My Watch Collection, Which ones are good and which ones are junk?

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by captainclock, Jun 10, 2020.

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  1. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Hello everyone, I have been collecting watches for about 15 years now and most of my watches I had picked up at flea markets, antique malls and pawn shops over the years, most of them are vintage mechanical watches that date between the 1940s and the 1970s with a couple of 1980s vintage mechanical watches mixed in.

    Most of the watches I paid less than $10 for and some less than $20, and some were just given to me and some under $100, and one I paid over $200.

    I have other watches in my collection but these are the main ones I'm concerned about.
    I would like to know what I have and if any of these watches are worth more than I paid for them for insurance purposes and or repair purposes.
    If they aren't worth much more than I paid for them then I'll just keep them displayed out in the open in a shadowbox like do right now.
    But if I have some that might be of some value above what I paid for them then I might get a safe to keep the more valuable ones in and or put them in a safety deposit box at my local Credit Union Branch, and only get them out if I want to wear one of them for a special occasion like a wedding or something like that.

    See pictures below to see the watch collection below.

    Thanks for your help.

    Levi

    3 Bulova Watches.jpg 2 Wittenaur Automatics.jpg 2 Seiko Automatic Watches.jpg 2 identical dialed watches of different brands.jpg 2 more Hamilton Watches.jpg Benrus 3 Star 23 Jewel Automatic Watch.jpg Citizen 21 Jewel Automatic Wristwatch.jpg Elgin Wrist Watch.jpg Hamilton Manual Wind Watch.jpg Hyde Park Watch with Rubies and Diamonds on the dial.jpg Richard Bumper Automatic Watch.jpg Waltham Automatic Wristwatch.jpg
     
  2. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Not great photos - but nothing jumps out as exceptional or worth much more than you paid.
    Dont think you need a safety deposit box
    Sorry
     
  3. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Good to see that someone keeps them from the bin.
     
  4. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Well the lighting in my place isn't all that great to begin with, secondly I was using my cellphone camera to take these pictures.
    I can see what brand the watches say they are just fine, and the pictures are in focus just fine I double checked them myself, did you try blowing up the pictures?

    There are 3 Hamilton Watches and a Bumper Automatic in there...o_O
     
  5. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Thanks, I've always loved old mechanical watches ever since I was little, and only got into collecting them 15 Years ago when I was able to buy some on my own or people gave them to me.
     
  6. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    I like mechanical watches too. I am often amazed by who uses what. ie: Longines were not always Longines. Though they wore the name.
     
  7. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    I agree, I have 2 Swiss watches that have basically the same dial but different brand names on them, one is an automatic and one is a manual wind, more than likely they were made at the same time in the same Swiss watch factory but badged for different companies and with slightly different movements.
     
  8. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    I am sorry you are confused -
    Thats my opinion - sorry
    Adam
     
  9. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    These two? [​IMG]
     
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  10. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Yes - I can see those now,
    Bud neither sadly are value wise worth a lot.
    Nearly impossible to sell.
    Millions were made.
    Regards
     
  11. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    The man enjoys his watches.
    I doubt that he has any misconceptions about their worth to others.
     
  12. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    What about my Bumper Automatic? I know those aren't incredibly common. In fact I looked up my bumper automatic online (its the one branded Richard) and I didn't find any that were exactly like mine, nor one with the exact calibre movement as mine has.
    Also what about the watch that has the gems on the dial? Are those real rubies and diamonds or are they imitation, although I think that's something that would be kind of hard to tell by just looking at photos.

    By the way, the Hamilton watch with the leather wriststrap was the one i paid almost $250, if what you're saying is true, then I was ripped off then, because I bought that from an antique mall from a booth owner that was a member of this organization...:confused:o_O
     
  13. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    The rubies are likely red glass. They could possibly be red spinels but I doubt it.

    Have you opened any of these watches and photographed the movements?
     
  14. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Im not sure who you are referring to here, but I'm not suggesting that I know any better about my watches value than anyone else here does, but I don't think someone all the way over spain is going to know the going value of watches in America, espcially if they were models that were made for and Sold in the American Watch Market to begin with. It would be nice to hear from some fellow American Watch collectors to hear what they think.
     
  15. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    no I haven't some of these watches require that special waterproof caseback wrench tool to open the back with, which I don't own one of those currently, or they have to be opened through the crystal.
     
  16. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    "BUMPER" movement was invented by HARWOOD and on in good condition can be worth $1000
    most others are very cheap basic movements - nearly everone manufactured them and are worth very little
    I have a 14Kt gold Omega - I can not even get $600 for it.

