• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

New user on NAWCC with a Waltham model 1883

lucky58

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Jan 17, 2021
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Hello,
I just registred on this forum as a new user. I aquired recently a restaured Waltham and am very happy with this pocket watch. Collecting for a long time watches with one pocket Watch - a Omega - I searched and found one old American with key winding which was my goal:
Grade: Home Watch Co.
Manufacturer: Waltham
Manufacturer Location: Waltham, Massachusetts
Movement Serial Number: 5342644
Grade: Home Watch Co.
Model: 1883
Estimated Production Date: May 1892 - August 1892
Run Quantity: 2,000
Total Production: 86,100
Size: 18s
Jewels: 7j
Movement Configuration: Either
Movement Setting: Key
Plate: Full Plate
Adjusted: No
Railroad Grade: No
Data Research: 1954 Waltham "Gray Book" List

Next goal is finding a railroad pocket watch like a Hamilton 992B which I find beautiful, but damn they are relative expensive considering they have to imported in Belgium (taxes have to be paid). The search can start, in the meanwhile I enjoy reading this forum.

Have a nice sunday,
Luc

PXL_20210107_175759164.PORTRAIT.jpg PXL_20210107_180035746.PORTRAIT.jpg PXL_20210107_175446905.jpg PXL_20210107_175212872.PORTRAIT.jpg PXL_20210107_175923164.jpg
 
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musicguy

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Welcome to the NAWCC forum



Rob
 
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topspin

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Yes, welcome. I see you have already identified the movement correctly. Was there anything else you wanted to know about the watch?
 
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lucky58

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Yes, welcome. I see you have already identified the movement correctly. Was there anything else you wanted to know about the watch?
Thanks, I did read a lot about the watch on this forum. Bought a history book :)
Perheps one question: I know the watch is very old and time keeping can not be like a quartz - It is ticking perfect on time when laying flat for a few days (within 1 minute) , but in the vertical position the watch runs 10 minutes wrong on 24h. Normal or nothing to worry about?
kind regards, Luc

9780344097027.jpg
 
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John Cote

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You have a very nice watch but a watch which was never really meant to be, in its day, a perfect time keeper. The definition of "perfect time keeper" changed over time but in its day, a 7 jewel model 1883 was a sort of low budget and not extremely precision watch. A good watchmaker could probably work on it and adjust is so that it would be more "positionally accurate." The better grades of the model 1883 were adjusted to positions from the factory, but yours was not. Positional adjustment has to do with a lot of factors which are too boring and too detailed to go into but it is theoretically possible to adjust a 7 jewel watch so that it does a pretty good job of maintaining a constant rate in the normal positions of dial up, dial down, crown up, crown down, crown left and crown right.

The thing about a 7 jewel watch is that to do this the watchmaker would probably almost have to re-make the watch. He/she would have to polish the pivots and their un-jeweled holes...do his/her best to eliminate end shake on for the pinions which were not really designed to be perfect at doing this...and on and on.

The other thing about a 7 jewel watch is that, without the jewels for the pivots to run in, it will not wear as well as a watch with more jewels. it is therefore almost more important to keep it clean and oiled if you are going to run it.
 
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richiec

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Like John stated, most likely the cause of the time difference would probably be wear to the pivots and holes in the plates. There is probably just enough wear to cause excess friction slowing the watch down. It may have worn pivots on the balance which allow the balance wheel to wobble. If it is running fast then it may have a dirty hairspring on the balance wheel. Have you tried putting the regulator back on the scale on the balance cock? If it has to be that far over to run close to good time, there is something seriously wrong with the watch, bad mainspring, a balance that had been changed, if you feel brave, pull the balance and see if the partial serial number matches the one on the plate. The previous owner may have just cleaned and oiled it and never checked anything else. Based on the hallmarks this was made for the English market, Waltham sent a lot of lower grade movements over in the late 1800's.
 
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lucky58

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Like John stated, most likely the cause of the time difference would probably be wear to the pivots and holes in the plates. There is probably just enough wear to cause excess friction slowing the watch down. It may have worn pivots on the balance which allow the balance wheel to wobble. If it is running fast then it may have a dirty hairspring on the balance wheel. Have you tried putting the regulator back on the scale on the balance cock? If it has to be that far over to run close to good time, there is something seriously wrong with the watch, bad mainspring, a balance that had been changed, if you feel brave, pull the balance and see if the partial serial number matches the one on the plate. The previous owner may have just cleaned and oiled it and never checked anything else. Based on the hallmarks this was made for the English market, Waltham sent a lot of lower grade movements over in the late 1800's.
I believe like you and John C wrote that this watch with 7 jewels is never meant to run perfect also not because I got no positional adjustment. General given the age of the watch is running to its best -even good.
It can be said that a good copy of a Hamilton 992B is more accurate when you wear it in your pants?
 

John Cote

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Wearing it in your pants is the key here. The fact that a watch worn in a pocket slides around from position to position is exactly why watches which needed to keep some type of good consistant time, like a railroad watch, were adjusted to compensate for positional errors.

For those who don't understand positional errors, these are errors caused by the effect of gravity. Gravity pulls the regulating mechanism/escapement/balance wheel toward the earth. When the watch finds itself in different positions relative to the earth, the effect of gravity does different things which can be compensated for by adjustments of balance weighting and the precision with which the balance and all of its associated parts are made so as to eliminate friction to the extent possible.

