Whats your single favorite pocket watch in your collection?

RJSoftware

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Yes, nice one Dave.

When you say stem wind conversion, I take it that the watch was normally key wind but had the option to add a stem wind kit to it, that perhaps someone had elected to have installed long ago...?

What kind of escapement does it have, cant tell.

I don't have one of those Egg type verge fusee pocket watches, with the non English lever (I forget name now) but they can even run without a hairspring. I love them already...

RJ
 

musicguy

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Great watch Dave!

I was at my watch repairer yesterday and he showed me
something in a little bag that looked to me like a small movement.
He said, "do you know what this is" (I didn't)
It was a Picard key to stem wind conversion part.


Rob
 

Tom McIntyre

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Yes, nice one Dave.

When you say stem wind conversion, I take it that the watch was normally key wind but had the option to add a stem wind kit to it, that perhaps someone had elected to have installed long ago...?

What kind of escapement does it have, cant tell.

I don't have one of those Egg type verge fusee pocket watches, with the non English lever (I forget name now) but they can even run without a hairspring. I love them already...

RJ
Dave's watch is a spring detent chronometer. The thin spring that can be seen point at the balance staff is the clue.

Here are a couple of slides that show similar examples from the same town. These are from the Wing collection.

View attachment 351925 View attachment 351926
 

Dave Chaplain

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RJ,

The watch I show has the Earnshaw type spring detent escapement, as do the two that Tom shows. And I can't say when the key to stem wind conversion was done, but it's simple and elegant with few parts required, and results in the watch being stem wind and key set. I assume the watch was key wind key set when originally finished as the stem wind conversion winding wheel covers part of the signature, and I assume the conversion was done when it was cased in this particular case. The time between finishing and casing is anyone's guess - either at first casing, or possibly later?!

And thanks to all for the nice comments. :)

Dave
 

Mad Dog

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Greetings from Cincinnati, OH...I very recently joined the NAWCC and this is my first post on the forum...I see many very nice favorite pocket watches here.

My single favorite pocket watch in my collection is my Hamilton 992 [c. 1930] that I purchased from my Uncle Jim [a watchmaker/clockmaker/collector] about 20 years ago. It's my first railroad standard pocket watch and I wear it for leisure as well as occasionally at work. Because it's my first railroad standard pocket watch as well as acquired from within the family, it's my favorite. 312065.jpg 312066.jpg 312067.jpg
 

Clint Geller

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Greetings from Cincinnati, OH...I very recently joined the NAWCC and this is my first post on the forum...I see many very nice favorite pocket watches here.

My single favorite pocket watch in my collection is my Hamilton 992 [c. 1930] that I purchased from my Uncle Jim [a watchmaker/clockmaker/collector] about 20 years ago. It's my first railroad standard pocket watch and I wear it for leisure as well as occasionally at work. Because it's my first railroad standard pocket watch as well as acquired from within the family, it's my favorite.
Welcome to the NAWCC message board, MD.
 

klokwiz

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This is not my favorite but is one of the more unusual I have. I normally don't much care for the swiss bar movements but found this at an estate sale and thought it unusual and interesting. The entire movement is engraved, have not seen one before nor since. Joe

312413.jpg 312414.jpg
 
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musicguy

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I bought this watch that was listed as a
B W Raymond Elgin watch(a month or so ago serial number included for an actual BWR).
Obviously it's not a B W Raymond(not even an American watch), but I still bought it because
it was beautiful, and intriguing. The blackened silver dial
with gold roman numerals said to me, "buy this watch". Since it was listed incorrectly
I guess no one else looked at it.
Graham says, "the case was made by Ebenezer White at 42 Spon Street, Coventry"
in 1872. Currently one of my favorite watches.

.........and it doesn't even say BW inside the case like the listing said, it says EW.
and the BWR serial number is no where to be found(weird). I told the seller
and they didn't care.



Rob 309869.jpg
 
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grtnev

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Like a lot of folks, hard to come up with just one - and focusing just on the movement and not considering the case (which is how I approach collecting), it probably would be either the Illinois 21j Grade 189 (290 total production) or the Illinois 23j Sangamo hunting case (750 total production).

Richard 312505.jpg 312506.jpg 312508.jpg 312509.jpg
 

musicguy

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Richard, your Illinois watches are very nice. The
Gothic dials are always nice to look at(yours have my some of favorite Illinois signatures). I have the
grade 186, and I agree they are beautiful watches(and the Getty movements are great) .

