Need advice on Waltham RR I'm considering for purchase

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by S_Owsley, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. S_Owsley

    S_Owsley Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    153
    40
    28
    Male
    Construction Management
    San Francisco
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I read an article - I'm sure it was an NAWCC article on the basics of RR watches. It answered a lot of questions, such as what "adjusted" meant. Then I ran into a "problem" - I started browsing on Etsy. Knowing that I don't know much, and being afraid of making a rookie mistake, there is a Waltham RR watch from 1900 that I've found and really like a lot. I don't have the means to collect a lot of watches - certainly not high end ones - but I think it would be nice to have a reliable and nice looking pocket watch that I chose for casual putting in my Levi's watch pocket and wearing out and about. Is there a RR pocket watch collector who can give me guidance on a potential purchase? I don't want to overpay the market and I don't want to find out later I got a real dog of a watch.
     
  2. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 12, 2017
    5,956
    2,902
    113
    New York State
    Country Flag:
    If you want to send me a PM(or to anyone else here you think can help you) with a link to the particular pocket watch you like I can let you know what I think of it.
    You can not post a link to an active sale on the forum. We don't permit buying an selling on the forum.


    Rob
     
  3. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,444
    365
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If he showed a picture with permission of the seller. Of the watch he is interested that would be ok?
     
  4. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 12, 2017
    5,956
    2,902
    113
    New York State
    Country Flag:
    Since we now know where he has been looking it would not be appropriate to talk about
    an existing item that is currently for sale. It's best to send a private
    message and talk about the watch behind the scenes.


    Rob
     
  5. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,444
    365
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Etsy is pretty big, i doubt anyone would likely know. This is where i find the rules apply to some but not all, another posting is a person posting clocks from a auction, but thats ok. I find this rule confusing.
     
  6. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    5,737
    2,394
    113
    Male
    Retired Sr. Proj. mgr,
    South
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Research the model 1892's. My 21J was made in 1902.

    Keith R...
     
  7. Kent

    Kent Registered User
    Gibbs Literary Award NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Silver Member

    Aug 26, 2000
    18,444
    1,769
    113
    Country Flag:
    Being ethical means doing the right thing, even when nobody is looking.
     
    musicguy and Keith R... like this.
  8. Kent

    Kent Registered User
    Gibbs Literary Award NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Silver Member

    Aug 26, 2000
    18,444
    1,769
    113
    Country Flag:
    Setting aside the fact that a specific watch is for sale and ignoring the price, if you ask about a watch stating its make, model, grade and general serial number range, then we ought to be able to tell you:

    • If its generally considered to be a Railroad Watch and.
    • Its suitability for being accepted into Railroad Time Service at the time it was built.
    • What its quality level is/was. Broadly speaking, if one were to consider all jeweled watch movements as being separated into three grade groups; low (unadjusted); medium (adjusted to temperature and up to 3-4 positions); and high (adjusted to 5+ positions); then this watch, being a Railroad Watch, can be considered to at least be in the low end of the middle grade group.
    • What its production quantity was.
    • Whether its generally considered to be collectable. This is based upon more than just low production; there has to be a perception of desirability.
    • Originality becomes a factor in collectability; are the dial and hands at least correct for the movement? Is the case from the same era as the movement? Was the watch only sold in specific factory cases?
    • If its sturdy, suitable "... for casual putting in my Levi's watch pocket and wearing out and about." Yeah, all railroad watches are supposed to have been designed for this, but there are a lot of high grade or uncommon railroad watches that I wouldn't subject to such use. You'll probably want a nickel-cased watch, or one in a stainless steel case depending on the era. It'll keep the cost down and stand up well against wear.
    • Unless you know that it has been properly cleaned and oiled within the last few years, you should have the watch serviced before running it very much. This can cost as much as the watch. It may be helpful for you to read the Encyclopedia article on Watch Service and its related links, especially the one to the message board thread on the subject. The Encyclopedia article on Choosing a Pocket Watch Repair Person may be useful as well.

    Please feel free to ask about anything that isn't clear to you.

    Good luck,
     
  9. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,444
    365
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Being ethical is one thing for sure. My point was more about being fair to posters. And applying a rule fairly. Which is a confusing rule to me and others.
     
  10. S_Owsley

    S_Owsley Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    153
    40
    28
    Male
    Construction Management
    San Francisco
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    OK, a Waltham 1883 grade PS Bartlett, made approx 1900, adjusted with no indication of positions, nickel case, blued hands. Seller states serviced and restored. Plain but highly polished nickel face in a regular case. Cosmetically excellent. Clear, new old stock glass crystal. From a dealer who I believe sells serviced watches. No hairlines, perfect hands. I think it might be overpriced, but it is pretty. I don't know what the market is for these and looking at the photos, the movement isn't imaculate as I would expect. I wouldn't mind knowing what the range of value and what a range of reasonable offers might be, general desirability and would this be easy to service for the future.
     
