Show and tell your 5star Vanguard

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Mark UK, Feb 7, 2017.

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  1. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
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    Here's mine, quite possibly the finest Vanguard from the pinnacle of Waltham production, a grade 1623 6 posn from 1936 (cough)... and I know from research on this forum it's one of Jerry T's favorites too :whistle:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    At just under 100$ I am happy to daily carry this one with it's scratched glass, broken reg., 'warts and all'!
     

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  2. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    I'd say that your Vanguard would make a great carry watch. I'm sure it can be very accurate, and is a nice RR-grade pocket-watch.

    The only Vanguard I own is the second pocket-watch that I ever owned. Presently it's in a nice GF hunter-case, but is at the bank, so I can't show it in its entirety. I do, however, have an image of the movement around here somewhere. Oh, there it is...

    It's relatively scarce '92 model HC that's marked "21 Ruby Jewels" as well as "Non-Magnetic". Cheers.

    (Scan was performed by the very Jerry T. you mentioned.)
     

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  3. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    That is one very, VERY nice Vanguard! I have a few 08's but still waiting for a '92 to come along.
     
  4. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    What's a "5star Vanguard"?

    Also, I don't wish to rain on your parade, but although this watch is beginning to approach "the pinnacle of Waltham production", there were quite a few watches that Waltham built of much higher quality.
     
  5. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    I have an umbrella at the ready Kent :) Just a bit of tongue in cheek hence the (cough)! I have heard it said that my new acquisition is possibly the poorest finished of all the Vanguards from a period where Waltham seemed to have hit bottom. It certainly is the least impressive to look at compared to my earlier Vanguards but it will make a great daily carry.
     
  6. 34Ford5W

    34Ford5W Registered User
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    [​IMG]
    Here is one of my 5 Star Vanguards. This one is a Model 82 17 jewel OF, I have a 17 jewel HC as well. 17 jewel Vanguards had just over 2000 total production.
     

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  7. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User
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    Among the 16-size Vanguards, I think the 23-jewel indicator model with the Lossier inner terminal curve hairspring is considered quite collectible. I haven't checked the "star" rating in "the Bible" on this one. I have shown it face side and movement side. This one has diamond end stones on the balance staff. More a bragging point than anything.

    I have also shown my 1950s vintage 23-jewel Vanguard from one of the last runs before Waltham ceased production. Melamine dial, very plain. You want to see homely, basic! Look at that one. Only virtue of this one as I see it, I am the third owner, and the watch still has never been used!


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  8. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    I could quite simply look at those early 92's all day long!
     
  9. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    Plain it may be but an impressive 8 adjustments!!!

    Why do you suppose manufacturers moved away from the fine damask finish and screw settings, was it change in fashion taste or simply to keep prices competitive?
     
  10. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User
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    My read on how things changed tells me that the damask finish, gold jewel setting, high polish, ornate engraving, may well go back to the days when watches were sold, un-cased. Watch buyers didn't understand about heat and cold compensation, isochronism, and position adjustments, and how they added to the selling price. But they did understand "window dressing" when shown the higher priced movement. Later, when watches were sold, cased, maybe window dressing was less important. As time evolved, movements got plainer and plainer, gradually adopting many Swiss ideas about how movements looked. The later Vanguard I showed was produced when cost cutting was the main motivation.
     
  11. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    As doug put it so well, once the watches, including the popular railroad watches, were sold cased from the factory in the early-to-mid 1920s (yes, I know; factory-cased railroad watches were available much earlier, but the ratio of factory-cased railroad watches vs. movement-only shot up steeply in the early-to-mid 1920s), the appearance of the movement became much less important. A few short years later the great depression hit, forcing the watch companies to look very carefully at their costs. The U.S. was stuck in the depression for about ten years until WWII created the prosperity the ended the depression. But the was also brought a manpower shortage that again forced the watch factories to reduce labor. As a result, war era Vanguard movements looked plainer than plain (see S/N 30567653 below). After the war, the damaskeening returned, but it was rather modest compared to the pre-war damaskeening of the mid-to-late 1930s (see S/N 33370573 below).

    There had always been price competition, but in the post-war era, once the immediate demand caused by wartime shortages was satisfied, the price competition grew fierce. $71.50 seemed to be the magic number is the early 1950s (see below) and costs had to be watched so that the watches could be retailed at that price.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Mark - thanks for the tease.:whistle:

    MrRoundel - I always enjoy seeing that movement. That was a great find!

    34Ford5W - Oh my … that 17j Vanguard is lovely, and with very unusual damaskeening.

    Doug - I actually kind of like that late Vanguard of yours with the Geneva striping. Although simply finished, after a rather ugly period I think Waltham finally started to show some pride in their product again.

    Here are my two ’92 models.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

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    Here's a couple of mine. A late one from the war 1940 I believe and another which I think is one of only 500 made in that configuration.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  14. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    Jerry, tease aside, I always enjoy reading your contributions and your insight is of great benefit to us newbies. I have a 'parts' Crescent St much like your early 21J which I would love to restore but I don't think I will ever replace the missing bits :( It is clear from looking at both of your two '92's and at the other Vanguards that have been posted here that one could build a life-long collection of just the Vanguard model alone.

    Rolandantrobus - the uncluttered lines of your 1940 model is a great combination with the no-frills Dennison gold case. Is it hallmarked for the same period? I have only the one case like that but from 1919 which has one of my Russell Walthams in it.

    Kent - I had forgotten about the great depression and the impact that would have had on all manufacturers. I presume that period was also the least productive in terms of numbers produced/sales. The price point of USD71.50 in those ads got me running to google. The exchange rate at that time would have been around 2.8 Dollars to the Pound so that would have had a price tag of £25 (or more) over here in the UK which would have been the best part of a months wages in the early 50's for those in skilled employment - there aren't many things that I buy even today that would consume a months salary!
     
