Is it still a railroad watch if it has a wind indicator?

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Howdydave, Sep 10, 2019.

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  1. Howdydave

    Howdydave Registered User

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    #1 Howdydave, Sep 10, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
    I just purchased a Waltham Vanguard 1908, 23J, 8 Adj,
    sn: 25401474.


    Does the fact that it has an up-down wind indicator disqualify it from being a "Railroad Watch?"

    Many thanks.

    David Naess
    Rochester, NY

    Waltham Vangard 1.jpg
     
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  2. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    No it does not disqualify it.


    Rob
     
  3. Howdydave

    Howdydave Registered User

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    Thanks Rob.
     
  4. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Nice watch by the way, haven't seen you in a while Dave, nice to see you back.

    Wind indicator movements of RR quality are in high demand by collectors.



    Rob
     
  5. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Many would be envious of your rail road watch with the wind indicator, i love it.
     
  6. Howdydave

    Howdydave Registered User

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    #6 Howdydave, Sep 10, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
    I couldn't decide whether my next watch should be a Vanguard or a watch with a wind indicator.
    Then I saw this one for a fairly reasonable price and got myself a two in one deal -- with a Furguson to boot!.

    A hairline fracture made this one affordable to me.

    Are Vanguards the only watches with the lever over the 11?

    Waltham Vangard 9b.jpg
     
  7. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I think the lever position is a 1908 model feature. It is likely the same on other grades that are lever set such as Crescent St.

    That dial does have very large numbers but I do not think it is related to Ferguson.

    Hopefully Kent will be along to straighten us out on both questions.
     
  8. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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  9. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Forums Administrator
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    The original question might be in conflict with this 1946 document from Union Pacific calling for 'plain dials' and 'no additional hands'. I too would be interested in hearing what Kent and other railroad experts have to say.

    1946_Jul_UP_Rules.jpg
     
  10. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Maybe Dave, but his 23j Vanguard being from circa 1926 would be a RR watch. Those
    1946 rues even exclude marginal dials, pretty tough rules by 1946.



    Rob
     
  11. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    #11 Kent, Sep 10, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
    To deal with the easy points first:

    Having the setting lever at the 56 minute position is nearly unique to Waltham and mostly their 16-size winding indicator watches (I don't remember where the setting lever is on Waltham's 18-size wind indicator watches). This was because the wind indicator parts interfered with having the setting lever at the 6 minute position, Late model Waltham 1621 (16-size, 21-jewel) Riverside grade watches (which, only being adjusted to temperature, are not railroad watches) have their setting levers at the 56 minute position.

    The only other watches that I can think of that have their setting levers at the 56 minute position are the 1950s era Record-Ball 435 series (16-size, 21-jewel 435, 435B & 435C) ORRS watches.

    The dial on David's watch is frequently referred to as a Canadian dial due to its extensive use there. It was widely accepted (and eventually required) on Canadian railroad watches as their railroads used 24-hour time. They were most likely prohibited on US railroad watches, mostly because there was almost no need for them - I can think of only one US railroad that used 24-hour time - the Union Pacific in the mid-1880s. Ed knows a UP engineer who reported that the UP is still using 24-hour time, but when I inquired at the UP Historical
    Society, they were unable to turn up any documents (newer than 1886) to support that report. Besides, what the UP is doing now, doesn't necessarily reflect what they did 75 or 100 years ago.

    Getting to winding indicators; I don't recall any rules that specifically permitted them. Nor, do I recall any rules that specifically prohibited them. They were certainly advertised for railroad use and rules about plain dials and no additional hands not withstanding, they were probably universally accepted (if the watch met all other requirements).

    In the teens, Webb C, Ball went around and held a series of meetings with the watch inspectors of different railroads. The purported minutes of these meetings were published (by Ball) in a series of booklets. I can remember reading one in which the subject of wind indicators was brought up by an inspector. Ball had nothing to say about them and turned the discussion to a different subject.

    1914_Timekeeper_994_Pg_22_HS.jpg 1923_Apr_FT_WI.jpg 655_&_665_Catalog_Sht_GF.jpg 1928_Sep_Vanguard_WI.jpg
     
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  12. Howdydave

    Howdydave Registered User

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    #12 Howdydave, Sep 10, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
    Thanks Kent!

    I got this watch from a Canadian and the case is stamped "Made In Canada."
    American Watch Case Co. of Toronto, Ltd.?
    Faulty logic could lead one to conclude that this watch was made with a Canadian Railroad in mind.
    (The case does not have any markings to indicate periodic adjustments.)

    I just found an article that said that the lever by the 11 could be to accommodate the up-down wind indicator mechanism.

    TimeZone : Vintage Watches » A tale of two Vanguards...>
     
  13. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    You may find the "American Watch Case Co." Encyclopedia article helpful.
     
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  14. Howdydave

    Howdydave Registered User

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    #14 Howdydave, Sep 10, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
    Thanks Kent!

    Bit by bit, I'm getting more information to fill in the blanks on my entry for this watch in the PocketwatchDatabase.

    All I knew before was that it was a gold filled "Fortune" case.
    Now I know that the Fortune is a 20-year, 10 K Gold Filled case.
     
  15. Howdydave

    Howdydave Registered User

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    #15 Howdydave, Sep 12, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
    Just found a 1929 ad for this watch.
    At that time it cost $83.50, calculating inflation (1400.3%), that would be $1,252.78 today.

    Take into account that this is a highly collectable item in the pocket watch community and I got an outstanding deal!
     
  16. Howdydave

    Howdydave Registered User

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    #16 Howdydave, Sep 17, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
    No more anticipation...

    It was delivered today and I now have my Waltham Vanguard 23j in my hot little hands!

    The hairline fracture is barely detectable visually and I had to use a 60x loupe to see it.
     
  17. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    It's always nice to find a package in the mailbox or on the front steps.


    Rob
     

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