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Little Help? re: Waltham Vanguard 19jewels

streeter

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Jan 27, 2009
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Greetings,

I'm completely new to this. I poked around at a few websites for a few hours and that would be the extent of my knowledge in horology.

I recently got a hold of a family heirloom - A Waltham Vanguard pocket watch with the barrel on the side. The barrel will wind and get things moving and it will pull out and wind but won't move the hands, we had to take off the face glass and carefully manually set it. While I'm not entirely sure that was the best idea to set it like that, it does still work and keeps good time.

I opened up the back and it says Vanguard, Waltham, Mass. 19 Jewels Adjusted. (doesnt mention the number of positions like others I've seen online)

The SN is 12000198, which one website says it would have been from 1902, but when I entered it here it says 1892 and lists it as having more jewels.

Along the side opposite to the barrel is a star shape and "BASEMETAL".

The inside of the back cover (very faintly) is DEFIANCE within a rectangle with arrowed sides, and below that appears to be another SN- 7323054. Upside down, on the other side of the defiance logo looks like a handwritten number - R17611 and then out closer to the edge - G11067.

Not sure how much of that was really essential information, but it was everything I could get off of it.

Basically any info would be appreciated. I've looked around quite a bit but cant seem to find one exactly like this, with this many jewels and the sidewinder. I am assuming from the site that it is from 1892, confirmation on that would be great. Also, would this be defined as railroad style? How exactly is that defined?

Lastly, I dont want to violate the terms here or insult anyone, I know it says no appraisals... but I would love to just get a ballpark figure out of curiosity. I have no interest in selling it. It was an heirloom from a few generations back that seemed to get passed down to the first born son... which is a tradition I would love to continue.

Thanks so much!
 

Jon Hanson

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18s hunting movement from 1902-3; recased in to this cheap base metal OF case; probably was originally was in a nice GF hunting case.

Nice movement and dial from appearance.
 

terry hall

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it should be a lever set movement.

remove the front bezel and look for a lever around the edge at about 4 o'clock... gently pull the lever 'out' then use the winding crown to set the time... remember to gently return the lever to its resting position before screwing the bezel back on....

you 'can' bend the hands manually moving them.
 

streeter

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Jan 27, 2009
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Thanks so much! That explains why I couldn't find any that were similar.

So if you think it was 1902-03, why was the site www.nawcc-info.org putting the SN at 1892?


And I'm also finding out that railroad watches were not a style but more a standard or grade of watch?
 

streeter

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Jan 27, 2009
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it should be a lever set movement.

remove the front bezel and look for a lever around the edge at about 4 o'clock... gently pull the lever 'out' then use the winding crown to set the time... remember to gently return the lever to its resting position before screwing the bezel back on....

you 'can' bend the hands manually moving them.


Wow, THANKS! Yeah, theres a notch just past the 5, and the lever is there and it works. I never would have found that!

So I'm assuming this explains why the crown pulls out but doesn't work - because its from this 'after market' case is designed for crown movement instead of lever movement?
 

Jon Hanson

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because it is a model 1892, made later
 

Kent

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Hi streeter:

A belated welcome to you, to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

Your watch is definately a railroad standard watch! You can see a catalog description of it (Vanguard, Nickel, 19 diamond, and ruby jewels, ...) in this 1903 Waltham Ad.

Many people have come to call any large old pocket watch, especially one with an engraving of a locomotive on the back of the case, a railroad watch. This usage is frequently is incorrect. The term "Railroad Watch" was used by the watch and jewelry trade (and is now used by collectors) to refer those high grade watches that met the requirements of railroad time service rules and standards. The railroad industry, and the railroaders themselves, referred to the watches as "Standard Watches," literally, those watches that met the railroads' time service standards.

Although the person who originally owned a watch may have worked for a railroad, it is not necessarily what could properly be called a "Railroad Watch." The use of a standard watch was only required of a portion of railroad employes (correct spelling, used in many older railroad documents), usually those directly involved in running the trains, or controlling, or affecting, the operation of trains. Other employes carried whatever watches they liked. Typical lists of those required to carry a standard watch appear in an 1892 report of Time Inspection on the Illinois Central Railroad and as Standard Time Rule No. 2 in a 1901 Edition of Canadian Pacific Railway General, Train, and Interlocking Rules. A later list of Burlington Route employes required to carry a standard watch is shown in these 1949 CB&Q Rules. The Union Pacific RR website has concise explanations of Past and Present Railroad Job Descriptions

To learn more about railroad time service, time inspection and railroad standard watches, see ”Just What Is A Railroad Watch?” On the Pocket Horology, NAWCC Chapter 174 Website (scroll down to the title of the article). However, please keep in mind that information that became available since the above was written indicates that hunting-case watches were not specifically prohibited from railroad time service, at least, not as early as 1906-1908.

