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Waltham special order 12 size model 94

artbissell

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1899 serial 7364013 specially finished 19j movement. 18k Waltham case, marked dial and movement for N. Y. city dealer MARCUS. Case marked as usual only 18k and serial. Substantial plain double back with double hidden hinges near 14 size. Front is also hidden hinged. Conservative style but impressive high quality. Also feels like quality being thick near double usual 12s weight. MARCUS, PECK and Waltham enhanced their quality reputation with this one. Anyone know Marcus? artbissell

IMG_4018x.jpg IMG_4014x.jpg IMG_4024x.jpg IMG_4025x.jpg
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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The April 20, 1921 Jewelers' Circular on page 97 had an account of the New York jewelry trade circa 1850. It states that "The best of the retail stores on Broadway were south of Beale St." It then listed three. The first was the predecessor of Black Starr & Frost, the second was the predecessor of Thos. Kirkpatrick, and the third was the predecessor of Marcus & Co.: "Stebbins & Co., later Alexander Rumrill, later Jacques & Stevens, George B. Jacques, Jacques & Marcus, and now Marcus & Co., was at 264 Broadway." The account then relates an old story about Stebbins before resuming listing notable jewelers on Broadway, including the predecessor to Tiffany.

If you search this message board, you will find postings about Jacques & Marcus and perhaps some of the other predecessor firms.
 

artbissell

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THANK YOU. Wiki reports 1892-1962 merging with Black Starr & Frost. So a first rate jeweler as watch indicates. I know nothing about Waltham's case work quality. What is your opnion and why they supplied fine cases marked Roy? Art
 
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Tom McIntyre

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It is unlikely that Waltham cased this watch. It was most likely cased by Marcus in a case they purchased from Roy who were one of the larger gold case makers. They were right up there with J&S.

Waltham did have a gold case shop in New York and I believe they continued to produce cases there after Waltham sold of its case business in the mid 1880's. The sale of the case department was the impetus for Daniel O'Hara to leave Waltham Watch Co. and join the Waltham Dial Co. Up until that time he had been in charge of the case department in Waltham.
 

artbissell

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I have many gold cased Walthams marked ROY, and many unmarked. Here a model 16s o.f. Maximus hidden hinge maybe from Roy? Did Roy have hinge patent?
Copy of IMG_8880a.jpg Copy (2) of IMG_8873_1x.jpg h
 
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MrRoundel

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Nice looking watch indeed. I've seen concentric-circle damasceening on private-label, as well as Riverside grades, but it always starts in the center. Yours is relatively eccentric, if you'll forgive the expression.

What would you call that type of damasceening, "sonar-damasceening"? :cyclops:

And by the looks of that case-band, I'm guessing that's a pretty heavy 12s case, eh? Very nice all around. Cheers.
 
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Jerry Treiman

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This really is a spectacular watch ... high grade ... unusual damaskeening ... very fine case ... top-notch jeweler ...
... but no one has commented on one of its most unusual and interesting characteristics. This is an 18-jewel movement. Where is the odd jewel? Look at the cap jewel on the center wheel!
Now why would they do that?

(I was the underbidder on this watch 12 years ago and will always remember it as "the one that got away")
 
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Tom McIntyre

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This really is a spectacular watch ... high grade ... unusual damaskeening ... very fine case ... top-notch jeweler ...
... but no one has commented on one of its most unusual and interesting characteristics. This is an 18-jewel movement. Where is the odd jewel? Look at the cap jewel on the center wheel!
Now why would they do that?

(I was the underbidder on this watch 12 years ago and will always remember it as "the one that got away")
Do you think the jewel is functional? I would be surprised to see any significant end play there. Maybe the jewel setter found a big cap jewel that did not fit anything else. Actually, I suspect that Marcus ordered this treatment and along with the balance centered circular damaskeening and promoted it as something really special.
 

MrRoundel

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... but no one has commented on one of its most unusual and interesting characteristics. This is an 18-jewel movement. Where is the odd jewel? Look at the cap jewel on the center wheel!
You're right, Jerry. I, for one, did miss that. I did find myself perusing the '07 thread about this watch, and one from "Rutan", and realized that it too had this damasceening. Sorry you didn't get that one.
 

DTSPatrick

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WOW. I was astonished to see this bare movement just sell for $840. I was thinking of bidding because I liked the pattern… but, turns out it’s much more desirable than I thought.
 

Jerry Treiman

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(Sighhhh ... :( ) This is twice now in this century that I have been outbid for this (now naked) movement (last publicly sold in 2004). These center-capped movements are certainly strange and were apparently made in small quantities for a few private labels. It is possible that they were special ordered by the same jobber for some of their customers. All seem to have the same off-center circular damaskeening. I have seen 12-size Riverside-grade movements labeled Marcus & Co., J.J.S.Rutan and Ultimatum. The capped center jewel also appeared on a 16-size 1888 model Ultimatum.

I have not tried to research the '88 models, but for the 12-size I believe there were about seventy of the 18-jewel versions for the three different customers (30 hunters and ~40 open-face) and ten of the 20-jewel Ultimatum. The principal difference between the 18 and 20 jewel versions is that the 18-jewel model starts with a 17-jewel Riverside grade and the 20-jewel is based on the 19-jewel movement with capped escape wheel. As scarce as the latter would seem, it is remarkable that 4 of the (presumed) 10 20-jewel models have been seen.
7565208_mobl.jpg
 

Maximus Man

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WOW. I was astonished to see this bare movement just sell for $840. I was thinking of bidding because I liked the pattern… but, turns out it’s much more desirable than I thought.
I bid on the movement, but it is sad to see the case is now gone.
 
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Fred Hansen

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WOW. I was astonished to see this bare movement just sell for $840. I was thinking of bidding because I liked the pattern… but, turns out it’s much more desirable than I thought.
Depends on one's perspective ... I was underbidder at $830.99 and going in thought my odds of closing as top bidder were slim.

Leaving aside the barbarity of its recently lost case; the movement is high grade, extremely attractive, appears to be in excellent condition, and has a notable eye-catching feature (capped center jewel) that's exceedingly rare among Waltham production. Considered in these terms its a pretty special piece.
 
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DTSPatrick

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the movement is high grade, extremely attractive, appears to be in excellent condition, and has a notable eye-catching feature (capped center jewel) that's exceedingly rare among Waltham production.
I completely agree — great condition and interesting movement. Congrats to the winner. I follow the old eBay mantra: it’s worth what somebody will pay for it. My post was not a critique on the closing price (trust me… I’ve payed more than I probably should have for a couple watches in my collection) just pointing out the sale price after finding this old thread with the exact same watch/movement. For the bare movement, I was expecting a sale price closer to $500 but I am no expert. I’ve never heard of this private label before; thus, not sure if this PL typically has a premium or if it was just the rather unique movement.
 

Jerry Treiman

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I’ve never heard of this private label before; ...
As related by Ethan, in post #3, Marcus & Co. were the successors of an enduring and respected jewelry firm in New York City. I have seen some other very fine Waltham watches sold through Marcus & Co.
 
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Jerry Treiman

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I am shocked that someone would scrap that case.
The eBay seller claimed that he acquired it as a bare movement and I wouldn't think the OP for this thread would have scrapped it, so to ease my mind I imagine that the case still exists and was re-used for a different movement. This fantasy helps me feel a little better about it anyway. :-\
 
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