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Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Clint Geller, Jan 5, 2020.
Interesting. So who actually made this watch and where, Pmwas?
Of course it was made in LeLocle, Switzerland, for South American market...
The case is original, has Zenith’s logo.
Last found in the mailbox ...
Circa 1910 Hamilton Grade 926, SN# 674010, M1, 18S, 17J OF display case with Hamilton marked bezels.
The unusual rayed pattern damascene was a special finish made for the Burr W. Freer Co. San Francisco, California who were "Pacific Coast Agents" of Hamilton watches.
Here's my most recent: American Watch Co. Appleton Tracy & Co. Movement # 84867. Dates to September 1863. Of the 10 AT&Co watches documented by Ron Price to have been finished between August and December 1863, four have Appleton, Tracy & Co. dials. However, the flat seconds bit on this one is more representative of PS Bartletts of the same era. That said, the great movement and case made it worthwhile for me at the price point.
I just received this watch today. It is a 10-size Waltham Riverside-A in a 14K case by H.W. Matalene from 1920. I have seen a couple others like this in plain-polished square cases, but this engraved example is amazing. The bow and crown are not original, and I suspect a monogram was removed from the back (but at least nicely done).
Joe, I wondered where I left that one. If you can send it back, I’ll cover the postage
I haven't acquired many watches lately, and the ones I have bought are European, e.g., a grande & petite sonnerie repeater and a minute repeater automaton. (I am spoiled.) However, I just re-cased one of my American watches, so I am treating it as if it were a new acquisition.
I've had a very nice Model 1899 16-size Riverside Maximus hunter for nearly ten years but it's always bothered me that it was in a 25-year Philadelphia W.C.Co. gold-filled case. I have an unreasonable prejudice against gold-filled cases. I recently bought a Model 1899 Waltham Royal hunter in a very nice Solidarity solid 14k case. I swapped cases with the Riverside Maximus, so that the Royal now is in the gold-filled case and the Riverside Maximus now is in the solid gold case. The Riverside Maximus now looks like this:
I do not expect to recase any gold-filled watches in the future because I only have two. One is an Illinois 510 in its factory-signed case, a scarce high-grade 23j model. Only 423 likely were made, only 200 of which were labeled Illinois. Because this watch is in its factory case, I won't recase it. The other is a Lip Eclipso, another scarce watch rarely seen on the market. Lip licensed the design to Gruen, which called them Gruen Carres. I've never seen a solid gold Eclipso.
Having confessed my prejudice against gold-filled cases, and having admitted what some view as the sin of swapping cases, to expiate myself, I gave the very handsome Royal to a friend who is a frequent poster on this message board and my long-time horological mentor. The Royal still is a very nice watch:
That's a lovely watch with an interesting dial. Thank you for sharing it. I didn't remember ever seeing a signed AT&Co one piece dial like that before, so I did some research. From my own files, and from the Jones & Horan archives, I can report the following relevant dial information below, which covers a period including and bracketing that of August to December, 1863. About 20 of the watches listed have cases with Civil War presentations with inscribed dates consistent with the Waltham factory production data. In my records, every signed dial on a movement with a serial number greater than 26,687 is signed "American Watch Company," and no movement with a serial number below 22,728 is so signed. The only one piece dials signed "Appleton, Tracy & Co.," like your dial, are on movements with SN's below 26,688, and most are on movements with SNs below 22,729. I have linked pictures of two of them below, from the J&H site. And, as you mentioned, most but not all of these dials are on P. S. Bartlett grade movements. These patterns are consistent with the known date of the company's name change from AT&Co to AWCo in January of 1859. The latest movement I found with an AT&Co-signed dial was finished in November, 1859, not August to December, 1863. the latest movement SN in Ron Price's table with an AT&Co-signed dial and without a sunk seconds bit is SN 21,958, which was finished no later than December, 1860. Please note that I am not questioning the originality of your dial to your watch. It stands to reason that the AWCo would have wanted to use as much as possible of its signed AT&Co material left over from the period before the name change, and not all of it may have found its way onto a watch quickly. I just think the finisher seems to have grabbed an earlier dial out of inventory for your movement. I love these little anomalies. They make collecting interesting.
The formatting of my table was lost when I posted it. Sorry.
