Old (1903?) Waltham wrist watch

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by doug sinclair, Mar 11, 2001.

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  1. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    Sylvie,

    Watches for ladies during the last part of the 19th century were very often hunter-cased models which have a cover over the face. These watches were often worn on a long neck chain, and the watch often was hooked to a chatelaine, or brooch that was pinned to the clothing. These watches were characterized by having the winder at the 3:00 position as opposed to being at the 12:00 position as in open-faced pocket watches. Wrist watches probably appeared first in the late 19th century. They were simply converted hunter-cased watches put into suitable cases. By the early part of the 20th century when the wrist watch became fashionable, demand for the older style ladie's watches (worn around the neck), dropped off. However, production of these movements increased as the wrist watch fashion exploded. Early gents and ladie's watches often looked much alike, differing only in size, and had wire lugs. Ladies watches might have been worn on a fabric band, and men's watches often worn on leather. Ladie's wrist watches from the era are also seen with the winder at the 12:00 position I might add. Yours could have originally been a hunter cased model which was converted at a later date. There certainly was a lot of that being done in that era.

    Interestingly, it was the Swiss made wrist watch that popularized the style! Particularly watches from firms such as Gruen, and Bulova. American watch manufacturers fought the trend in the early years, to their detriment! By the time they woke up and jumped on the band wagon, the Swiss wrist watch had taken over. This was a major factor in the disappearance of the American-made watch, and that the Swiss are still in the business today. In a big way!

    Regards,
    Doug S.

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  2. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
    14,364
    58
    48
    Calgary, Alberta
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Sylvie,

    The "scratched out part" was probably a quality (of the gold coloured finish of the bezel) mark which did not meet federal standards, and so it was obliterated. In Canada for example, the quality marking "gold-plated" has been disallowed on items with a gold finish, giving rise to a lot of this sort of obliteration during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It shows up on items that had reached the market before the standard changed. The other markings you describe sound like watch repair marks which don't help determine the provenance of the watch. Can't help on the G...ss mark, but the number sounds like a case serial number.

    The wire lugs I describe were most likely to be found on the earliest wrist watch cases. Sometimes watch cases came from the factory that way, and sometimes lugs were added to a case at a later date to convert the watch to wear on the wrist.

    Regards,
    Doug S.
     

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