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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This morning I bought an open-faced gold pocket-watch from a jewellery-dealer. Mr. Dealer told me that he bought the watch from a watchmaker who fixed it for him recently and he wanted to sell it.

It was marked as $340. I pinched it for $200. The man I bought it from tells me it's a 17-Jewel open-faced Waltham. I would like to know as much as I can about it, specifically the year of manufacture, if possible.



The watch has the following markings:

Face:

- Blue hands.
- Roman numerals.
- Minute subdial @ 6:00.

Underneath 12, it reads:

MADE IN USA FOR *something* (starting with T and ending in S) & KERMODE 115 ELIZABETH St. MELBOURNE.

Open the back and on the first dust-cover, it reads:

TWO PLATE
5 YEAR
A.B (This last line inside a sideways diamond-shape).

Open the last dust-cover, revealing the movement, and it reads:

9225729.

Am. Watch. Co.
Waltham.
Mass
BOND St.

On the reverse-side of the dust-cover, revealing the movement, it reads:

ENGLISH MADE
THIS CASE
GUARANTEED TO WEAR
-5 YEARS-
MADE OF TWO PIECES OF GOLD
614
1

I apologise for the lack of photographs, but my camera just wouldn't be able to take such detailed close-ups.
 

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A picture of the movement will tell more... the movement will also give a serial number which would help in dating the watch. Serial numbers on cases are often not related to the movement and are thus not usually useful in dating the watch.
 

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According to the Waltham online database it is a 14S model 1895 Waltham Bond Sreet made in 1899. It states it has 7 jewels not 17 but without seeing the movement I cannot verify that.
The case sounds like it's gold filled. AB is the case maker (in England obviously.)
Probably it was imported to Melbourne and cased by Tymms & Kermode, a jeweller there.
14S is a bit smaller than was customary for men to use in the USA at that time. Either they carried a large 18S or the more fashionable 16S. Perhaps Australia was ahead of its time when it came to watch fashion.
Thanks for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I would *LOVE* to show you guys the movement, but I don't know if my camera can take a photo of it reliably. I can give it a shot and get back to you...

Here you are. Like I said, it's crap. I just couldn't get a better one. ANd I didn't want to keep the lid up for too long...



I probably should've mentioned this earlier...

9225729.

Am. Watch. Co.
Waltham.
Mass
BOND St.

That information is engraved on the MOVEMENT, NOT THE CASEBACK. My mistake!
 

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Not clear enough to tell much. Sorry.
Some tips on photos:
(1) Don't use flash. Take in natural light.
(2) If you have no macro setting on the camera, take photo with camera far enough away to focus, then crop the photo to a smaller size using a photo processing program like Irfanview or Photoshop Elements.
Info I gave you assumed the serial number was on the movement.
 

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I don't know if this is of any interest, but the comment about Melbourian watch fashions prompted me to post. Being a Melbourne girl originally myself, I have this watch which was Swiss made for William Drummond & Co., Melbourne. Obviously, your watch is rather more upmarket in any number of ways and, of course, is in much better nick but I was struck by how silimar the two are in terms of the shape and proportions of the case and the layout of the face. My watch is 46mm across the face.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Movement shot attempt #2...



EDIT:

For the curious, I am actually a Melbournian :) I've lived in Melbourne for the past 20 of my 21 years of life. So it's nice to have a watch with my city's name on the dial. My watch is about 45-47mm across (with my shaky hands, it's a bit hard to be more precise).



Just a picture of the reverse side of the watch.

The chain is brass. I know, I know, it doesn't really go with a gold watch, but I wanted a nice, T-bar chain which was good and strong, and that one looked like it fit the bill.

Advice Wanted

I've owned pocket-watches in the past, but none of them were particularly expensive or flashy or worth...anything, really. I am determined for this to be my one good pocket watch (although I have a horrible feeling I may start collecting pocket-watches!).

Apart from this watch, my only other is a cheap gold-plated mechanical hunter-cased doodad that I picked up for $15. It keeps decent time, but it's cheap, and if I was going to spend money to have a watch repaired, I'd much rather it'd be my Waltham. I may end up selling or giving away that other watch.

