Waltham Pocket Watch Swiss

ptmarzullo

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I just bidded and won the Waltham Pocket Watch. I do not have the serial #, however it is supposedly dated between 1920-1957, After my purchase I found the attached picture of the movement on the ebay listing. I have never seen a Waltham movement look like this. Please advise if you think this is a fake/replica or their later movements changed in their style. Thanks for your help. The picture is not of the highest quality but the best I have right now. I do have 14 days to get a refund.

Pete

$T2eC16h,!)sE9swmcMt7BR9-)yKgUw~~60_3.JPG
 

Tom Huber

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Your movement is a Swss mfg done after the Waltham factory was closed to production. My guess is that is dates to the mid 1960's or later.

Tom
 

MartyR

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Do you have specific permission from the seller to post that photo? If not, you are in breach of Forum Rules and I will have to remove the photo.
 

ptmarzullo

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More pics of the watch

I have read that it may be true that Waltham opened up operation in Switzerland in 1954 so this very well might be a Waltham, just not American made? Can anyone shed any light on it. I not looking for a value but I paid $80. Was it a good find?
 

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ptmarzullo

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I paid $80 for this watch. In no means am I looking for a actual value, I am trying to figure out if it is an actual Waltham. I have read on the internet that Waltham Co., in 1954 opened operations in Switzerland under the Waltham name. If that's the case I feel I got a good deal:???: If it is just some cheap knockoff, then not. Please help. I am the current owner of this watch and do have permission to post pics. Thank you.
 

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ptmarzullo

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I did find this on the internet during my research:

Waltham International SA was founded in 1954 in Lausanne, Switzerland by the American Waltham Watch Company of Waltham, Massachusetts to provide necessary watch and movement parts which were not readily available in the U.S.A.
Since the U.S. parent company discontinued production of watches for the consumer market in 1957, Waltham International SA relocated to Marin-Epagnier/Neuchâtel. It is now an inactive company.
Production of specialized clocks for aircraft continued in the original US factory until the parent company was finally sold in 1994. The new owners kept the Waltham name, but moved production to Ozark,Alabama, later changing the name to Waltham Aircraft Clock Corporation.
 

MartyR

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I am the current owner of this watch and do have permission to post pics.
You worried me when you said in your first post "I found the attached picture of the movement on the ebay listing" but provided you have permission to use the pictures that's fine.

Whether or not this is a "fake" is actually irrelevant to whether or not you can return the watch for a refund. What matters is exactly what description of the watch was given in the listing. If the description is "Watch signed Waltham" then that is entirely accurate. If the description is "A Waltham watch" then that is largely accurate since the watch is signed Waltham on the dial. The photos tell you all you actually need to know about the watch, but if the seller had described it as an "antique Waltham" or an "American Waltham" then you would have a case for false description.

The watch is what it is, and if the Ebay pictures were fundamentally similar to the ones you have posted above, I'm surprised if you didn't know when you bid for it what it was (or wasn't)! The price you paid is irrelevant, because it's what you decided to pay for it (I assume) and not what the seller asked for it.

I'll leave it to the American experts to tell you what they know about the provenance of the watch :)
 

ptmarzullo

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Thanks Martin....I purchased the watch in the last minutes of allowing me to bid and did do the necessary research that I should have because of the low price as compared to others similiar. It was described as a Vintage Waltham Pocket watch...and if it is indeed made from their company opened in Switzerland in 1954 then his description was right on, even mentioning it had a Swiss Movement. As for his return policy, it is 14 days, if your just not happy with the product and that's what I'm not sure of. Is it indeed made by Waltham of Switzerland, with it's parent company being Waltham Co, American Watch Co, or is it a cheap knock off. Thanks for your input, I am looking forward to more from hopefully many members. I joined this site back in May I believe and is has proven to be hands down the best Watch and Clock Collectors site out there as I am an avid watch and clock collector. I am up to eight vintage cuckoo clocks, several other clocks and about 30 watches from little cheapies to Rolex. Thanks again.
 

ptmarzullo

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My family jeweler/horologist is out of town, upon his return I will have him inspect it for authenticity, value, etc...This message board has been such a a great help in the past I thought why not post it and see the results....just saying....
 

