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Discussion Starter #1
This was my grandfathers watch and I am looking for info on what model & year it is. I Don't even know how to open to look inside. The backside is just dirty.

Can anyone help me out?

Thank You


 

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Discussion Starter #3
I managed to unscrew the case apart. I see The Dueber Watch Co., 21 Jewels and 3154012 serial number. The case is an Elgin Nickel type
 

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At 75,000 watches, I don't think it's that rare. And whether it's "worth" it depends on your definition of the word 'worth'.
 

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That's a very nice heirloom watch and with your grandfathers initials it
is a precious watch indeed.
It is also a high grade watch and is probably railroad grade, it seems to
fit all the criteria although I'm not that knowledgable on U.S watches but
there are plenty in here who are and someone will tell you more.

It is definately worth having this watch serviced and a new hour hand
fitted and provided there are no major problems it shouldn't be expensive.
 

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How expensive it is to restore depends on various factors...

1. Define "restore". Do you want the watch to just WORK? Or do you want it to look nice?

1a. If you want it just to work, then is the watch broken? If it is, that means it'll be more expensive, because you'll need to find a replacement or remanufactured part. If the watch is just dirty, a standard servicing and regulation should cost a couple of hundred dollars.

1b. Do you want the watch restored to "like new" condition? If the answer is yes, then you'll need to have the case cleaned and polished (if it can be), you'll need the broken hand replaced and you still need the servicing and cleaning of the movement.

2. How much do you love the watch? If it's just something you wanna fix up and sell, then it's probably not worth it, because you won't make any money back in profit from the sale of the watch, after having it serviced and cleaned and restored to sell it. If you want the watch restored and cleaned as a family heirloom, then I think it's a good idea to start hunting for watchmakers.

Either way, it will cost a significant amount of money, whether it's being fully restored, or just being cleaned so that it can run properly.

It's certainly a good-quality watch which would have looked beautiful when it was new, so on that level alone, I think it's worth restoring, but you wouldn't be able to reclaim a profit from the restoration-costs if you sold this watch.

--- --- --- ---

Radger, a railroad watch had to be adjusted to TEMPERATURE (the ability of the watch to keep time in extremely cold and extremely hot weather) and ISOCHRONISM (the ability of the watch to keep time, regardless of the mainspring's level of tension). Usually, these adjustments would be engraved on the watch-movement.

I can see: "ADJUSTED FIVE POSITIONS", "DOUBLE ROLLER" and "21 JEWELS", according to the database, it's lever-set...but without those other two criteria fulfilled, I don't think this is a fully-fledged railroad watch.

But it should keep wonderful time once it's serviced.
 

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Radger, a railroad watch had to be adjusted to TEMPERATURE (the ability of the watch to keep time in extremely cold and extremely hot weather) and ISOCHRONISM (the ability of the watch to keep time, regardless of the mainspring's level of tension). Usually, these adjustments would be engraved on the watch-movement.

I can see: "ADJUSTED FIVE POSITIONS", "DOUBLE ROLLER" and "21 JEWELS", according to the database, it's lever-set...but without those other two criteria fulfilled, I don't think this is a fully-fledged railroad watch.

But it should keep wonderful time once it's serviced.
Hi Shangas,

Thanks for that info Shangas.

Does Temperature compensation and Isochronism have to be
mentioned on the plates for it to be railroad grade?

These are the first two adjustments of even cheap 'unadjusted' to position watches.
It can be seen from the pic that this balance is a bi-metalic temperature
compensated, cut and complete with temperature compensation screws.
It is inconceivable, to me at least, that this adjusted to five positions
watch wouldn't also be adjusted to temperature and isochronism.
 

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I generally assumed that such...eh...specifications (such as temperature and ischronism) would have to be explicitly MENTIONED (ie: engraved) onto the movement, so that there would be no confusion about the watch's level of workmanship and accuracy.

Of course, I may be wrong. If this watch *DOES* have temperature & ischronism adjustments, then this would indeed (once it's been restored) be a railroad watch.
 

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This was a railroad grade watch in 1915, and is also rated as such in Hernick/Arnold's Hampden book. It was of course also adjusted to temperature and isochronism, ref. this ad from 1917:
http://elginwatches.org/scans/sales_catalogs/1917_Oskamp-Nolting/m_pg_DH02.html
There was no requirement for this to be mentioned on the movement.

It is a nice Hampden, super heirloom that looks to be in good shape. Just have it cleaned and oiled, and find a replacement hour hand, that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thank You for all the info. I didn't know these watches had such a big following. I just realized the hand is broken. Doesn't keep time but I already new that. Glass cover is missing too. I was told my grandfather carried this in WWI.

I'll look around Spokane for watch repair shops.
 

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The glass cover is called the CRYSTAL. You'll need to get that replaced if you intend for this to be a functioning, everyday watch.
 

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When it comes to finding a watchmaker shop around. You need to find one that enjoys working on vintage. Some watchmakers, overcharge for working on vintage, while others charge the same price regardless. Stay away from jewelery stores unless they have a watchmaker on staff, they'll send it out, and add their fee to the watchmakers.
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong here, folks, but doesn't "Railroad Grade" and "Railroad Standard" mean two different things?

A watch advertised as RAILROAD GRADE is one that contains all the mechanical aspects of a railroad watch (adjustments, jewel-count, micrometric regulator, etc), but which aesthetically, doesn't pass all the points (it might be crown-set, have small numbers, might be hunter-case, etc).

Grey, your watch is RAILROAD STANDARD. What this means is that it's certified for use on the railroads. Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, up until the 1970s, railroad workers (engineers, firemen, brakemen, station-masters etc) required highly accurate pocket watches to do their jobs safely. Your watch is just such a kind of timepiece as they would have used. They're very coveted by collectors and were well-known for keeping very accurate time.
 

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Railroad approved, or railroad standard watch: A watch approved for railroad time service by a railroad company. Different railroad companies could have different requirements, or lists of watches they approved.

Railroad grade: A watch made by manufacturers to meet or exceed railroad standards. Being railroad grade does not mean that it may have been approved by all railroad companies.
 
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