I never really looked after any of my other watches. I have next-to-no-respect for wristwatches (Can't stand the things!) and I never wear them or use them. I have two. One's dead, one's never used. Like I said, my other pocket-watches were all duds, just about. I bought one, it was a dud, I sold it. I had one as a child, which I broke. I had another one, which I gave away as a birthday present (may happen to my other p/watch, too)...and now I have my Waltham.

I would like to know how best to store it. When I wear it, it's chained to my shirt through a buttonhole and it rides along with me in the breast-pocket of my shirts (I assume that's a safe place to keep it?). But what do I do with it when I'm not wearing it? Where should I put it, say, when I go to bed at night? Will a small jewellery/individual watch-box suffice?

I'd rather not leave the watch lying around on my bedside table or on my desk. Chains are heavy and slithery things. Once the chain falls off the edge of the table, it'll drag the whole watch with it and SMASH! (Yeep!)

My forte with looking after antiques and collectables really only goes as far as vintage fountain pens. I have a professional pen-storage case for those. I was considering putting the watch into the case, along with the pens. It's got a nice, felt lining and everything is well-protected. Is that a good storage-place?

Where do you people store your watch/es?
 

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Much improved photograph. :-!
I can now say for sure you have a 7 jewel movement.
Pocket watches are allergic to water, dust and dirt, so store and carry in dry and clean environments. Never drop a pocket watch or handle roughly as it has no shock protection.
I have a watch box for mine that holds four of them in soft lined spaces. That is best.
Otherwise put in a jewelry box or a dresser drawer. I have Sammy the Watch Cat here who would love to knock a delicate watch on the floor. :oops:
Above all find a good jeweler as you'll need to have the watch cleaned and serviced in 5-10 years if you use it all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for that, Ray!!

I do not intend to keep the watch *ANYWHERE* near water! (In the event of rain, I shall keep it in an inside coat pocket). It will be kept dust and dirt-free during the course of general use - I don't go to many places which are excessively dirty. I definitely know not to drop it! (Previous experience talking here...)

I'll see if I can find a decent-sized jewellery-box to store it in. The one I had previously doesn't seem to be large enough to accomodate both watch and chain.

With regards to a watchmaker/jeweller, I believe there may be one in an antiques shop in the next suburb (it's a huge building with about a million private traders from furniture dealers, pen-repairmen, watchmakers, clockmakers and Lord knows what else). I have an acquantaince who works there and I'll try and ask him about recommending a decent watchmaker.

The jewellery-dealer I bought the watch from informed me that this piece was last serviced "two years ago" (So that would make it 2006).

Given it's overall condition and current operational status (which is excellent, given the relatively recent overhaul), was $200AUD (approx $190USD) a good price to have paid for the watch? You fellows reckon I got value for money here?

------

I've got one last question, and this is regarding the watch-movement...

The man I bought this watch from told me that it had a racheting system built into the winding-mechanism which would prevent the watch from being accidently overwound. Does this particular model of Waltham actually have such a system and how would it work? Also, how long should this watch run for on a full wind?

I'm a little sussed about it because I wound this watch up when I bought it. It was 7:15am (yes, I get up very early!). It ran fine throughout the day. I did wind it up every few hours since then at random (Not too many times) and then I put the watch away and went to bed.

I woke up this morning for no particular reason at 4:30am, and found that the watch had stopped approx 3:15...

Should I be worried about something faulty?
 

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Lots of questions here.
First of all an antique pocket watch probably would have a 30-36 hour power reserve. The best plan is wind it once a day when you get up, and let it run. Wind it until you feel resistance than stop.
I don't know what the dealer means about a winding ratchet or whatever. Such a mechanism is usually found in automatic watches. A wind-up watch cannot be overwound. That is a common term misapplied when there's something else wrong with the watch.
Wind it fully at 7:15 and let it run and report back how long it goes.
Now as far as cost goes we don't give valuations here. If you are happy with the price, then consider you got good value. A service costs $100 or more. I spent $300 on my grandfather's 7 jewel Elgin to get it going and I considered it money well spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hi Ray,

Sorry about there being so many questions, I know they're a bore to answer...
First of all an antique pocket watch probably would have a 30-36 hour power reserve. The best plan is wind it once a day when you get up, and let it run. Wind it until you feel resistance than stop.
I was always taught a watch would run for a day and a half before needing to be rewound (although I have heard stories of watches running for as long as a week).