Movement SN Grade Model Factory Completion Date Dial Signature Construction Numeral Style
5,190 AT&Co 1857 8/1857 Appleton, Tracy & Co. One Piece Roman
5,221 AT&Co 1857 8/1857 - 9/1857 Unsigned Single Sunk Roman
5,694 AT&Co 1857 11/1857 Appleton, Tracy & Co. Single Sunk Roman "Waltham Mass." below arched "AT&Co"
6,429 AT&Co 1857 12/1858 Appleton, Tracy & Co. Single Sunk Serpentine Arabic
6,724 AT&Co 1857 12/1858 Appleton, Tracy & Co. Single Sunk Serpentine Arabic
9,310 PSB 1857 4/1858 Appleton, Tracy & Co. Single Sunk Roman "Waltham Mass." below arched "AT&Co"
10,034 PSB 1857 5/1858 Unsigned One Piece Roman
13,119 PSB 1857 10/1858 Appleton, Tracy & Co. One Piece Roman
16,594 AT&Co 1857 4/1859 Appleton, Tracy & Co. Single Sunk Serpentine Arabic
17,719 AT&Co 1857 6/1859 Appleton, Tracy & Co. Single Sunk Serpentine Arabic
19,350 AT&Co 1857 10/1859 Appleton, Tracy & Co. One Piece Roman
19,903 PSB 1857 4/1859 - 5/1859 Appleton, Tracy & Co. One Piece Roman
22,728 PSB 1857 7/1859 American Watch Co. One Piece Roman
23,592 PSB 1857 9/1859 - 10/1859 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman "Waltham mass." below AWCo signature
24,070 J Watson 1857 7/1866 (?) Unsigned One Piece Roman
24,407 PSB 1857 10/1859 Unsigned Single Sunk Roman
26,687 PSB 1857 11/1859 Appleton, Tracy & Co. One Piece Roman
31,928 AT&Co 1859 5/1860 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
32,843 PSB 1857 4/1860 American Watch Co. One Piece Roman
36,381 AWCo 1859 11/1860 American Watch Co. Double Sunk Roman
36,542 AT&Co* 1857 6/1863 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
39,150 AT&Co 1857 9/1860 Unsigned One Piece Roman
40,126 AWCo 1859 11/1860 American Watch Co. Double Sunk Roman
40,134 AWCo 1859 11/1860 American Watch Co. Double Sunk Roman
42,888 PSB 1857 6/1862 - 7/1862 American Watch Co. One Piece Roman
42,995 Ellery 1857 6/1862 Unsigned One Piece Roman
43,297 AT&Co 1857 8/1860 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
48,703 Ellery 1857 5/1862 Unsigned One Piece Roman
50,042 AWCo 20KW 1/1862 - 12/1863 American Watch Co. One Piece Roman
50,141 AT&Co 20KW 11/1862 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
53,777 AT&Co 1857 10/1862 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
54,033 PSB 1861(10KW) 2/1864 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
62,765 Ellery 1857 12/1862 Unsigned One Piece Roman
64,276 Ellery 1857 6/1863 Unsigned One Piece Roman
68,898 PSB 1857 2/1863 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
69,774 PSB 1857 3/1863 American Watch Co. One Piece Roman
69,896 PSB 1857 3/1863 American Watch Co. One Piece Roman
80,004 AT&Co 20KW 7/1863 - 11/1863 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
80,074 AT&Co 20KW 7/1863 - 11/1863 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
80,179 AT&Co 20KW 11/1863 - 1/1864 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
80,265 AT&Co 16KW 11/1863 - 1/1864 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
81,549 Ellery 1857 6/1863 Unsigned One Piece Roman
85,082 AT&Co 1857 10/1863 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
97,174 Ellery 1857 1/1864 Unsigned One Piece Roman
97,959 Ellery 1857 1/1864 Unsigned One Piece Roman
100,822 AT&Co 20KW 5/1864 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
107,296 AT&Co 1857 2/1864 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
118,358 AT&Co 1857 9/1864 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
123,868 PSB 1857 7/1864 - 8/1864 American Watch Co. One Piece Roman
125,423 AWCo 16KW 3/1864 - 5/1864 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
136,441 Ellery 1857 9/1864 - 10/1864 Unsigned One Piece Roman
145,367 Ellery 1857 1/1865 - 2/1865 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman Arched Signature
150,024 AWCo 20KW 4/1865 - 3/1868 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
162,792 Ellery 1857 5/1865 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman
165,172 PSB 1857 5/1865 American Watch Co. One Piece Roman
165,843 Ellery 1857 5/1865 - 6/1865 American Watch Co. Single Sunk Roman Arched Signature
Movement S# 36,542 appears to be AT&Co grade, but is marked "1st Lieut. John M. Russell, 12th Mass. Vols."
Thank you, Clint. I should be clear that one of the four 8/63 - 12/63 AT&Co. that I referenced in my post included my own example. In Ron's index, three of nine during that time period had single sunk AT&Co. dials.
See top of Page 7 http://www.pricelessads.com/m57/monograph/tables/at.pdf
Yes, I have Ron's book, too. It is rather surprising that the AWCo had any AT&Co dials left from early 1859 by 1863, unless they had been making more, which would surprise me even more, but the ones without sunk seconds bits were especially early.
