Waltham's 1891-model 0-size movements

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Jerry Treiman, Jan 2, 2019.

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  1. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    #1 Jerry Treiman, Jan 2, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    A recent post of mine ("High Jeweled Waltham O Size".) got me thinking about Waltham’s first 0-size watches. Their first 0-size movement, the 1887 model, was a modification of their 1882-model 1-size movement. In the photo below the 0-size is on the right. The principal modification was just trimming the plate and bridge diameter, but they also moved the case screw and added a second case screw at the balance cock. These were positive setting and used a detent stem and had one plate covering the entire train and barrel.
    1887model.jpg

    A major change was initiated with the 1891-model, which was a negative setting movement with a split-plate design to make casing and assembly easier. Waltham was evidently experimenting with winding/setting mechanisms at this time, and the 1891-model exemplified this with two fundamentally different setting mechanisms, and with at least two variants of each. (The same mechanisms were also used in their 6-size 1890-model). The changes in setting mechanisms also coincided with a series of small changes in the plates of the watch and a few other features that I will describe in this post. I previously noted three different configurations (Another uncommon Waltham 0-size) but now can define five versions, which I will differentiate as models 1891-a, -b, -c, -d & -e.

    To explore the progression of movement details, I can use cuts conveniently provided in the 1898 S.F. Meyers Co. catalog (reproduced by Roy Ehrhardt in his 1974 “American Pocket Watch Identification and Price Guide, Book 2”). Please note the bridge shapes and screw locations; other finish details are grade-related and not relevant to the plate styles. Descriptions are supplemented by observation of actual movements.

    1891-a
    1891a.jpg
    This was the first plate pattern, which appears to have been used for the first couple of years. It is notable for using a pallet cock for the pallet fork. The small train bridge was held by only one plate screw (not counting the case screw).

    1891-b
    1891b.jpg
    This second version switched to a small bridge for the pallet fork and a second plate screw was added to the train bridge.

    1891-c
    1891c.jpg
    The third version saw a plate reconfiguration. The train bridge was enlarged and the barrel bridge was reduced in size, but the plate screws stayed in the same location. This version appears to have been rather short-lived and, so far, I have only seen it in the first run of Riverside Maximus grade movements.

    1891-d
    1891d.jpg
    The fourth variant, with a new location for the second train bridge screw (moved closer to the barrel bridge), quickly superseded the previous version, and was otherwise the same (other than changes in the setting mechanism, described in the second post).

    The movement serial number for these first four variants is on the barrel bridge. They also used small dial screws that entered the edge of the pillar plate at an angle and locked the dial foot with the tip of the screw. The next (fifth) version used a different dial screw with a larger head that impinged on and locked the dial foot in place rather than using the tip of the screw to do so.
    dial screws1.jpg

    1891-e
    1891e.jpg
    The fifth version uses the same plate configuration as 1891-d but introduced a few minor changes, such as the new dial screw as described above, and the movement serial number was moved to the train bridge.
     
  2. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    The initial winding/setting mechanism I call Type Ia, and this type was used on 1891-a movements. The accompanying illustration also shows the pallet cock used on this first movement version.
    1891_1a copy.jpg

    With the introduction of the 1891-b model they made a few minor changes. Recognizing the similarities in the setting mechanism I call this Type Ib. Most notable is the transfer of the spiral setting slide spring to the dial side of the pillar plate. Additional configuration changes in the setting mechanism allowed the addition of a second plate screw for the train bridge.
    1891_1b copy.jpg

    Setting mechanism Type IIa was the new patented mechanism that was being introduced in several other Waltham models (such as the 12-size 1894 model). It was used, with minor variations on the 1891-c & -d models.
    1891_2a_copy.jpg

    The setting mechanism (Type IIb), used on the 1891-e model, is barely modified from Type IIa, but has a solid shipper cover over the parts. A shipper bar was soon added to lock the mechanism in winding position when the movement is out of the case.
    1891_2b copy.jpg
     
  3. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    topspin Registered User

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    topspin Registered User

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    topspin Registered User

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    topspin Registered User

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    Next up - a simple 2-tone Seaside...

    DSCN8413.JPG
     
  8. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    musicguy likes this.
  9. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    And last up for tonight - a grade SOL...

    DSCN8417.JPG DSCN8419.JPG
     
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  10. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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  11. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    It has a really nice dial on it.


    Rob
     
  12. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    I think that these are one of Waltham's more interesting private labels and they often had fancy dials, perhaps more appealing to their South American market. How is the case marked? These were often in his private-label cases.
     
  13. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    It came to me as a loose movement, still ticking. I added the case & chain and found a minute hand that would fit.
     

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