I don't know what the dealer means about a winding ratchet or whatever. Such a mechanism is usually found in automatic watches.
I know, that's what I thought he meant, only I've never heard of such a mechanism in plain mechanical, non-auto watches, which is what got me curious.

A wind-up watch cannot be overwound. That is a common term misapplied when there's something else wrong with the watch.
Wind it fully at 7:15 and let it run and report back how long it goes.
I corrected the time on the watch and wound it fully when I woke up this morning. Started it at 4:20am (Yes, I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep). I'll leave it be for the rest of the day and see how long it runs for and report back with results when the watch stops.

(Time on the watch is currently 10:16am. Been running continuously since 4:20 this morning).
 

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Well 30-36 hours *is* a day and a half. There are so-called 8 day watch movements but that's not the normal type of wind-up watch.
If the watch is consistently stopping short of 30 hours it probably needs to have a watchmaker check it over. Sometimes these old watches run better if you turn them face down or stand them up on their edge or tilt them in the box. You are dealing with something over 100 years old so it'll be a bit more temperamental than a brand new auto or quartz watch.
Sometimes a pocket watch will run fine if it's carried around and then give trouble if it sits in a drawer for a few hours. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I've heard of how tempermental watches can be. I've got it laying on my desk at the moment, chained around a small glass stand that my grandmother used to hang jewellery on. This is where I keep it for the time being when I'm not using it (until I find someplace better, that is). I'll keep it there for the rest of the day and see what happens.

The idea of owning a real, working antique is kind of fun.
 

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Well, then what is the current status for the watch ? It makes curious for me to know the running hours :) I have Certina pocket watch whics is undergo spring replacement (due breakage)... coz it's old sparepart hard to find, maybe the repairman can find the suitable one, now it runs for 24hrs only :)... But I have other pocket watch (Best Patent Lever-Swiss Made, well.. soon will try to post it), it can run up to 36hrs ! ;)

Rgds,
4nn4
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The man I bought the watch from told me it'd been overhauled and serviced within the last two years. It certainly looks like it, but I just want to make sure that this thing winds and runs properly, right now I'm not 100% convinced that it does. If it doesn't, I'll save up some money to have the watch repaired.

So far, it's run for...nearly 10 hours...since I wound it up this morning. And it's still going perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Alright, the verdict is in:

On a full wind, it runs for 19 hours, 10 minutes. From 4:20am to 11:30pm the same day.

Time to save up to send it off to a watchmaker. I figured out what's wrong with it, too, I think. You were right, Ray, it doesn't have an overwind protection mechanism (which I didn't really expect it did in the first place) - it's just not winding to it's full potential and the crown keeps slipping. Once I've got enough money I'll send it off to a watchmaker and have it fixed. Any idea what might actually be wrong, though? This is just a guess on my part.
 

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May be a broken mainspring. Sometimes these break in a way that you can wind the watch partially but then it'll slip. A watchmaker will know best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I don't think it's a slipping mainspring - I had one of those in a watch before (which is why I sold it), I could always hear the sound of the spring slacking off inside the watch, as if something wasn't gripping properly and not holding the spring in place nice and tight like it should, I don't hear that with this watch. What happens is that after about a dozen turns of the crown, the crown rises up a bit (like a milimeter) and then it starts clicking with each turn. I have to force the crown back down to keep winding, and even then, it won't wind properly. I think the loose crown may be the problem here.

I'll consult my friend at the antique shop when I've saved up enough money, about where I can find a decent watchmaker. The store has about fifty different dealers of everything from furniture to clocks and watches, so there's bound to be a watchmaker somewhere.
 

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Sounds like an issue with the clutch in the winding mechanism. Does it set the time OK?
In any event it needs to have a good watchmaker look it over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Ray,

Yeah that sounds like what the problem is. Well...let's see...

It winds alright, but after a dozen turns, I get the slipping, clicking noise that I described. I don't hear any slipping mainspring.

It sets time absolutely perfectly.
 
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