Favorite Original Sidewinders

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Keith R..., Aug 22, 2016.

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  1. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Seeing Kevin W.'s post gave me a thought. I have several watches that were
    originally cased as sidewinders that are among my favorites, separated from
    re-cased sidewinders I own, (purchased that way).

    Anyone who has original favorite sidewinders are more than welcome to post
    their examples in this thread.

    Original Sidewinders below:

    Left to right, first up JH Colclazer Indy 16J, Lancaster 15J Adjusted, Rockford
    15J Adjusted.

    Keith

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    swissindy2.jpg swissindy4.jpg 103_0588 (800x600).jpg
     
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  2. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #2 Keith R..., Aug 22, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
    Better shot of my Rocky above, (while this post is up top and my edit time had elapsed).
    Now here it is. I hit delete on lower shot, my PC skills left me.

    Keith

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    Attached Files:

  3. John Cote

    John Cote Director
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    Keith,

    These are lovely watches all. I love any Rockford with that early dial. Having said that (and I am not saying that they aren't) how do you know that they are original sidewinders? I assume that by original, you mean this is how they were sold to the original owners. Or is what you mean that there are no other screw marks on the case rims...?

    The only way we really know anything about the originality of these not-cased-at-the-factory watches is if we have the original receipts which mention the case or if you have a photo of the original owner when he bought the watch...showing the watch. Otherwise everything is an assumption.

    I happen to believe that many watches were originally cased as sidewinders...but there is very little proof. This is a great ongoing hotel bar discussion at a NAWCC regional or national.
     
  4. darrahg

    darrahg Moderator
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    Keith, I agree with John. Maybe if you took out 'original' it would be a better topic.
    I have been searching watches daily for my favorites for many years and have noticed that sidewinders exploded on to the market since the time gold hit a high and there was the great gold melt down. I suspect and believe that there were only a very few number of watches originally cased as sidewinders compared with the quantity that is present today. I might ad that the absence of extra case screws is no proof of one being original but only that it has no extra marks for various reasons. I am stating this not to discourage you or anyone from showing their prized watches on your thread but only to bring caution about what sidewinders might really represent.
     
  5. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    This subject crops up frequently. For instance here is a thread:

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?126792-Original-side-winders&highlight=side+winders

    Time frame is especially important. Before 1884/85, most (not all) stem-winders wound at 3 o'clock and many such mvts were cased in open-face cases, thereby making them sidewinders. Yes, there are some with dials with the seconds at 3, but these are relatively infrequent. Yes, there are many many many recases for a variety of reasons, but there are also many correct original sidewinders. Unless, of course, we decide to play the game that nothing can be known without a sales receipt having case and mvt numbers. Which pretty much means that "originality" is restricted to exceedingly few pieces, e. g. 992Bs in boxes with numbers.

    FWIW,

    Greg
     
  6. Dave Chaplain

    Dave Chaplain Registered User
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    No one is incorrect - proof of both original and non-original sidewinders does exist. It seems the relevant point here is what we'll correctly call "original". Without some form of provenance, personally, I'm comfortable thinking / saying that the movement is "original to the case", and that the case is period correct. And to leave it at that. :)
     
  7. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #7 Keith R..., Aug 26, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
    I agree with all, and mostly with Greg & Dave! Here's somewhat provenance
    on dial and case. Now all appear to be from same jeweler on this example and
    the movement is a "super fit". Note the pin set associated with the case, (which
    of course would correspond to this movement, as the setting function is perfect
    for the hands).

    Keith

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  8. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Now like the last one, I kinda say, gee what are the odds. Here's another with
    no receipt, but what are the odds these two did not start life together? A Howard
    series IV Key wind & set watch with a purpose made case from 1860's. Note, the
    cuvette is not fully closed as I was taking photos of the movement in the same
    photo shoot, otherwise key wind & set holes are perfectly aligned.

    Keith

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  9. John Cote

    John Cote Director
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    Keith,

    I agree with you, and did from the first post, on the provenance and originality of the European watch. I might also agree with you on the "What are the odds" statement about the Howard although I am not sure the odds are overwhelming on that watch.

