I am aware that a South Bend 6 size is the same as a Columbus.
 

musicguy

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we can talk about sizes of cases and movements and what will fit
but we do not talk about buying and selling on the open forum
thanks for understanding

Rob
 

topspin

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If I imagine myself being in this situation, I would simply try out as many 6s movements as I had laying around, fully expecting many of them to either not fit or to have an incompatible stem (or some other issue.) For example, a while ago we discussed that there were three main 6s Waltham models, each using a different size case.

And then I would sell it with the toastiest movement still on board, bonus points for finding any set of hands (matching or not) that don't fall out when the watch is picked up.
 

musicguy

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Everything is good. I removed the wording about selling.


Thanks for understanding.



Rob
 

schleems18

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IMG_20211107_011905.jpg
IMG_20211107_011933.jpg
I have a nice 6s case with a non working lower grade movement
as well and am debating replacing or keeping it "original".
This is a recent fob I picked up, not sure what the key goes to though.
 

Bill Stockton

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If I imagine myself being in this situation, I would simply try out as many 6s movements as I had laying around, fully expecting many of them to either not fit or to have an incompatible stem (or some other issue.) For example, a while ago we discussed that there were three main 6s Waltham models, each using a different size case.

And then I would sell it with the toastiest movement still on board, bonus points for finding any set of hands (matching or not) that don't fall out when the watch is picked up.
So here's the rest of that story. I had 4 S.B. size 6 movements, all with good cases. A 180, 2 170's and a 160. Problem was that only one worked. I gave them to an area watchmaker to use whatever parts could be interchanged and get at least one or two more to run. He had decent success and I now have a good running 180, 170 and 160 all with good cases. (The 160, serial #380879, was part of the first run and the 170 is part of the second run of South Bend Watch Co.) The remaining 170 had been stripped of some parts and probably beyond repair and therefore "toast". I paid him for the work and gave him the remaining 170 in case he needs it for parts somewhere down the line. Thus the empty case. In total, I have a fairly extensive bunch of higher end and rare South Bends. Especially nice since I live here.
 

musicguy

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Bill Stockton

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View attachment 683830
View attachment 683831
I have a nice 6s case with a non working lower grade movement
as well and am debating replacing or keeping it "original".
This is a recent fob I picked up, not sure what the key goes to though.
That is a really, really nice set. The key appears to be for a key wind watch. You should try to find a watch that the key is the right size for.
 

musicguy

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I have a fairly extensive bunch of higher end and rare South Bends.
Some of these. I am not that familiar with South Bends and would love to see
some nice ones.


Rob
 

schleems18

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The fob and key were attached to a Waltham grade c pocket watch. I picked it up at an estate auction, he was a watchmaker and I was able to get all the timepieces available. There was no key wind pieces and I assume were given to close family. IMG_20211105_173000.jpg
 
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Bill Stockton

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Some of these. I am not that familiar with South Bends and would love to see
some nice ones.


Rob
Hi Rob,
Took a while but I have selected some examples of South Bend watches. Some are from an exhibit I helped my home town history museum put together about the company. Hopefully I can make this work.
5 S.B. Watch Sizes.JPG
They made 5 different sizes which included 0, 6, 12, 16 and 18.

Inside of 5 S.B. watch sizes.png
Here are the movements for the above examples.

294 Marked and Unmarked.JPG
16 Size grade 294's are especially rare. The one on the left is marked 294 (next picture is clearer) the one on the right is not marked. Note that it also does not have the gilded inscriptions.

S.B. 294 Marked.jpg

Better photo of marked 294

S.B. 295.jpg 295 Polaris.jpg
Above is a grade 295 This is a grade 295 "Polaris". One of the best models they made.

S.B. 337.jpg S.B. 417 Movement.JPG
18 Size 337 is very rare and would take too long to explain. Here's a 12 size 417, extremely rare.

South Bend The Studebaker 329 #634710.JPG
18 Size grade 329 The Studebaker. At about 3,000 produced its not the rarest but is highly sought after.

Studebaker vs THE Studebaker.JPG
This last photo exemplifies the saying, "Don't pay a THE Studebaker price for a Studebaker watch. The one on the left is a 16 size, 21 jewel Studebaker. It is a desirable watch to collectors but is NOT railroad grade and they made about 60,000 of them. Maybe worth about $325. today. The one on the right is also 16 size and 21 jewel but IS railroad grade. It is a grade 229 THE Studebaker. Higher quality and certainly more attractive. Only about 6,000 produced and valued today at more like $600. to $800. or more.

So hopefully that gives you a bit more knowledge about South Bend watches. Let me know is you have any further questions or comments.
 

musicguy

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As Rick said, fantastic post on examples of South Bend watches.


Rob
 

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