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Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by richiec, Oct 19, 2019.
If a Seth Thomas 25 jewel 18 size is marked as a private label, is it still a Maiden Lane?
Looks like Model 5 were the Maiden Lane series between Serial numbers 200,000-400,000, and can be 17,19,21,24, or 25 Jewels.
It depends upon what you want to believe.
First, check to see if its serial number is within one of the "Estimated Maiden Lane Runs" listed in the "Seth Thomas Clock Co." Encyclopedia article.
If it is, then you have to decide if you believe that a Private Label Watch, drawn from a run of watches of a manufacturer's standard grade, was finished to the same level of fineness as the watches of that grade. I personally believe that while many probably are, it isn't necessarily so. It was this uncertainty that probably led to the banning of private label watches from Railroad Time Service.
While many are unclear, there are surviving examples of private label watches which are marked to be adjusted to a different number of positions as the standard grade, or have composition jewel settings when the standard grade has gold jewel settings.
Either way, if you have such a watch, we'd love to see pictures.
no i don't have such watch but have an antique store owner who has a 25 jewel Seth Thomas that she wants to sell, have to get her to bring it in and check the serial number, I know she wants a lot for it.
I would love a " Maiden Lane" just can't spend the money it would cost. I do hope you get it.
If it is not marked a "Maiden Lane" it is not one, has this not been spoken about in relation to many other Grades many times on the Forum board before. I think the latest was recently concerning the Elgin "Father Time" and the unmarked Grade of the same watch
If you have not been, then go to this site (A Division of American Timekeeper). Scroll down to find Maiden Lane info. There you will find the following.
There are six known (four verified) private label watches within runs, having similar patterns and jewel counts as the surrounding Maiden Lanes. Whether they can technically be called a Maiden Lane is open for debate, but we believe it must be clearly marked to be one.
Thank you for this thread. Recently i was strongly considering purchasing a PL as described above. Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with a PL. I know it is some collector's focus, but not mine.
I have to agree that this is a valid point. I can recall the discussion about the Elgin "Father Time" and I could also recall a seller in a mart claiming that the unmarked model 5 Seth Thomas grade No. 182 on his table was an unmarked Maiden Lane. Bah, humbug!
And yet if a watch was pulled from a run of Maiden Lane watches, given a private label name, and then finished to the same standard as the Maiden Lane watches; would it be a Maiden Lane grade?
Maybe the only way to get a decent 24 or 25 jewel Seth Thomas without a Maiden Lane price tag.
I believe the Father time discussion was in reference to an unmarked movement(no name).
And, I agree 100% that if it is an unnamed movement then its not the Named grade.
I believe that Private Labels are a different story. I do believe that I have some Elgin PL's that
are finished the same as their Named Grade serial number would represent.
This is possible Rob, but impossible to prove without documentation either way, a bit like the discussion happening now on the Board in another thread about dials. So do we throw out the original consensus about the Grade having to being named or we leave it as it is and everyone can believe what suits them
Here is an example:
1913 BW Raymond (grade 193), and a 1904 John Wanamaker PL Grade 193, and another 1913 B W Raymond
All 12 size(all grade 193). The earlier 1904 is styled(cosmetically) a little differently than the later
1913's but they changed over the years.
No I don't think it makes sense. But I do believe that some jewelers wanted to say
that their PL watches were the top of the line, and had PL's made from the higher grades.
I'm sure as part of their "sales pitch" they let the customer know the quality comparison.
Are they the actual named grade, maybe not........but I like to think they
are very closely related and can be compared(in some cases).
I agree Rob that they can cosmetically look very much alike, but does that make them finished to the same degree internally, with out having them side by side to do a forensic analysis on the parts finish we just do not know.
Then how do we go about determining what the difference is between any fine adjustment that might or might not have been done, did they both keep the same attention to detail in the finishing and timing departments?
Was the price paid for the P/L the same as the normal named grade, and if it wasn't, then was the difference in price a mark up by the retailer, as you see the questions just keep rolling on. I can understand where you are coming from, but without documentation either way, both sides of the argument is only conjecture really
As is in most things, "equivalent to" is not the same as "is".
A lot of interesting discussion. As a consumer (purchaser), the watch had to be within my parameters and be pleasing to me. The watches value is determined by how many others parameters it fits. Supply and demand my friends!
Now, if it were a museum display piece higher parameters would apply.