    I know I was being picky in my original post but I have pretty consistently been picky about the topic of the originality of American watches. First I am just not sure how important originality is with the exception of factory cased or special sized case watches or known types of casing. When you have a whole era of watches which, except for knowing "case period correctness" could fit in a jillion different generic cases, I am just not sure how much it matters. A watch owner can make a reasonable sounding case for almost anything. We know for sure that many American watches (take Hamilton 943s for example) were finally sold by the factory 20 or so years after their manufacturing dates. What is a period correct case for these watches?

    I know this doesn't apply to you Keith, but some of my anti originality rants have been against known watch eBayers who have in the past used my words, either from posts here or from my website to market their goods online. I guess claims of originality have gotten to be a "thing" with me.

    I am sort of sorry about my picky post but...I am not taking it back. I am also not taking back my statement that your watches are lovely. Whether any but the European watch are original doesn't really matter to me. I like them all.
     
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  10. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Thanks John, I differentiate only between original, second generation or outright recent re-case.
    Most all shown in this thread, 2 could be original and agreeing with Dave's take, the rest in second
    generation cases, worst case. But I also agree John with your statement, in that all these watches
    are collectible and I like them just as they are. Thanks for your insight.

    Keith
     
  11. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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  12. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    We have had a bunch of threads about “sidewinders” over the years, so I figured I would post this to the most recent thread. It really is not quite the same as what everyone else has shown, but how about a sidewinder case with a regular open-face movement? Confused? ....

    On this case, the engraving on the back is oriented to be viewed with the stem to the right. (You can tell by the bird). Was this an engraving error or intentional? I realize that it is a screw-back case, and the backs can turn too far as the threads wear, but this one is exactly 90-degrees off. Also, the case back only takes a little more than one turn to screw on, so I don’t think there was really room for this much slip. (Coincidentally, the case markings inside the back are perfectly upright, too).
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  13. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    That is very unique Jerry.


    Rob
     
  14. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    I do have a favorite original sidewinder(that I've posted before) but since
    this thread has been revived I will add it here. In the first photo
    I really like the way the balance bridge looks(the depth). I also like the Hands, dial
    and case on this one. So it does fit the description "favorite original sidewinder".


    Circa 1881 16s Elgin Grade 4



    IMG_9686.jpg 3.jpg
    2.jpg 1.jpg
    IMG_9029 (2).jpg 1887 elgin_watches[1] - Copy.jpg



    Rob
     
  15. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    Here is my favorite original sidewinder(been posted before in another thread).

    It is a 14s Waltham HC model 1897 Cronometro Victoria cased in a sun stamped OF case. I acquired this watch from the granddaughter of the original owner. She told me her grandfather bought the watch in Panama while he was working on the Panama Canal.

    DSC_0009a.jpg DSC_0001a.jpg
     
  16. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    Rob,

    Neat watch. Thanks for the pics.

    I'm a little dubious that this an original (i. e. first generation) mvt/case combination. If the mvt dates to about 1881 (and also assuming that it was retailed around then...never a sure bet) then methinks the case might be significantly later. This is based on the rather high serial number (note: I'm aware that case numbers are not always "serial numbers" in the strict sense and that, even for those which are, there are few good s/n-date tables for most case makers...and then there's the issue of serial number "blocks"...all very complicated) and the case quality. I would need to double check, but my recollection is that marked "25 year" gold-filled cases didn't hit the market until significantly later.

    For the sake of argument, let's suppose that Fahys numbered their cases in roughly sequential order. The number on yours is nearly 6 million. In 1881 how many American mvts had been made? On top of this there were many other major case makers besides Fahys. Thus, my conclusion would be that a Fahys case with such a high serial number is inconsistent with an 1881 Elgin.

    Greg
     
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  17. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Greg,

    I wouldn't argue(disagree) with you on this, but I do like the case and watch combination. I did notice
    (and a friend pointed out as well) a convertible would fit nicely in this case, but I will keep this
    combination together. I did buy it from the "so called" original owners family(if that is even true)
    and if so maybe Great Great grandpa switched it to this lovely case(if it's not original).
    Either way I'll keep it as is.

    Thanks as always for the good information you post!!

    Rob
     
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  18. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    Rob,

    Agreed. I can't think of any good reason to change the watch.

    Greg
     
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  19. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Lancaster sidewinder, my one & only marked Adjusted 15J.

    Keith R...

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