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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, This afternoon my father in-law shared with me that he has his grandfathers pocket watch. Looks pretty cool but I know nothing about older pocket watches. It wound right up and started ticking away, but I had zero desire to try to open it or investigate further for fear of messing something up. I tried searching for it online but every single Waltham pocket watch that I can find has a small seconds hand (except for this one) and I was unable to locate anything about this particular model. Does anyone know anyting about the pictured watch?

Thank you in advance!
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...It wound right up and started ticking away, but I had zero desire to try to open it or investigate further for fear of messing something up...
:rolleyes: Not knowing its service history, winding was a mistake.
I asked him first if it was functional and ok to wind it.
Thanks for the disparagingly "insightful" comment. Please keep the rest of them to yourself.
Let me try to understand...

You "had zero desire to try to open it or investigate further for fear of messing something up."

Did your father-in-law mention the movement had been serviced in recent years? Because if it hadn't, chances are good the oils in the watch movement have gummed or dried up. Forcing the movement to run when it has no (or poor/dirty) lubrication causes irreversible damage to parts (you can't fix wear). And guess what? The watch is old. You can't run down to your friendly jeweler and order parts for this.

I believe that is why Watchbreath suggested winding was a mistake. It wasn't an insult. It was sound advice.

Naturally, you are free to handle your inquiry in any manner you choose, to people who might be able to help. But with the attitude you showed in your response to Watchbreath, I wonder who would be willing to help you? I, for one, will pass...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Let me try to understand...

You "had zero desire to try to open it or investigate further for fear of messing something up."

Did your father-in-law mention the movement had been serviced in recent years? Because if it hadn't, chances are good the oils in the watch movement have gummed or dried up. Forcing the movement to run when it has no (or poor/dirty) lubrication causes irreversible damage to parts (you can't fix wear). And guess what? The watch is old. You can't run down to your friendly jeweler and order parts for this.

I believe that is why Watchbreath suggested winding was a mistake. It wasn't an insult. It was sound advice.

Naturally, you are free to handle your inquiry in any manner you choose, to people who might be able to help. But with the attitude you showed in your response to Watchbreath, I wonder who would be willing to help you? I, for one, will pass...
Edit***
There is little chance that I snapped back at what may have been friendly advise. Watchbreath's "roll eyes" emoji don't indicate that his motivation was helpfulness. This coupled with snarky comments he's made in a different and recent thread of mine say he was indeed being rude. On the off chance I am wrong, I sent him a DM apologizing anyway. Hopefully we can all be bigger moving forward and try to be genuinely helpful rather than take jabs at eachother.

If you want to "take a pass" on being helpful, that is your perogative although I can't say that I respect it. My opinion is that you are only perpetuating a subset of the culture that seem to be more interested in showing how smart you are by pointing out the flaws of the OP rather than actually trying to be helpful and just answer the question.
 

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Looks nice. Just from the look of it Possibly 1910-1940. Not a problem to run it a little but have it serviced if you want to use it regularly.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks nice. Just from the look of it Possibly 1910-1940. Not a problem to run it a little but have it serviced if you want to use it regularly.
Appreciate the help. The next time I visit with him I will try to get some pics of the movement. He said he has had the watch open before and there is a serial number on the inside of the case.
Thanks again!
 

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He said he has had the watch open before and there is a serial number on the inside of the case.
You will need the number of the movement, not the case to identify the watch. The case back will screw off easily. The watch has a stamped metal dial, so I would not expect a high grade movement. I could be wrong of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You will need the number of the movement, not the case to identify the watch. The case back will screw off easily. The watch has a stamped metal dial, so I would not expect a high grade movement. I could be wrong of course.
Thank you for the heads up about screwing the case back off. Eliminates me investigating a "pop open" mechanism. Will also look for movement number, much appreciated! 👍
 

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…If you want to "take a pass" on being helpful, that is your perogative although I can't say that I respect it. My opinion is that you are only perpetuating a subset of the culture that seem to be more interested in showing how smart you are by pointing out the flaws of the OP rather than actually trying to be helpful and just answer the question.
Reading my reaction post, I fully agree with your response. I apologize for the tone and the “attack” (as it certainly felt to me reading my post after a good night‘s rest). Our forum, when level-headed members make meaningful contributions, is a pleasure to use and peruse. My previous post put me squarely in the clASS of members who behave just as you called out, which is embarrassing to me and calls out a behavior I personally dislike very much.

