Pocketwatches

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Nathan Flowers, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. viclip

    viclip Practically Family

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Canada
    I don't think there's any question that your Hampden New Railway 23-jewel qualified as an American grade railroad watch. It would also likely have been so accepted in Canada by the CPR time inspectors on an ad hoc basis. Enjoy your fantastic find. If you are aware of any provenance, please do share it!

    If you want to really get into it, I'd suggest that you go to the following forum on the site of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, in which you can participate even as a non-member (but without access to many resources):

    https://mb.nawcc.org/forums/american-pocket-watches.11/

    Respecting the gap between 1902 & 1907, while that could just be due to chance elements, based on my experience there are often gaps in production. This is noted in figures for other watch companies. I'm sure there were various reasons such as the enthusiastic over-producing of new models, downturns in the economy, cut-throat sales tactics by competitors etc.
     
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  2. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,537
    Location:
    New York City
    We live in a ninety year old apartment house and my girlfriend was working in its back garden a few days ago and found this. While it's junk now (way past any salvage efforts I'd guess), thought this group would still enjoy seeing and also would love to hear if anyone knows anything about it.
    IMG_5621.JPG IMG_5622.JPG IMG_5623.JPG
     
    Mr. Nantus, busmatt, M Hatman and 2 others like this.
  3. Artifex

    Artifex Familiar Face

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Nottingham, GB
    The poor thing!

    A little web sleuthing reveals that these were made by Ingraham for Sears (who owned the "Tower" brand). As the flaking chrome-plating, acrylic crystal, and the construction imply, it's an inexpensive "dollar watch".

    The dial design resembles WWII-era graphic design (at least, the sort we had in Britain). My (utterly uninformed) guess would be that it was made soon after the war as a cheap imitation of millitary-issue watches.

    Be careful with the radium paint on the dial. The radiation hazard is small, but be certain not to get any flakes or dust stuck on or in(!) your person.

    Edit:
    There's an auction listing for a very similar watch (in better condition!) here:
    TOWER RADIUM - BLACK DIAL - WORKING - INGRAHAM 60 -- CASE CHROMIUM PLATED BRASS
    With pictures:
    ingraham_tower_watch_1of3.jpg
    ingraham_tower_watch_3of3.jpg
    ingraham_tower_watch_2of3.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  4. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,537
    Location:
    New York City
    Wow - thank you, incredible information. I said to my girlfriend when she found it that someone on FL would know what it was.

    Also, I appreciate the warning Re the radium. I guess, unless there's a reason not to, we will toss it. I'm all for (very, very passionate about) saving old things, but I also recognize that there is a time when something has truly become junk and I think this watch is there.

    Thank you again, FF
     
  5. Artifex

    Artifex Familiar Face

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Nottingham, GB
    I find deciding to discard historical artifacts very difficult, but I think you'd be right to do so in this case. There are more old watches out there than people willing to look after them, so a decision to give attention to rusty junk is equivalent to a decision to neglect any number of pieces that are rarer, in better condition, or of greater technical or social significance.
     
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  6. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,391
    Location:
    Germany
    Loungers, I have to show you somehting special, today!!

    A GDR-era manual wind pocketwatch from my grandpa, which died in 2005. I wound it up and it just f....n' RAN!! :)
    Then, I just bent the battered minute hand straight, as good as possible, and all was fine!

    Man, this cutie was probably not wound for 40, 45 or more years!!

    It's a nice ruhla, the working-class mass production brand of GDR. The back is probably Bakelite/duroplast. The front ring is simple chrome-plated base metal. The cover acrylic glass. The crown is perfect to handle!!

    But this working-class ticker is just RUNNING!! :) And I always wanted a manual wind watch! Halleluja! And it's a perfect easy reader, too!!
     

    Attached Files:

  7. viclip

    viclip Practically Family

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Canada
    You're fortunate to have such a family keepsake.

    If the watch has not been used for 40+ years, I would recommend that you have it serviced before running it much. The lubricating oils have likely gummed up, resulting in excessive wear & tear on the mechanism.
     
  8. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,391
    Location:
    Germany
    I found out now, that the movement is the old "(Brothers) Thiel Regular", a very basic, cheap movement, which started in 1923 (!) and was so succesful, that it's evolution lasted until 1990!
    These basic pocketwatches got prices like 12,80 Mark and so on.

    It just wouldn't make any sense to overhaul such a simple watch.
     
  9. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,810
    Location:
    Australia
    It doesn't make much financial sense to overhaul any simple time piece but if you don't then do not use it or you are likely to damage the mechanism greatly. An unlubricated, gummed up mechanism should not run.
     