A Hamilton 992b is an example of a very finely adjusted and precicely made watch. It would do a much better job of keeping time in a pocket than the typical 7 jewel watch.
 
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179

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Lucky58, is the hairspring between the regulator pins? If so with the regulator this far out of the proper range it is not working on the proper area of the hairspring. It is very possible this miss use of the regulator has pushed the hairspring out of round, and who knows what else.
 

lucky58

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Lucky58, is the hairspring between the regulator pins? If so with the regulator this far out of the proper range it is not working on the proper area of the hairspring. It is very possible this miss use of the regulator has pushed the hairspring out of round, and who knows what else.
The watch was send to me from the Netherlands and I had to place the hairspring between the regulator pins again ( I think by transportation something slightly moved).
Thank you all for your expert help. I don't know that much about it myself.
kind regards, Luc
 

topspin

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Just to add to the excellent information above,
Yup, whenever you see a regulator that has been pushed all the way over to Slow or Fast, it's a pretty good clue that something is wrong, which someone has been trying to compensate for by using the one no-skill device available.
An analogy would be if you are examining a used car, and as soon as you open the bonnet (hood) to look at the engine, some unusual component or adjustment jumps out at you. (Or if it requires any unusual driver input to get from A to B.) Even if it seems to run ok now, you know in your heart that it's just waiting to break down. As to whether this is a big problem, depends on what you were planning to use the car for.

I am a big fan of these 7J keywinds - as providers of soothing indoor background noise. Much too big and fragile for me to use as an everyday timepiece.
 
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lucky58

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Thanks for your comment above, and I agree on the one below

I am a big fan of these 7J keywinds - as providers of soothing indoor background noise. Much too big and fragile for me to use as an everyday timepiece.
 

richiec

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I wore a Home grade, keywind, keyset 18S Model 1857 which kept excellent time, sorry I sold it at a mart about 10 years ago. seven jewel watches can be made to keep pretty good time, it requires patience.
 

gmorse

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Hi lucky58,

When the watch is vertical, in your pocket, the balance is also vertical and its pivots are horizontal, so they're running on what should be the cylindrical part of the pivots. When it's horizontal, (dial up or dial down), the balance pivots should be running with their tips on flat jewels known as cap jewels or endstones. The two situations should result in slight differences in rate if the jewels and the pivots are clean and undamaged, but if you're seeing larger variations, it does imply, as others have said, that something is amiss with pivots and/or jewels.

Regards,

Graham
 

lucky58

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Oké; I will take the pocket watch to the watchmaker for a thorough check. I don't know enough of it. I also see that the regulator is still far wrong. Hopefully something can be done about it in Belgium. Thanks for the explanation.
best regards, Luc
 

Tom Huber

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Your very nice watch I believe was exported for the English market. Your sterling case appears to have English markings. The style of dial on your watch is definitely English.

Tom
 

gmorse

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Hi Luc,

Tom is quite right, there are English hallmarks in the case. Although you've shown the inside of the inner cover, which only has partial marks, (there should be a full set inside the outer back lid), it's highly likely that this Waltham was cased by the Dennison Watch Case Company in Birmingham, and would have been assayed in the Birmingham assay office, which means that the date letter, (I think it's an 'x' rather than an 'r', but they are very similar in this series), indicates a date of 1897/8. Aaron Lufkin Dennison had long-standing links with the Waltham company, but the maker's/sponsor's mark is likely to be 'A•B' for Alfred Bedford, who was the manager of Waltham's UK operations. This does not mean that Bedford was responsible for making the cases for Waltham watches imported into the UK, they were mostly made by Dennisons, but there was some history between A.L. Dennison and the Waltham management!

Regards,

Graham
 
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lucky58

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You are both more than likely right that this watch was for the English market.

Here 's a photo of the inside of the outer cover: with the A-B of Alfred Bedford, a lion and a anchor. The letter 'r' is there. What does the ' r ' and the anchor stand for?
On the inside someone scratched numbers on it and a date.

I bought the watch recently in a Dutch antique jeweler who did not know its history.
They described the pocket watch as an antique silver Waltham.mass with the Roman year letter R 1876, completely checked by an antique watch restorer and restored. Stock 835, Maker: A.B. , enamel dial, cut crystal glass, etc.
I don't know what they mean by the R 1876 (the antiques business has closed and the old watchmakers have been out of service for a while).
Regards, Luc

PXL_20210119_195148184.PORTRAIT.jpg
 

Rick Hufnagel

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Add my welcome. Neat export
AB Alfred Bedford
Lion is sterling silver
Anchor is Birmingham assay office
The "r" is 1891.

I think the antiques shop made a mistake with the date letter.

The scratched marks are from privious watch repairs or servings. Watchmakers had their own codes and your marks will likely never make sense to anyone but the person who inscribed them.
 
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gmorse

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Hi Luc,

Please see my post #19 for an explanation of the hallmarks; the date letter series are different for each assay office, so you need to know where the piece was assayed to arrive at the right date. The 'x' and the 'r' are easily confused in this series, but I think this is an 'x' for 1897/8, (the letters weren't changed in January each year, but in July for Birmingham, hence the two years quoted).

Regards,

Graham
 
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