As Jon noted, your watch is a Waltham model 1892). Information on Waltham's well-known Model 1892 (also referred to as the model `92 or the Vanguard Model) may be obtained online at Jim Schneider's Waltham Model 1892 Research Website. Although possibly designed in 1892, it didn't reach the market until the Spring of 1894.

As it says near the upper right-hand corner of this page, "No Appraisals." However, now knowing the proper description of your watch, you can use a Google Search to find similar watches offered by internet dealers, or on eBay, and see what they are selling for. Alternately, check the value in the Complete Price Guide to Watches, No 27, C. Shugart, T. Engle and R. Gilbert, Tinderbox Press, Mount Pleasant, SC, 2007. A new edition comes out each year in February, so ask for the latest edition. The book is available at libraries, at most major booksellers and online at the NAWCC Gift Shop (ask about the current edition). Condition matters! Also, a solid gold case instead of a nickel or gold-filled case will make a difference as well.

Having gathered and printed out information about a family watch, it is a wise idea to write out as much as you know about the family member to whom the watch originally belonged. Then, add the names and relationships of the family members who passed it down to the current holder. Make up a booklet with this and all of the watch information and try to keep it with the watch. This way, the watch has real family heritage instead of it just being an old family watch, the identity and relationship of the original owner having been lost in the distant past.

Please let us know if you have additional questions.

Good luck,
 

Robert Sweet

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Apr 29, 2004
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Along the side opposite to the barrel is a star shape and "BASEMETAL".

The inside of the back cover (very faintly) is DEFIANCE within a rectangle with arrowed sides, and below that appears to be another SN- 7323054. Upside down, on the other side of the defiance logo looks like a handwritten number - R17611 and then out closer to the edge - G11067.
Streeter,
"Defiance" is a trademark of the "Star Watch Case Co." of Ludington, Mich. The "Star Watch Case Co." was the last of the "Railroad" watch case companies, remaining in business until 1982 when it finally closed its doors.

The handwritten numbers are "Jewelers" codes used to identify when a movement was repaired.

Robert
 
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streeter

Registered User
Jan 27, 2009
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Thank you everyone for the wealth information!

I love the idea of the booklet to go with it as it is passed down through generations. We already have a good start with some family genealogy that was done years ago. All of this new found information will be included as well.
 

Louis Christina

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May 10, 2004
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Streeter,
Nice movement!
I have been tracking the number of instances that 19j Model 92, Vanguard Hunter, have appeared on eBay for last 20 months, so far I have not seen the 1st one.
I believe that you have a scarce watch.
I do not know why it seems to be hard to find, but I have a theory that some of the 19 jewel Vanguard production, may have been up-jeweled at the factory to 21 jewel Models.
Louis
 

Kent

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Louis is correct about 19-jewel, model 92 hunting movements not appearing very often. Ed and I only have the following in our data base:

Grade - Date - S/N

Vg - Jun-94 - 11,033,537
Vg - Feb-27 - 11,033,826
Vg - Jan-09 - 12,000,198
Vg - Mar-97 - 12,010,730
Vg - May-01 - 12,010,737
Vg - May-98 - 12,010,875
CS - Dec-07 - 12,553,171
CS - Nov-08 - 13,044,564
Vg - Dec-93 - 13,044,700 - Last 2 Digits UKN
 

Tom McIntyre

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The grey book only lists 4 runs of 19J HC with a total production of 900. That is lower than the 17J production in either HC or OF (1030 and 1027 respectively).

Here is the model and grade summary for the 1892 Vanguard

92VanModGrade.jpg
 

musicguy

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I have (3) 19J Vanguard HC watches. Serial #11033639, 11500356, 12000185
and Crescent St. 19J HC #12001810
Post some photographs.


Rob
 

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