Kevin W.

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I would not call it a true Waltham, as its Swiss made.
 

ptmarzullo

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I would not call it a true Waltham, as its Swiss made.
It's probably better quality than a true American made Waltham being it's Swiss made. I have many cuckoo clocks and two of them are Loetcher, the only genuine Swiss made cuckoos made. My opinion is there cases and movements are some of the finest made even surpassing German Black Forest cases and movements.
 

Kevin W.

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I do like Swiss.
Ok so how would this watch be better in what way, design, maintaining, parts available, how.
Please explain.
 
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ptmarzullo

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I do like Swiss.
Ok so how would this watch be better in what way, design, maintaining, parts available, how.
Please explain.
According to some website information I read up on early Waltham's were accurate +/-30 per week. Swiss made Waltham's had a Geneva Seal and supposedly more accurate time pieces. I do not and have not read up on any quality issues being different besides that. Again Waltham was in ond out of Bankruptcy mainly due to their lender RPC and they did import many of their watch parts from Switzerland hence then opening operations in Switzerland in an attempt to get parts that they were having trouble getting, make watches cheaper thereby saving money and trying to stay afloat and just the Swiss expertise in watch making. Again, this is just what I have read. I am just learning myself. I have only one other pocket watch and about 30 wrist watches along with 8 cuckoo clocks and several other vintage and/or antique mantle clocks. I like to learn as much as possible about each item I own.
 

ptmarzullo

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If anyone else has any other input as to the provenance of this watch please post. Thanks to all that have posted already. You have been a great help. I do have another Waltham, much older and easily identifyed. This is my second, no third pocket watch that just new very little about. Now I know thanks to all that posted much more, but I would love to find out even more like date, etc. and so forth. It is a 17 jewel watch, size 6 according to the previous owner. Thanks again !!!!
 

ptmarzullo

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I must add this note, out of all my clocks, wrist watches and 2 pocket watches, I forgot to my third and favorite pocket watch...it's a cheap quartz bulova, engraved World's Greatest Dad! Love, Michael. It took my breath away today when I saw it. It's not always the name, the quality, the age but the thought that went behind it. Michael, I held you for awhile, however you will be in my heart forever. Thanks for my favorite time piece of all time. Love you son. Dad
 

Larry Treiman

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Hello, ptmarzullo,

Since you have been studying Waltham history (perhaps more accurately, post-Waltham history) so diligently, no doubt you are aware that after the domestic Waltham Watch Company stopped manufacturing watches in Waltham, the use of the Waltham name on watches was licensed to two companies.

One was Waltham International (apparently now inactive per Wikipedia), which had the rights to sell watches bearing the Waltham name everywhere except in North America. It is my understanding that those watches, which were in the expensive/luxury category, found their principal market with wealthy Japanese watch collectors. Those are likely the watches that you mentioned which bear the Geneva seal, though I certainly know nothing about them!



The rights to the Waltham name on watches for the North American market ended up with the M. Z. Berger Company in New York. They imported watches under the Waltham name, and other well-known but discontinued watch brands that they were licensed to use, from Switzerland, France and possibly elsewhere, though I see that Wikipedia says that they now get their watches from China. Various Google searches for M. Z. Berger (or maybe M Z Berger) and with watches or history should bring up Berger's company site and a lot of other "stuff". You might also do a search for them on this site's search function.

Your watch looks like the type of "novelty" item, a fairly modern watch made to look like somebody's idea of an "antique", that were among the myriad watches marketed over the years by Berger.

Although a sharper photo of the movement would have been helpful, it is just passable enough to tell us that it has a movement intended for a lady's small wristwatch that has been cased inside a pocket-watch size case. That's a bit surprising, because one might have reasonably expected them to use at least a larger men's wrist watch movement, which would offer greater accuracy and permit the use of a seconds hand! Also, the smaller movements may require more frequent servicing.

