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Which is your favorite American bridge movement?

Jerry Treiman

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I use the term bridge movement here to refer to a movement with separate bridges and cocks (or the appearance of same) for most wheels in the gear train. Most of these will have the barrel and winding works on one bridge, center wheel and (usually) 3rd wheel on the next bridge (center bridge), 4th wheel and escape wheel on two more individual cocks. American bridge movements, usually in the better grades, first appeared in the late 1890s and may have been an attempt to compete with fine Swiss watches which were commonly of a similar construction. Hamilton may have been the first, followed shortly by Waltham.

So, focusing on 16-size movements, and if we can ignore finishing touches and jeweling, whose bridge pattern (shape of the bridges and layout) do you find most aesthetically pleasing?

My own favorite is Waltham's bridge model (open-face version), seen in "American Watch Co." grade as well as their Premier Maximus and some movements that they made for E. Howard & Co.
9503971m2.jpg
 

Clint Geller

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I use the term bridge movement here to refer to a movement with separate bridges and cocks (or the appearance of same) for most wheels in the gear train. Most of these will have the barrel and winding works on one bridge, center wheel and (usually) 3rd wheel on the next bridge (center bridge), 4th wheel and escape wheel on two more individual cocks. American bridge movements, usually in the better grades, first appeared in the late 1890s and may have been an attempt to compete with fine Swiss watches which were commonly of a similar construction. Hamilton may have been the first, followed shortly by Waltham.

So, focusing on 16-size movements, and if we can ignore finishing touches and jeweling, whose bridge pattern (shape of the bridges and layout) do you find most aesthetically pleasing?

My own favorite is Waltham's bridge model (open-face version), seen in "American Watch Co." grade as well as their Premier Maximus and some movements that they made for E. Howard & Co.
View attachment 738799
I’m with you, Jerry.
 

luvsthetick

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I really have no favorite bridge movement. I am fond of the bridge design and appreciate being able to see more of the train.

If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the one I had in my hand at the time.

I have some from as many American makers as I can afford. See examples below.


DSC_0004a.jpg

DSC_0003a.JPG

DSC_0010b.jpg
 

musicguy

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I think the third one in your post above is the greatest bridge model made :cool:subjectively speaking.



Rob
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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I'm not much into picking "favorites", but I do like Waltham bridge models. I have two 16-size AWCO bridges, a Premier Maximus, three 12-size AWCO bridges, and two 16-size Waltham-Howard bridges. All are very nice watches, but perhaps the most special of these is my "fish-scale" 16-size AWCO hunter, 23-jewel, though marked "21 jewels". Only up to 20 Waltham bridges featured this decoration; as far as I know, only five or six still exist.

1670090155438.png


One of my Waltham-Howard's is notable in that it appears to have been the very first one Waltham delivered under its contract with Howard, #H803,546. Jim M's lovely example, shown earlier in this thread is an early example, #H843,053 but not as early as mine.

1670090659727.png
 

musicguy

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I really have no favorite bridge movement. I am fond of the bridge design and appreciate being able to see more of the train.
I agree.

Here is one I like very much that has not been shown.
1670107333804.jpeg



Rob
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Rob's Lady Hamilton is a Grade 983 movement. I am especially fond of that grade for the perverse reason that it's Hamilton's copy (at least superficially) of what I classify as a Type H. C.H. Meylan movement, a maker that I seriously collect. For more information about Grade 983, see https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/please...o-your-collection.165253/page-25#post-1530932. See below for a link to my C.H. Meylan database.
 

Jerry Treiman

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I am unaware of the variety of 16s bridge movements that were made in the North American industry.
Many American companies produce this style, including Hamilton, Waltham, Howard, Illinois, Hampden and even Trenton and New York Standard.

21j Waltham made for E. Howard & Company
The Waltham-Howards help demonstrate some differences. This first picture compares the open-face (on the left) and hunting-case bridges (on the right). The center bridge had to be trimmed a little differently to accomodate the large winding wheel.
OF-Htg bridges.jpg

I would like to know if the Howard keystone calibres are a direct inheritance of those made by Waltham.
This photo shows the original Waltham bridge pattern used on their own labeled bridge model as well as the first movements they made for Howard. Later in the contract period they straightened the bridge profile a little as in the middle image. This late style either anticipated or inspired the bridges that Keystone eventually used on their first bridge model (lower image). A little later Keystone introduced notches in their finger bridges, as in Miguel's example.
bridge_styles.jpg
 

Jerry Treiman

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Speaking for my brother, Larry, he might pick his Hamilton bridge model (gr.952 here) but I know he also likes the bridge style of his 21j Burlington, preferring this bridge to Illinois' standard bridge pattern.
H-952.jpg Burl21j.jpg
 

Ethan Lipsig

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I am surprised no one has nominated a Hamilton 950, such as this one from my very limited collection of 16-size watches, although Jerry posted a photo of the similar looking Grade 952.

