# Waltham Vanguard

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by strd34ford, Oct 6, 2002.

1. ### strd34ford Registered User

Jun 12, 2002
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#1
roy,
the books list your waltham as a 16 size, 23 jewel, open face, lever set, 1908 model, grade 1623, made in about 1940.
regards
fred

2. ### Buchaneer Registered User NAWCC Member

Feb 1, 2002
192
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16
#2
Roy:

I have lots of information on Waltham watches and I am in Canada so I can tell you a lot about your watch please e-mail me.

Larry Buchan

3. ### Kent Registered User Gibbs Literary AwardNAWCC FellowNAWCC Silver Member

Aug 26, 2000
18,246
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#3
Roy:

Like our other systems of measurement, American movement and case sizes can be traced back to an English system, one known as the Lancashire gage. In this system, the size is based upon the diameter of the watch plate to which the dial is fastened, known as the pillar plate. 0-size has a pillar plate diameter of 1-5/30" (yeah, right!). Sizes then increment by 1/30" for each count. Although there are exceptions, watches are sized to even numbers with the most common being 0, 6, 12, 16 and 18. These account for the vast majority of American-made watches. A 6-size watch has a pillar plate diameter of 1-5/30" plus 6/30", or 1-11/30". The diameter of a 16-size movement's pillar plate is 1-21/30",
and an 18-size watch is one whose pillar plate diameter is 1-23/30" ( 1-5/30" plus 16/30" and 18/30" respectively). This is right up there with 12 inches to a foot, 16 ounces to a pound and 32 ounces to a quart.

The fact that even sizes are almost always used, alleviating the necessity of making very fine distinctions, makes it easy to express the watch size with a fairly close approximation. First, measure the diameter of the dial to the nearest 1/32 of an inch, then subtract 1/32" and then subtract 1-5/32". For example, the dial diameter of a 16-size watch is 1-22/32". Subtracting 1/32", we get 1-21/32". Subtracting 1-5/32" leaves 16/32", Hence, its a 16-size watch. Remember to be careful of the hands when measuring the dial diameter.

You may be interested in a scan from the 1953 T. Eaton Catalog. Watch number 38 may look like yours.

Kent