If you want information on your other Waltham watches, just start a new thread for each one and include some sharp photos. If anything that is stamped in the case or on the movement is not clearly visible in the photos, then type it out in your post. We usually do a lot better in the information department when dealing with "real" Walthams, but the movement serial number is usually the key to everything.

Larry

[EDIT] I just saw your last post after posting this. That "cheap quartz Bulova" is likely a much better quality watch than the Waltham that is the subject of this thread. But the sentimental value that it clearly holds for you moves it way beyond comparison.
 
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ptmarzullo

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Waltham International SA Switzerland[edit source | edit]

Before the Waltham Watch Company went out of business in 1957, it founded a subsidiary in Switzerland in 1954, Waltham International SA. Waltham International SA retains the right to the Waltham trade name outside of North America, and continues to produce mechanical wrist watches and mechanical pocket watches under the "Waltham" brand. It is a full-fledged member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH.


I believe now this watch is just a cheap reproduction, which I thought so in the first place. It is a Waltham, but not by far an American Waltch Co. antique watch. I didn't pay much for it, probably to much though. I can return, however I like the looks and functionality of it so much I think I am just going to keep it in my small collection as a conversation piece. Thanks to all that replled, every post was of a great help. Thanks again. Off to service one of my cuckoo clocks. If it doesn't tick, tock to me. lol
 

ptmarzullo

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Update....I got a powerful magnifying glass due to the watch being the size of a token the movement is tiny. It is stamp Waltham Watch Co., 17 Jewels, Unadjusted, swiss made with whar appears to be a makers mark-so small I can't even make it out. On the case, inner lid it marked Waltham Watch Co., Swiss made base metal, G615, I was able to find several examples on the internet and just think it was made by it's come Waltham International, S.A. in Switzerland between 1954 and ? There are no serial #'s on the front side or I should say the side of the movement you can see. I not about to take it apart to find one as there is no guide I can find for dating Waltham's Swiss made watches. Probably still an insignificant piece but definately interesting. It's a keeper for the old collection. I wound up paying nothing for the watch and my jeweler offered me $150 for it after I showed it him. I declined his offer. Just thought it was a neat littlle token watch. He said is was a size 6. Thanks again for all who posted, it definately got me headed in the right direction.
 

Kevin W.

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I would have taken the jewellers offer.
 

MartyR

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I would have taken the jewellers offer.
OK, but you want the money whereas Pete wants the watch. Maybe that's one of the differences between dealing and collecting ;)
 

richiec

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Before the bubble gets any bigger, that is NOT a size 6, Waltham stopped making the 6 size in the early 1900's. it is a barrel style ladies wrist watch movement in a 12-16 size case made by one of a hundred Swiss movement makers that anyone can pick up in any antique-curio shop for $10. Just my 2 cents. I too would have taken the $150 offer.
 

ptmarzullo

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Before the bubble gets any bigger, that is NOT a size 6, Waltham stopped making the 6 size in the early 1900's. it is a barrel style ladies wrist watch movement in a 12-16 size case made by one of a hundred Swiss movement makers that anyone can pick up in any antique-curio shop for $10. Just my 2 cents. I too would have taken the $150 offer.
Martin put it perfectly, there is a difference between dealing and collecting. I do not need the money. I ultimately paid nothing now for the watch due to it being misrepresented. And I COLLECT watches. Why would I take the money. It is a neat addition to me collection. Although it is illegal, if I got a $20 counterfeit bill, I would keep it too, for collection, novelty purposes. Same thing, the watch may be from WALTHAM INTERNATIONAL, S.A. OF SWITZERLAND AS STAMPED. It may just be a cheap knockoff. Either way it keep excellent time, I like the watch and it's staying in my collection. I found many exact example of the watches on google images and yahoo images. It says it's a size 6:???:
 

ptmarzullo

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I have the pictures blown up as much as possible. The actual size is about 1.5 times the size of a quarter or 1 1/8 inches in diameter. It looks much bigger in the pics. FYI...
 