Yes, you are right, you can't just pick one favorite.


Rob
 

Jerry Treiman

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A poll like this comes up in some form every few years, but it is nice to do again as favorites can change. In the past my favorite has usually been my 12-size Waltham "American Watch Co."-grade bridge model. And that still might be my favorite watch movement. But, selecting a favorite watch brings up additional factors such as its history or personal meaning. With that in mind, I think the following may currently be my favorite watch in my collection as it was my starting point in a major research focus for me.

This watch has an unusual and interesting case as well as a very fine movement. The 18K rose gold case was made by H.W. Matalene, a small New Jersey casemaker who was in business from around 1909 to 1926. For most of those years Matalene worked exclusively for Waltham, and this case (ca.1912) incorporates several of his patented improvements, including a slide to release the stem/crown for setting, eliminating the need for a sleeve.
313307.jpg 313308.jpg

The 12x14 size (Colonial Series) movement was finished especially for Matalene, bearing his "Patrician" trademark. It is a finely-finished Riverside Maximus-grade movement with 23 jewels.
313309.jpg

I first became aware of these special watches when I was in college (ca.1970 or so) when one crossed my bench for servicing. I had seen pin-set watches but never one where a small slide released the crown. This watch here was the second one I had seen, when it belonged to Phil Roe, another southern California collector. After many years of inquiry (read that as pestering) he finally sold it to me in 1997 and that was the start of my serious research and collecting of watches cased by Matalene.
 

Jerry Treiman

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Thanks, Art, for showing that one again. Whereas my watch is among Matalene's earlier products (1912), yours is among his last (around 1923). He stopped using the patent setting mechanism around 1919.
 

Jerry Treiman

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A poll like this comes up in some form every few years, but it is nice to do again as favorites can change. ...
That was 3-1/2 years ago. I expect some of the previous posters have gotten new favorites since then that they might share. I don’t have a new acquisition to share, but a re-evaluation, (not that I like my previous selection any less). After 2017 I did an exercise of looking at my collection by categories, trying to pick my favorites from each American and foreign maker that I have represented. My thinking was, if I had to part with all but one watch, which would I keep? For some main parts of my collection, such as Waltham, I first picked favorites in each size. Then I posed each of those favorites against each other to narrow it down again. Try as I might I could not narrow my choices to a single current favorite, but I did narrow it to one 16-size watch with a great movement and one 10-size dress watch with a spectacular case and dial.

The first is a Waltham bridge model, but not the regular production. This 21-jewel bridge model was made in 1903 for E. Howard & Co. The movement was sold to Benedict Brothers (New York) with a private label dial, and Benedict Brothers had a custom 18K case made for this watch by the Dubois Watch Case Co. The case back has simple engine turning. This watch was previously part of Dana Blackwell’s collection.
H829548fb.jpg

My dress watch is also a Waltham (big surprise, huh?). It dates from 1920 and has a common 19-jewel Riverside-A movement. The case, however, was made for Waltham by H.W. Matalene and has alternating elements of platinum and 14K green gold. (Bezels and pendant are carved platinum; body, back & bow are gold). Matalene sourced the hand-carved silver and gold dial from Stern Freres in Geneva. Matalene-cased Walthams were sold in elite stores around the country.
5859_obl4.jpg
 

Rick Hufnagel

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Haha, I read this thread the other day when it popped up in the "similar threads" section of another thread.

The answer to this question is very difficult! Favorite of each make, fine... Favorite of each type, no problem... But one single watch to rule them all:???: Not so easy untill I looked around and realized this watch movement has basically become my logo. It's my avatar most places and it represents what I love collecting the most. So.. apologies if it's just getting stale, but hey maybe it will spark some interest in the newer members.

246713. H.H. Taylor. Stemwind/Keyset. (No lever) Private label for M.F. Robinson of Springfield Mass.

Hey what happened to that giant old keywind case it was in? Well... I put it under the microscope and saw someone had removed old screw marks. Green light for a display case so the movement will actually stemwind. Sorry it's a little dusty from being out of it's case for a research project, I just noticed that. Guess it's time to put it on the to do list.

