Intro and Waltham 1877

Gotrain

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Oct 1, 2022
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Hi

New here and fairly new to watch and clocks. I have a relatively small collection including two grandfather clocks, a mantel clock. a kitchen clock, two spring driven wall clocks and one weight driven wall clock and now, a couple of pocket watches. The clocks all run and keep good time except for one temperamental wall clock that I think is just so old its all but worn out. I can do minor repairs and maintenance but am not quiet brave enough to separate plates yet, I am studying and understand a fair amount of clock theory but like most everything, book learning and practical experience can be a world apart.

Anyway ... that's pretty much where I am.

Now on to the Waltham 1877. This watch was give to my by my father who told me a brief history. He worked in downtown Newport News Virginia in 1950's. Across the street was a funeral home that had ceased operations and was being totally refurbished. He was told he could salvage what ever he wanted and he walked away with the watch. Thanks to the Internet and this web site I determined the following:

American Waltham Watch
Grade: P.S. Bartlett
Manufacturer: Waltham
Manufacturer Location: Waltham, Massachusetts
Movement Serial Number: 1379053
Grade: P.S. Bartlett
Model: 1877
Estimated Production Date: May 1880 - September 1880
Run Quantity: 2,000
Total Production: 220,735
Size: 18s
Jewels: 11j

The case is model R3305 Coin Silver. (should I polish it?)

The running condition is unknown the watch needs four components, an hour and minute hand, a winding key and hunter case stem/crown.

Overall the watch appears to be in good condition and being optimistic, I am expecting it to run once it has hands and is wound.

If anyone has additional information or a good source for the needed parts, I would be appreciative.

20221002_073940.jpg 20221002_074051.jpg 20221002_074423.jpg
 
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musicguy

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Welcome to the NAWCC Forum!


Rob
 

MrRoundel

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That's a pretty nice '77 model. It looks like it could be in its original coin case. That said, the type of pendant on the case looks as if it may have been made for a pendant wind and/or pendant set movement. The other side of that is the fact that the case has a hinged bezel to make it practical to get to the setting arbor at the canon pinion. Does the dust cover on the back have a hole, perhaps bordered by some engraving, to wind the watch without opening it up to dust, etc.? If it does, that would give credence to a belief that the case and watch are an original pairing, FWIW. The case appears to be a heavier, perhaps 4 oz hunter.

Polishing is a personal preference. Personally, I haven't polished any silver cases, but I do see the temptation. The issue that I see with polishing, unless you're going to wear the watch often, and keep up with the polishing, is that it doesn't take long for it to "re-tarnish". Then again, if I were going to keep it as a piece of a small collection, I might polish it so it looks better being displayed. Tough call, IMHO.

Good luck with the watch. Enjoy.
 
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topspin

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This could be an original pairing, or it could equally well be that someone made the pragmatic decision to mate a case which had lost its stem & crown, with a random keywind movement that had lost its hands. The question above about proper keyholes in the inner dust cover, will go some way towards settling it.

Pocket watch keys can be bought online. Last time I checked, there were several ebay sellers offering a full set (14 new keys) for about a fiver. Once you have a key to wind it, you will find out whether it runs. At best, the chances are 50%.

It's entirely up to you, what repairs/restorations you want to do. Personally I would be adding a bow & a chain, and a tag (as well as some hands, and whatever was needed to make it run.) If I found a spare crown in my "spares" box that I could glue in place, so much the better.

If you know what parts you need, they are likely to be relatively easy to track down, either individually or in the form of a spares movement. As you can see from the Total Production figure, the good news is that this is a common watch.
 

Gotrain

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Thanks for the input and insight.
As can be seen below, the dust cover does have the appropriate keyhole.

In my ignorance, I was mite bewildered about the square center arbor when all the replacement hands I found online had round holes. Now I realize the winding key (that I do not have yet) is also used to set the time via this square arbor. From this I deduce the missing stem/crown is nothing more than a release for the cover and a ring/bow to attach a chain.

It is a bit difficult to get my micrometer on the cannon and minute arbors for fear of scratching the face but it seems the hour is about 3.61mm, the minute 2.49mm and square set is 1.52mm. I was able to get a pretty decent close up as seen below.

With the works installed, the watch weighs in at 6.75 ounces.

20221002_074327.jpg 20221002_130838.jpg
 
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topspin

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Such cases were indeed made - designed to hold a keywind movement, but outwardly appearing to be a normal stemwind. Not common, but not rare either. As per an earlier thread, it is probably best to just use them as intended, and not try to do an "upgrade".

Yes, you'll need a key for setting the hands. It will usually be the same one you wind it with, although for whatever reason, sometimes the winding and setting arbors require different size keys.
For each of my keywinds, I attach the necessary key(s) to the watch via whatever is being used as the chain/fob. Not all collectors do this.

Yes, a big square centre arbor, equals you'll need a particular type of hands. Um, something about a square peg, round hole...? :)

It will be very satisfying when the watch is complete and running again.
 
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