Time on the go

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2018
3,097
5,296
113
38
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
Don’t know much about it
I would expect a Unitas ebauche (Tremelan, Switzerland) from a brief look at Stowa a while back. Even earlier Stowa watches from the 30's use their movements. They still use a modern version of the same made by ETA in some pilot/marine wrist watches. Nice daily! Pic of the movement would confirm.
 

tgeekb

Registered User
Aug 24, 2021
61
105
33
61
Country
I would expect a Unitas ebauche (Tremelan, Switzerland) from a brief look at Stowa a while back. Even earlier Stowa watches from the 30's use their movements. They still use a modern version of the same made by ETA in some pilot/marine wrist watches. Nice daily! Pic of the movement would confirm.
Here’s a pic of the movement.

B39A28EA-871F-4A5F-A782-510B7090C0FB.jpeg
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
Just a friendly reminder that this is the American Pocket Watch section of
the NAWCC forum we also have a European section for Swiss watches.





Rob
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
No problem. I’ll leave the thread.
Better yet, next time you wear one of your American or American Private Label (American or European)
watches post it here. :)


Rob
 

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
7,312
5,029
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region
I took this watch out of the bank so I could appreciate and compare the enamel detailing on the case with another example (shown in this thread - https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/enameled-american-watch-cases.66861/#post-1488422 ). When I decided I would like to wear it for a few days I found it would not run ... it was a little gummy after sitting around for a number of years. If fact, I bought this watch on eBay exactly 20 years ago - 9/17/01 - and it came with this chain. Chain and case are green gold. So, after a cleaning (and a better second hand) it is running fine again. (Yup, another Riverside, too). I have said it before, and I still feel that the 14-size Colonial-A is my favorite size watch to wear.

7469_fchain2.jpg 7469_dt.jpg 7469_m2s.jpg
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
I decided to visit some family in NY State today and I just wound
up and set this 18-size double signed Illinois NY private Label from Canandaigua, NY.

659370214.jpg


Rob
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
This Appleton Tracy was just serviced and I have never worn it before today.
I just set the time and put it in my pocket.

Waltham Appleton Tracy 17j circa 1900 Model 1892 18 size Church regulator
in a 3oz Fahys Sterling Silver case

20211130_075701.jpg
20211130_075731.jpg

20211130_075835.jpg



Rob
 

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2018
3,097
5,296
113
38
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
This has become my daily driver during the work week.
20211123_102149-COLLAGE.jpg

However, for the past two days this Waltham has been accompanying me in my travels. Nothing special or particularly valuable, but it's a solid watch. Perfect to keep around for someone who has a budding interest in horology. Learned this from a few NAWCC members.

20211130_090925.jpg 20211130_090449.jpg
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
Hey Rick,

I also like that dial style from the 1890's very much I have a few
including a Hamilton with that same dial style
I'll wear this one for Christmas (now in my pocket).
hamilton.jpeg movement best.jpeg

Rob
 
Last edited:

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
3,050
4,122
113
73
Pasadena, CA
Country
Region
I've just wound up this 18k Hamilton 923, #R951.

IMG_0824_edited.JPG IMG_0871_edited.JPG IMG_0820.JPG IMG_0819_edited.JPG IMG_0816_edited.JPG IMG_0818.JPG IMG_0815_edited.JPG

It was made between 1938 and 1943, which makes it one of the youngest watches in my collection. Schwab & Wuischpard made the case. The 923 was Hamilton's top-of-the-line prestige watch from the late 1930s until production stopped around 1956. They are not especially common. Only around 3,400 were made. I have two other 923s, one in a solid 14k case and one in a solid 18k case.

IMG_0694_edited.JPG IMG_1135_edited.JPG
14k 18k

Here is an ad for the last watch shown above.

123.jpg

Despite having 17 Hamiltons in my collection, I don't find them as interesting as Elgins, Walthams, or Illinois, at least not in the sizes I collect. I think that's likely because all my Hamiltons were made between 1917-1947 and Hamilton practiced greater uniformity in manufacture and design than other makers. Just to cite one example, Elgin largely carried through with its original intent that each one of its top-of-the-line 1920s-1930s prestige watch, the C.H. Hulburd, would have a unique combination of case and dial, resulting in many strange-looking watches that better suit my tastes than any comparable Hamilton, which is why have nearly as many C.H. Hulburds in my collection as Hamiltons, such as this odd-ball 14k example.