20210307_154209.jpg 20210307_154226_HDR.jpg


My current estimate for Stemwind/Keyset H.H. Taylors sits at 500ish. I suspect a little less than that, but need more observations.
 

musicguy

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As I am primarily a collector of American watches the only way I could own this particular favorite
watch was by chance. If I wanted a fully signed Justin Vulliamy fine English cylinder
I would need to be watching Sotheby's auctions or other high end PW dealers and it would probably
be in an 18K case maybe encrusted with diamonds or a few pearls. This is now my oldest watch
by quite a bit and it even pre dates the United States. Literally he was the watchmaker to Royalty.

Movement: Justin Vulliamy circa 1765 English Cylinder Fusee(at one time repeater)
Re-cased in 1856 in a custom Sterling Silver Chester(UK) hallmark RS Case.

(RS = maybe Ralph Samuel Casemaker per John Matthews)

fusee UK.jpg

20210323_153913.jpg
1617237361509.png



For size comparison.
L.
Justin Vulliamy R. Tremont(Anglo American Watch Co.)
20210323_154749.jpg


François-Justin Vulliamy (1712-97)
This portrait of François Justin Vulliamy was bequeathed to the Museum by his grandson Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy in 1854.
On display Science Museum: Clockmakers' Museum Gallery
This image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0Licence

large_L2015_4485__0001_.jpg

Rob



For more information here is the full story
François-Justin Vulliamy (1712-97) English cylinder | NAWCC Forums

Rob
 
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Maximus Man

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Clint,
Thank you for your very interesting and thoughtful explanation of your new endeavor with pocket watches. I wish you the best of luck. There was an important Howard pocket watch owned by Philo Remington (given to him by his employees). He sold small arms to the Union forces. There was a [FONT=&quot]large single rose-cut diamond topping the push and the case was just magnificent. It was sold at J&H for $16,500.00. I stopped bidding on it before that number! It was sold on 5/3/2015 and you can just search the archives to read about it. The watch really is exquisite.
Scott[/FONT]
I forgot to respond to this post several years ago. Scott brought up this watch. so, here are some pics.

20171227_183427.jpg 20171227_183404.jpg 20171227_183220.jpg 20171227_183154.jpg 20171227_183345.jpg
 

Clint Geller

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I forgot to respond to this post several years ago. Scott brought up this watch. so, here are some pics.

View attachment 646857 View attachment 646858 View attachment 646859 View attachment 646860 View attachment 646861
Scott, as i had mentioned, that watch once belonged to my friend the late Dick Flaute of Dayton, OH. If my memory serves, he sold it at J&H sometime in the mid-1990's for a lot less than $16,500. I bid heavily for the watch that day, but a dairy farmer from Olyphant PA wanted it more than I did, and he took it home. I suppose that gentleman has passed on too now, and so the watch sold again at Sotheby's. I think what is driving the price of that watch nowadays is not so much that Philo Remington sold arms to the Union army, but that he was the grandson of the founder of an historically important arms manufacturer. That is to say, gun collectors probably have elevated the price of that watch into the stratosphere, not Civil War artifact collectors, though those communities overlap both with one another and with watch collectors. According to the Howard factory records, the movement was finished on March 28, 1865, just before the end of the war. That fits the May, 1865 presentation inscription quite well.
 
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Maximus Man

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Scott, as i had mentioned, that watch once belonged to my friend the late Dick Flaute of Dayton, OH. If my memory serves, he sold it at J&H sometime in the mid-1990's for a lot less than $16,500. I bid heavily for the watch that day, but a dairy farmer from Olyphant PA wanted it more than I did, and he took it home. I suppose that gentleman has passed on too now, and so the watch sold again at Sotheby's. I think what is driving the price of that watch nowadays is not so much that Philo Remington sold arms to the Union army, but that he was the grandson of the founder of an historically important arms manufacturer. That is to say, gun collectors probably have elevated the price of that watch into the stratosphere, not Civil War artifact collectors, though those communities overlap both with one another and with watch collectors. According to the Howard factory records, the movement was finished on March 28, 1865, just before the end of the war. That fits the May, 1865 presentation inscription quite well.
There is a very thorough history of the Remington watch done by David Searles prior to that last auction at Jones and Horan where I purchased the watch. Philo was the son in Remington & Son as the company was known during the Civil War as his father (Eliphalet) handed over control of the company to the oldest son-Philo. Before the war ended two younger sons joined the company, which then was renamed Remington & Sons. My best research has shown that Philo did not put much value in wealth as he spent most of his fortune to help the employees and townspeople of Ilion, NY. With more research and after speaking
with members of the current Remington Arms Collectors group, our guess is that the watch may have been sold to provide money for a school. That could possibly explain why there is little to no normal wear on the watch. The watch is a unique example of a Civil War era Howard, but as stated it is worth considerably more in the gun collecting world - which is why I bought it. I collect rare watches and western era guns. The valuation by gun experts is several times the amount I have invested in it. Another watch owned by the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Catain Henry W. Lawton who actually captured Geronimo was sold with his Winchester Model 1886 serial number 1 for well over a million dollars. That watch was awesome.
Take some time to Google that auction and the Civil War watches that were sold.
 

