Waltham Pocket watches at Kew Trials of 1911

itspcb

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I was looking at data from the Kew Trials of 1911 regarding a pocket watch I own.
I noticed also that Waltham submitted five watches entered for the class A certificate at the same trial as my watch.
Here are the results, for those who may be interested.

Open face Crescent Street S/N 15045631, a Class A award with marks of 78.6 (21J)
Hunter Crescent Street S/N 17045143, a class A award with marks of 80.8 (21J)
Hunter Vanguard S/N 16120931, No award, the watch was returned early. (19J)
Hunter Vanguard S/N 17009844, a class A award with marks of 80.7 (19J)
Open face Vanguard S/N 16030300, a class A award with marks of 78.5 (23J)

The watches with marks greater than 80 were marked 'especially good' on the certificate .
The jewel count is not recorded in the record but is added by me from the NAWCC records for interest.
It is noted that this trial included watches by Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Dent, Nicole Nielson and others
Peter
 

Jim Haney

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It would be interesting to see how the Waltham's compared to the other watches, Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Dent, Nicole Nielson.
 

Tom McIntyre

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Thanks for posting this. Are the Kew records available on-line?

The Premier Maximus was the only watch that Waltham advertised as being available with a Kew certificate.
 

itspcb

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Tom, The records are not on-line they have to be manually searched for against the ledger entries of the day.
Jim The record I have is twenty entries long of which sixteen applied for an A certificate, twelve were awarded A certificates. The best was the Patek with 91.7 marks. The lowest an Army and Navy with 73.9.
Watches that did not get an award do not get marks as they do not participate in the Mean Daily Rate Test
The entrant for the Waltham watches was one Dennison.
Peter
 

topspin

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Just to put this into some kind of context - if I could travel back in time and enter a new, cheapish (£20?) quartz watch (analog or digital) in the trials - what sort of score might I expect it to receive?
 
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Tom McIntyre

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I have asked friends about these records before and I thought they went from Kew to Teddington and perhaps had been transferred to Greenwich. Is that where they are now? Do you have to make special arrangements or is the archive open to all visitors>
 

itspcb

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Tom,
I think they are now at the Maritime Museum at Greenwich. I don't think they are open access to all at any time, (I have a contact there). There would be no harm in writing to them.
Topspin: I don't know how quartz watches behave, but I would guess that they are relatively free from positional errors, Their variance to temperature changes is something else that others may be able to comment on.
Peter
 

Luis Casillas

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Just to put this into some kind of context - if I could travel back in time and enter a new, cheapish (£20?) quartz watch (analog or digital) in the trials - what sort of score might I expect it to receive?
I expect it would smoke the rest of the field. The data I've seen on ordinary quartz watches is this paper:

Lombdardi, Michael. 2008. "The Accuracy and Stability of Quartz Watches." Horological Journal, February 2008, pp. 57-59. Available online: http://tf.nist.gov/general/pdf/2276.pdf

This has no data on mechanical time pieces, but my own analysis of a few records I've seen of observatory test records would suggest that, under constant temperature at least, today's cheap quartz watches are 10-100x more stable than top-quality mechanical watches or chronometers. The stability figures I've estimated for a Hamilton 21, for example, are in the 10e-7 range, whereas the watches in Lombardi's paper are all in the 10e-8 range.
 
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