DSC05976.JPG DSC05978.JPG

Because Hamiltons do not get much love from me, in the Christmas spirit -- "a kind of forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely" (quoting Dickens) -- I decided to give one of my 923s an outing this Christmas day.

Best Christmas wishes to all.
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
Me like this one of yours very much Ethan,

1640451941651.png


Rob
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
Today I'm wearing three time pieces for no particular reason.
I've been wearing a vintage Hamilton Neil WW for a few days and my daily wear
1928 16s 478 BWR PW but I was looking at this little(really little) Waltham Riverside that I really like
and wound it up and put it in my pocket too.

Hope some others are carrying today too.

circa 1935 Waltham 3/0s 21j Riverside grade 371 Stearling case.

20220108_084437.jpg
20220108_084423.jpg

1641651230053.png




Rob
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
3,050
4,122
113
73
Pasadena, CA
Country
Region
Out today is my circa 1918 Illinois Grade 435. Illinois made four grades of model 1 "extra thin" 12-size movements, 435, 437, 438, and 439. (It's odd that Illinois skipped "436," but I've never seen an explanation.) None of these are especially common. As far as I know, they all were factory-cased in solid gold or platinum cases. Grade 435 is the entry level grade, 17 jewels, and the scarcest. Only 310 were made. My example is in its original 14k case and has the original dial and correct hands. It has an interesting inscription Mother to John, June 20, 1919, except that the engraver goofed and failed to put a space after to.

IMG_2311.JPG 019_edited.JPG 017_edited.JPG 014_edited.JPG 012_edited.JPG 011_edited.JPG


Grade 437 was very similar to Grade 435 except that it had 19 jewels. It is the most plentiful of these uncommon grades. 2,060 were made. I have a 14k example. It looks very similar to my Grade 435 -- same style case, dial, and hands.

Grade 438 was the 21-jewel version. I believe that 1,090 were made I am lucky enough to have two 14k versions, one of them enameled, and an 18k version.

Grade 439 was the top-of-the-line 21-jewel Extra version of this model. It is almost as scarce as Grade 435, 350 or 370 were made, depending on the source one checks. I am fortunate to have four examples, two in enameled 14k cases, one in an 18k case, and one in a platinum case, one of the apparently few platinum Illinois pocket watches ever made.
 

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2018
3,097
5,296
113
38
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
This hasn't been out in a long time, so today seemed like a good day.
20220108_143603.jpg

It fired up on the first wind and still running great. 5oz Dueber coin silver "anchor in shield" case and the thick flat crystal make it very heavy and bulky.
20220108_143646.jpg

Here is the watch sitting next to a 16s that I'm used to carrying to show the size difference.
20220108_145014.jpg

Have a good day everyone!
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
  • Like
Reactions: Rick Hufnagel

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
I started wearing this one in post #311 that is the photo
on the left, the silver watch case was very oxidized (blackened by time).
After wearing it for a month see photo on right. It shines
now. Unfortunately, it had a heart attack a few weeks back and
the main spring detached and needed some attention. Now
it's back in my pocket this morning alive and well.

Anyone else carrying today?


18s 17j 92 Waltham Appleton Tracy
1641992631501.png 1641992775133.jpeg



Rob
 

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2018
3,097
5,296
113
38
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
This571 is by far the youngest American made watch in my pile. It took me a while to find a really nice one, and the wait was worth it.

This exact dial was a must. Who doesn't love marginal minutes, and the BW Raymond signature is just too cool!

I still can't wear a gold filled chain... It's just not my thing... So this over the top sterling chain is attached today.

20220115_091903.jpg 20220115_091934.jpg 20220115_092503-COLLAGE.jpg
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
3,050
4,122
113
73
Pasadena, CA
Country
Region
Out for the day and ticking on my desk is one of my two South Bend Grade 431s. I am not a South Bend collector. No posters to these forums seems to a South Bend collector, at least not of Grade 431s. I could not find any material postings relating to that grade, which surprised me, because Grade 431 was South Bend's top-of-the-line 12-size watch, 21 jewels, adjusted to temperature and five positions.

