Why do Walthams Mod 83 have a research thread?

Watchfixer

Registered User
Jun 11, 2011
1,198
0
0
Country
Region
What makes the 1883 model Waltham that special enough to be here? I'm curious.

Cheers, Wizard
 

ben_hutcherson

NAWCC Member
Jul 15, 2009
3,153
350
83
Kentucky
Country
Region
Re: 1883 model Waltham freaks.................

Many of us, in our collecting endeavors, focus on some particular subset of production and try to form a "complete" or at least representative collection of this area.

It just so happens that 1883 model Walthams provide a lot of variety in grade names and finishes that makes collecting them very enjoyable. Plus, unlike many other watches, 1883 Walthams tend to be relatively affordable. Also, parts for them are plentiful, and they're easy to work on. There's an almost endless variety of damaskeen variants, with even similar watches having slight differences.

Although I'm not a big-time 1883 collector, I do have several that I consider relatively nice, and I can definitely see the appeal of them. Most of my interest is in the Crescent St and Appleton, Tracy & Co grades, although I have some other grades which are interesting in their own right.
 

Jim Haney

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Sep 21, 2002
6,900
1,637
113
71
Decatur, TN.
Country
Region
I moved your question out of the research thread on Walthams Models 1883's to a thread of your own, as Ben has given a great answer and more may want to comment.
Thanks.
 

Steven Mercer

NAWCC Member
Nov 24, 2001
2,119
24
38
Country
Region
What makes the 1883 model Waltham that special enough to be here? I'm curious.

Cheers, Wizard
Watchfixer

That is a question you could ask of any horological item. What makes any clock or watch by any manufacturer collectable?

As for Model 83’s, Ben has given some good answers and information. Below is some more information.

The Model 83 has 40 different named and numbered grades. This makes the Model 83 the largest diversified watch produced by any manufacturer. In each grade there are differences in settings, innovations, and styles. The Model 83 came in 7, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17 and 21 jeweled styles. There are gilt, nickel, frosted, gilt damaskeen and gold flashed. There are marked and unmarked Non-Magnetic Model 83’s. There are also hack Model 83’s.

The Model 83 was the backbone of Waltham from 1883 into the early 1920’s. It was the most produced model by any watch manufacturer at the time. Model 83’s were sold to the average citizen for daily use and also used on many railroads. And that would be railroads in numerous countries not just the United States.

The Model 83 comes in the common 7 jewel Grade 1 and Sterling Grade to the uncommon Grade 836 with only 1 run of 800 watches produced. The 21 jewel Model 83 is another which had only 700 watches produced in 3 different runs.

The private label thread that you had asked this question in is another example of why the Model 83 is collectable. Show me another make and model that has such a variation of private label names and places. Private label watches are collectable in their own rights.

I would say that most collectors, if not all, have at least one Model 83 in their watch collection.

I hope this gives you some insight to the collectability of Model 83’s.
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,523
1,949
113
Country
To give a simple answer to this thread's basic question:

"Why do Walthams Mod 83 have a research thread?

Because Steven Mercer and others care enough to have created the thread and to contiune to add to it (from which the rest of us benefit). Without constant new additions, it would probably slip away into the distant past and be forgotten.
 

ckeithjohnson

Registered User
Aug 27, 2000
215
1
0
To give a simple answer to this thread's basic question:

"Why do Walthams Mod 83 have a research thread?

Because Steven Mercer and others care enough to have created the thread and to contiune to add to it (from which the rest of us benefit). Without constant new additions, it would probably slip away into the distant past and be forgotten.
This would be the perfect place for someone to post a copy of the wonderful Chapter 149 full color poster of the Model 83s, if it could be permitted.:confused:
 
Last edited:

ben_hutcherson

NAWCC Member
Jul 15, 2009
3,153
350
83
Kentucky
Country
Region
Thanks for the great response by Steve, the resident 1883 model expert

And, as a teaser, here's a low-res image of the beautiful Chapter 149 1883 model poster, which is phenomenal in person.
 

Attachments

Bratdaddy@mac.com

Registered User
Dec 1, 2008
52
0
0
Mid-Atlantic
Country
Ben and Steve have done a great job furthering all our interests in American Pocket Watches. I'd add a simple challenge in the same spirit-buy one, and if you don't agree that a proper example of M1883 isn't one of the finest watches ever made you can come back here and explain why. I came to collect '83s almost by accident. It didn't take long to appreciate the amazing accuracy and beauty of these long-lived movements. Quality, variety, value, and practicality. They still make as fine a timepiece today as they did way back then. Dare I speculate that time telling cell phones will always be easier to find in landfills than M1883?
 

Snide

Registered User
Mar 6, 2001
865
60
28
In my ongoing persuit of the Model 92, Model 83s are encountered frequently. I love 'em. Frosted, gilt damascene, dazzling Crescent Sts, whatever. I love to see them in a 4 or 5 oz coin silver case, the bigger the better. I bought a very common 15 jewel American Waltham Watch Co grade a couple of years ago that looks like it was never used-it's beautiful! All this and, most often, they are very affordable and material is available for them. Now that documentation has become available, it makes for a very collectable watch.
 

