Ebay surprise

richiec

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Feb 24, 2007
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This was advertised as a Waltham movement. I saw the dial and the cover and bought it on a chance not knowing what kind of English watch is was, I was very surprised to fine it was an M I Tobias, it is dirty but it runs. Got it for a little over $22 with shipping.

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richiec

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Thanks, Ray. Would anyone happen to know if the dial has any real gold on it. the decorations look like they might be metal of some sort.
 

Omexa

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Hi richiec, probably low carat Gold but like Cases it varies from High to not much. I thought that I got all the bargains. Regards Ray
 

musicguy

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very nice richiec!

Rob
 

richiec

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Thanks guys, Ray, can't let you have em all. Was trolling for a new Waltham toy but when I saw the dial on this, had to have. Have to learn how to work on a fuse next.
 

Uhralt

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I wonder how this became described as a Waltham?

Uhralt
 

richiec

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I wondered that myself, I collect primarily Waltham's but once I looked at this one I became curious about what English watch was under the cover and was very pleasantly surprised when I took it off and was even happier when it ran when wound up. Desperately needs a cleaning but I am no pro on fuse's, chicken I guess.
 

richiec

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Well, it was in a Waltham shipping container so I guess the seller assumed it was a Waltham, education is a wonderful thing.
 

Jerry Treiman

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Nice find. Your movement style is shown in Michael Edidin's article on Tobias (December 1992, page 664, lower right image). It is one of the firm's later products - probably from the 1840s according to Edidin's Figure 18.
 

gmorse

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Hi richiec,

That dial will be a real gem when you clean it up, the hour numerals will be gold, as will the decoration around the edge, which looks as though it's multi-coloured gold. Electrolysis is probably the safest way to clean it. You may find a sponsor's mark on the back of the dial but probably not full hallmarks; the case makers sometimes put their mark on these dials even though they didn't actually make them. There's a theory that a lot of these dials were imported from Switzerland.

Fusees aren't that difficult but they are different; you have to let down the mainspring completely, including the residual setup tension, and the usual cautions around dismantling full plates dial up to protect the lever pivots still apply.

The quality of the engraving on the balance cock and the style of the lettering on the top plate don't seem to be to be up to Tobias' usual standard, and I wonder if corners were being cut a little at this late stage. I'm not aware that the Swiss were faking Liverpool jewelling at all, but a good look at the dismantled watch may be revealing.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Jerry Treiman

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The quality of the engraving on the balance cock and the style of the lettering on the top plate don't seem to be to be up to Tobias' usual standard, and I wonder if corners were being cut a little at this late stage. I'm not aware that the Swiss were faking Liverpool jewelling at all, but a good look at the dismantled watch may be revealing.
I had some concern about this, too, so I went to Edidin's Tobias articles. He shows a Robinson movement with the identical balance cock and then the late Tobias movement I mentioned above, that looks almost the same in most details, including engraving, regulator and train layout.
 

Kevin W.

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Very nice find Richie, its nice its called a Waltham, that helped you to find it.
 

Omexa

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Hi richiec, I use the method that I saw on Antique Roadshow; Aluminium Foil in a Bowl; put the Dial in pour salt on it and then pour Boiling Water over it. I have not had a problem so far. It is up to you whether you use this method. I pull the Dial out every so often to check progress and later wash under the tap. Regards Ray
 

gmorse

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Hi richiec,

As an alternative, sodium bicarbonate instead of salt also works in Ray's setup. You'll get a smell of hydrogen sulphide as it works.

Regards,

Graham
 

Lychnobius

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I suppose the shape of the cock and the large jewels do slightly recall the appearance of a Waltham 57 back-plate (unsurprisingly, since the design of this was based upon contemporary Liverpool practice). Somebody who was not familiar with fusees, and who therefore did not register the fact that the winding-square is separate from the barrel arbor, might genuinely think this was an early Waltham with a 'private label' signature.

Oliver Mundy.
 

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