Show off your Ball Watches(any size)

musicguy

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Since we were talking about The Ball Watch Co in another thread I thought about
starting a fresh thread about some of their watches. I am far from being
a Ball expert and I will leave the history of Ball and all of their variants and information
to other experts here.

I became interested in Ball watches after my Father in law passed away.
My brother in law was carrying around "Grandpas watch"(Pop pop's watch) who had worked on the Rail Road.
He was the new proud owner and was showing it to everyone including the lever(to set) and how
it was a special watch(there may be a Caboose in the story somewhere). Later I found out that
it was a 17 jewel 16s Ball-Waltham (I had asked him to send me some photos of the movement).

I kept my eye out for a similar one but the prices always seemed too high. Any type of
watch that says Ball sells(and sold for) for a premium. The prices have dropped on some of them
but they seem to hold their value. I always kept them on my radar(at least one similar to
my wife's grandfather's one).

Collecting for me is not always about finding the top of the line watch but finding watches
I can relate to like one that my wife's grandfather could afford (and I can easily acquire as well).
It still needed to fit my collection so it's a 19j.

(not new to me now)Here is a Ball-Waltham Official Standard circa 1905, 16 size, 19 jewel, model 1899.
at it's time(and for many years after) this Standard Watch would have been accepted for use on most of the the railroads in the USA
Railroad Watch | NAWCC Forums


ball 1 (2).jpg Ball movement 1.jpg

20200501_160303.jpg Ball case back 1.jpg












Rob
 
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SpringDriven

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Here is my earliest . Still on the hunt for a Ball Waltham from 1899. Anyways, I purchased this one many years ago because I really liked the dial. When RR dials get very specific on bold Arabic numerals and etc., the fanciful numerals on this dial I did not see often on Ball, and I grabbed it the moment I found this one, as I like that the dial seems to predate when dial requirements became more serious. This dial still has some of that charm or whimsy from an earlier age. I also really like Ball wine and brown colored hands!

But when I received the watch, I was blown away by the enormous weight of use that this watch saw in its career. I enjoy early 16 size watches as they tend to have hinged cases from my experience, and this case is not a Ball Model case which I also found interesting. That aside, there is significant wear to the gold fill, and the hinges work fine but the front and back have barely any friction left in them, they practically just open and close, no more snap. The crown is worn and the bow is a sad replacement of what was.

However the movement is in well cared for condition, to a point. What you see in these photos are as I purchased it, I have not serviced it, out of some respect for the overall age and condition of the watch. It has a few interesting features. I currently have three Ball Walthams. The others are not available to photo. Compared to the other watches I have handled, this one has a slightly different design on the crown and ratchet wheels, the train ruby jewels are a nice bold fairly matching color, the center being sapphire, which I don't see often on the bridge side, usually on the mainplate.

The balance has an interesting peek at how the steel and brass were forged together that I have not seen on any other Waltham I have owned. You can see the brass in the poising screw holes and in the arm of the balance. Someone in the past looks like they removed some material from the top of the pallet bridge, I assume to give the balance some clearance from a restaff. That is unfortunate.

Anyways, I like this particular Ball of mine because the case says that it was used for an entire career or perhaps half of one. Either way, it saw many years of use, and that means it was used as the tool was intended and served well.

20210402_125829.jpg 20210402_125851.jpg 20210402_130113.jpg 20210402_130148.jpg 20210402_130212.jpg 20210402_130251.jpg 20210402_131940.jpg 20210402_131954.jpg
 

musicguy

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Same as Jerry's above 1904 16j Ball Queen 0s

I just saw that Jerry's serial # is B203782 for his 0s Queen and mine is B203778 only 4 watches apart.

20200924_142806.jpg q2.jpg
q3.jpg



Rob
 
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SpringDriven

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19J hands down is the best. (From a service standpoint.)

The jeweled mainwheel is wonderful, thick large sapphire jewels and has a nice feeling when winding the watch. And the only cap jewels a watchmaker has to work with are the ones for the balance, the same ones in all the watches he has to service. I can tell you that in American pocketwatches, cap jewels do not always like to accept lubrication, due to variables. So the fewer the better in service. In my experience.
 