Watchfixer

Registered User
Jun 11, 2011
1,198
0
0
Country
Region
How can I tell this is M1883 movement so I don't have to run to the website and check the serial # all the time?

Cheers, Wizard
 

ben_hutcherson

NAWCC Member
Jul 15, 2009
3,153
350
83
Kentucky
Country
Region
There are a couple of key spotting features I use for the various Waltham 18 size models.

1859 and 1892 models can be easily picked out because they are so different from all the others. 1859s are 3/4 plate, and 1892s have visible winding wheels(the only 18 size Waltham with this feature).

So, that leaves us with the other full plate models, which confuse many people.

First of all, the later full plate Walthams(1870, 1877, 1879, 1883) can be distinguished from the older full plate 1857 model by two key features. The most obvious is the cut between the barrel bridge and balance cock, which is straight on the 1857 and "notched" on all other models(blue circle below). Also, all 1857s are four pillar watches, and the other models are three pillar.

The 1870 model has a couple of key spotting features. Keywind 1870s are keyset from the back. All 1870s have an inline lever escapement. Also, all 1870 models you are likely to find are "Crescent Street" grade(fully spelled out).

That really just leaves the 1877, 1879, and 1883. The 1877 and 1879 are, for all intents and purposes the same, except that the 77 is hunting cased and the 79 is open faced.

There are two key distinguishing features I use between the 77/79 and 83. 77/79s have a male stem on the movement. 83s have a female stem. Of course, this isn't much help on a cased movement.

The other distinguishing feature is the location of the hairspring stud. On a 77/79, the stud is on a "finger" that projects out from the side of the cock. On an 83, the stud is attached back on the cock(red circle below).

97.jpg
 

Watchfixer

Registered User
Jun 11, 2011
1,198
0
0
Country
Region
Thank you so much, that made spotting 1883's so easier. And man! that's plentiful!? :O

Cheers, Wizard
 

Steven Mercer

NAWCC Member
Nov 24, 2001
2,119
24
38
Country
Region
Watchfixer

For comparison, here is a picture of a Model 77 I own.

You will notice that another difference is the shape of the barrel bridge. The Model 83 has a smooth slope on the edge of the barrel bridge just below the balance wheel and the barrel bridge of the Model 77 comes to a small point in the middle of the slope just below the balance wheel.
 

Attachments

ben_hutcherson

NAWCC Member
Jul 15, 2009
3,153
350
83
Kentucky
Country
Region
And, to round this out, here are the other Waltham 18 size models


1857
98.jpg

1859
115.jpg

1870
8.jpg

1892
99.jpg
 

Watchfixer

Registered User
Jun 11, 2011
1,198
0
0
Country
Region
The last photo, that plate feature that has balance wheel in own inset round "pool" what this called?

I would really like that and I wonder if glass with bezel can be used to screw onto back instead of the back cover on some case?

Cheers, Watchfixer
 

ckeithjohnson

Registered User
Aug 27, 2000
215
1
0
The last photo, that plate feature that has balance wheel in own inset round "pool" what this called?

I would really like that and I wonder if glass with bezel can be used to screw onto back instead of the back cover on some case?

Cheers, Watchfixer
Watchfixer,
There are watchmakers that will cutout the back cover to accept a crystal and allow the movement to be viewed without removing the back cover if this is what you are wanting to acheive..........Keith
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,523
1,949
113
Country
The last photo, that plate feature that has balance wheel in own inset round "pool" what this called?
...
That's called a recessed balance. It 's done to make the watch a little thinner. Rockford, Seth Thomas and Gallet also made 18-size movements with recessed balances. There may be others as well.
 

ben_hutcherson

NAWCC Member
Jul 15, 2009
3,153
350
83
Kentucky
Country
Region
That's called a recessed balance. It 's done to make the watch a little thinner. Rockford, Seth Thomas and Gallet also made 18-size movements with recessed balances. There may be others as well.
There's also the often forgotten 17 size Elgin, which has a recessed balance. I didn't remember and make the connection until I had one come across my bench this week :)
 

Snide

Registered User
Mar 6, 2001
865
60
28
One of the reasons mentioned above that Model 83s are interesting and collectable-a Grade 836 of which only 800 were made. It carries serial number 18097251 and is marked "Double Roller" and "Adjusted to Temperature and Four Positions". It is a two-tone movement with checkerboard damesceeningeing. This one has an unfortunate bloch of rust on the regulator and signs of having been cleaned a number of times but is till very nice. It has an excellent Monty dial. Its last cleaning was this morning and it is now running beautifully with a great motion.
 

Attachments

Steven Mercer

NAWCC Member
Nov 24, 2001
2,119
24
38
Country
Region
Snide

I like the Grade 836. It is the only Model 83 that has a whip regulator, has a double roller and is marked like it is. And like you said, only 800 made.

One of mine has the same Monty dial as yours.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
164,923
Messages
1,435,154
Members
85,879
Latest member
deeqdacad
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,872
Last edit
Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff