Waltham 14s Chronograph Model 1874 Jeweling

Bila

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Can anyone enlighten me on the jeweling configuration of these watches, is there any other jeweling besides the 11-13 or 15 Jewel models that has been seen?
 
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Tom McIntyre

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I am pretty sure some of the Am'n grade examples were available in 16 jewel and maybe all were 16 jewel The chronographs were available with split seconds and accumulator also. Those might have additional jeweling. I am on the road right now and can't check. I am sure Jerry T can tell you.
 

Bila

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I am pretty sure some of the Am'n grade examples were available in 16 jewel and maybe all were 16 jewel The chronographs were available with split seconds and accumulator also. Those might have additional jeweling. I am on the road right now and can't check. I am sure Jerry T can tell you.

Why I ask Tom is that I have had 3 over the years in the 1874 Model with 14 Jewels all gilded plate, and all from 1,7xx,xxx serial run, sold one ages ago but still have two of the 3 here. Just thought it strange as I think the Waltham records list them as 13 or 15 jewels?
 

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The nickel and fishscale damaskeened ones are the top grade. When they have gold wheels and gold jewel settings they usually have a higher count.

The higher grade ones were individually made in the gold shop in New York City from the movements that were shipped there for final assembly and adding of the complications. If you search the Waltham database for model 1884 grade am% it returns quite a few other runs but most of the chronographs that are noted in the records. Not all are noted. Here are the 44 runs that are recorded.

upload_2018-8-2_15-35-8.png

This is the search form.
upload_2018-8-2_15-37-33.png

It is all at NAWCC-Info
 

Bila

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Yes Tom I have had a look on the Waltham Serial look-up, they are listed in the gray book and also the original ledger pagers as 11-13 Jewel and either Hillside or Riverside, these 2 examples I have left (as was the third I had) are supposedly Riversides going by another source. Both have gold Chrono wheels, and also with brass Jewel settings and the gilded plates (as did the 3rd one I had. I just always assumed they were 13 Jewel until recently I decided to do a jewel count.
 

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[pdf]487769[/pdf] All 19,300 of the watches listed above are nickel plates, I think. Below is the result for 1884 %chron%. It returns 13,550 both gilt and nickel varieties, but you can then select the Am'n runs to see the higher jeweled ones. Only one group is listed as 16 jewels, but I suspect all or most of the Am'n ones were 16 jewel.
upload_2018-8-2_16-34-48.png
This part of the database needs more work because there are runs listed as Am W Co that are probably actually Am'n also as in this example. By the way the gray book is not really reliable and is usually wrong where it disagrees with the hand written record.

upload_2018-8-2_16-43-4.png
 

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Bila

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I just wonder whether Waltham originally manufactured these Riversides from the 1,787,200 thru to 1,787,700 serial runs just as normal 11 or 13 jewel watches and then the Chronograph fittings were fitted later by specific Jewelers'? Also, if they were made only for the English market, as they have not the Waltham or American Watch Co name on them, just plain with serial number and the patent date for the Chrono mechanism,? The hand written ledger has them as just watches with plain jeweling and with no reference to them being Chronographs.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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I believe all the Waltham chronographs except for the 1857 Chronodrometer and the SCS 16s model which were produced in 1880 & 1881 as I recall, were produced in New York City in the gold case shop there that had been Robbins & Appleton's case factory. They used Swiss designs and may have imported some parts. At least for a period of time, Charles Meylan was working in New York on Waltham watches.

I do not have any contemporaneous documents to support that except the remark from the 1876 Centennial report that Meylan was working in New York and that Mathile was building some of Meylan's designs in Switzerland.

Most of the Waltham designs also appear on Timing and Repeating Watch Co. examples.

Terstegan also made a repeating attachment and there were lots of random chronograph add ons and modifications, but no one would confuse any of those with the Waltham complications.
 

Tom McIntyre

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I just wonder whether Waltham originally manufactured these Riversides from the 1,787,200 thru to 1,787,700 serial runs just as normal 11 or 13 jewel watches and then the Chronograph fittings were fitted later by specific Jewelers'? Also, if they were made only for the English market, as they have not the Waltham or American Watch Co name on them, just plain with serial number and the patent date for the Chrono mechanism,? The hand written ledger has them as just watches with plain jeweling and with no reference to them being Chronographs.
I should not do this when I am too tired. I just now realized what you were saying and noticed we were talking about 1874 models, not 1884 models.

Do you have one of these that has a chronograph feature? I think what is going on here is that there are a number of these that have "chronometer" balances and the abbreviation of that observation has led to some misunderstanding and further errors.
 

Bila

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Yes Tom, I have had 3 model 1874's all from the same serial number run as mentioned above, all with the Chronograph features, all unmarked except for the serial number and the patent and all 14 jewels. That's why i wonder if they were fitted elsewhere besides the factory, definitely 14 Jewels, 3 1/2 pairs plus the other 7 on the escapement, all the Chrono gear looks to be the normal Waltham stuff.
 

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Can you post some pictures? I would like to see how they differ from the 1884 models.
 

Bila

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I sent you a PM Tom, the Chronograph gear looks near identical to the 1884 nickel open face I have. Except for maybe a difference in cam actuating lever which I think has more to do with the nickel movement being in the open face configuration compared to the hunter version..
 

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I do not know what is going on with my head. I do have an 1874 chronograph sn. 1279234. It is Am'n Grade and a double dial but is 1874.

BackDial.jpg
 

Bila

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Any thoughts on why the Riversides are not listed in the Ledgers correctly Tom, as I said previously maybe done elsewhere besides the Factory or fitted later by the factory as a special order. Also why the 14 Jewels, when most were advertise as 13-15 Jewel, you think extra jeweling would be an improved selling point, so why not highlight it?
 

Tom McIntyre

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I found Don Dawes' article on the 14 size Walthams in the bulletin archive http://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/2000/articles/2008/372/372_16.pdf

He gives a bit more insight into what was going on when these watches were first made.

It appears that, except for the double dial, all my Waltham complications are 1884 model.

I believe it is true that all the complicated watches were finished in the Robbins & Appleton building in NYC. Lugrin was a New Yorker and may have been involved with their initial production. As I said earlier Meylan from Switzerland was involved also and perhaps a bit later than Lugrin.

The watches would have been taken from production in whatever grade seemed appropriate and available and used to fit the complication work in New York. I do not believe any of these were fitted by jewelers in the field except the obvious Terstegan and some roll your own examples that have shown up.

According to Dawes the Timing and Repeating Watch Co. watches were produced after Waltham sold the business line to them. Lugrin apparently retained rights to his designs because they appear on Longines and other Swiss examples in addition to the Timing & Repeating watches.

Your early Riverside examples appear to have been part of the stream of watches exported to the UK, so they may have had some other special handling as well. Since the chronograph work seems to be Lugrin's, I doubt that it was fitted in the UK.
 
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