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musicguy

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From a post on Jan 4, 2010
Back in the early 1970's I was corresponding with a Canadian jeweler/railroad watch inspector. In his opinion, as he put it, there wasn't much to choose between any of the American railroad watches; they were ALL good.

Many years earlier he had apprenticed and worked at the Canadian Ball Watch Co., Ball's branch office in Winnipeg, before going into business for himself. He wrote me that the people at Ball said that their "best running" watch was the 16-size, 19-jewel Waltham Ball model. Also, the Waltham representatives that called on them felt that their best running railroad watch was the 19-jewel Waltham Riverside, upon which the Ball was based. Note that these were not their most expensive or most highly-jeweled grades.

It's late here, so g'night all.

Larry

Maybe this excerpt from a post by Larry is why I own both the Ball and the Riverside 19J

Rob
 
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rrwatch

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These aren't made by Waltham , but they are uncommon enough that I thought that they may be of interest to Ball collectors.



Two examples of 18 size 21 jewel Ball movements made by Elgin:

The first is the open face, Grade 334 , made in a single run of 2,000.


DSC02030.JPG DSC02031.JPG DSC02032.JPG DSC02033.JPG



The second is the Hunting version, Grade 330. Elgin blocked out a run of 1,000, but all known examples (at least to me) are in the first 50 numbers.

EBU 18176 Ball (Elgin) Gr 333 21 J HC Case Bk.jpg EBU 18176 Ball (Elgin) Gr 333 21 J HC Case Frt.jpg EBU 18176 Ball (Elgin) Gr 333 21 J HC Dial.jpg EBU 18176 Ball (Elgin) Gr 333 21 J HC Mvt_edited.jpg

Moderator - feel free to move to a new thread or delete, if this is too far off the subject..
 
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musicguy

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Since some Elgin's(on my want list) were posted I've expanded it to all Ball's allowed. :)


Rob
 
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Jerry Treiman

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It looks like this thread is going to focus on watches made under special contracts to Ball, primarily for Standard watches and related Commercial grade watches. I would like to remind folks about another thread I tried to promote looking at the private-label watches that Ball ordered for his jewelry store. --
 
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Rodney Leon

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I have a lot of Ball watches but these two I like a lot.
The first one is an original Ball Hamilton 1928. 999, 21 Jewel, Serial Number B632771, 1928 date, Model 1, 16 size, 21 Jewel. Gold Green ball Case, Ball Model Wadsworth 14K Gold Filled, 7062125.
The second one is is an all original, Ball Hamilton 1926. 999P, 21 Jewel Railroad Grade 999P, Serial Number B621242, 1926 date, Model 1, 16 size, 21 Jewel, White Gold ball Case, Ball Model Wadsworth 14K Gold Filled, 7428191

1gg front dial.jpg 2gg movement.jpg 3gg  back.jpg DSC_1562.jpg DSC_1564.jpg DSC_1568.jpg
 

Paul Sullivan

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Model 1899 16s watch from Ball /Waltham first run. Serial number B060809 (1900) 17j. There is a thread about the watches here.


1899 Ball 1st run B060809 mvmnt detail.JPG Dial full lever 1899 Ball Walth.B060809 out.JPG collage 1899 Ball Walth.B060809 .jpg


As far as SprinDriven's question on Ball producing the range of PL and other dialscomon with early HamiltonsI've not seen this among any Ball watches I've come across. Then again I only have 3 and not much knowledge about them. If there are dial variations I don't doubt that someone here will know about them.
 

musicguy

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One thing totally cosmetic is the gold flashed logo medallion/seal (a plug set into the barrel bridge)
into the movement. These always intrigued me as well.

Untitledeffffffffffffffffw.png






Rob
 
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Rodney Leon

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A Ball 1905, Elgin Railroad standard, 333, 18 size
Official RR Standard Ball Watch Co. - Cleveland, O. Double roller, 17 jewel Sapphire Pallets, Adjusted, Serial Number 12280808, 1905. last run of grade 333; only produced for 2 years, Model 12, class121, 18 size. Single sunk Ball original dial. Fahys Monarch coin silver hinged case number C552, Still keeping Railroad time.