IMG_7997_edited.JPG

Consideration also should be given to Elgin Grades 155 and 162 (hunter and open face), which I think are very handsome movements.

DSC08052.JPG IMG_0913_edited.JPG
 

miguel angel cladera

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Many American companies produce this style, including Hamilton, Waltham, Howard, Illinois, Hampden and even Trenton and New York Standard.


The Waltham-Howards help demonstrate some differences. This first picture compares the open-face (on the left) and hunting-case bridges (on the right). The center bridge had to be trimmed a little differently to accomodate the large winding wheel.
View attachment 738941


This photo shows the original Waltham bridge pattern used on their own labeled bridge model as well as the first movements they made for Howard. Later in the contract period they straightened the bridge profile a little as in the middle image. This late style either anticipated or inspired the bridges that Keystone eventually used on their first bridge model (lower image). A little later Keystone introduced notches in their finger bridges, as in Miguel's example.
View attachment 738942
Thank you so much for the info.
 

musicguy

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I also like the 952.

1670191906316.png



Rob
 

musicguy

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902 is nice too. Sorry for the quick photo
just took it out to look at it.

FF51601E-67AB-4B89-A698-1608BD2F0628.jpeg



Rob
 

Jerry Treiman

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902 is nice too. Sorry for the quick photo
just took it out to look at it.
Uh-Oh ... you're opening another can of worms if you start talking about 12-size! :emoji_astonished:
 

Allan C. Purcell

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When I started to collect American watches, my first attraction was the Deuber Coin Silver cases, I, of course, looked into the story of John Deuber,
and I admired his courage to take on the trade and buy the Hampden watch company. The watch below is my favourite Hampden, though it is signed

"The Deuber Watch Company". A dig at the jewellers, maybe?

IMG_1892.JPG IMG_1891.JPG

The dial double sunk, is signed for the Hampden Watch Company.


1670228548116.png
 

Tom McIntyre

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This is my favorite. Unfortunately it never had a chance to become popular. The watch can be cased either as a hunter or an open face by changing the dial. The movement is the hunting case geometry, but the symmetrical winding indicator and seconds bit provides for two styles. It can also be pendant set or lever set by adding the appropriate shift lever.
1670251360756.png 1670252165596.png 1670252254934.png

Two copies were made without the logo in HC and OF.

There was a 12 size made without the wind indicator as an open face gentleman's watch.
1670251993135.png 1670252085266.png lent by Jon Hanson for photos.

Those 5 watches are the only ones known to have been made in Kankakee, IL.

A more elaborate example was made years later in San Diego California by Vance LaPorte with instruction from Charles DeLong who made the other examples.
1670252786966.png

The two existing 16 size examples without the logo on the movement were probably made on the actual production line equipment but too late to save the company from eviction.
 
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rschussel

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I use the term bridge movement here to refer to a movement with separate bridges and cocks (or the appearance of same) for most wheels in the gear train. Most of these will have the barrel and winding works on one bridge, center wheel and (usually) 3rd wheel on the next bridge (center bridge), 4th wheel and escape wheel on two more individual cocks. American bridge movements, usually in the better grades, first appeared in the late 1890s and may have been an attempt to compete with fine Swiss watches which were commonly of a similar construction. Hamilton may have been the first, followed shortly by Waltham.

So, focusing on 16-size movements, and if we can ignore finishing touches and jeweling, whose bridge pattern (shape of the bridges and layout) do you find most aesthetically pleasing?

My own favorite is Waltham's bridge model (open-face version), seen in "American Watch Co." grade as well as their Premier Maximus and some movements that they made for E. Howard & Co.
View attachment 738799
While they don't much respect Hampden make some high-quality Railroad watches with bridge movements (Model 4)

I selected a 23j Grade 104SR Adjusted 5 positions tutone Model 4 1903 for its damasking and high quality.  Hampden Bridge Model --23j Grade104SR Adj 5 pos tutone 1903.jpg
 

John Cote

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I am with Jerry about the American Grade bridge models. They are pretty hard to beat. I suppose I might add the "The Edward Howard" as hard to beat. I do like the Hamilton bridge models including the 983 Lady Hamilton but since nobody has posted one I will add a picture of my Hamilton 994. It isn't an American grade but it is pretty nice.