ptmarzullo

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I also have a $10 Embassy made by Bulova. It is engraved World's Greatest Dad, Love you son, Michael, the jeweler can off me $10k for the watch and the answer would be no. Money has no issue in my collecting, especially in sentimental pieces. The Waltham I got, on of two, I did so much research on, etc...literally hours, that I am not just attached to it. It would take way more than $150 bucks to get the watch. I'll doubt I'll ever sell it no matter what the price is.
 

ptmarzullo

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My watch was believed by the jeweler/horologist to be made by Waltham International, S.A. Here is an example of an obvious fake. The differences if you look closely are the Waltham name has a strange W above it not io infringe on copyright laws, it is a quartz movement with a second hand, the dial is marked Japan. Thought you might be interested... $(KGrHqR,!qQFHqVemqT)BS!8vw8ytg~~60_57.jpg $(KGrHqZ,!nYFHh3UM1(oBS!8v5dtZg~~60_57.jpg
 

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ptmarzullo

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My watch was believed by the jeweler/horologist to be made by Waltham International, S.A. Here is an example of an obvious fake. The differences if you look closely are the Waltham name has a strange W above it not io infringe on copyright laws, it is a quartz movement with a second hand, the dial is marked Japan. Thought you might be interested... 177586.jpg 177587.jpg
Sorry the third picture is of a mantle clock I own...I could chose it by accident and could not get it deleted...if you were wondering.
 

ptmarzullo

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WALTHAM



A PIONEERING SPIRIT

In 1850, three visionaries, Aaron L Dennison, Edward Howard and David Davis established a pocket watch factory in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Two years later the company revolutionised the horological industry by successfully machine manufacturing high quality precise watch movements using an interchangeable parts system. Needing new premises, the business relocated to nearby Waltham in 1854 from where it continued to set benchmarks for other watchmakers worldwide. Winner of the first ever gold medal in a watch precision contest at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876, the pieces produced by Waltham were of the highest quality. The “Crescent Street” model was the first to be manufactured that met the exacting requirements demanded by the railroads. Yet Walthams are not valued simply for their superior accuracy and reliability. Priding itself on its workmanship, the company crafted watches of outstanding beauty, which remain highly sought-after by collectors today. In keeping with our pioneering heritage, Waltham-made timepieces played important roles in many of the great human endeavours of the twentieth century. Our 8-day clocks equipped both Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St Louis and Charles Kingsford-Smith’s Southern Cross on their record breaking flights. Artic explorer Robert Peary became the first man to reach the Geographic North Pole using a Waltham as a navigational aid and Sir Ernest Shackleton’s British Antarctic Expedition of 1907 also made use of Walthams, which were found to be extremely reliable even under the harshest conditions. The immediate post-war period proved difficult for the company. Unable to acquire modern machinery, the decision was taken in 1954 to move to Switzerland where Waltham could continue to manufacture timepieces of the highest quality as a Swiss watch manufacturer. Since this move Waltham has continued in its quest for excellence and luxury most notably with the Radiant 2000, a masterpiece three years in the making and boasting over 150 carats of handpicked diamonds and the “Fascination” collection which was the first watch to be made of 23-carat gold.