DSC_1630.jpg DSC_1637.jpg
 

luvsthetick

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There are Ball Hamiltons where that plug goes away?
Only early Hamiltons had them. My Ball/Hamilton shown in post #13 has one but is from the 1st run of Hamiltons.

Anybody know why Ball dropped it on some of the watches made for him? It is such a distinguishing mark.
 

Rodney Leon

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Anybody know why Ball dropped it on some of the watches made for him? It is such a distinguishing mark.
If you can find the 2002 Bulletin “The Railroader’s Corner”. There was a 3 part article written on ball Pocket watches by E. Ueberall and K. Singer. On page 625 they have written all about the gold plugs, some even had the Brotherhood trademarks on them. And the dates.
 

terry hall

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Looks like the Hamilton movement photo disappeared. No plug on this one.

View attachment 647501
No Plugs on the 18s movements....

Early 16s in 21 and 23 jewel

for the 23, somewhere around B671xxx the plug will not be there, nor provisions for it.
there were also other changes to the movements, mainly in hairspring retention... side plate retention versus kidney shape plate.
 

Lee Passarella

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Here is a nothing really that special 16s, 23j Hamilton Ball but it is in one of my favorite Ball cases and I bought it from a Jeweler in Rhett's back yard so it holds a special place in my heart and my collection.
Nice watch, John. I like those stirrup-style bows, I guess they're called.
Nothing special about my Ball watch either, an 18s, 21j Hamilton Ball 999A. Except it's my one and only.


IMG_1226.JPG IMG_1228.JPG
 

Downing

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Here's my one and only Ball (Hamilton). A 1948 999B 16s with 21 Jewels.

It's also the youngest watch in my modest collection. I don't like to think of it as "vintage" as it's only 9 years older than me. :rolleyes:

To me, this watch says, "Here's the time, Sir. Now move along." This watch is all business, nothing fancy.

THUMBNAIL_IMG_0392.jpeg IMG_0389.jpeg
 

Rodney Leon

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3 more Ball 17 Jewel Watches. ( A note in the early 1890s, Ball focused on the 17-jewel watch as ideal. Ball resisted the push towards more highly jeweled watches, saying in his 1905 catalog that 17 jewels equip a good railroad watch when properly finished and adjusted with more jewels smack of brimstone and deceit. )


Ball Official Railroad Standard. 18 size 17 Jewel, Grade: 999E Railroad, Serial Number, 170988, Model 1, Year 1901-02, 18 size, 17 jewels, Single roller. Adjusted 5 positions. Wadsworth Pilot 20 year case


Ball Official standard. 17 jewel 16 size, Serial Number B209537, Model 1899, 1905 date, in Ball model Keystone Watch case co. 20 year,


Ball Official standard. 17 jewel Railroad, 16 size, Serial Number B224651, Model 1899, 1907 date, in Ball Keystone Watch case co. Swing ring, 20 year.

ball 1 .jpg ball 2.jpg ball 17 1.jpg ball 17 2.jpg ball 17 3.jpg ball 17 4.jpg
 

Rodney Leon

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I thought I would post some 12 size Balls
The first 3 pictures are of a Ball Secometer. They are very scarce and production is unknown . The last picture is the dial and case of a 12 size Ball with fixed bow.
Compare this to the original Ball Secometer posted by rschussel, This is my new Ball official Standard Trainmaster Secometer, 2020 MODEL: PW1098E-WH. Limited production copy of the 1920 Ball Secometer. Case size: 45mm, Stainless steel, The movement is Stem-set manual caliber BALL RR2102. Swiss made. 17 jewel adjusted. I did not take the back off as it read where it is really hard to get off and voids any warranty. I thought it would be a nice Ball addition for my collection, and the best part is, I did not have to clean and time it. Just take it out of the box and wind it up.

DSC_0999.jpg
 

Jerry Treiman

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musicguy

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Hi Greg,

Can you post a larger photo


Thanks
Rob
 
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Jerry Treiman

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I'm afraid this is only the dial for an 0-size Waltham. It is unlike any other dial I have seen on Waltham's Ball "Queen" models. Does anyone have this dial on a movement?
Ball Special.jpg
 

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