Even though Grade 431 wasn't especially uncommon -- up to 3,000 were made -- I rarely see them offered for sale, not that I am looking to add any more of them to my two-watch South Bend "collection". Still, they are nice watches that deserve more respect than they appear to be getting.

The Grade 431 that I have out today was made around 1910. It is in its original 14k South Bend Chesterfield case.

IMG_2561.JPG IMG_2559.JPG IMG_2558.JPG IMG_2557.JPG IMG_2555.JPG IMG_2553.JPG IMG_2554.JPG

Because Grade 431s do not appear to have been discussed before in these forums, here are photos of my other Grade 431, this one in a two-tone 14k South Bend Chesterfield case made by Solidarity.

IMG_7949_edited.JPG IMG_7197_edited.JPG IMG_6838_edited.JPG IMG_6839.JPG IMG_6840_edited.JPG IMG_6841_edited.JPG IMG_7204_edited.JPG
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
My AT MS died again, so this one has slipped into my pocket.

Elgin 18s Grade 100 Convertible/interchangeable circa1886(pendant set).
(Special case not needed for these)
I'm not sure if I have ever carried an interchangeable as a carry watch.
I'll wear this one for a few days.

1642434195016.png


1642434165523.png




Rob
 
Last edited:

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
  • Like
Reactions: luvsthetick

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2018
3,097
5,296
113
38
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
This Hampden #60 was in the "Sell it" box. It's a very good quality movement and mechanically in great shape. But, the watch had been sitting forever and the movement is scratched and spotted. It served it's purpose and I've enjoyed working on it and learning about this grade.

This movement is a bit odd. The dial signature and the bright yellow gold regulator are not exactly what I would expect here, but there is also no reason yet to really doubt them.

It's never a good idea to go through the sell it box. I start overthinking it. Now It is staying. So.... may as well get some use out of it. At least it looks great all put together in it's Blauer case.


20220127_063142.jpg 20220127_063227.jpg
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
3,050
4,122
113
73
Pasadena, CA
Country
Region
Out for a spin today is one of my Illinois Grade 538 Illinis. The Illini was Illinois' top gentleman's watch of its day, or at least one of them. It was made in four grades.

First there was the 23-jewel version made in 1916. Only 200 were made. I am aware of 21 in collectors' hands. More may turn up. I have two. The 23-jewel version does not seem closely related to later Illini grades; rather it is similar to other high-grade 12 and 13 size Illinois such as Grades 409, 410, and 510.

23-Jewel Illini 23-Jewel Illinois 510 (Hallmark PL)
IMG_3670.JPG IMG_2238.JPG

21-Jewel Illinois Grade 409 23-Jewel Illinois Grade 410 (Macy's PL)
IMG_4281.JPG IMG_3223.JPG

Here is how Illinois described the 23-jewel Illini:

2933964license.jpeg

The next Illini grade was Grade 538, a 21-jewel 13-sized watch. This and all subsequent Illini grades were factory-cased. They all seem to have been developed out of the Grades 435, 437, 438, and 439 family of extra thin movements, the most notable difference being the DeLong five-tooth click. 3,100 Grade 538s were made during the 1919-21 period.

Illinois Grade 538 Illinois Grade 438
039_edited.JPG IMG_3312.JPG

At the same time, Illinois also made Grade 539, the "Extra" version of Grade 538, which differed from Grade 538 in some material ways, e.g., some had recessed hub escape wheels. 330 were made between 1919 and 1921

Illinois Grade 539
IMG_4929.JPG

Finally, Illinois made the 12-size Grade 528 in 1920-21. 600 were made.

Illinois Grade 528
IMG_9095_edited.JPG

After Hamilton bought Illinois in 1929, it came out with the Hamilton Grade 400 -- the "Tycoon" -- which was an improved version of the Illinois Grade 528. Hamilton Grade 400s are more common that Grade 528s, but one does not see them every day.

All this is a long-winded preamble to showing you the Grade 538 Illini ticking away on my desk. It is in a 14k plain "Empire" case, possibly made by Knapp.