  11. richiec

    richiec Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    6,731
    549
    113
    Male
    automotive warranty inspector
    Brick, Ocean, NJ
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    We can't give you a price here but the P S Bartlett is not railroad grade and very common. Unless in immaculate condition not worth a whole lot to collectors. They are tricky to service but not that hard. That is a swing out case that you must be very careful when swinging the movement out to look at it as you can break the winding stem easily. If it runs well it can make a nice carry watch but will be tough to get into a watch pocket, usually a 14 size is a tight fit on the newer jeans.
     
    Keith R... likes this.
  12. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 12, 2017
    5,956
    2,902
    113
    New York State
    Country Flag:
    S_Owsley

    Sorry I had to remove your photo. As you said in an earlier post it was on Etsy and
    you posted about a current live auction. The auction was easily searchable.
    We can talk about concepts but we don't talk about
    active auctions here. Please use the PM feature for that(as I said in an earlier response).

    RE our rules: "Links or references to active sales or auctions will be removed"


    Rob
     
    Keith R... likes this.
  13. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 12, 2017
    5,956
    2,902
    113
    New York State
    Country Flag:
    I wear an 18s and a 16s(and lower) in my jeans an the 18s still fit fairly well.


    Rob
     
  14. S_Owsley

    S_Owsley Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    153
    40
    28
    Male
    Construction Management
    San Francisco
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I did send you a PM with a direct link, but didn't get a response, so thought that just an un-linked photo might work. I still can't figure out how this site is organized. I thought I was in the "what is is worth" section.
     
  15. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 12, 2017
    5,956
    2,902
    113
    New York State
    Country Flag:
    #15 musicguy, Nov 26, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
    Sorry I don't know what the problem was(or is) I just checked
    and didn't get a PM.

    I have just sent you a PM and you can send me the link if you want.


    Rob
     
  16. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 21, 2002
    6,540
    1,182
    113
    Male
    Working the farm, Garden,horses, goats, chickens,
    Decatur, TN.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Rob,
    We used to have Private Messages (PM), however they are now called "Start a Conservation" so an Administrator may be able to change it back to what it was called and SHOULD be called, instead of the politically correct language that doesn't describe things as they should be described. :mad::(:confused::eek:
     
  17. S_Owsley

    S_Owsley Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    153
    40
    28
    Male
    Construction Management
    San Francisco
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I saw the "Start a conversation" but how does that work for private communication? It just doesn't. I thought I found a way to send directly a private message that wasn't publicly viewable.
     
  18. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,444
    365
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    start a conversation is only seen between two people. Why it was changed to another name confused me before and its still confusing now.
     
  19. S_Owsley

    S_Owsley Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    153
    40
    28
    Male
    Construction Management
    San Francisco
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks for clearing that up. It looked like I would be posting a public conversation to someone's profile, and I was going to send a link. I definitely think the name should be changed to Private Message. I'm glad the forum exists, so I'll keep most of my "now say what you really feel" comments to myself.
     
    Kevin W. likes this.
  20. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,444
    365
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    There are many great rr watches out there. Alot depends on how much you want to spend.The best advice i could offer is read, read and read up on the topic.
     
  21. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    5,737
    2,394
    113
    Male
    Retired Sr. Proj. mgr,
    South
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #21 Keith R..., Nov 26, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
    Here, try this, Model 83 with an AT&Co movement. It's 15, or so jewels.

    My PS Bartlett's were 11J civil war era. Good luck.

    Keith R...

    103_9729 (1600x1200).jpg 103_9691 (1600x1200).jpg 103_9696 (1600x1200).jpg
     
  22. Kent

    Kent Registered User
    Gibbs Literary Award NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Silver Member

    Aug 26, 2000
    18,444
    1,769
    113
    Country Flag:
    S_Owsley:

    As richiec pointed out in post #11, the model 1883 P.S. Bartlett grade is not a railroad watch; here's why.

    Page 76 of the Otto Young & Co. 1903 OY Company Jewelry Catalog (see below) describes the model '83 (a.k.a. model 1883) P.S. Bartlett grade as being adjusted to temperature. This would have fine throughout most of the 1890s. However, by the turn of the century Railroad Time Service Watch Rules began to require adjustment to three positions (see example, below). This meant that it was iffy that the model '83 P.S. Bartlett grade would have been accepted into railroad service.

    I'll leave it to Rob to determine if the dial and case are appropriate for the movement.

    1903_OY_Co_Catalog_Pg_76_Waltham_18S_&_16S_RR.jpg 1900_Jan-22_Lacawanna_Rules.jpg
     
  23. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 12, 2017
    5,956
    2,902
    113
    New York State
    Country Flag:
    Deciding what your first watch will be can sometimes be a really tough choice. If you ask here what should you get, you
    will get 100 different opinions. I would look at watches (like you are currently doing)
    and try to identify what features you like in a watch. Do you like
    the big 18 size watches(or 16s or 12s etc), or maybe a hunting case watch(one where the lid closes over the dial)
    do you like the allure of a watch that would have been approved for Rail Road service.
    Do you like roman numerals or arabic numerals or both. Do you like
    looking at the movement(the works inside). I have always bought
    what I like and have a rather eclectic collection. Others here are focused and
    collect specific watches. I like to wear some of my watches while some others
    do not. We are a varied community.



    Rob
     
    topspin and Keith R... like this.

Share This Page