Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course.

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Whereisitat, Mar 14, 2017.

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  1. Whereisitat

    Whereisitat Registered User

    Mar 14, 2017
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    Howdy!
    2nd post and nube zone specific...

    I've had fun on the Bay & bought a few dead cheap non runners. Getting better but I still have a lot-huge lot-to learn.

    Dropped my favorite the other day & it hurt bad. I hopefully will get the correct jewels in place & get her back to near perfect....Thanks to this board I found a source for what I needed but could not find on the bay etc. So-:clap:Thank!.

    Now I have a "chain on" rule when handling the better ones. And hopefully I remember to use it :cop:

    So I'm hoping to step up my allowance & buy something that runs and hopefully has not suffered to much past grievances.

    Looking for accuracy 1st and easy available parts if possible. The small block Chevy of the pocket watch world if you get the analogy...

    Maybe G'ma will list her old 992E cheap but till then I need some guidance on the "good un's".

    Thanks!
     
  2. k24556

    k24556 Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    It seems from your post that you are exploring pocket watch collecting and perhaps repairing. If cheap, available and plentiful are your collection objectives, then the 12s Elgins are probably the most plentiful and the lowest price. As far as the auction site, well,you cannot filter by ignorant or deceitful sellers. The 12s' Elgins are what i would consider the watch analog of small-blocks 265, 283, 327 ci. I guess you could somehow consider jewel count as analogous to engine size.



    If repairing is your objective, then a combination of movements and cased watches can be purchased. If you keep to one size and one or two grades with the serial numbers close, then you will have a supply of parts movements. The ones that survive your surgery live to be put in a case. the others reside in storage awaiting the next organ donation. The repair books that a beginner could read usually use the ELgin 16s and the Elgin 12s design is very similar, just a tad smaller.
     
  3. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    "Dropped my favorite the other day & it hurt bad."

    Really sorry to hear that you dropped your watch. I won't wear
    one anymore without a leather strap attached.
    Hope you can fix it.


    "Looking for accuracy 1st and easy available parts if possible"


    One of the watches I carry daily is a 1928 Elgin Grade 478, I bought it on ebay for a
    lot less than most of the same grade watches are selling for. But the movement had a few
    spots on it, it hadn't been serviced in years, the crystal was very loose(just a tad too small for the case)
    and the original factory case was very worn down and used looking.
    The watch is now cleaned and oiled, I replaced the crystal with a glass one
    that fits, and regulated it(without a timing machine), and now it keeps within
    5-8 seconds a day. I probably will regulate it more, and get it almost exact.
    This is a fun hobby, and prices are not that bad for the mid range Adjusted
    watches. If you take your time you will find some very nice watches, at great prices.


    Rob

    If you want a pretty one, you will have too pay for it.
     
  4. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    If you are trying to procure the best you can at the least price, I highly recommend that you join the NAWCC and then join and begin attending meetings of your nearest chapter. It is at these meetings that you will learn from others and be able to find watches of your liking. Also try to attend a regional near where you live. You would be amazed at how many good watches are available and you can inspect them before buying.

    I am in my 62d year of collecting pocket watches. I've had thousands of watches go through my hands, and I've never bought a watch from Ebay. I prefer to inspect a watch in my hand before I buy it. Pocket watches are not as plentiful as they were 40 years ago, but they are out there and can still be found.

    Anyway, welcome to this crazy hobby. Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is king.

    Tom
     
    Bryan Eyring likes this.
  5. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    I've been buying and selling stuff on ebay for many years(only sold a few watches).
    There always seem to be a ton of PW's currently on there. I'm
    sure there were a lot more 40 yrs ago. But, people are always listing
    watches that they inherited, or found in an estate, or just don't want.
    Plus there are many members of the NAWCC who are reputable and sell on ebay.
    I think attending a NAWCC meeting is a great idea, even though I've been collecting
    for a number of years(nothing close to your 62nd year!!!! WOW) and have never been to one.
    None are that close to me. For now ebay is good for me.


    Rob
     
  6. Whereisitat

    Whereisitat Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    Thanks for the replies!

    Seems like I am on the right track-have a few 12s Elgin's. And have yet to get a true runner-good in all positions etc...
    But there are some to avoid if I may be so bold. I bought a 12s just because it was cheap & I wanted the case front to make a viewback. That worked out Ok but I ended up doing a salvage job on the movement - because the staff was not broken as the seller thought. The upper bearing screw had come loose & the cap had lifted-bearing raised & loose balance.

    That 12s is the odd one out-it has no lower support for the spring barrel. And nothing on it fits any other 12s I have. It runs now but the minute wheel/ hand stack is very tight and it has huge positional issues-not going to try further I put it in the parts pile with a note so I remember.

    The one I dropped was a South Bend that was very fresh-had a ball of crud under the balance that kept it from running. Once cleaned it had great accuracy & I basically stole it....Broke the staff. Parts watch balance had different size bearings & they were damaged. Oddly the staff looks new where the grooved jewel was. One of the sources shows a listing for some jewels & I have a selection of staff's coming- so I'm hoping to get it sorted.