Old rookie

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My favorite watch would have to be either my gold Waltham AT&Co Grade 16KW that was presented to Brigadier General [actually, already brevet Major General] John Wallace Fuller by the officers and men of the 27th Ohio Infantry, in 1865; or the silver Waltham AT&Co Grade Model 1859 that was carried by a young man named John Hodges, Jr. of Salem MA throughout most of the Civil War.

I love the gold 16KW, which had belonged to the late Dr. William Heilman, because John Fuller was a very illustrious - I would even venture to say famous (in his day) - federal commander. At the Battle of Second Corinth, near Corinth Mississippi, on October 3-4, 1862, a critical battle for control of the Confederacy's last remaining east-west rail line, Fuller's brigade anchored a key position in the federal line in front of a small artillery emplacement called Battery Robinet. Their defense of the position was nothing short of heroic. Several companies of Fuller's brigade, which was known as "Fuller's Ohio Brigade," as his four regiments were all Ohioans, died to a man in position without yielding ground. Run low on ammunition, Fuller's regiments were finally pushed back a hundred yards. Then a fresh Missouri regiment joined them, and all five regiments fixed bayonets and charged back up the hill, capturing the flag of one of the Texas regiments that had briefly gained the fort, and driving them off. Immediately after the battle, the federal army commander, Major General William Rosecrans, rode up to the position and dismounted. Seeing the continuous mass of blue and gray bodies piled several deep in front of the position where Old Glory once again flew, he removed his hat and bowed to the troops in silence, before making a very flattering speech. Battery Robinet at Second Corinth was but one of three especially shining moments in the history of Fuller's brigade. At Parker's Crossroads, TN, on December 31, 1862, Fuller's brigade succeeded in sneaking up on none other than the Confederate irregular cavalry genius, Nathan Bedford Forrest, while he was issuing surrender demands to another federal unit. Fuller's men surprised Forrest's horse holders and forced him to flee, losing 300 men, 350 horses and 7 cannon in the process. (This was the occasion on which Forrest had to execute his famous "attack in both directions" to avoid a greater disaster.) Then during the Battle of Atlanta, in July of 1864, Fuller was commanding a division, when after repulsing a surprise Confederate assault on his front, a second rebel column found a gap between Fuller's division and the adjacent federal unit. The Confederates were around his flank and almost into his rear and were pouring musket fire into the Ohio Brigade's flank. Fuller right wheeled the brigade under heavy enemy fire - an extremely difficult maneuver - and then took the 27th Ohio's colors from the color sergeant and personally led a countercharge that broke the momentum of the Confederate assault and killed its commanding general. An image of a well-known illustration, drawn in the 1880s, is shown below of Fuller, with the colors in his hand, rallying his brigade at the Battle of Atlanta.

My other favorite watch was carried by a "first defender" of the Union, a young Harvard student named John Hodges, Jr. from Salem, Mass., who had enlisted in early 1861 as a private in the Salem Zouaves, in response to President Lincoln's initial call for troops. He rose quickly through the ranks, to First Lieutenant in the 19th MA Infantry, then to Major in the 50th MA Infantry, and finally to the Lieutenant Colonel and C.O. (as the colonel had been bumped up to brigade command) of the 59th MA Infantry. The 59th MA fought throughout the entire bloody Overland Campaign of May-June, 1864, as Grant pushed the Army of the Potomac relentlessly south towards Richmond against Lee's fierce resistance. Lt. Colonel Hodges was KIA by a Confederate shell during the Battle of The Crater, part of the Siege of Petersburg, on July 31, 1864. His older brother, Thorndike Deland Hodges, who had been a Captain in the First North Carolina Volunteers (a unit of freedmen with white officers), contributed five pages about John to the "Harvard Memorial Biographies." In that piece, Thorndike quotes from a letter he received after his brother's death, which states that John's pockets were examined, and a pencil, a piece of paper and a watch were recovered from his pockets, which were enclosed with the letter. Thus, documentary proof exists that the watch was in John Hodges Jr.'s pocket when he was killed in action! View attachment 428169 View attachment 428170 View attachment 428171

View attachment 350230 View attachment 350231 View attachment 350232 View attachment 350236 View attachment 350237 View attachment 350238 View attachment 350239 View attachment 350240
Another Civil War historian---Great!
 