038_edited.JPG 035_edited.JPG 037_edited.JPG IMG_1335 (544x640).jpg IMG_1597.JPG 043_edited.JPG 041_edited.JPG 040.JPG 039_edited.JPG

Illinis came in a wide variety of styles. Here is another Grade 538 in my collection with a 14k "Empire" case, but this case is the engraved version. The dial is similar to the one of the Grade 538 shown above except for the numeral's color and font.

IMG_8152_edited.JPG
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
I've always admired the Illini, thanks for posting about them!

Rob
 

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
7,312
5,029
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region
Finally, Illinois made the 12-size Grade 528 in 1920-21. 600 were made.
....
Hamilton Grade 400s are more common that Grade 528s, but one does not see them every day.
Illinois set aside 1200 serial numbers for the grade 528 but only finished 400 of them as "Illini" movements. The remaining 800 were re-built by Hamilton as the first of their grade 400 movements for their Tycoon Series of watches. Hamilton also produced, from scratch, another 1500 of the grade 400 movements (also built at their Illinois factory).
 

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
7,312
5,029
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region
Thinking about Boston jewelers recently I decided to wear this 12-size Riverside today. It is has the nice damskeening typical of Riverside grades from the late 1890s to early '00s. Note the arcaded outer ring embracing snowflakes (my description); you won't see this on later runs. But I really bought this one for the dial which, with the little ornamentation at the quarters, is atypical for Waltham. Stowell sold some very nice watches!
7364764_m.jpg 7364764-f.jpg 7364764-ddt.jpg
 

James Wrobel

NAWCC Member
Jan 17, 2020
124
82
28
62
Country
Wow, you all carry some big watches.

18s are a little too big for me. I have four 12s that I can carry, but I like my Elgin 235 and the one my mother gave me, but it's Swiss (sorry).

When I carry my watch, I leave my phone at home (yay!).

...and the battery never goes dead...

jjw
 

Time Exposure

Registered User
Jan 1, 2022
18
107
28
56
Country
Wow, you all carry some big watches.
Funny…I was browsing the thread thinking what small (relatively speaking) watches people wear. I don’t have a big Silveroid case with a thick crystal to try, but whatever fits into the change pocket of my jeans is fine. I prefer bigger sizes so long as they fit without friction (easy slide in and out).

That being said, the watch I have been carrying lately is my Hampden Nathan Hale 12-size thin model. I featured it in another thread about “my first pocket watch.” I’ve had it since I was about six or seven (48 years ago), and recently had it serviced.

I carry it to find the “sweet spot” of accuracy. I will only wear it occasionally once I find that near-perfect regulator position. Then, once I get a couple bigger Boston Howard examples sorted, I’ll probably wear those with greater frequency.

My least valuable watch is my most priceless because it was a gift that I have kept all these years. Here’s the picture from the other thread:

62CB88B1-A804-4D7A-A8AD-466BCF02AAD1.jpeg 7B29543A-05BC-4D78-BB20-D2ABFF4F3450.jpeg
 

geo.ulrich

Registered User
Apr 10, 2013
218
87
28
Alton Il.
Country
Region
Not to derail this but has anyone heard from Keith R , the originator of this thread. I haven't seen any posts from him in quite awhile....
 

Steven Thornberry

User Administrator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 15, 2004
25,097
2,368
113
Here and there
Country

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,983
7,434
113
New York State
Country
Wow, you all carry some big watches.
Ok here is a smaller gentleman's 12s case (0s movement) circa 1912(but it wasn't sold till 1920)
Waltham Opera that caught my eye this morning and I put
in my jeans pocket. I know it's Sunday Hunting Day but for me it's
open face day today.

IMG_7535.jpg

IMG_7553.jpg

IMG_7533.jpg

IMG_7531.jpg



Rob
 

Clint Geller

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Member
Donor
Jul 12, 2002
2,963
3,690
113
68
Pittsburgh, PA
clintgeller.com
Country
Region
I took this watch out today:

It is a humble 7 jewel William Ellery Grade Model 1857, but with a distinguished provenance. Movement SN 42,995 was finished in June, 1862, and was sold in a coin silver hunting case, made in the American Watch Company's case department, which was engraved "Lieut. E. F. [Lieutenant Elial Foote] Carpenter, Jamestown, [Chautaqua Cy.] NY", on the reverse, and "Killed May 12, 1864" in a shield on the obverse. I believe the date on the obverse ex post facto inscription is slightly in error, which is not uncommon; Carpenter actually was mortally wounded on May 14, and he died on May 16. The watch came with an original silver chain and onyx spinner.

