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Waltham's 1891-model 0-size movements

Jerry Treiman

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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.
 
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Jerry Treiman

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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
 

musicguy

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It has a really nice dial on it.


Rob
 

Jerry Treiman

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Any Cronometro Victoria fans out there?
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.
 

topspin

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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.
 

topspin

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Next up - a non-Maximus Riverside.

This one ticks all the boxes for me. It started life as a hunter movement but has recently turned up wearing a Fattorini dial, in an openface silver case where the winder is so corroded that you literally can't turn it at all, it is stuck fast.
P.S. Hallmarks - anchor (Birmingham), lion (silver), a date letter that is either 'n' or 'u' in an old-fashioned font in a shield, and "A.B" (Alfred Bedford.) I was hoping for "F&S" but it was not to be.
I might let it swap places with some other broken movement that's currently inhabiting a usable openface case.

Waltham Pocket Watch Information: Serial Number 5471406 (Grade Riverside)

DSCN9164.JPG DSCN9163.JPG
 
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Jerry Treiman

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That dial is really nice. As you probably know, double-sunk dials are not common on these smaller watches. (Well, I know that without the seconds bit it is technically only single-sunk, but the separate center section is uncommon, with or without the seconds bit).
 

topspin

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Next up - the Waltham Priscilla / Prisrilla. This has come to me as a non-running orphan from a seller in the nation of Georgia. I plan to get it recased & fixed.
Is this the same movement that already featured in another thread, I wonder.
I see it came from the same run as the Regina (above.)
So now I just need to find a "Penelope" and I'll be close to completing the set. I'm not quite sure how someone at the factory decided that Priscilla & Penelope should be the ones given the horrible-font treatment. Maybe they had just met a time traveller who had brought them back an Angelina Ballerina book featuring the Pinkpaws twins.


P.S. Correction to previous post - second private label, after the Fattorini above it. Duh.

DSCN9483.JPG DSCN9484.JPG
 

Clint Geller

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Jerry, are the American Watch Company grade double zero size movements properly considered a variety of "Model 1891"? They are referred to that way on page 74 of Ehrhardt's Encyclopedia of American Watches Volume 1, but I have heard different opinions about what to call these movements.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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I think the 00 size are more related to the 1878 model 1 size. It is important to remember that almost all of these models were made before Waltham started to use the model year naming convention.That notation never apppeared in the ledgers and was likely put in place to organize the gray book.

I need to photograph more of my lovely ladies collection, but these do show this articular relationship
1639858330822.png 1639858392029.png 1639858559221.png
 

Clint Geller

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I think the 00 size are more related to the 1878 model 1 size. It is important to remember that almost all of these models were made before Waltham started to use the model year naming convention.That notation never apppeared in the ledgers and was likely put in place to organize the gray book.

I need to photograph more of my lovely ladies collection, but these do show this articular relationship
View attachment 685996 View attachment 685997 View attachment 685998
Tom, would you say these movements are true Nashua Department creations?
 

Jerry Treiman

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Jerry, are the American Watch Company grade double zero size movements properly considered a variety of "Model 1891"? They are referred to that way on page 74 of Ehrhardt's Encyclopedia of American Watches Volume 1, but I have heard different opinions about what to call these movements.
No, they are not related at all to the 1891-model 0-size movement in spite of the fact that Waltham eventually assigned them both the same model year. I believe the 00-size AWCo. movement is a unique model.
 

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