    I know, vintage watches - I have a collection of over 200 from 1915 to 1950s.
    They are mint, most 18Kt gold ultra rare pieces - and even those dont sell.

    Sorry to disappoint you
     
  17. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Here's some pictures of the oldest watches I own, these shots of the movements and their dials up-close also a shot of the Jewel Dialed watch with an up close macro shot of the dial.

    Hamilton Watch Dial.jpg Hamilton Watch Movement.jpg Bulova Watch Dial 2.jpg Bulova Watch Movement 2.jpg Bulova Watch Dial.jpg Bulova Watch Movement.jpg Elgin Watch Dial.jpg Elgin Watch Movement.jpg Hyde Park Watch Dial.jpg Hyde Park Watch Movement.jpg
     
  18. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Oh really? If Bumper Automatics are so common, then how's come I've only come across one in the wild in my entire 15 Years of collecting watches?
    eBay doesn't count as finding something in the wild by the way...

    Just because something may be common in one part of the world doesn't mean its common in another part of the world, Bumper Automatics may be common in Europe where you're from but they're rarer than hens teeth in America, doesn't matter if they are high qaulity units or "cheap" units (although I don't consider any kind of automatic watch to be "cheap" because they were way more expensive regardless of their grade than their manual wind counterparts.)
     
  19. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Most of the bumpers were chucked away because they weren't the best of designs.
     
  20. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    OK, that I can understand. But what about the ones that were decent designs?
    I have a picture of my Bumper Automatic watch's movement, can you tell by the look of the movement if it was a decent watch movement and if it would be worth getting running again?

    See Pictures below of my Bumper Automatic Watch Movement.

    Richard Bumper Automatic Movement.jpg Richard Bumper Automatic Dust-Proof Cap.jpg Richard Bumper Automatic Watch Back.jpg
     
  21. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Also did you see the pictures of my watch movements I posted? I was wondering what you thought of them? They are 17-21 Jewel Movements, and they are pre-1950s watches (except for one of the Bulovas which has a date stamp of L7 on the back which I found out was 1957 according to the Bulova Website (which I tried asking about that watch on the Bulova Website but everyone on there kept telling me they thought it was a knockoff or not real or that I didn't know what I had just because I attempted to identify the watch using their archive of old Bulova Catalogs, so I never went back there again).
     
  22. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #22 roughbarked, Jun 10, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  23. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    First Comment in your reply: Which watch are you referring to as an "AS 1298"?

    Second Comment: I'll take a look at that.

    Third Comment: Which Bulova are you referring to? The first one or the second one?
     
  24. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #24 roughbarked, Jun 10, 2020
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    The Bumper auto is the AS 1298
    The first Bulova.
    The second is a 10 BH, loosely based on the AS 1200.

    Your Elgin was made around 1950-55.
     
  25. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    The first Bulova is a 10BP 21 Jewel movement Adjusted for 5 positions and Isochronism, that's what the movement says anyways.

    Is my bumper auto worth trying to repair and get up and running again? I would love to try and get it running again as it currently doesn't run.
     
  26. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Your Hyde Park contains an AS 984.

    If you enjoy them then they are worth repairing.
    s-l1600.jpg
     
  27. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    #27 Adam Harris, Jun 10, 2020
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    Yes Really.
    Please accept, I am not speaking as a "EUROPEAN" but as a HOROLOGIST - that studied the beginning of the wristwatch.
    Indeed I installed the first permanent wristwatch display in NAWCC museum called "The History of the Wristwatch 1900 to Present" I also photographed & cataloged every wristwatch owned at the museum.
    Does that make me an 'expert'? No, but it gives me some knowlegge, and 'early wristwatches' was my specialty.

    Bumper wristwatches are not so rare - you can easily find HARWOODS, OMEGAS and every other early American manufacturer - they all (including ROLEX) were looking to make a self-winding watch.
    So, sorry to disappoint you, but they are "not as rare as hens teeth" - I personally have about 6 of them, and could pick more up tomorrow.

    Regards
    adam
     
  28. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    There was nothing wrong with "bumper" movements.
    HARWOODS is a lovely design with 'bumpers'
    Omega also made, as did many others.

    These watches were "chucked" away for two reasons
    1) Many were gold and cases were scrapped for gold value
    2) No one wants small 32/34mm watches these days - so again - they got thrown out - but the design was acceptable and is the "genesis" of the self winding wtistwatch
    Adam
     
  29. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    #29 captainclock, Jun 10, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
    Did the Bulova 10BP Movements come in different varieties? I've noticed that the one you pictured above is a 23j movement adjusted for 6 positions and isochronism, whereas mine is a 21j movement adjusted for 5 positions and isochronism.