Ham994-Mvt.jpg


Ham994-Box.jpg
 

Paul Sullivan

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Hamilton 961 L/S, 16s, no. 325896 (1909)

The 961 was the first true bridge movement I purchased back in 2013, about 4 years into collecting PW's. Some 9 years later, I still have only a
handful of true bridge movements (all Hamiltons).

collage_961_case.jpg collage.jpg

My second favorite( bought back in 2015) is a lovely 19j, 952, A5P, mainly because of it's great case!

collage 952 1000x1000.jpg
 
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darrahg

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Ok, just to be fair with the non-TT mvts, here are a couple and hope they are not repeats from others.

16s 21j Crescent St. Special
Waltham 16s 21j Crescent St special 14k mvt 2 cpd.jpg

16s 23j Vanguard Indicator
Vanguard Indicator mvt3 cpd.jpg
(photos by Fred Hansen)
 

Dr. Jon

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My curmudgeon view is that a bridge movement has a separate true bridge. I do not regard any Waltham I know of as a bridge model. They are 3/4 plate models with cuts.

Illinois collectors are

DSC00007.png

clear on this.

This is a true bridge Sangamo. I like it a lot but my favorites are the Hamilton bridge models.

The later versions, made like the Walthams with third wheel jewel and escape jewel are attached are called by Sangamo fans as fake or false bridge models.
 

John Cote

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My curmudgeon view is that a bridge movement has a separate true bridge.
I like your curmudgeonly view Doc. I also like the true bridge Illinois models but I even like the slightly later cut 3/4 plate Sangamos and Diamond/Ruby/Sapphire models.
 

Jerry Treiman

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My curmudgeon view is that a bridge movement has a separate true bridge.
Yeah... I recognized that shortcoming when I started this thread, hence my parenthetical note --
. . . a movement with separate bridges and cocks (or the appearance of same) . . .
These are the various cut amounts for Waltham 1899 model open-face movements . . . all one piece :emoji_disappointed: -
Waltham bridges.jpg

When Illinois reverted to a false center bridge it became part of the barrel bridge.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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I bought this watch, and though the blurb from the seller left you feeling it should be in the scrap bucket, I just had to look at the Illinois Serial Numbers. This told me the run was only 200, and I started to feel sorry for this watch. He said the winding button was broken, but the watch still runs,
now that's what you call éncouragement, the pendant neck is broken too. He left out the dust and old oil the works were grinding through, but why should he, they are quite clear in the photograph. The case is not the original anyway, so I wiped the tears from the corners of my eyes and bought the dam-thing. When it arrives it will be put into quarantine till after Christmas, and I do have a rolled gold 16s that it should fit into. Though before that it must be serviced, then we can have another look at it, and who knows it could be my favourite Illinois bridge watch. ;)

(On the dark side of the moon) :emoji_sunglasses:

yy-20.jpg
I now notice the regulator screw is not there:excited:

I wonder if we will get a white Christmas.

Allan.



1670531073801.png
 

musicguy

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179

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Allan, what do you mean by a broken pendant neck ? Are you referring to the broken regulator spring? Looks like the regulator screw is broken off in the spring.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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179, Thank you for the information, I was sort of hoping there was no more damage, will now wait till next year and my watchmaker can tell me more.


yy-22.jpg
I did see the artistic repair to the dial.

Merry Christmas.
 

179

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179, Thank you for the information, I was sort of hoping there was no more damage, will now wait till next year and my watchmaker can tell me more.


View attachment 739871
I did see the artistic repair to the dial.

Merry Christmas.
179, Thank you for the information, I was sort of hoping there was no more damage, will now wait till next year and my watchmaker can tell me more.


View attachment 739871
I did see the artistic repair to the dial.

Merry Christmas.
Well that photo tells the pendant problem clearly.
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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Hi, 179, Believe it or not, the "THING" turned up today. Posted Wednesday arrived Friday, a chap in Germany. Probably could not get rid of it quicker.

Some photographs below tell all. It is now in bubble rap till I can get to my watchmaker in the New Year.

IMG_1899.JPG IMG_1897.JPG

IMG_1896.JPG IMG_1898.JPG
 

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