• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Waltham Crescent St case ID

Ivan42

New Member
Dec 16, 2020
2
1
3
45
Country
Hello forum,

This is my first post, but I've been lurking this great forum and learning a great deal about pocket watches, which is a new interest of mine. My mother very kindly bought me a slightly battered 21j 16s Waltham Crescent St grade, which I have dated to around 1904. I had it cleaned and serviced and I'm very much enjoying it.

My question is about the case. The back cover appears to be a Keystone Ball Model, and my understanding is that those were only typical of the Waltham ORRS model watches. Of course, I understand these cases were mainly supplied by jewelers (not the factory) so the case might vary. My questions are 1. Is this a common case for the Crescent Street model, 2. was there a particular store or line that supplied 16s Crescent Street watches in the Ball Model case, or 3. alternately, is this just a period correct replacement case?

For what it's worth, the horologist who sold it was only about 20 years younger than the watch itself and knew his way around. He insisted that the case was likely to be the original, based on what he saw.

thank you for your help. A few ID photos are attached. Apologies if this is a ridiculous question, I'm new here.

watch2.jpg watch1.jpg watch3.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Rick Hufnagel

thesnark17

Registered User
Jul 11, 2020
37
26
18
30
Country
It's not a ridiculous question at all.

This case is highly unlikely to be original to this watch, but stranger things have happened. Basically, three things are true:

1. Only Ball watches were sold in Ball cases. (99+% rule)
2. Some Ball watches were made by Waltham. These watches have the case screws in the same places as Waltham watches, because in every way that matters they are Waltham watches.
3. If you put a Waltham 16s movement in a Ball case that originally held a Waltham-Ball movement, it will appear "original" in the sense that the case screws will be in the same place (which is the only way to absolutely say that a case has been used on multiple movements - look for extra screw marks).

The most likely thing to have happened is that the original Ball movement that was sold in this case was totaled (or any other reason you can think of to part a movement from its case), and, since the case was still good, replaced by a similar-quality Waltham movement. But there's the thinnest of outside shots that this is an original combination.

However, no collector will ever, ever, believe that, without original paperwork to prove it. And probably not even then! Regardless, it's a beautiful watch, and there's no reason to alter it. Unless of course you want to find a Ball-Waltham in a case not marked Ball, and swap the movements between them. Some would say that is unethical though, since even though that would produce two 100% original-looking watches, they would not actually be original... Possibly an issue for a different thread though.
 

Ivan42

New Member
Dec 16, 2020
2
1
3
45
Country
Thanks, very helpful indeed. I will then assume that probably some creative jeweler had a destroyed Waltham-Ball movement, salvaged the case, and put this Crescent St. model in it. Fortunately collectibility isn't important to me, it's my daily watch and mostly I just enjoy watching the movement work and appreciating the damascening... It still amazes me that something as common as this could be so beautiful.
 

514 Poplar Street
Columbia, PA 17512

Phone: 717-684-8261

Contact the Webmaster for perceived copyright infringement (DMCA Registration Number 1010287).

Copyright © National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc (A 501c3 non-profit corporation). All Rights Reserved.

The NAWCC is dedicated to providing association services, promoting interest in and encouraging the collecting of clocks and watches including disseminating knowledge of the same.