    Dropping things inadvertently is a sad fact of life nowadays. I have to admit & keep to my leash on rule. .

    Any ones to avoid at all costs ??

    And lastly-I'd wager Gold prices have made a lot of these movements available. I'll take it while it lasts because from my viewpoint there are a lot of bargain projects out there. And I'm more into the mechanical challenge. I can lift these guys at least...staying steady takes a odd stance & a bit of zen-but it is good therapy in a lot of ways.

    I should check out a local event as I am very new & have not paid attention. But I do have a local junk- er antique dealer- that I'm friendly with I should touché base there.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    I'm new to Horology but I've been buying tools and stuff on eBay for years and have gotten great deals. And when I got stiffed I always got my money back, but lost shipping sending a couple back.
    My main thing that I consider on a bid or purchase, is good photos. No matter if it's just tools, a seller that has plenty of good clear photos will have a better chance of making me a buyer. If they have blurry photos I will usually not give it a second look or consideration.

    Robert
     
  8. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    I have bought from a number of listings where there are bad photos or "I can't/won't take the back off" - bidding low of course - and overall finished up with some great purchases. When the item arrives, it's like opening xmas presents.

    My suggestion for what to practise/learn with, would be a Waltham 16s. Cheap and very plentiful. The full range is available, so you can work your way up from the basic 7J (610/Equity/Traveler etc) grades, to the fancy stuff.
     
  9. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    A Waltham 16s Model 1888 is my practice movement. I'm going to service my Elgin 18s Model 5 Grade 74 soon. Then my Elgin 3/0 Model 2 Grade 462. They both run well. Then I'll start on my 4 Accutron's. Or maybe 2 Accutron's and then my Seiko auto and the next two Accutron's.

    Robert

    P. S. I don't care - blurry photos and I won't give it a second look. Anyone that can't check a photo to make sure it's even half way decent isn't worth my time.
     
  10. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    Also I might add that it's 2017, not 1964. There are people that record nice videos on YouTube using their IPhones. There's no excuse now for blurry photos.

    Robert
     
  11. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    I have bought really nice watches with blurry photos
    or just a photo of the dial. If the price is right I sometimes
    just go for it.
    As said above "When the item arrives, it's like opening xmas presents."

    Rob
     
  12. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    I have to admit that this one intrigues me. There aren't too many Elgins with a barrel like this. It sounds like a very thin model, like the grade 446. Can you describe it better? Maybe provide a serial number and/or a photo?
    Is it like this? --> http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?33262-Elgin-Hulburd-research
     
  13. ben_hutcherson

    ben_hutcherson Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    I wish I had the listing photos of this watch handy(I did save them)-let's just say that you couldn't tell much more than it was round and yellow. There was just enough there for me to go on, and I "looked through the blur" to make a reasonable guess as to the condition.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'd say this overall was a good $1200 spent. BTW, just checked my records and I bought this in Feb. 2012, right in the middle of the last gold rush.

    I'll also add that I'm in complete agreement with Tom Huber on going to chapter, regional, and national meetings to get your hands on watches. Heck, if you're just looking for stuff to play with, there are always boxes of watches in various conditions that you can pick through and buy inexpensively enough. I remember Tom buying a "rough around the edges" Elgin HH Taylor from me at Dayton a few years ago, and knowing him it probably looks great and is ticking away happily now.
     
  14. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    I wonder how many people like me didn't even bid on it? I'm different from most people in that I will speak when most will stay quiet. If people want to take a chance in losing money with blurry photos, more power to them. There are a lot of people that can flop down $10,000 as easy as I can buy a cheeseburger. I'm not rich enough to gamble with my money. Blurry photos, and my money stays in my pocket, unless I win the low bid. Sometimes I will make the low bid if nobody has. But if I get out-big, it's theirs.

    Robert
     
  15. ben_hutcherson

    ben_hutcherson Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    This one was a buy it now. There was enough information both in the photos and the brief description that a knowledgeable collector could figure out what it was and make an educated decision that it was a smart buy.

    The condition was quite a nice bonus, although again not entirely unexpected from the "look" of the blurriness in the photos. Specifically, the case case had a "frosted" look and it was possible to make out details(like the front cartouche) usually associated with engine turning. A worn case would have looked shiny even in a blurry photo.

    There's no substitute for looking at(and remembering) as many watches as you can, and that can also extend to Ebay listings. I've bought watches, and know other folks who have done the same, because of some abnormality that they could discern in a not so great photo.
     
  16. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    Yeah, I can understand that with knowledgeable people like you. But it will prevent others from bidding and the seller will lose money on auctions. If/when I sell something, I won't short change myself with blurry photos.

    Robert
     
  17. Whereisitat

    Whereisitat Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    Sorry I didn't see this earlier.

    Just pulled it out-database for ser # 19823277 says it is a grade 441 from 1916.

    It is an "adjusted" wheeler 12s and I may find reason to get it proper. But it was a movement only & I failed in my attempt to fabricate a winding stem. The one from a later Elgin works kinda to test it-but that one is in use on a better running watch.

