Vintage Small Women's Watches

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Rodney Boatman, Apr 6, 2017.

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  1. Rodney Boatman

    Rodney Boatman Registered User
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    Mar 7, 2016
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    I now have 3 very small women's watches most likely from the era of post WWII to perhaps the 1960s. These would be size 16/0 or smaller? Two of the watches I have belonged to my late mother and grandmother. The movements are not US made.

    My question is - are there collectors who specialize in these watches? Share information and knowledge on these?

    Rodney Boatman
     
  2. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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  3. Rodney Boatman

    Rodney Boatman Registered User
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    Mar 7, 2016
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    The 16/0 is a very small movement size. Just like an 18 size is a larger pocket watch. The movement width of a 16/0 size is about 0.67 inches.

    I will try to take a picture of one of the watches.

    Regards, Rodney Boatman
     
  4. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Please post some photographs.




    Rob
     
  5. Rodney Boatman

    Rodney Boatman Registered User
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    Mar 7, 2016
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    OK - I have a photo of a couple of these watches and a very small Lady Elgin 23 movement (23 jewels).

    Really, my original question was posted to get a thread or discussion going on these types of watches.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. MINI

    MINI Registered User

    Sep 26, 2012
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    There just isn't much demand for these watches. :(
     
  7. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Not at the moment no. The ladies all wear larger watches than the gents in this day and age.

    Don't toss them away though. These are some fine examples of small ligne movements.

    It is 40 years since I've used inches.
     
  8. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User
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    The triangular one is unusual enough to be worthy of repairs but the plain ones just don't seem to be in fashion right now. They are so small they are tough to tell time with or even wind; not much fun to work on either. A few years back a dealer at the flea market was buying non-runners for three bucks each and sending them to China where they were strung into bracelets. I found six hundred sitting around the office! I saved the cool ones and movements for repairs so I'll be ready if they come back into vogue.
     
  9. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    I haven't found occasion to wear a ladies' watch :rolleyes: but I do collect some of the small ones made by Waltham in the 'teens and 'twenties. Their smallest movements at this time measured 7-1/2 lignes (16/0 - in the oblong octagon case) and 5-1/4 lignes (in the rectangular case). These were their most expensive movements. They were cased artistically in gold or platinum.
    2wrist_o.jpg
     
  10. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #10 roughbarked, Apr 7, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  11. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    Thanks roughbarked, that was a delightful read. After some practice and I start feeling courageous, I'll start on my ladies watches. The good thing is that I have 20 or 30 ladies movements to practice on before I get to my more desirable Bulova, Gruen, and others. But just because I can't find much info on a brand name of a movement, I'm not going to treat them as junk.

    Robert
     
  12. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    These are the movement calibers that are in the two watches I showed in post #9
    View attachment 339397

    They have gold gear trains, gold jewel settings, steel escape wheels, highly adjusted and were, by far, Waltham's most expensive movements. Following are the prices listed in Waltham catalogs from 1923 and 1926 and a Benjamin Allen & Co wholesale catalog from 1924. Keep in mind that these prices are just for a movement, and then they were custom-cased in gold or platinum by the better jewelers.

    __________________........round......rectangular
    Waltham 1923 & 1926 .......$150..........$170
    Benj.Allen & Co.1924 .........$180..........$206

    The platinum rectangular watch with diamonds and black onyx, that I showed in my earlier post, was listed for $2,000 in a 1921 National Geographic advertisement. The octagonal watch is earlier - ca.1916. I believe these watches were in the vanguard of the Art Deco movement in the United States and are quite collectible.
     
  13. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    Mine aren't worth that much, but I have a nice Bulova 1926 5AP.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    I have one of those impressive little 7 1/2 ligne Walthams. I am very happy that it's in running condition, as I wouldn't want to attempt to restaff it. Unfortunately, mine is "nek'ed", as the case was probably melted some time ago. Because it has a special patent setting mechanism, it will probably remain case-less for the duration of time. ;-{

    Jerry, do you have any idea of what percentage of those round 7 1/2 ligne movements had the patent setting mechanism? Mine has what looks like the same setting design as your gold octagonal pendant watch (Dubois?). Cheers.
     
  15. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    RE: "The platinum rectangular watch with diamonds and black onyx"

    That watch is spectacular. I can't believe (at those prices) that there
    are too many of them around. I think I've seen you post a photo of it in the past.
    You have a very nice collection.



    Rob


     
  16. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    All of the movements were constructed the same and require a special stem, but very few had cases with the pin-set part of the mechanism. These were made, by a variation in the stem profile, to function with or without the case pin. (That little octagonal gem is in a case by H.W. Matalene, but a great many of the wristwatches were also cased by Depollier).
     
  17. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Thanks, Rob. Both of those watches were cased by H.W. Matalene for Waltham. Most of his productions were unique, as I believe that rectangular watch was.
    As I have mentioned elsewhere, this casemaker (Matalene) has been a subject of research for me for, literally, decades. I am working on a book about his work and his relationship with Waltham.
     
  18. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    Thanks for the clarification/information, Jerry. Interesting stuff.
     
  19. Rodney Boatman

    Rodney Boatman Registered User
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    Mar 7, 2016
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    Thank you to all who contributed to this thread. It has been helpful and informative.

    I am still in awe of the technology that was available to produce these small (some tiny!) ladies watches.

    Regards, Rodney Boatman
     
  20. diveboy

    diveboy Registered User

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    I collect them, have over 100, from the first run lady elgin 10s to the end of production 9XX series from elgin beating at 21,600BPH.

    where else can you pick up a 14k Solid for $3.75 ? you guys that don't collect ladies, suits me fine.

    what do I like about them ? I think I'm the only one currently that has the complete Elgin parisienne line which is what got me started collecting watches, no other watch line has as much deco or color in their design.

    I also like finding the pairings, Lord & Lady Elgin Ascots, Helene & Holcomb, Lord Elgin Black Knight & Lady Elgin Midnight, Lord Elgin Eldorado & Lady Elgin Eldora, Lord Elgin Clubman & Lady Elgin Clubwoman to name a few.

    Also, the technology as you have said, it cost more to produce, demanded higher technology and resources in their manufacture and most of the time, the Ladies models sold for a lot more than the mens of the same year. In looking at Elgin during the 50's, theres 4 mens models I know of that sold over the $175 mark yet the ladies models of the same years, countless models that sold over $200.
     
  21. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    wanted to share this one:intended as a birthday present for my daughter,she´ll be 21 in September:a 15jewel Bulowa in a chromed case with an adjustable clip strap.The watch was pretty cheap,but the repair was appropriate for what was done to it.Hope she´ll like it!
    Burkhard

    sorry for the poor quality of the pics,cammera won´t do it better
     
  22. Rodney Boatman

    Rodney Boatman Registered User
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    I will add another "stitch" to this thread and show a picture of a Waltham ladies watch I obtained on EBay. It has a nice case with small diamonds - my picture is a bit dark.

    The movement is a Model 450 but the serial number begins with a D and so I have not been able to look it up exactly. It is a 17 jewel and I think the grade is 467. It is probably a mid '30s watch.

    I actually took it apart and cleaned it and got it back together. It runs but is difficult to set.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    diveboy
    post some photos of your collection.


    Burkhard Rasch I hope your daughter likes it, it's a fine watch.




    Rob
     
  24. diveboy

    diveboy Registered User

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