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Exciting Find (for me anyways) Waltham Wristlet circa 1927

Paul Raposo

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Nov 4, 2005
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Hey all.

I got lucky and picked up a watch bundle yesterday and found this Waltham wristlet in the bunch.

It was gifted by the man's mother, brothers and and sisters at the U of C and came with a Sturdy ladder bracelet. The case back and clasp have the owners initials.

The case is a Star Watch Case Company "Stellar" double hinged case. I don't think the crown is original to the case.

The movement is a Waltham 15 jewel 3/0 size grade No. 365 model 1907 with an estimated production year of 1925.

It wants to run but will certainly need a COA and definitely a new crystal.

My question is can the dial be cleaned? I do not want to have it refinished and I'm debating trying to clean a small spot with distilled water and cotton swabs to see how it comes out.

I can't get it serviced now so it will go into a safe place until I can have it sorted out.

If anyone has anymore info they'd like to add, please do.

waltham1.JPG waltham2.JPG waltham3.JPG waltham4.JPG waltham5.JPG waltham6.JPG waltham7.JPG waltham8.JPG waltham9.JPG
 

musicguy

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My question is can the dial be cleaned?
This would be best answered in watch repair, but I highly doubt it can be cleaned without
doing more damage to the dial.

Because this is a WW I will move it to the WW section.





Rob
 
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topspin

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I say - go ahead and try to clean it with the cleaning materials of your choosing. You can't possibly make it any worse than it already is. If you are unsuccessful then you can always buy up another one and swap the dials over.

One thing to be aware of - that looks like it could be radium paint (on the dial and hands.) If so, then handle with care - it is very nearly as radioactive today as the day it was made. Do not be fooled by the fact that it no longer shines.
 
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thesnark17

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Dip-type silver cleaner would probably lighten up the dark sections significantly.

But I would not use it on a radium dial... or disturb the radium in any way!

Either it should remain as it is, or the radium should be removed (and then it can be cleaned).
 
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PapaLouies

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Apr 14, 2010
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Hey all.

I got lucky and picked up a watch bundle yesterday and found this Waltham wristlet in the bunch.

It was gifted by the man's mother, brothers and and sisters at the U of C and came with a Sturdy ladder bracelet. The case back and clasp have the owners initials.

The case is a Star Watch Case Company "Stellar" double hinged case. I don't think the crown is original to the case.

The movement is a Waltham 15 jewel 3/0 size grade No. 365 model 1907 with an estimated production year of 1925.

It wants to run but will certainly need a COA and definitely a new crystal.

My question is can the dial be cleaned? I do not want to have it refinished and I'm debating trying to clean a small spot with distilled water and cotton swabs to see how it comes out.

I can't get it serviced now so it will go into a safe place until I can have it sorted out.

If anyone has anymore info they'd like to add, please do.

View attachment 670443 View attachment 670444 View attachment 670445 View attachment 670446 View attachment 670447 View attachment 670450 View attachment 670451 View attachment 670452 View attachment 670453
Hey all.

I got lucky and picked up a watch bundle yesterday and found this Waltham wristlet in the bunch.

It was gifted by the man's mother, brothers and and sisters at the U of C and came with a Sturdy ladder bracelet. The case back and clasp have the owners initials.

The case is a Star Watch Case Company "Stellar" double hinged case. I don't think the crown is original to the case.

The movement is a Waltham 15 jewel 3/0 size grade No. 365 model 1907 with an estimated production year of 1925.

It wants to run but will certainly need a COA and definitely a new crystal.

My question is can the dial be cleaned? I do not want to have it refinished and I'm debating trying to clean a small spot with distilled water and cotton swabs to see how it comes out.

I can't get it serviced now so it will go into a safe place until I can have it sorted out.

If anyone has anymore info they'd like to add, please do.

View attachment 670443 View attachment 670444 View attachment 670445 View attachment 670446 View attachment 670447 View attachment 670450 View attachment 670451 View attachment 670452 View attachment 670453
I think it's Tritium not Radium.
Regards, P/L
 

thesnark17

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I'm used to treating all such dial paint as radium, since I don't have a means to measure radiation.

How do you tell the difference?
 
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thesnark17

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Jul 11, 2020
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Yeah, that could work.

Searching around for references to green radium on the internet, I found a page stating that pigments were used to color the radium paste. Then I found this paragraph here:

If your watch was made before 1960, and has thick paint, often even gungy looking in WW1 era watches, often yellowish brown on WW1 era and green on later watches, on the hands and numerals, and the hands and numerals are designed to carry a large area of paint rather than thin brush strokes, then the likelihood is that the original paint was made with radium, even if it no longer glows in the dark at all. (emphasis mine)


I think that the OP's watch could meet the conditions laid out for radium in that paragraph (assuming that the lume is original. If it was relumed, then all bets are off).
 
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Paul Raposo

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Nov 4, 2005
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Lots of great replies here and thank you musicguy for moving this thread here. I debated if this was more pocket watch or wrist watch, but in reality I suppose it is a wristwatch.

As far as the dial goes, I do believe it's radium simply because of the age of the dial.

I haven't had a chance to work on the dial yet because of time and worry about the radium. I contacted a local collector who has many of these types of watches to see what he does but he hasn't responded yet.
 

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