Lt. Carpenter served in the 49th NY Infantry from near the beginning of the war, through the Peninsula Campaign and the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg during his time with the regiment. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, Lt. Carpenter was promoted to major and transferred to the 112th NY Infantry, then was subsequently promoted to Lt. Colonel and to command of that regiment. On May 14, 1864, the 112th was in action near Drury's Bluff (also spelled Drewry's Bluff) on the James River in Virginia, when Lt. Colonel Carpenter had gone in search of a lieutenant he had dispatched on a reconnaissance. In the fog, Carpenter blundered into the same rebel force that had taken his lieutenant prisoner. The rebels demanded his surrender too, but Carpenter spurned the demand and wheeled his horse and fled, catching a bullet in his side during the escape that ended his life two days later.

This watch very likely was on the field at Gettysburg (though the 49th NY played only a minor role in that particular battle). It is also the first provenance watch in my collection from a unit from NY (the state of my birth). It is only the second watch in my collection to have been carried by a combatant who was either killed or mortally wounded in action. And finally, it is out of the late Ron Tunison Collection of Civil War artifacts. Ron Tunison sculpted the magnificent Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial in the Gettysburg National Cemetery Annex, dedicated in 1993, that is pictured on the front cover of my 2019 book, and which serves as my current avator.

EF Carpenter M57 SN 42995.jpg Dial.JPG Front Cover Inscription - cropped.JPG Rear Cover Inscription - cropped.JPG Whole Front Cover.JPG Whole Rear Cover.JPG
 
Last edited:

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2018
3,097
5,296
113
38
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
With respect to the chapter 190 online meeting today, and Dave at the helm with a presentation on Hampden, I pulled out this great Hampden "Nerd" movement that has been lovingly recased in an interesting Fahys pair case.

I originally pulled out a hollow center pinion railway, but the mainspring gave up on me.

20220220_123420.jpg 20220220_123534.jpg 20220220_123626.jpg

If anyone is interested, Dave posted the link to the meeting in the chapter news and views section. Starts in about an hour.
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
3,050
4,122
113
73
Pasadena, CA
Country
Region
Today, I've wound up a somewhat unusual Illinois Grade 438 PW. In post #318, I showcased my Illinois Grade 435 and described its sibling grades, Grade 437, 438, and 439. All four grades are fairly scarce. 1090 grade 438s were made. I have three. The example below is in a two-tone 14k unsigned case, probably by Knapp. The front bezel, the rim of the case back, and the crown are in yellow gold. The body of the case, the stem, the bow, and the central panel of the back are in white gold, a relatively uncommon case design. The dial is also uncommon, with numerals in medallions reminiscent of the dial of an old-fashioned telephone.

DSC05489.JPG DSC05376.JPG DSC05377.JPG DSC05379.JPG DSC05381.JPG

I do not love this watch's "telephone" dial, but the carved dial on another of my 438s (in an even nicer 18k two-tone Knapp case) is one of my favorites.

IMG_3319.JPG
 

Clint Geller

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Member
Donor
Jul 12, 2002
2,963
3,690
113
68
Pittsburgh, PA
clintgeller.com
Country
Region
Today, I've wound up a somewhat unusual Illinois Grade 438 PW. In post #318, I showcased my Illinois Grade 435 and described its sibling grades, Grade 437, 438, and 439. All four grades are fairly scarce. 1090 grade 438s were made. I have three. The example below is in a two-tone 14k unsigned case, probably by Knapp. The front bezel, the rim of the case back, and the crown are in yellow gold. The body of the case, the stem, the bow, and the central panel of the back are in white gold, a relatively uncommon case design. The dial is also uncommon, with numerals in medallions reminiscent of the dial of an old-fashioned telephone.

View attachment 696564 View attachment 696560 View attachment 696561 View attachment 696562 View attachment 696563

I do not love this watch's "telephone" dial, but the carved dial on another of my 438s (in an even nicer 18k two-tone Knapp case) is one of my favorites.

View attachment 696565
Killer dial, Ethan. It reminds me of the inlay work on one of my banjos.