This is not the latest purchase but it is the latest restored and returned.
Last found in the mailbox ...
Circa 1904 Hamilton, Grade 943 (marked), 21J, 18S, HC SN#163670. Total production 2700, per NAWCC Database records.
Listing: "Fully marked Grade 943 movements such as this are rare, and this particular example also has the very attractive feature of gilt trim which is unusual to this grade.
Hamilton records show a July 1st, 1904 "Date Finished" but a nearly 14 year delay until its "Date Sold" of April 15th, 1918 to the Norris Alister Ball Co. of Chicago, Illinois."
An outstanding package, Joe. The gold inlay with that damaskeening pattern is arresting, and the engraved railroad scene on the case is great.
Thanks Clint, it is an eye catcher and it runs as good as it looks. On a stand pendant up it was -3 seconds after 24 hours, then face up it was +6 seconds after 24 hours. Normally I would have switched them after 12 on a single wind but was a long day at work and missed the 12 hour mark. When the weather cools down that I can wear a vest again, I will be interested to see how it does 12 hours in the pocket, 12 hours face up on the desk.
The 942/943s are a large cut above the 940/941s in fit and finish. The span of time between the finished and sold dates is common among the higher grades. In 1917 / 1918 Hamilton sold off many movements that remained in stock, at bargain prices.
Please keep this thread to American Pocket Watches
or American PL's(with American or European movements)
or anything that's associated with American PW's.
Please post European watches in the European section.
I thought I would share this case since it it fairly scarce and newer to the collection. It houses a Waltham Ball 19 jewel BRT movement and dial in extremely good condition.
Here are a couple of fairly recent ones. The Keystone has Marty101's replacement hands, which I think look pretty good. My watchmaker, though, thought the original black thin spade hands looked better. Everybody's a critic.
The Rockford is in a pretty much worn-out open-face case. Note the caboose (I assume it is) on the back. But the watch is in good shape and is keeping excellent time. So I'm happy.
I just picked up this 1916 Waltham 12s as a present for my daughter. Now to go find a suitable chain necklace for it...
That's what I was gonna say...seriously though, stunningly beautiful!
Joe, that watch looks like something I'd expect to see on Antiques Roadshow!
Thanks! Turned out to be an excellent timekeeper too. Wore it 12 hours in the vest and was still on when I took it off. Credit to the watchmaker.
Always a bonus!
I came across this late April and although the dial looked bad, the movement looked clean and quite decent so I took a chance and I bought it.
It's an early production first run 941- serial #43155- finished 4/3/1899 and sold 4/11/1899 to wholesale jeweler Benjamin Allen Co. of Chicago.
Changes in 941 production mvmnts. (Halligan)
1899 #89001 New Style click and spring
1902 #223002-004 Used for experiments
1904 #239901-904 Special P.P. - New York
1906 #499001 Dbl roller Engraved "Adjusted 5 positions"
1911 #692801 Gold settings
While Hamilton made over 209,000 940s and nearly 27000 941s, over my years of collecting various 18s Hamis and pouring over hundreds of 940s and to a lesser extent 941s that I have seen online. I've not seen many up for auction with serial numbers prior to 1900 let alone first run, so this was a pretty big find for me being fan of 18s Hamiltons and their many private labels, special damaskeening, and any first run examples of pocket watches in general.
I replaced the bad dial and the case (a plump non-original triple hinged OF coin in poor condition also) from spares I had on hand. The case was a Bates and Bacon, OF, 20 yr. GF J. Boss SB&B model.
While changing the dial and case I oiled the exposed pinions so I could wind it for a test run and check timing The movement itself is in very good, clean, condition and seems to run well. Once it winds down I'll have it serviced and a new MS installed.
Original case and dial. New dial installed
Movement Case and detail pictures
Halligan's notes on the 941
I don't mean to brag, but I'm gonna. I have well over a thousand dollars in RR watches; Maximus, Vangaurd, Crescent St, multiples of each in different grades, and they all keep time pretty well. But the best timekeeper I have is a 17j 1888 Royal that I bought from a fellow collector for $35 (movement only). It wasn't running and just needed a quick cleaning in the Watchmaster to get it running. It stays to within 1 minute per month! I am amazed at this. So with that, my next post will be that watch.
As promised, Waltham 1888 16s, 17j, OF Royal. Mfg date:1897-1899. I believe the case is a period correct salesman or display case, not sure of the manufacturer.
Nothing great or special, except its ability to keep great time. Just incredible. I just don't understand how some timepieces can be so accurate, and others are all over the map. I guess it comes down to how they were treated over the years.