    And I think I have a favorite-Hampden Dueber Grand 12s that a very kind older gent sold me. He even sent a e-mail to make sure I was happy with it. Was in a wrong case-modified it to fit on my lathe & then added a viewback-small-because I had an extra crystal & why not.
    Then there is my latest & the 1st Traveler I've worked on-great watch!. Very accurate & this one I had a winder issue-removed a shim plate to solve it as the crown gear teeth had worn a bit. Otherwise it was pristine inside-and very dirty outside.
    Both of these were $20.00 delivered!
    I hate the ooops factor but I'm learning to avoid certain traps. I really just want a small pile of my own tuned & ready to go.
    Thanks!


    001.jpg 004.jpg 005.jpg 007.jpg 010.jpg 013.jpg
     
  18. Whereisitat

    Whereisitat Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    Dang memory...

    This one was movement only I stole the case front from a different 12s. Not that it really matters but I caught that when I re-read this.

    I have a 1906 Wheeler that I want to make perfect-it now has a broken mainspring & had a bent balance wheel. Very pretty & I used the case front for that one. Not into originality for the most part unless I get one that deserves it. Those are mostly out of my price range but if I can get the South Bend I dropped back in tune that would be my best E-bay purchase as it was almost mint inside-where it counts for me.
     
  19. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    #19 musicguy, Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    My original favorite size for collecting was 18s, then I bought some 16s
    Over my collecting years I only have 2 12s. (now I have 3)

    The other day I was looking at movements only, and wasn't sure of the size
    of a particular movement but it looked very nice to me.
    I did a search of the serial number in the elgin database, and it
    turned out to be a 12s.

    I spent $50 on it. Not sure if I overpaid or not(probably did).
    It was a 1900 Elgin grade 237 movement only.
    It's in beautiful shape, very clean and running, just needs a case.


    Rob
     
  20. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    Rob - you got a bargain! The grade 237 is a lovely and high quality movement. It is also relatively uncommon (for Elgin) with only 2000 listed. It is one of my favorite 12,size Elgins.
     
  21. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    #21 musicguy, Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    Thanks Jerry, after I bought it I did a Google search for Grade 237 and I saw
    some of the things you have said about them in the past.
    I also saw that you had mentioned that the center wheel was gold
    plated. I think the hands are gold too?
    I asked the seller(a gold scrap seller) what they would take for it, and they said
    what ever you offer(as if they didn't think it was worth much).
    So I offered $50.00 I didn't want to insult them, but figured
    I should start there. To my surprise, they said OK.
    I think if I offered less they would have taken it.


    Thanks
    Rob
     
  22. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    #22 musicguy, Mar 23, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    photo
     

    Attached Files:

  23. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    Yes, it's always hard to know what to offer for something when you don't know much about it and you're not sure how much the other guy knows or what his temperament is like.
    I'd say that if it's running then straight away you've saved more than you spent on it, on account of not needing to shell out to get it fixed up.
     
  24. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    I wound her up and set it to my 1928 B W Raymond daily carry watch.
    Just a note, it took me two weeks(I don't own a timing machine)
    to regulate the B W Raymond(to be extremely accurate). So far after two days, the
    1900 12s Elgin 21j has kept perfect time. I still should get it serviced(and will),
    but it's working so perfectly and accurately, and has a very long run time
    (and it's one that I'm not going to run very regularly)
    that I may just leave this one alone.


    Rob
     
  25. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    From the, "[FONT=&amp]The 1903 Oy Company Jewelry Catalog"
    [/FONT]
    http://elginwatches.org/scans/sales_catalogs/1903_Oy_Company/m_index.html

    The no name grade 237 watch cost $77.00 dollars in 1904
    it was $17 more than the Veritas grade 214 23 jewel at $60.00
    (Both sales prices are not including a PW case)

    Using the inflation calculator:
    [FONT=&amp]What cost $[/FONT]60[FONT=&amp] in 1900 would cost $[/FONT]1754.71[FONT=&amp] in 2016.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&amp]What cost $[/FONT]77[FONT=&amp] in 1900 would cost $[/FONT]2251.88[FONT=&amp] in 2016.
    [/FONT]

    Without talking about specific "current values" of watches, today's (ebay) completed watch sales would have the
    Veritas as a much more "Valuable" watch than the 237. But in inflation
    adjusted dollars (in today's dollars not value) the 237 would be $497.00 more
    expensive than the Veritas.

    I don't buy watches to resell, so a watches value to me is based on
    what I want to believe it is. Every time I buy another watch I tell my
    wife, "this one is really nice!!".
    She says, "that's exactly what you say about every watch you buy."


    Rob
     
  26. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    Re: Sleepers -good consistent runners readily available/serviceable...cheap of course

    I think we have something similar happening with Waltham grades. Even a fairly high-spec, low-production numbered grade will often sell for a lot less than a comparable "named" grade.
    I wish the good folk at the factories had made a point of stamping grade name or number onto every movement. I've only seen Waltham numbered grades 645, 845 and 870 (wristwatch) marked. Conversely, many of the South Bends I've seen, do have their numbered grade marked (although not my beloved 331, for some reason.)
     
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