    Also I'm not sure if I would enjoy some of these watches or not (especially the bumper as it has been in non-working order ever since I've owned it so I've never been able to wear it or try it out to see if I would even like it, I like the idea of having a bumper automatic, but I don't know how they compare to regular bi-directional rotor-style automatics which I'm more used to those and how they work than I am with how a bumper automatic works as I've never owned a functioning bumper automatic before (this was my first and only bumper automatic and it was non-functional when I got it, and I have yet to take it to a watch repairman to have it serviced or checked out).

    Also could you point me to a website that explains the watch movement calibres and what they mean? Like when you say AS 984, I'm not sure what that means and whether or not that's a good quality movement or not.

    Edit: googled the watch calibre numbers and found out that apparently the Hyde Park Watch is from the late 1930s early 1940s. As for the Bumper Auto, it dates to 1948 and no later than 1955.
     
  30. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Well aware that bumpers were the genesis of auto winding and that they were acceptable at the time. However, since the ball race was invented I haven't seen any go back to those designs.
     
  31. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Well they lasted till after ROLEX rotor patent ran out = which by the way only wound in one direction
    Regards
     
  32. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Yes. As you have stated, you can have an opinion. In my opinion all the weight post models could break a weight post.
     
  33. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    True
    Got no idea what you mean by this?
    In my opinion all the weight post models could break a weight post.[/QUOTE]
     
  34. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    It is basically why the ball race superceded it.

    By the way, Rolexes still break weight posts.
     
  35. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    I don't understand what you mean by this? And what I meant by what I said was that basically you were telling me that if I enjoyed a watch enough then it would be worth fixing, which I was just saying that I can't decided for sure if I enjoy a watch or not unless I can wear it and it and its in running order so I can actually experience what the watch is like, and thus, whether or not it is one I really like or not.

    What do you mean exactly by "weight post models" and weight posts being broken?
     
  36. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Sorry - you completely lost me.

    what are "weight posts"
    "break"?
    I got no idea what you mean
     
  37. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    I looked up my Elgin Watch and According to the Elgin Website/Database the movement in my Elgin was made in 1951 only so my watch is from 1951.
    Unfortunately it doesn't run and it acts like the balance wheel either came loose from its mount or its staff broke, as it wobbles back and forth when I touch it with my finger.
     
  38. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Yep Most likely a broken balance wheel staff.
    No shock protection - so very common
     
  39. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Either a bushed or jewelled weight/rotor spins on a shaft/post or the post and weight spin within bearings or jewels. As different to a ball race is held down by a central screw.

    From 1778
    Automatic watch - Wikipedia
     
  40. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Well to me they're rare, because like I said previously I have only come across one in my 15 years of watch collecting, which was the one I pictured above, since that time I have yet to find another.
    Also I don't have the budget to be spending thousands of dollars on things like Rolexes or Omegas or other High End Luxury Watches, even the vintage ones (and yes I have priced vintage Omega Seamasters and Rolex Datejusts, and Perpetual Oysters, and they cost anywhere between $500-$10,000 USD which I cannot afford anything like that on my meager budget, especially with me having disabilities and being on Disability, and only being able to work a part time job.)

    So that's why I can only afford what you call "junk watches" (which last time I talked to a watch repairman they said anything 17j or higher are considered great watches and are more than worth servicing but if they are 15j or less then they are considered junk watches.)

    So I'm not sure why you have such a snobby attitude towards watches that aren't Rolexes or Patek Phillipe or Omegas or Tissot, but I find that rather disappointing because basically you're saying that if a watch isn't any of those aforementioned brands then they don't have value...
     
  41. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Nope I never said that at all.
    You want me (and others) to say "What an awesome collection - and you got all those from boot sales"
    Well sorry, I can not give you that credit.
    As I say, I have over 200 watches - I dont have any Pateks either!.

    Your watches are worth between nothing and a few $ (that you paid for them) - thats a fact.

    I teach people "How To Start A Vintage Collection Without The Tears" - its a NAWCC webinar on UTUBE - I suggest you watch it.
    I also have an NAWCC WEBINAR on UTUBE on early automatics - also a wealth of info.

    You can buy some interesting pieces for a few hundred $ - BUT you only get what you pay for - try watching my webinar on YOUTUBE.

    And finally 17j watch was termed a fully 'jewelled watch' and higher end to 15J or 9J - BUT there are cheap basic 17J and more outstanding pieces - a 15 J is not a junk watch - its the overall item that makes it 'junk' in my opinion - not just the movement.
    I have some fantastic 15j pieces!

