Waltham 1899, Made Expressly For.....

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Skutt50, Sep 19, 2019.

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  1. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

    Mar 14, 2008
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    I just saw a Waltham model 1899, 7j, Hunter cased pocket watch.
    Nothing fancy BUT the marking on the dial confused me.

    It is marked with:

    Made Expressly For
    Capt. Skea.
    Brooklyn New York


    What does this mean:
    Was Capt Skea a person, a retailer or what?

    (Sorry no pictures. The watch was bought yesterday at an auction (by a friend of mine) and I have no rights to the photos.....)
     
  2. Rick Hufnagel

    Rick Hufnagel Just Rick!
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    I did a little searching because I enjoy the p.l.s. unfortunately I haven't turned up a jeweler yet, and there are quite a few Skeas in Brooklyn, lol.

    I did find a list of Fire Dept members, including some Skeas... A possible lead? not sure yet
     
  3. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Without seeing it it's hard to tell. It could be a personalized dial or it's a
    private label retailer jeweler(as you have already said).
    Ask your friend if you can post the dial photo. I did a quick search of
    Capt. Skea. Brooklyn New York and didn't find anything. As I just
    read Rick's post there were also a few policemen named Skea also.



    Rob
     
  4. John Cote

    John Cote Director
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    When I see a "Made Expressly for" marking on a watch I usually think it was made for an individual. I have quite a few Hamiltons marked like this and duplicates/multiples don't show up as they do for most private label watches made for jewelers or jobbers.
     
  5. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    Thanks so far. I will talk to my friend and get some pictures when he gets the watch. It was an on-line auction and it will take a couple of days before he has it in his hand.

    Edit: The serial number dates it to 1906.
     
  6. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    So finally I got to see the watch in person and had an opportunity to take a picture of the dial.

    DSC06712.JPG

    Hopefully this might add some to the history of the watch.

    Sorry it took so long..........
     
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  7. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    #7 musicguy, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    I think what John C said above about this dial is correct.
    It seems to be a personalized dial. Unless someone can find a jeweler
    In Brooklyn named Capt. Shea which I doubt, I would assume that an individual
    purchased this custom dial. These are great dials.
    Is this something you are looking to add to your collection?

    Screenshot_20191011-152506_Samsung Internet.jpg



    Rob
     
  8. Gregory

    Gregory Registered User

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    #8 Gregory, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    I found some interesting info on Captain George Skea (1840-1909) in the Skea Family pdf. He was born in Scotland. It's a long read but I finally found on page 38 and 39 where he was in NYC and owned a business a jewelry shop/pawn shop between 1900 and 1905. That watch was made for a man with a very interesting history. He sailed to many different countries on many ships during his life. I bet his grandson, who wrote this article, would give anything to have that watch.
    https://occgs.com/projects/rescue/family_files/files/SKEA Family.pdf

    According to family lore, George Skea had a business on Maiden Lane, in Lower Manhattan, in the early twentieth century. It is variously described as a jewelry shop, a sporting goods store, a pawnshop or a swap shop. Inquiries to the county and city archives of New York have turned up no record of this business; however, this means only that it was not a partnership and that George did not own the building in which the business was located.
     
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  9. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    Wow, that was a lot more than I could expect! Many thanks to you all.

    musicguy: No I will not add this to my collection. It was bought by a friend of mine and he has not made any decisions what to do with it. Initially I will repair/service the watch for him. It seems to have a broken balance pivot.

    Gregory: That was very interesting reading! I will see what my friend (the owner) will say. Perhaps he will sell it and if so it might be worth contacting the Skea family to see if they are interested, as per your suggestion.
     
  10. Gregory

    Gregory Registered User

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    Please keep us posted on what he does with the watch. That would be great if he were actually able to get in contact with one of the relatives.
     
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  11. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    I will certanly post what happens.

    I will actually visit my friend today to bring him up to date on the findings here. (He does not speak English!)
     
  12. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    It may not be too relevant, but I was wondering whether we are talking about an Elgin (as stated in the thread title) or a Waltham (as described in the first post)?
     
  13. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    You are absolutely correct Jerry!

    It is a Waltham and nothing else. I don't know where I got the Elgin from! Sorry for any confusion!
     
  14. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I've changed the title.
     
  15. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Funny I didn’t see the mistake
    Thanks Jerry and Steven



    Rob
     
  16. Gregory

    Gregory Registered User

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    In the article I didn't notice the first time I read though it that it had his business card info listed (below) with the actual address of his Jewelry Shop in Brooklyn, NY and that Waltham Gold Filled Watches were a specialty.

    The story has a sad ending with Capt. Skea shooting himself at his wife's grave on July 12, 1909 and he died 2 days later on July 14th.

    CAPT. GEO SKEA,
    (ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE)

    Nautical Optician, Jeweler, Diamond Dealer, ETC., ETC. CHRONOMETERS RATED. MARINE GLASSES. COMPASSES ADJUSTED, SEXTANTS

    WALTHAM GOLD FILLED WATCHES A Specialty.
    86 E. Third Street Windsor Terrace, BROOKLYN, NY.
     
  17. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    Thanks Gregory.

    I was over at my friends place earlier today and I read the article for him. I notised the same things.
    He must have loved his wife tremendously

    The Waltham representation also puzzeled me a little. The watch at hand comes in a gold plated hunter case (with the gold badly worn), however the watch is a 7 jewels movement. Isn't it a bit funny if a Waltham speciallist carries a low jewel count movement......?

    Even more puzzeling is how it ended up here in Sweden, but I guess that part of the story we will never hear.

    We have also tried to contact the woman behind the article via Facebook. Hopefully we will get an answer soon.......

    To be continued.....
     
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  18. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    This is not strange at all. Waltham made a lot of 7j watches and I'm sure it
    was a very important demographic for the watch sellers of the time.
    They would carry all grades of watches.



    Rob
     
  19. Gregory

    Gregory Registered User

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    #19 Gregory, Oct 13, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
    That makes sense. Most likely he dealt with more lower income people than he did with the wealthy since it appeared his business was more of a pawn shop than a jewelry shop. I guess that way people would think "well if it's good enough for Capt. Shea to carry then it's good enough for me" and they would buy a 7j watch instead of buying nothing at all.

    He must have sold a boat load of Waltham watches for the factory to make a special dial just for him?
     
  20. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Many jewelers paid waltham to make PL dials/and marked movements for them at that time
    it was a common practice.



    Rob
     
  21. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    Short update: No watch news.
    My friend has turned sick and is hospitalized, without access to computer etc.
    Hopefully more news when he is back home......
     
  22. Gregory

    Gregory Registered User

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    Sorry to hear that your friend is sick. I hope he gets well soon.
     

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