I wasn’t aware of the previous exchanges you had with other members, which doesn’t serve as an excuse for my rant. I actually appreciate your response, agree with it, and am grateful for the reminder of how this forum should function.

That being said, I think you are well on your way to unraveling some mysteries about the watch. I can see by the alignment of the case back design that it is either 1) a snap-back friction-fit lid (that wasn’t lined up when it was snapped back on), or; 2) a screw-back lid (that wasn’t screwed down all the way).

If you try first to unscrew the lid (and it spins) then you know you’re on the right track. I try first with my bare palm (no rings on the fingers) and cup/press down on the lid (not a perfect suction cup, but just about as best a grip as you get without a tool). My favorite method is to use a ball case opener. Think “stress ball” but with a little stickier surface and enough flexibility to press into the lid and cover as much area as possible.

If it doesn’t spin, it’s either because it’s too tight or misthreaded UNLESS it’s a friction-fit snap-back lid. Best way to know is to look closely at the edge where the back lid contacts the case, and first look for an obvious lip or slight gap that would accept the edge of a case-opening blade. Only if it’s an obvious gap intended for a blade edge would I attempt it. It’s a fine line between success and slippage, so go at a slow pace. The shape of the blade helps too.

Short of having success, get it to a professional for help. Once open, take the best photo you can get so that future curiosity might be answered by the photos instead of “going back in.” Photos of the movement AND inside the case would be good. As noted by others, it’s the serial number of the movement you’ll need, likely in the ten millions/eight digits.

A useful but not perfect website tool to use is:



Input the entire eight-digit serial number, select “Waltham” and see what pops up.

Good luck, and again, apologies for my initial poorly directed post.
 

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To get a good grip on the case-back, you can use a rubber ball or a wad of duct tape (with adhesive side facing out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Reading my reaction post, I fully agree with your response. I apologize for the tone and the “attack” (as it certainly felt to me reading my post after a good night‘s rest). Our forum, when level-headed members make meaningful contributions, is a pleasure to use and peruse. My previous post put me squarely in the clASS of members who behave just as you called out, which is embarrassing to me and calls out a behavior I personally dislike very much.

I wasn’t aware of the previous exchanges you had with other members, which doesn’t serve as an excuse for my rant. I actually appreciate your response, agree with it, and am grateful for the reminder of how this forum should function.

That being said, I think you are well on your way to unraveling some mysteries about the watch. I can see by the alignment of the case back design that it is either 1) a snap-back friction-fit lid (that wasn’t lined up when it was snapped back on), or; 2) a screw-back lid (that wasn’t screwed down all the way).

If you try first to unscrew the lid (and it spins) then you know you’re on the right track. I try first with my bare palm (no rings on the fingers) and cup/press down on the lid (not a perfect suction cup, but just about as best a grip as you get without a tool). My favorite method is to use a ball case opener. Think “stress ball” but with a little stickier surface and enough flexibility to press into the lid and cover as much area as possible.

If it doesn’t spin, it’s either because it’s too tight or misthreaded UNLESS it’s a friction-fit snap-back lid. Best way to know is to look closely at the edge where the back lid contacts the case, and first look for an obvious lip or slight gap that would accept the edge of a case-opening blade. Only if it’s an obvious gap intended for a blade edge would I attempt it. It’s a fine line between success and slippage, so go at a slow pace. The shape of the blade helps too.

Short of having success, get it to a professional for help. Once open, take the best photo you can get so that future curiosity might be answered by the photos instead of “going back in.” Photos of the movement AND inside the case would be good. As noted by others, it’s the serial number of the movement you’ll need, likely in the ten millions/eight digits.

A useful but not perfect website tool to use is:



Input the entire eight-digit serial number, select “Waltham” and see what pops up.

Good luck, and again, apologies for my initial poorly directed post.
Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate the sincere apology and the willingness to take the time to write all of that out and be very helpful. I also appreciate the difference between shooting from the hip late at night with a tired mind as opposed to having a much more diplomatic view after a good nights rest. I have fallen victim to that very trap many times myself so no harm, no foul.

The pocketwatchdatabase looks like a great tool, thank you for pointing me towards it. You have offered several good tips, all of which I will try when I get to handle the watch, in the next few days I think.

Thanks again, I do really appreciate that we are both able to be amicable after all. I will come back and update here when I have more information to share.
 
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