  15. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

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    Yes Mark, the case is from the same period as the movement. I have a thing about Dennison cases, most of mine are in them but unfortunately only three are solid gold.
     
  16. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Mark:

    I don't have any wage data on hand for the 1950s to compare with your numbers. The best I can do is the December 1922 report (below) which shows the average monthly wage for a railroad worker to be $141.13. Since that includes laborers and other unskilled workers, I'd estimate that the monthly wages for those railroaders whose positions required them to carry a railroad watch to be in excess of $150.

    A few years later, the mail order price for a 23-jewel Vanguard watch fitted with a wind indicator in a 20 year case was $65, about a week and a half's wages. For those in Canada, 1922 prices are available (keep in mind that those prices are in Canadian dollars - I have no idea what the exchange rate was).


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User
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    I don't remember where I read it, but my impression was that engineers were paid on the basis of tonnage, and mileage. If the train wasn't rolling, they weren't paid. Probably similar for firemen, brakemen, and conductors. As an aside, in Canada in 1957, the price of a 992B was $195.00.
     
  18. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    None of the wage reports I've seen for U.S. railroaders mention tonnage, but I've only got a small sampling, mostly from the 1890s.

    As for the cost of a 992B, it was a lot cheaper from T. Eaton in 1953.


    [​IMG]
     
  19. ben_hutcherson

    ben_hutcherson Registered User
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    I'm rather partial to '92 model Vanguards with serial numbers lower than ~7.5 million. These have-to me-the most interesting demaskeen patterns.

    I especially like watches from the first two runs. They are designated in the ledgers as 17j, but a lot of them were upjeweled to 21j and marked "21 Ruby Jewels."

    Here are a couple from those runs

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    #20 Mark UK, Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
    Nice examples Ben! What also caught my attention about the model 92 is that there are the earlier "21 Jewels" with capped escape lever/wheel, and later there are "21 Jewels" with jewelled barrel.

    Here is a model 1899 19J from 1900, OF pendant set, s/n 9545062. If I look up the database it comes back as 19J Riverside. If I search the database it suggests the first run of OF 19J wasn't until the 11mill s/n. I haven't yet stripped this one down to see if all numbers match but the damask is convincing, as is the diamond end stone. I can only assume that there was a short run of 19J earlier than suggested. The case is a Dennison 25yr filled, the dial is plain and appears to be hand painted.
     

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  21. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Serial numbers above 7.55 million contain watches that were grouped to reduce the size of the listing and only provide information about parts replacement. i.e. the grade, jewel count, etc. is not accurate but the replacement parts are.

    The new site for Waltham serial number lookup provides the ability to look at the original input documents for any serial run. http://nawccinfo.nawcc.org. That landing page will change in the near future to show other NAWCC member material in addition to the Waltham serial numbers.
     
  22. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    Tom, the pdf of the original input documents have my Vanguard down as a run of 19J OF Riversides. If my watch is correct then it will be from an early run of 19J OF Vanguards as yet not recorded anywhere. It would have had to have been a small run as the s/n range for the Riverside run was only 100.
     
  23. Nick23

    Nick23 Registered User

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    Here's three of my Vanguards that I particularly like.

    A 19J Demi-hunter in a Dennison G/F case. One of 500 made in three runs. This one is from the last run, S/N 20001351.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    This one is a 23J Vanguard with winding indicator S/N 25344351 cased at the factory in a green G/F case.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    This is a 23J, 1892 Model S/N 12080436 open faced movement in an unusual Dubois demi-hunter 14K solid gold case with engraved numerals filled with pale blue enamel that winds at the 12 o'clock position.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  24. onsite

    onsite Registered User
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    Doug, this is Canadian info but the USA was very similar, running trades employees in thru freight service (Enginemen, Firemen, Conductors & Brakemen) were paid in a mileage basis.

    Initial terminal time, make up train, air test, etc., was paid at an hourly rate of 12 1/2 miles per hour.

    Upon departure you went from the hourly rate to straight running for the length of the subdivision and were paid only subdivision miles regardless of running time to the final terminal.

    The rate per mile remained the same.

    When arriving at the final terminal you would revert to the hourly rate, yard train, power to shop, until going off duty.

    When this system came into being trains moved much slower than today and it was calculated that it took 8 hours to travel 100 miles which is where the 12 1/2 mph figure (8 X 12 1/2 = 100) came from.

    So when it all shook out, 2 hour delay at each end = 50 miles plus 132 subdivision miles = 182 miles

    Return trip, lets just use 182 again = 364 for the round trip.

    Enginemen and Firemen were required to make 3800 miles per month (Conductors & Brakemen, 4300) so after 11 trips using an average of 350 miles per trip a Hoghead would have made 3850 miles.

    At that point he would go "off for miles" with a 50 mile bank toward next month and would go back on the board at midnight on his mileage date and begin his month over again.

    Regarding pay for tonnage, in some cases there was a very small increase in the rate paid per mile for various tonnage increments.

    Later there were increments for train length.
     
  25. Bill Manders

    Bill Manders Registered User

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    HI there,
    I noted this thread quite some time ago, but just found some of my pictures recently, so here are some of my favorite Vanguards.
    Bill
     

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  26. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    Thought I would post a couple of mine. It is hard to pick favorites from the ones I have.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  27. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

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    Another of my "faves" this time in a salesmans display case

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  28. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    #28 artbissell, Mar 16, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
    I have identical movement appearance to preceding movement 18150979 with 20066808 23j Montgmery rr dial and balance diamond cap. Was it a standard 1915 feature for the 23j Vanguard 16s ? I notice similar diamond cap in 16s 19j here from about 1900. artbissell
     
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