    Anyway - I am out of here.
    Regards
    Adam
     
  42. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    No idea what this has to do with "bumper" versus "rotor"
    But as I said above - I am out of here
    Regards
     
  43. Adam Harris

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  44. John Arrowood

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    The Hamilton with the leather band appears to be a Wilshire from around 1939. You can look at Ebay for the model name to see what they are doing pricewise these days. I personally like the moveable lugs which allow the watch to fit closer to the wrist. I identified it through the Rndeau book and in the big "Complete Book..." 2011editon
     
  45. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Thanks! I'll do that.
     
  46. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    I just looked up the Hamilton watch and apparently there was one that sold for around $700, so it seems that I do have one that is worth more than I paid for it originally and it seems they made a "reissue" of this watch that had roman numerals on it, that was only sold for about $120 but the original like mine was the one that sold for around $700.
     
  47. Tomxhar

    Tomxhar Registered User

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    The Richard is a watch of quality, the company were makers of fine watches back in the day.
    One only has to look at the finish to the movement.
    Your Bulovas are quality vintage watches, as are the Hamilton and Elgin watches.
    The TV case Seiko DX is a particularly rare example, and one I would love to own.
    Don't let the naysayers put you down, do your best to get them working, use them, and then be proud of your collection.
     
  48. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Thanks, I really like those watches too, the square cased seiko really caught my eye when I first saw it at the local antique mall several years ago and I thought that it seemed like a pretty rare example as I had up to that point mostly only seen round cased Seikos. The Richard I had found in a booth at an antique mall almost a decade ago (the antique mall I found it in is sadly no more as the owner of it got out of the business) and I really liked the looks of it as it had a red second centerset hand and gold baton style minute and hour hands which seemed kind of different to me and also the fact that it was a bumper automatic which at that point I had never seen one before let alone know such a creature existed, so I bought it, unfortunately it didn't work but I have been meaning to try and take it to a watch repairman to see if he could repair it but I haven't had a chance to do so yet.
    The Bulovas were my first small cased mens watches with subset seconds as most of my watches prior to that were large cased mens watches with centerset second hands.

    The Hamilton was my most expensive watch I ever bought (and my mom was most upset at me for buying because I plopped 2 and a half paychecks worth of money onto that watch which at that time I was paid bi-weekly and my paychecks were usually around $115 and the watch was about $250 with tax...)

    I also have an old Mickey Mouse Watch with the hands that are shaped like Mickey's arms that move around the dial, with its I'm assuming original Red, White and Blue NATO Wrist Strap intact yet, and it does have a 17j movement in it.

    Mickey Mouse Watch Pictured below.

    Mickey Mouse Watch.jpg
     
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  49. Tomxhar

    Tomxhar Registered User

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    #49 Tomxhar, Jun 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
    Here is a old advertisement that features your watch, showing that your example even has its original bracelet too.
    Your Waltham is exactly the same as one I once owned, it had a Swiss movement and dated to the 1960's.
    Your Bulova watches date from (L-R) 1940's, 1950's, 1960's. The one on the right looks to be similar to the Bulova watch worn by Roger Moore in the 1960's TV series 'The Saint', if it is that same model then you have a watch much sought after by certain collectors.


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  50. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
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    That is interesting, I never knew that, I'm guessing the square dial Seiko dates to the 1970s? That's what I was guessing anyways going by the first 3 digits of the serial number which is supposed to give the month and last digit of the year it was manufactured (the decade it was manufactured in would have to be narrowed down by ads or other sales literature that told which decade that watch was made during of which then you could figure out an exact year of when the watch was made (ie if the serial number are 098 then the watch was made in september of either 1968, 1978 or 1988, but to get the exact year you would have to research what time period the watch was made in, so if the watch was made during the 1960s and 1970s but was discontinued in 1975 and they started making the watch in 1966 then you know the watch was made in September of 1968 as it was discontinued by 1978, at least that's what I've read online on other watch collectors forums concerning how to tell how old a Seiko watch is.

    As for the Bulova that has ties to a 1960s TV show, I never knew that either, I've never even heard of that show until now, I'll have to look it up now.

    The Waltham unfortunately doesn't keep very good time it loses 15 minues within two hours of winding up and setting the watch, so I don't know what's wrong with it, and I even tried adjusting the balance wheel speed control lever to make it so that it would run faster but it didn't make much difference, it still managed to lose 15 minutes after two hours of running after being wound up and set.

    My Bulova watch in the middle (the one from 1957) does the same thing as my Waltham, as far as losing time within a couple of hours of winding and setting the watch and I definitely don't know why that one is doing that because I had that watch professionally overhauled about 5 years ago and even had a new balance staff installed on it because the balance staff was broken on it when I got it (it was given to me by a gentleman who played Euchre at the coffee shop I worked at at the time.)
     

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