Gruen rr watch 1898 for a. T. & s. F.

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by artbissell, Oct 23, 2014.

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  1. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    I have learned to never say never regarding anything historical about the GrUEN p.w. Bob in England provides the 1898 printed info about ATCHISON TOPEKA & SANTA FE Rly annual test results proving Gruen had no failures. All others had many failures. The Gruens used then were probably the German made ASSMANN movements. Best quality of all Gruen p.w. in my opinion 1884- 1903. I have 18s, 16s and near 10s. The 1902+ 16s Gruen Madretsch designed by Gruen for rr use may not have been RR authorized in US and Canada

    SO FINALLY PROOF: Actual authorized, by a respected RR, use of GRUEN watches. 6 out of 1315 mostly ELGIN and WALTHAM but only one without performance test failures. artbissell
     
  2. bobbee53

    bobbee53 Registered User

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    Glad to have been of help for a true Gruen aficionado, Art.
    Here is the article from 'The Day' newspaper.

    1794842d1413994412-gruen-16-size-lever-set-rr-anyone-show-me-another-1898rrwatches.jpg
     
  3. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    What gets me about the statistics is that some of the companies had more watches condemned that they had in service, how did that happen?
     
  4. bobbee53

    bobbee53 Registered User

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    It means that the total of watches per company/manufacturer are those in service + those condemned.
    Take the number of condemned from the total and that number is turned into a percentage.

    I think. :D
     
  5. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    #5 Kent, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
    Very interesting!

    An ad having the same text appeared a month earlier in The Jewelers' Circular. Although its Unattributed, the fact that Waltham appears at the top of the list suggests that they (or their agents Robbins & Appleton) placed the ad. In looking at a complete version of the ad posted above by bobbee53, it can be seen to have been placed by a Gruen dealer. This probably explains why Gruen heads the list.


    richiec, et. al.:

    H.S. Montgomery was designated as the AT&SF General Watch and Clock Inspector in 1896. In early March 1898 he issued his annual report for 1897. It may have been the first time watch requirements on the AT&SF mandated 17 jewels, adjustment to three positions and a rate of +/- 30 seconds per week. That would account for the large number of watches in use at that time being condemned.


    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  6. bobbee53

    bobbee53 Registered User

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    That's great Kent!
    From those two ads, we can see that the Gruen dealer omitted Tissot's second place 100% record (1 watch!) but Waltham's (probably) JC ad omitted both Gruen's and Tissot's 100% records.
    Very tricky!
     
  7. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    THANKS to BOB and KENT for confirming with the old ad copies. artbissell

    Example of Assmann Gruen in hunter case 16 size version

    IMG_0119a.jpg IMG_8933a.jpg
     
  8. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    Nice watch Art, not many Swiss rr watches around.
     
  9. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Actually, when you add up all of the Longines, Omega, Record-Ball and scads of lesser-known, Swiss-made railroad watches, there are quite a large number of them!

    However, the one that Art just posted is German, not Swiss.
     
  10. Larry Treiman

    Larry Treiman Registered User

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    #10 Larry Treiman, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014


    Kent, et. al.,

    David Nicholson, in his excellent book on the Santa Fe Time Service Department (see p.5), stated that any watch in service, purchased before June 1, 1896 and conforming to the former standard of 15 jewels adjusted, would be continued in service if it conformed to the new requirement for rating in three positions. Thus, it might have been mainly having to meet the three-position rating (P/U, D/U and D/D) that resulted in the high rate of condemnation.

    Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything about what the allowable tolerances were between the three positions! In fact, so far the only watch manufacturer for which I have been able to find any information on the allowable tolerances between positions for railroad watches is Hamilton.

    Speaking (er...writing) of Hamilton, that same list of Santa Fe watch condemnations turned up among old advertising materials at Hamilton roughly 40 years ago! Of course Hamilton topped the list, followed by Elgin, then Waltham, and so on. Gruen was 11th on that list! Also on that list, but absent from the list in the Gruen ad, were Rockford, Ball and Tissot.

    As for those percentage figures, when I first saw them about 40 years ago, they appeared to make no sense whatsoever, and today they make even less sense! Note: I'm trying to use the same mind-set here that Montgomery, or whoever actually wrote the original report, apparently used! Either that, or I should have tried harder to concentrate that day in class when we covered "percentages"!! <];>)


    Larry Treiman

    P.S. For Kevin's information, it should also be mentioned that the Swiss firm Zenith made a fairly substantial contribution over the years in both quantity and quality (IMHO) to the supply of railroad standard watches used on the Canadian railways!
     
  11. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Larry:

    The March 9. 1898 article posted above (and repeated here for those too lazy to scroll to it) lists acceptable variations between the three positions.


    In General:

    As for the subject of the many Swiss watches that were suitable for railroad time service; keep in mind that back in 1898 pendant-set movements were accepted on many roads. This further increases the number of Swiss railroad watches.


    [​IMG]
     
  12. Larry Treiman

    Larry Treiman Registered User

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    #12 Larry Treiman, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
    Obviously I should have read that article. However, I was concentrating on comparing the tables listing the condemned and also trying to see if those percentages made any more sense to me about 40 years later. I planned on going back at some later time to that mass of blurry, tiny, illegible type and letting my "dial up" computer have a crack at making it legible enough for me to see what goodies were contained therein!

    Now that I have seen that the maximum permissible variation in the three positions was six seconds/day for older watches, I haven't the slightest question as to why so many watches were condemned.

    I have some of the Hamilton factory tolerances for new railroad watches leaving the factory, as outlined in a letter from Hamilton dated June 30, 1926. The letter did NOT give the tolerance for 3 positions. However, for all the grades covered, including 950, 952, 992, 996 and 990 (yes, 990!!), the maximum tolerance between D/U and D/D was 6 seconds. The maximum permissible variation in all 5 positions was: Grade 950, 10 sec./day; Grade 952, 12 sec./day; and Grades 992, 996 and 990, 15 sec./ day.

    Timing specs for the completely new 992B and 950B were first issued in 1939 and updated in 1943 and did give a maximum variation in 3 positions (D/U, D/D and P/U (12-up) of 10 seconds per day....4 seconds greater (for NEW state-of-the-art watches) than the 6 sec./day that Montgomery had demanded of old, well-used 18-size watches, many or even most of which may never have been adjusted to positions. Is it any wonder that so many watches were "condemned" by Montgomery's requirements back around 1897-98:???:?

    By the way, the maximum variation in 5 positions was 13 sec./day for the 950B and 15 sec./day for the 992B. Throw that sixth position (6 up, or pendant down if you prefer) into the mix and the maximum extreme variation increases to 20 sec./day for either the 950B or 992B.

    For some further "insights" into the mind of Montgomery.....and Webb C. Ball.....see my article titled "Webb C. Ball vs. Henry S. Montgomery '...a species of delirium'" published in the NAWCC BULLETIN, Feb. 1976, Whole Number 180, pp.46-55. That and other BULLETIN articles are accessible here on this site to paid-up NAWCC members.....which no longer includes me! Fortunately, I saved my copy! <];>P

    Larry Treiman
     
  13. Dave Chaplain

    Dave Chaplain Registered User
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    Old and interesting thread - thanks to all in arrears!

    Larry T. - FWIW, that confusing % column in the Montgomery list of the "Condemned" is the ratio of the "(No. of) Condemned", over the "(No. still) In Use". Not the best way to present his findings, but that's what Mr. Montgomery decided to do. Hey, they may have been important watch men, but they may not have been mathematicians ... :)
     
  14. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Thanks for reviving that topic, it was an interesting read.
    I didn't realize it was old till I got half way through. Statistics are
    a funny thing, and used incorrectly all the time.

    Rob
     
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