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Many of us have a 7 jewel pocket watch in our collection, but normally we wouldn't post them here. We may think of it as too pedestrian a timepiece, and would anyone be interested at all? I beg to differ. Actually more people wore these when they were new compared to their highly jeweled counterparts, so they are highly representative of their time.

I will be first. Please add your 7 jewel watch.

This is an Illinois grade 120 from 1889. It is a 14 size model 2 pendant set 7j, and was only made in one production run of 2500 units. The movement is spotless, almost like new, dial very nice with one hairline.





 

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Make: Waltham.
Model: M1895.
Man.Date: 1899.
Size: 14.
Wind/Set: Stem/Stem.
Jewelling: 7.
Case: 14kt gold filled gauranteed for 5 years.

Timekeeping: +/-60sec a week.

If this watch taught me anything, it's that just because it's lower quality doesn't mean it doesn't also keep great time.
 

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This one is actually the first watch I ever completely dis-assembled and cleaned. Its a 12s Model 1894, grade 210, made in about 1912. I got it off Ebay for $8 (no case) almost a year ago to the day. I found a silver(ish) octagonal case for it a month or so ago. Runs very well (it's lost about 20 seconds since I wound it this morning). Waltham made over a million of this specific grade (more then any other single grade of this model) of about 3 million total. The final runs of both the 1894 and the grade 210 were in 1934.
 

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It's a truly beautiful watch, Rob. Was this model a popular Waltham model? Or did they just make so many because they were easy and simple to mass-produce?
 

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I'll go with the "Simple and easy" answer. 12s watches weren't big sellers, so I was actually surprised at the numbers; but given the 40 year production history, maybe not so surprising. 12s become a lot more popular post 1920 (relative to the larger watches), but by then Waltham was committed to a level of cost-cutting that precluded making new models; they just reused what they had. Waltham's colonial series were based on 12s (although often with 10s bridges to make them seem thinner).

By comparison, the model '83 (Waltham's workhorse 18s movement) was only made until 1919 (36 years), but saw around 5,000,000 watches produced.
 
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