Peghead Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0031.jpg
 

Clint Geller

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Member
Donor
Jul 12, 2002
2,963
3,690
113
68
Pittsburgh, PA
clintgeller.com
Country
Region
By popular demand, here it is: the "Gryphons' Grandeur." The banjo was made for me in about 2012 by prominent luthier Kevin Enoch of Blairsville, MD, and his talented assistant, Pete Ross. It is an open back "Old Tyme" five string banjo in the style of the presentation banjos made by the prominent firm of A. C. Fairbanks of Boston in the 1890 to 1910 period, but it incorporates several design elements of Kevin's own device, and several of my design suggestions as well. (The firm of A. C. Fairbanks was preceded by Fairbanks & Cole, and was succeeded by Vega.) Fairbanks's master inlayer was an Italian immigrant named Icilio Consalvi. In American horology the personality who comes closest to being his equivalent would be Josiah Moorhouse. Fairbanks banjos, especially the rare presentation grade ones, and most especially the work of Consalvi, are highly sought after by contemporary collectors. However, the best playing instruments are the modern ones, and that was my foremost consideration. So I commissioned the foremost modern banjo luthier in the country to make an instrument to my specifications, but emulating the classic Fairbanks style. I waited eight years for it!

The neck of the Gryphons' Grandeur is mahogany and the 12" pot is mahogany-veneered ebony, because I like the dark, full sound of an ebony tone ting. All my banjos have 12" ebony tone rings. The heel, peghead sides and fifth string tuner areas are all carved, and the peghead, fretboard, backstrap, ebony heelcap, and ebony armrest are all inlaid with mother of pearl, as are the sides of the pot. The tension hoop, the Kershner style tailpiece, and the dowel stick ferrule are all engraved. The happy lion engraved on the tailpiece, which is repeated on the heelcap inlay, is Kevin's own invention. The screaming chicken on the ferrule, which is repeated on the armrest inlay, is an iconic Fairbanks motif, and the "green man" carving on the heel also is traditional. All the steel work is gold plated. The inlay design on the ebony-veneered peghead and fretboard are Kevin's versions of a Fairbanks "double griffin" peghead and "columned" fretboard, after a rare 1890's presentation instrument style. The bottom side of the pot is purled. Kevin's own warthog gryphon (or griffin) on the backstrap has essentially become his trademark.

A plaque screwed to one side of the dowel stick reads, "Gryphons' Grandeur: Made for Clint Geller by Kevin Enoch," with the year. Kevin's photographer used my banjo in a CD cover he created for another purpose. I included a picture of Kevin too.

carving by 5th tuner photo copyright Michael G. Stewart.jpg Front-entire Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0027.jpg Heel, cap, and pot Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0019.jpg Heelcap photo copyright Michael G. Stewart.jpg Kershner Tail Piece Close-Up photo copyright Michael G. Stewart.jpg neck top and peghead Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0032.jpg peghead angle view Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0075.jpg Peghead Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0031.jpg Peghed carving Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0062.jpg Pot side close-up Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0036.jpg Pot side Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0037.jpg Screaming Chicken Dowel Ferrule photo copyright Michael G. Stewart.jpg tension hoop engr close-up photo copyright Michael G. Stewart.jpg WH Gryphon Enoch Banjos 7-23-12photo copyright Michael G. Stewart 20120723_0033.jpg 1ZBanjoblog2.jpg Patuxent BP Album Cover 300 dpi.jpg Family pics10_2.jpg
 
Last edited:

Clint Geller

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Member
Donor
Jul 12, 2002
2,963
3,690
113
68
Pittsburgh, PA
clintgeller.com
Country
Region
Clint, what a fantastic instrument! We all know how accomplished you are, but do you play the banjo too? If I post another fancy dial, will you reveal another of your many facets?
I am flattered by your remarks, Ethan. Yes, I play the banjo, though I am woefully out of practice at the moment. I used to perform at department Christmas parties at the Naval Nuclear Lab some years ago, before I retired. I recruited a few friends - a fiddler, a guitarist and a string bass player - to perform with me, and I called our band the Neutrinos, because no one ever noticed us.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
177,579
Messages
1,556,348
Members
53,620
Latest member
theolane
Encyclopedia Pages
909
Total wiki contributions
3,058
Last edit
Watch Inspectors by Kent