LORD AND LADY WALTHAM

The Lord and Lady Waltham series epitomise the essence of the brand. In keeping with our pioneering roots we have created a selection of bold designs that capture the imagination. The attention to detail in the design and crafting of each timepiece endows the range with a level of prestige that is hinted at in the aristocratic names. We pride ourselves on selecting only the highest quality materials for our watches and we strive to ensure that the workmanship is maintained at the high levels that our customers have come to associate with Waltham. Testament of the brand’s refinement and desirability is the esteem in which Waltham is held in Japan, one of the most discerning and demanding markets for luxury watches. With this range we have concentrated on producing finely crafted watches embodying Swiss horological tradition whilst providing each model with distinctive touches that mirror the individuality of the owner. Using noble metals and only the best gemstones, the series provides people with a unique sense of self-assurance stemming not from the display of a status symbol or label, but rather from the confident expression of the individual’s own priorities and tastes through an exquisitely made timekeeper. In a world that is truly global and where time is at a premium, every second becomes precious. Such a hectic pace of life means that we must reflect on the ways we use our time and the means by which we keep track of it. We invite you to share our vision and values through the ownership of an exclusive and impeccably reliable Lord or Lady Waltham. Having dedicated the Lady Waltham to our century and a half of watch making, we marked the dawning of a new millennium with an exclusive men’s model, the Lord Waltham. This elegant COSC certified chronometer is housed in a tonneau-shaped case, whose smooth lines are evocative of the Art Deco period. A fusion of precision and a classic yet modern design the Lord Waltham embodies the forgotten dreams of a past century and the unbounded hopes with which we enter the next. Waltham presents Lord Waltham 48 new collection in Basel2008. We also introduce the additional Lady Waltham Lune collection and the new Lord Waltham collection inspired by the Art Deco period.
 

ptmarzullo

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My watch was believed by the jeweler/horologist to be made by Waltham International, S.A. Here is an example of an obvious fake. The differences if you look closely are the Waltham name has a strange W above it not io infringe on copyright laws, it is a quartz movement with a second hand, the dial is marked Japan. Thought you might be interested... 177586.jpg 177587.jpg
Sorry for the picture of a dial on a mantle clock I own. I chose it by accident and can not edit it out. Thanks and sorry.
 

doug sinclair

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The movement appears to be a Swiss made ST 69 calibre. This watch would not be from the 1950s IMO. More likely from the 1970s, or later. A lot of changes have happened since Waltham ceased manufacturing watches about 60 years ago. I believe the name has changed hands many times since then. Is it a Waltham? Yes, and no.
 

ptmarzullo

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The movement appears to be a Swiss made ST 69 calibre. This watch would not be from the 1950s IMO. More likely from the 1970s, or later. A lot of changes have happened since Waltham ceased manufacturing watches about 60 years ago. I believe the name has changed hands many times since then. Is it a Waltham? Yes, and no.

Thanks for the info Doug!
 

topspin

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In answer to the question of whether this is a Waltham.....

Let's try an analogy.
If we imagine a car brand, say, a brand of British cars called "Fred" that were successful as sports/racing cars many decades ago, but then the company ceased trading and the factory closed somewhere around the time of my childhood.
Eventually, the brand has finished up owned by (say) one of the big-name German car makers, who now decide to make a few batches of cars badged "Fred" in their factory at some random location in mainland Europe. Or perhaps instead, some well-healed investor decides to relaunch the brand, making hand-built specials at his workshop in rural Shropshire.
And then I go out and buy one of these cars.
So is it a real Fred?
I guess we are all free to choose for ourselves whether we prefer to answer that with "Yes", "No", "Who cares", or "Hmmm, first let's see if we can agree on a definition."
 

Kevin W.

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To me the watch the op posted is not a true one made by the company. Its Swiss made, big difference. That,s my opinion.
 

Tom McIntyre

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If the watch is Swiss and not a fake made in China, the story is a bit more complicated. A Japanese family bought the world wide rights to the Waltham name while Waltham was alive but going out of the manufacturing business. The U.S. rights were sold to a jewelry company and eventually became part of the "name factory" on Long Island that provides most of the inexpensive watches in the U.S. with erstwhile well known brand name.

I think the Swiss company WALTHAM SWISS MADE WATCHES | EXTRAORDINARY MEN has every right to use the name Waltham and the American company probably does also. However, the Swiss honor the tradition and their Japanese owners are very fervent about it. I will try to post a picture of one of their poster size ads from around 1915 when they were Waltham's far east distributor (when I get back home).

They were one of the sponsors for our 2002 Symposium in Boxboro MA on "Boston, Cradle of American Watch making."
 
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