Waltham 1873-6"M" grade C and grade "special" per the grey book.

schleems18

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Waltham 1873-6"M" grade C and grade "special" per the grey book. Anyone able to shed some light in the grade special? Pocketwatchdatabase shows grade C and variation as w.m. Ellery quality, although I don't see anything in the grey book that relates to either? As I understand wm Ellery, it was a label they put on early mass produced lower quality watches. It was also used as a grading on higher quality watches, 1873-6 was there highest grade 6s at the time so I assume the latter is correct? I assume there are other letter grades other than c as well. Any info would be appreciated.

IMG_20211105_173547.jpg IMG_20211105_173000.jpg IMG_20211105_173325.jpg IMG_20211105_174024.jpg IMG_20211105_173914.jpg
 

Jerry Treiman

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Waltham 1873-6"M" grade C and grade "special" per the grey book. Anyone able to shed some light in the grade special?
For serial number 3104534 (?) the grey book indicates "Special" in the grade column. The more detailed handwritten ledger indicates that the first 2000 movements of this large run were "B" Wm.E.grade, finished in nickel and the next 3,000 were "C" Wm.E. grade presumably gilt movements. That may be what the "special" notation and B or C refer to since the entire run of 5,000 included some deviation in finish. This is the nickel version -
3012053m.jpg

1873-6 was there highest grade 6s at the time
1873-6 is not a grade. The 1873 model was originally an 8-size movement and later on they reduced the size to 6-size when smaller watches were desired. The 1873-6 is a modern notation for the 6-size version and was used in the transcription and compilation of the digital database. There were several grades of 1873 models, "Am'n Watch Co." being the highest grade.
 
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schleems18

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Yes, I believe mine is an 1873-6(m) referencing the article on the differing construction and who's name I cannot remember. The C grade referring to a gilt movement would seem to line up, any idea what other model used grade C? Pocketwatchdatabase has the 1873-6 gradeC from 1887-1889 and then another model in 1946?
 

musicguy

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Created new thread with schleems18 question.


Rob
 

Jerry Treiman

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The C grade referring to a gilt movement would seem to line up, any idea what other model used grade C?
Letter grades were used in some other other sizes and models, including some of the later 1890 model 6-size movements, but I am not sure if individual letters were repeated from one size to another. It could be an interesting research project. Here are two pages of 6 size movements/watches from the 1887 H.Muhrs Sons catalog (reproduced by Roy Ehrhardt in his 1978 Price Indicator). Nameless, lettered grades on page 11 and named grades on page 12. The nameless grades were not included the year before in Muhrs' 1886 catalog.

Muhrs 1887_6-size.jpg
 

Tom McIntyre

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I think the gray book is not a good source of data for numbers that also appear in the ledgers. Watches with serial numbers lower than 7.45 million can be found there by using the NAWCC site https://nawccinfo.nawcc.org.

If you use that facility you can search for all runs of 1873-6 watches and select for grades as well.

The Seaside grades and Wm Ellery grades are always the lowest grades in general. the highest grade in the small sizes is the Am'n grade. If you use the search form with 1873-6 as the model and am% as the grade it will display all the runs in the higher grades. Here is a screenshot of that report.
1653254009700.png
There are two runs of the highest grade16J watches listed in that report. If you click on the first serial number of any listing it will show the report on that run, which has the link to the ledger page.

Here is one of the ledger pages showing the high grade 1873-6 runs. It should open in another tab in your browser.

The ledger pages were converted manually to the database and there are some errors still in the data. For example the runs of 16 jewel watches are listed as AmWCo which is a lower grade export watch normally. In the ledgers they say Am'n which is the name of Waltham's second highest grade after the AWco grade. Jerry and I do some maintenance on the database from time to time when we can.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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I have gotten interested in these 1873 watches partly because they were so important to the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphis.

I used the search with "1873%" as the model and "4 1/2%" as the jeweling to try to isolate all the high grade runs in both 6 and 8 size.

Here is the result. Since it ignores the grade names, the impact of the trascription errors is minimized.

1653255870377.png

The 1873-3 model watch is in the handwritten ledgers. It was probably a transcription error from the job cards to the ledgers in 1912. Has anyone seen a 3 size?
 
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Tom McIntyre

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The fist 7 "runs" of the 1873 model show a pattern that has some interesting implications.

The first run is all 15 jewel Am'n gade with 970 made between October 1872 and July 1873. Serial number 691971 was also made in Ocotber 1876 in Riverside grade. Numbers out of order like that are often associated with some change that took a while to get it right, but we do not know what it was. This watch was finished just following the Centennial Exposition while Waltham's prize watches were still being tested by Dr.Watson at the Dearborn Observatory.

The group of 6 watches might also have had something to do with the Centennial, but it is likely they are just filling normal orders. the same is probably true of the final 20 watches in this group.

I suspect that the other two Riverside grades were part of the order for the first one. The odd Am'n grade 691979 may have also had some special significance for the centennial


EarliestLatestFirstLastCountModelGradeSizeJewels
TypeStyleProv.DateCmt
10/18727/18736910016919709701873Amn84 pr15ladiesHCMH1/2003ea92 \ sw \
10/1876
69197169197111873Riverside84 pr15ladiesHCMH1/2003sw \ adj
7/18743/187769197269197761873Amn84 pr15ladiesHCMH1/2003sw \ adj
10/1876
69197869197811873Riverside84 pr15ladiesHCMH1/2003sw \ adj
3/1877
69197969197911873Amn84 pr15ladiesHCMH1/2003sw \ adj
10/1876
69198069198011873Riverside84 pr15ladiesHCMH1/2003sw \ adj
6/1873
691981692000201873Riverside84 pr15ladiesHCMH1/2003sw \ adj

The early production 1873 model also includes two more runs from when the finish was changed from gilt to nickel. I have an example from the 720001 run that was aparently sold at the 1876 Centennial, 720529. I believe the run at 721001 is the first run of 1873 watches with a nickel finish but I would be happy to be corrected.

EarliestLatestFirstLastCountModelGradeSizeJewels
TypeStyleProv.DateCmt
11/18731/187572000172100010001873Amn84 pr15ladiesHCMH1/2003sw \ adj (er
12/18733/18777210017215005001873Amn84 pr15ladiesHCMH1/2003ea92 \ sw
 
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musicguy

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I am using this thread as an excuse to take my own
circa 1886-87 Model 1873 6 size 16j Special(per the ledger) Am'n Watch Co out and take some photos of it. It's one of my favorite watches
because of the way I found it, the size, and the movement design.
These are real beauties. According to the tables above only 1000 of them were made.
I also like the hand painted dial. I like the numbers on the seconds bit(and gold design under the balance).

1873-6 waltham.jpg
waltham 1873-6 front.jpg
1654779996737.png


I took this small sample from the page Tom posted above (enlarge to see detail)

waltham ledger.png




Rob
 

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