Clint Geller

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There is a very thorough history of the Remington watch done by David Searles prior to that last auction at Jones and Horan where I purchased the watch. Philo was the son in Remington & Son as the company was known during the Civil War as his father (Eliphalet) handed over control of the company to the oldest son-Philo. Before the war ended two younger sons joined the company, which then was renamed Remington & Sons. My best research has shown that Philo did not put much value in wealth as he spent most of his fortune to help the employees and townspeople of Ilion, NY. With more research and after speaking
with members of the current Remington Arms Collectors group, our guess is that the watch may have been sold to provide money for a school. That could possibly explain why there is little to no normal wear on the watch. The watch is a unique example of a Civil War era Howard, but as stated it is worth considerably more in the gun collecting world - which is why I bought it. I collect rare watches and western era guns. The valuation by gun experts is several times the amount I have invested in it. Another watch owned by the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Catain Henry W. Lawton who actually captured Geronimo was sold with his Winchester Model 1886 serial number 1 for well over a million dollars. That watch was awesome.
Take some time to Google that auction and the Civil War watches that were sold.
MM (sorry, I confused you with Scott in my previous post), which auction was that? Can you provide a link? Thanks.

The Civil War Howard watch I would like to own is the one pictured in an old encyclopedia of Civil War collectables. It is a silver Series I with an in-service presentation to a Union captain on the dust cover. Alas, the book was published 25 years ago, the author is deceased, and the trail is cold. I'm not a gun collector, so my appreciation of the Remington watch is primarily as a beautiful, middling-early Howard Series III with a Type 1 (scythe style) Mershon's regulator and screwed down jewel settings in a very impressive case, though Philo was an impressive person. The Howard factory records also indicate that movement SN 6,631 was adjusted to isochronism, temperature, and positions (six). The regulator index arm of your movement should be moved over the index scale engraved on the top plate. I have a somewhat earlier gold Series III, which I have shown here previously, with an 1864 presentation to a Union private - a noncombatant clerk - in the Army of the Potomac Subsistence Department. That is currently my only "Civil War Howard." Howard's with Civil War provenances are very tough to come by.
 
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Clint Geller

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My favorite, the one that got me into pocket watches, is my great, great, great, great grandfather, Abraham Bragaw Brinckerhoff's M I Tobias fusee in a Benedict Brothers 18K case from 1847. The one picture shows his epaulets as a Colonel of the 7th Regiment, New York National Guard before he retired in 1852. View attachment 428199 View attachment 428200 View attachment 428201 View attachment 428202
Another participant just called my attention back to this part of the thread. That's a fabulous heirloom, Richie! Did any of your ancestors live in central PA in the 1860's? On July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, there was a fierce cavalry battle on Brinkerhoff Ridge, along the right flank of the Union position, near Culp's Hill. The spelling is slightly different, but I'll bet it's the same name.
 
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GaryWoodward

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You guys are just blowing me away - and putting a big grin on my face!
Such beautiful creations from the hand of Man and his genius, ingenuity, creativity and industry bestowed upon him from the mind of the Almighty.
 

Jerry Treiman

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Try as I might I could not narrow my choices to a single current favorite, but I did narrow it to one 16-size watch with a great movement and one 10-size dress watch with a spectacular case and dial.

The first is a Waltham bridge model, but not the regular production. ....
That was just a few weeks ago and, as I said, it can be difficult to choose. The Waltham bridge model is clearly my favorite movement, but which variant? I just found a lovely rose gold American Watch Case Co. (NY) case for an orphaned 12-size movement that I have, and I also took my 16-size from the bank to keep its little brother company. I prefer the shape of the bridges on the 12-size, but ohhh, the attention to detail on the 16-size is something to behold.
My2.jpg My2m.jpg
This is the back of the 12-size case -
8774760-b.jpg
The 16-size also came to me as an orphaned movement and I saved an R&F case from the scrappers to put it in.
 

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