• We are aware of the performance issues with the forum. These are due to problems with Comcast's shared lines in the Columbia, PA area. On December 15, we signed a contract to bring a dedicated fiber line to the forum servers. It should take somewhere between 30 and 90 days to install. Thank you for your patience.

Wadsworth Pilot Pocket Watch

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,556
2,048
113
Country
Caesar:

The following information is extracted from the "Railroaders' Corner," NAWCC Bulletin, No. 316, Oct. 1998, pp. 619-26:
Longines watches were made in Geneva. Switzerland. Those brought into the U.S and Canada were imported by old ref::A. Wittnauer Co.[/url], New York, NY, and on each of those watches, the name "Wittnauer" is stamped on the pillar plate, under the dial. Wittnauer, a subsiduary of Longines, appeared in about 1895.

Prior to that, Longines, Agassiz, and other fine Swiss watches were imported by a number of firms, such A. Beguelin and J. Eugene Robert, both in New York City.

According to the serial vs date table on page 522 of "Complete Price Guide to Watches, No 24," C. Shugart, T. Engle and R. Gilbert, Cooksey Shugart Publications, Cleveland, TN, 2004 (a new edition comes out each year in February. This book is available at libraries, most major bookstores and online at the NAWCC Gift Shop
http://www.nawcc.org/giftshop/americart/bk_watch.htm
), movement serial number 3,835,063 dates to about 1921, give or take a year or two.

Only a small percentage of American watches (or Swiss watches for the North American market) were cased at the factories prior to the mid-1920's. Most watch companies just made movements (the "works") in industry standard sizes. The case companies made cases in those same sizes. The practice at that time was to go to a jeweler, select the quality of the movement and then pick out the desired style and quality of case. The jeweler would then fit the movement to the case in a matter of moments. Or, the jeweler might have a selection of movements that he had previously cased to make up an attractively priced, or special, watch. Today, that might be referred to as "bundling."

Or, watches were sold by mail-order. Large outfits such as Sears, Roebuck & Co., Montgomery Ward, or T. Eaton (in Canada), would offer the movements in a variety of cases of different design and quality in their catalogs. Smaller mail-order retailers would case the watches, typically in a 20-year gold filled case and offer it only that way, with the buyer not having a choice of cases.

Originally the H.A. Wadsworth & Co., Newport, KY, up to September, 1891, this watch case manufacturing firm became the Wadsworth Watch Case Co. by July 1892. They were manufacturers of solid-gold and gold-filled cases.

"WWCCo" (monogram) > 25 Year gold-filled.
"Pilot" (see link below) > 20 Year gold-filled up to 1903, 25 Year gold-filled 1905 and later.
"Referee" > 20 Year gold-filled.
"Special" > 20 Year gold-filled.
"XX (Double X)" > 20 Year gold-filled, 1908 and later.
"Rambler" > 5 Year gold-filled.

It sounds like you have a nice, medium grade watch,
Kent
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,556
2,048
113
Country
Caesar:

Why not get your grandfathers pocket watch serviced and use it occasionally instead of buying another one?
 

mmdmurphy

New User
Nov 26, 2010
3
0
0
I have a Wadsworth Pilot 1994024... and I noticed everyone seems to care about the movement more than the case, but there's the rub. I don't know what I am doing, and I don't want to damage it. After looking LONG and hard at it, I have deceided the face has a script JMR on it (though it's so "fancy" you have to REALLY look).

My Dad was a railroad collector, recently passed away. I don't know exactly where he got it, it does have the name Joseph J. Crawford in the back... uh... "cover". My guess is that it's a retirement watch for Mr. Crawford.

Not sure what to really ask... I guess my questions are:

Probable that it is JMR?
The watch works, the second hand seems to be pretty much dead on.
It lost 1 hour in the last 5 that I have had it running - just a cleaning? When adjusting it, the movement isn't smooth (and I don't mean like it's broke, more feels like there's some 'gunk' in there)
How to open it up properly to identify the movement? It looks like it's just a metal ring that snaps in place.
The face/crystal is gone (there's just a small chip of it left)
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,556
2,048
113
Country
Hi mmdmurphy:

Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

Your watch sounds like a private label watch movement in a watch case made by the Wadsworth Watch Case Co.

It would be helpful if you could post pictures of the movement (the "works"), the clearer and sharper, the better. Other pictures will help a little, but these are the most important. We may be able to identify it by the shape of the plates. In trying to open the watch, you might find the information in "How To Open A Pocket Watch Case" useful.

To post an image, scroll to the top of the thread and click on "FAQ," then scroll down to "vBulletin FAQ" and click on the "How to post images" and follow the instructions. Note that there is no indication of attaching a file (picture) until you go to actually post your thread or your reply. The picture does not show up in the "Instant Reply" text box in which you've written your thread or your reply, nor does the picture appear in the "Preview." You can test your efforts in the Just Practicing and Learning Forum.

Its also helpful if you can post all the markings that are on the movement (the "works") in case they can't be seen in the picture(s).

It may be helpful for you to read the Encyclopedia article on Watch Service and its related links, especially the one to the message board thread on the subject.

Good luck,
 

mmdmurphy

New User
Nov 26, 2010
3
0
0
I took it to a jeweler to have it cleaned, he said "It's an Illinois Railroad Dispatcher Special. 17 jewels. Last serviced in 1957. Has a 'hunters case glass'" A few drops of lubrication and it started running, nothing mechanically wrong.
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,556
2,048
113
Country
I hope that he gave your Illinois Watch Company watch a proper cleaning and oiling and didn't just add "A few drops of lubrication ..."

Did he show you how to open it?

What is the movement serial number?

What exactly is marked on the movement?
 

mmdmurphy

New User
Nov 26, 2010
3
0
0
Actually, he still has it. No, not just a few drops of oil. The crystal is broken, says he has to order one.

Opening it appears to be easy - with the right tool. There's a VERY small (almost invisible) lip - since he had the right tool, a slight pressure, and it easily opened up.

Didn't ask about serial numbers and markings - what else should I ask about before I go pick it up?

Does $100 sound about right for the crystal, cleaning and lubrication?
He says it hasn't been worked on since 1957.
-> posts merged by system <-
Sorry, I realize I am being confusing. He put a few drops of oil in it as a test, to see how bad off it was. Since it started working just fine, there's no mechanical issues.

Now he's going to clean it and re-lubricate it.
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,556
2,048
113
Country
The price you mentioned sould inexpensive to me. Take a look at this thread on the subject.

As for anything else, it would be nice to see a picture of the dial and the movement.

Most of use use our fingernail to pop the cuvette (inner cover) open. You put your nail in the slot and then slide your finger around the edge of the cuvette and it should pop open after about 90 degrees of movement.

Good luck,
 

Forum statistics

Threads
170,822
Messages
1,491,262
Members
49,914
Latest member
Roberthunigan1
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,967
Last edit
E. Howard & Co. by Clint Geller