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  10. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,537
    Location:
    New York City
    Trenchfriend - nice watch, great history and wonderful family connect - enjoy.

    What I have found about old inexpensive timepieces is consistent with Seb Lucas' advice.

    I have a few '20 - '50 wristwatches that were bought for (from memory) $100-$250 and, if I went to sell them, I'd be lucky to get half of what I paid for them even all these years later. But it still costs me $100-$250 every five or so years (per watch) to keep them running in good condition (and sometimes a one-off expense of the same for this or that oddity).

    Hence, as an "investor" or "collector" these old, inexpensive watches make no sense to repair/service/etc., but I use and wear mine daily. The "value" I get out of them is the daily enjoyment they provide as I love the their look, feel, mechanics and connect to the past.

    That's it, that's the value - it's the personal enjoyment not investment or monetary gain I get. While not inexpensive, it's also a not crazy expensive small hobby (if you like). I could certainly buy an inexpensive (sub $100) new watch that would run for many years with probably nothing more than an occasional and inexpensive battery replacement, but the intrinsic value I get from these old wristwatches make the expense of maintaining them worth it to me.
     
  11. Mean Eyed Matt

    Mean Eyed Matt A-List Customer

    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    Germany
    Funny:
    I have nearly the same model - also my grandpa's pocket watch - also still works - I'm wearing it right now :D
     
  12. Mean Eyed Matt

    Mean Eyed Matt A-List Customer

    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    Germany
    Sorry for quality!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    M Hatman, BobHufford, viclip and 2 others like this.
  13. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,266
    Location:
    Greatest Country, U.S.A.
    Lovely face, it reminds me of the old Rolex Bubble watches.

     
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  14. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,266
    Location:
    Greatest Country, U.S.A.
    I have gotten the itch of carrying my pocket watches, again, lol....

    I took this beautiful Waltham U.S.A., in a Hunter case, out of hibernation.

    20200225_160507.jpg 20200225_160528.jpg
     
  15. viclip

    viclip Practically Family

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Canada
    Lovely watch Hector, wear it proudly!

    I'm curious as to the size of the watch as well as its date of manufacture ... also how many jewels?
     
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  16. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,266
    Location:
    Greatest Country, U.S.A.
    Thank you! It is a 16 with a 17 Jewels movement. As to the date, I'm not 100% on it, but I believe it is late 1800's to early 1900's.

    The movement has beautiful detail. Some pictures for you.

    20200225_170514.jpg 20200225_170529.jpg

     
  17. viclip

    viclip Practically Family

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks for the further views Hector, that movement sure is nicely finished!

    Is the movement's serial number 13404681 ~ we can look up the vital statistics of your movement by its SN.

    The Dennison case suggests that the movement may originally have been exported to the UK. Waltham had quite the export trade with the Brits, indeed one of the founding fathers of Waltham had relocated to England where he created a pocket watch case company (namely the said Dennison).
     
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  18. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,266
    Location:
    Greatest Country, U.S.A.
    Thanks for the information. That would be nice to find out. Most of my watches belonged to family members, so I'm ashamed to admit that technical information about them has never been a priority.

    I believe that's the SN, but I also got this number from it. Thank you for your help. 20200225_175307.jpg

     
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  19. viclip

    viclip Practically Family

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Canada
    Hey Hector, the 8995 stamped on the edge of the case is simply the last four digits of the serial number of the case (the full SN is found on the inside of the rear case cover &/or on the inside of the dust cap or "cuvette"). The various case components were so identified by the case manufacturing companies so they could be kept together. In general the case SN bears no relation to the movement SN indeed, the case SN very seldom can be used to find any information at all simply because no factory records have survived. Fortunately various factory records of the watch movement manufacturers have survived.

    Looking more closely at the pics, I don't think that the case is original to the movement. Gold-filled cases wore out over time & would be replaced, ditto if the case was somehow damaged etc. What leads me to that conclusion is that I can make out at least one screw head mark near one of the two case screws along the perimeter of the movement, which signifies that a movement with different case screw positions had been housed previously in that case. Who knows where the current case may have come from ...

    Anyways now for the good part, the vital statistics of your 117-year-old movement can be found at the following link:

    https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/search/result/waltham/13404681

    Also at the same site these pages may be of especial interest to you:

    https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/search/result/waltham/13404681/grade

    https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/search/result/waltham/13404681/research

    If you have any difficulty with the links just let me know, regards ...
     
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  20. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,266
    Location:
    Greatest Country, U.S.A.
    Interesting! Thank you so much.

     

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