Kenny, your post underscores the fact that by the late 19th century, the American watch industry was turning out large numbers of modestly priced watches that could keep time as well as the great majority of citizens ever needed. The industry had effectively conquered the original engineering challenge of bringing reliable, reasonably accurate timekeepers within the financial reach of the average consumer. As such, these many middle and lower grade timekeepers may reflect the American watchmaking industry's most significant historical achievement more directly than the rare, high end products that attract the greatest collector attention. Work remained to achieve true and complete interchangeability of parts, and to make reliable timekeepers even cheaper, but in order to maintain profits, the industry had to sell the public on notions of watch "quality" that had only an increasingly fuzzy and theoretical connection to functionality.
And conquered it had! What an industry. The impacts that watchmaking had to other industries and manufacturing in general is something I am just beginning to realize and appreciate.
Pretty much where the mechanical watch industry still is today.
Except that, very ironically, modern mechanical timekeepers have once again mostly become a luxury and a status symbol for the affluent. Today one doesn't buy a new mechanical watch simply to know the time any more than one would buy a thoroughbred racehorse or a sailing yacht just to get somewhere.
While I'm at it, here is my most recent purchase. Waltham P.S. Bartlett 10s, 13j, HC, KW KS. 14k case. Manufacturer: unknown.
Civil War era. Ledgers state it was made between April to Oct. of 1862. I'm anxious to hear Mr. Geller's thoughts on this piece.
It came without a crystal which I carefully installed. Otherwise she runs quite well for a 158 year old lady.
Very nice Kenny, and I really like that case!
I have some bookends to yours.
Kenny, "Mr. Geller" is way too formal. "Clint" will do fine. You have a lovely watch. The case in particular is gorgeous. [edited] Are there train wheel jewels on the dial plate, or just on the top plate?
I completely agree with these thoughts. There are several aspects that make a watch intriguing to any given individual. The beauty and execution of the design, the technical mechanics of their design, the originality after all these years, that they not only still work or can be made to work but often within their original specifications. Since most of us do not have only one watch that we rely on to tell time s their original owners did, it would seem their accuracy is not as critical a concern. I wear one of mine to work every weekday in a vest and if it is within 1 second or 10 seconds after 12 hours, it is not of any real consequence. I am not going to head on with a high speed 20th Century on my way home. So when a watch such as Kenny's M88 perform like they do, to me the fascination is that they do given their age and often unknown maintenance. Just another tribute to the craftsmen who made them. Joe
Here is another lovely Model 1861 example, finished in February, 1864, in a Robbins & Appleton case. It belongs to a friend.
Thanks Clint, I couldn't agree more. In fact, it was the case as much as the movement that sold me on it being a "must have".
I don't know. I haven't had the dial off or the movement out of the case for that matter. Why do you ask? I know nothing about these older movements...
Talk about a gorgeous case! Wow!
Well said Joe, well said. Fascination and amazement are probably two of the words I use the most when talking about these old, tiny machines.
I was just wondering as to how the P. S. Bartlett Model 1861s are jeweled. The 1864 Waltham trade catalog suggests that PSB grade Model 1861s have 13 jewels (as the pallet arbor pivot holes appear to be unjeweled), but I have had jeweling surprises with early Walthams before.
Yes that would be good to know and a nice surprise. The minute hand does stall occasionally, indicating a potential pinion issue so if I go there, I'll let you know, with pictures of course.
Actually, Kenny, you had quoted my post before I edited it. I think I initially was wrong about the jeweling. At least according to the 1864 Waltham trade catalog, these movements had 13 jewels, indicating that the train wheel pinions were jeweled on both sides, but the pallet arbor was unjeweled.
Ok, good to know. It runs astonishingly well for a 13 jeweled watch. Again, testimony to the craftsmanship and engineering of these great marvels. Planned obsolescence was clearly not a factor in the design here.
Revived this 940 for my son. He liked the dual zone hands. (Thanks for hooking him up, Marty) The case had a big "K" scratched on it, so I tried my hand at removing it. Turned out OK I think.
My "new" and first Hamilton 942. I thought it odd that it had a regulator on the balance cock but also was setup for another type regulator.
Gotta love 942s. Only one style regulator on this. Missing the index needle and the adjustment screw assy. The whip spring is broken and note the chamfering on this spring when trying to find a replacement. One polished chamfered flat head plate screw and you're good to go. Enjoy.
thanks 179 for the help, I should have looked a little closer before posting that, and will watch for the chauffeuring in it's replacement.
Was "chauffering" a cell phone autocorrect of chamfering?
These are much nicer than the 940s, i just love the finish on them.
I don't know much about Hamilton's, but just in general, it's a really beautiful movement. Great damaskeen!