Marine: Waltham 37 size made in 1910 and upgraded from 7 Jewels for use by U.S. Army.

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by Omexa, Sep 3, 2015.

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  1. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi, I have got this coming, a "Waltham 37 size made in 1910 and upgraded from 7 Jewels for use by U.S. Army". The Pocket-Watch-Car Clock weighs 1 Pound 5 Ounces and has a weight screwed on to the bottom of it for when it is in a Gimballed Box. I wondered how many of these were made and I suppose that they were used in WW1. Did the U.S. Army have Boats? I thought that the Navy would have the Boats. Another thing is the upgrading of the movement from 7 to I think 15 Jewels; was the U.S. engaged in a War somewhere in 1910? and they needed Navigation Timepieces urgently? World War 1 was a few years later maybe these were made in anticipation of the coming War. I probably need a History lesson on U.S. Wars. Regards Ray
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  2. Dave Chaplain

    Dave Chaplain Registered User
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    I understand that the Army has used their own ships from as early as 1899 (in laying undersea cables) and by WWII had over 14,000 named and numbered vessels (not counting additional barges and amphibious assault craft) when the Dept of War and Dept of the Navy were still separate, and still operate about 50 of their own vessels today. Precision timekeepers were also used by the Army to survey land and for coastal map making. So it's not hard to imagine that there would be chronometers and comparing timekeepers marked U.S. Army.
     
  3. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Thanks Dave, my knowledge of American History is sadly lacking; this movement has the detachable weight screwed on the bottom to keep Face up in Gimbals so was probably on a Ship. Regards Ray
     
  4. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Hello Omexa,

    Waltham manufactured the 15 jewel size 37 movements and cased them in gimballed boxes; they advertised them as "torpedo boat watches" for small navy ships that needed a rugged reasonably accurate clock for a short term voyages.

    They were NOT accurate enough to pass chronometer specifications. None of US watch companies made any choronometers in this time period.

    WWI started in Europe in 1914 and US did not become involved until late 1916 after the Lusitania was torpedoed off Ireland by German U-Boat with huge loss of civilian lives.

    Andy Dervan
     
  5. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

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  6. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Thanks Doug, this Pocket-Watch-Car Clock whatever, has clearly been meant to be in a Gimbaled Box at some stage as it still has the removable weight attached. Sadly the Box is missing maybe gone to the "Box Scrappers" pun intended. It started out as a humble 1910, 8 Day 7 Jewel un-adjusted movement. It could have ended up as a Car Clock or a number of different uses. This one was up-jeweled and has had a special Case made for it (by what Company?). There is no assigned number on the Case other than "U.S. Army. It has lost the adjuster regulator spring. I am looking forward to the arrival of this item. Regards Ray Capture.PNG
     
  7. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I am uncomfortable arguing with my good friend Andy, but I do not know of any "specifications" for chronometers at the time Waltham was making and selling them under that rubric. One could argue that a timepiece was not a chronometer without a chronometer escapement. When these pieces were first made that was the English requirement although very soon the lever escapement came to be accepted in the hands of the best Swiss makers for any navigation purpose.

    I believe the way Waltham used it is for any timepiece that was suitable for navigation. The question then becomes, "how far?" In the mid 19th century it was not uncommon for high grade pocket watches to be employed for navigation and there were reports of a duplex being used to navigate most of the Atlantic and making port in New York when an accident took out the original ship's chronometer.

    I am perfectly comfortable calling the Waltham 37 size chronometers by that name and would, in fact, trust one for any navigation task once it had been properly serviced and the rate noted. The real requirement is to be able to determine the time at Greenwich within 20 seconds at the end of a transatlantic voyage having set it with an accurate regulator at the beginning of the trip and adjusting the readings for temperature variation and rate if necessary.
     
  8. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    #8 Omexa, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
    Hi Tom, I did read your presentation and I have seen your certificate for 1935, I hope that you don't mind me posting it, were the later movements better than the early movements (upgraded like mine?). Do you know what was done to them other than the upgrading to 15 Jewels? The Pocket Watch Chronometer is coming from close to you in Boston. I have just added from the Waltham records the NAWCC rating. Regards Ray Capture123.PNG certificate.jpg
     
  9. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Actually the chronometers were not upgraded, they were downgraded. I.e. the original 37 size design was the 15 jewel adjusted movement with diamond end stones on the balance and micrometer regulator.

    The movement was then adapted to many other applications from car clocks to miniature banjo clocks, folding travel clocks etc. as described in the presentation I have posted in Timely Topics.

    When the supply of timepieces was a problem in WWII many of the folding clocks were upgraded to 15 jewels, etc. and used for merchant and possibly military service. They were needed while Hamilton was tooling up production for the model 22 (which was more robust and easier to service).

    Waltham sold the 37 size in two chronometer forms and a very similar counter top regulator for jewelry stores. They never offered the flat timepieces that one sees in the upgrades. I believe most of those were done by Roth Brothers in New York but I am sure there were other contractors as well.

    Roth and the others may also have taken some 37 size 7 jewel movements and mounted them in gimbals after the upgrade. I know they did this with many pocket watches as well. One of my examples is a Jurgenson pocket chronometer with spring detent escapement mounted in a weighted tub with gimbals.

    There are ads from the early part of the war for watches to be "volunteered" for military service.
     
  10. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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  11. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Waltham size 37 movement was extremely versatile and rugged it could be confirmed for 5 different winding positions.

    Waltham made for jewelers a flat case signed Waltham that wound on the back and also a plaque for the jeweler to put his name on it to put on the jewelers counter or in the store window.

    I seriously doubt any other company recased size 37 Waltham movements as Waltham would wanted to capture that market for itself.

    Andy Dervan
     
  12. 179

    179 Registered User
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    M. Low(e) , not sure of the spelling was another company in New York city that did these conversions for the WW2 effort.
     
  13. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi, and here is me thinking that the Waltham 37 size was just a humble workhorse clock; it just shows how wrong you can be. Regards Ray
     
  14. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    [QUOTE=Dervan
    I seriously doubt any other company recased size 37 Waltham movements as Waltham would wanted to capture that market for itself.
    Andy Dervan[/QUOTE]
    Perhaps it was uncommon but it did happen. I have owned a brass ships clock version with a screwed on bezel made by Roth.-Cort
     
  15. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi, I received the Waltham 37 size Pocket Watch-Clock-Chronometer a couple of days ago and I am really impressed with err-everything. It has a screw on Bezel and Crystal and the only thing missing is the Regulator Spring. I serviced and cleaned it and I re-aligned the Red indicator in the unwound position. I wound it up and off it went. It keeps very good time. The solid Brass-Bronze Case is unmarked, no Number or Maker. I have looked on the net for another one that has "U.S. Army" on the back and so far I have not been able to find one. Regards Ray
     

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