The following information (as edited) and images are reproduced at the WTF Hamilton Forum with the kind permission of Nigel Harrison (prowatchint) of Queensland, Australia. July 16, 2011.
HISTORIC 18K HAMILTON MASTERPIECE ANTIQUE POCKET WATCH
This is a one of a kind, museum quality Masonic Hamilton Masterpiece pocket watch from 1927. The watch is a size 12 (42mm in diameter) with an extremely rare high relief 18K solid gold Masonic case with black enamelling. The case houses the highest grade size 12 Hamilton movement ever made, the 922 Masterpiece, rare and collectible in its own right.
• Original owner was the VP Operations and Maintenance of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad in 1927.
• Inscription on the inside case back reads:
OFFICIAL WATCH INSPECTORS
THE BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD
- • Unique hand carved, high relief case in 18K solid natural gold celebrates Freemasonry in general and the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in particular with:
o The double headed eagle on the case lid is the symbol most commonly associated with the Scottish Rite
o The motto, “SPES MEA IN DEO EST” and the number 32 under the crown indicate that Galloway had been granted “Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret” status, ie the 32nd degrees. Every man becomes a 32 degree Mason the day he joins the Scottish Rite.
o Hand finished Masonic Shriners dial
o Unique gold hands in a wheat motif that matches the case sides.
- • Size 12 open face case has black enamel on back, front, sides and stem.
- • Rare 23 jewel Hamilton Masterpiece grade 922.
- • Overall weight of 82g, including the case (52g total, 31g in the case back).
The solid 18K yellow gold case is presumably a one off piece commissioned by the Official Watch Inspectors of B&O for presentation to Charles. W. Galloway. Very high relief and highly carved with black enamelling, the case celebrates Freemasonry and the owner’s achievement of the Scottish rite to the 32nd degree. All of the case lids snap closed and stay in place with no gaps. There are no major dents or scratches but there is minor pocket smoothing from light use. The bow is a triangular shape to represent Freemasonry and is still firm to move.
The case shows one very light screw mark, possibly a spacer screwed in from the case factory or another movement tested in case before the 922 was installed. It was specifically sized to receive one of only a few Hamilton size 12 movements as they have a unique size compared to other American made size 12 movements.
The Masterpiece movement screw marks are very deep and clean so the movement has either not been removed – or removed with extreme care. The movement is a very high end and rare Hamilton grade 922 Masterpiece. It has 23 jewels and solid gold, screwed down jewel settings, balance screws and gear train. The serial number is 3008383, indicating production during 1927 (according to the Gelson list), matching the date on the case inscription. It also has the sought after Invar balance.
The hand finished dial correctly matches the case and is in excellent condition, hand carved with a broad Arabic sword. This is a symbol used by Shriners (ie the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine), a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth.
The broad hands (presumably gold, but not tested) are unique, with a wheat design matching that on the case edges.
The watch is stem wound and stem set. It is currently running and the hands set very well.
As revealed by the inscription, the watch was presented to Charles William Galloway, Vice President of Operations and Maintenance (and President in waiting) of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company by the Official Watch Inspectors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on September 27, 1927. The date inscribed on the case commemorates the centenary of the B&O Railroad, celebrated by a massive fair, “The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company Centenary Exhibition and Pageant” held from September 24 to October 16, 1927 at Baltimore (Halethorpe), Maryland. Otherwise known as the “The Fair of the Iron Horse”, $1 Million was spent to attract around 1.25 million people to the festivities. Attached below is a photo of C.W.Galloway attending an Indian pow-wow at the fair, during which he was inducted into the local native American tribe. It is probable that Mr Galloway was presented with this watch during the festivities of the fair, very close to the time of the photo.
C.W.Galloway was a very important person in the Railway, not only was he a Vice President but he was intended to be President of the B&O Railroad however he died in 1940 just before the current president was retiring. Research indicates that that a New York ferry was named after him and he was also on various railroad and community committees. The links below connect to these references. He also published a book, “The Importance of Safety in Railroad Operation” based on an address he delivered.
There are numerous online documents and articles relating to C.W.Galloway, including New York Times articles detailing his promotions from Trainmaster to Assistant Superintendent, General Manager and ultimately Vice President. Refer the links at the bottom of this article.
This is a one of a kind watch that was made to the highest quality available in 1927. The watch has various rarities in relation to case, movement, historical provenance and Masonic features.
[MODERATOR’S COMMENT: This watch was sold at an on line auction during July 2011. The sale price or buyer have not been disclosed, but the “Buy It Now” price was USD12,500].
Links For Charles Galloway
History of the Baltimore and Ohio ... - Google Books
History of the Baltimore and Ohio ... - Google Books
DISPUTANTS HOPEFUL IN B. and amp - O. CONFERENCE - Both Sides Look for Some Good From Effort at Separate Peace. NATIONAL LEADERS OPPOSED Counsel for Federated Crafts Urges Harding to Call a General Conference. - View Article - NYTimes.com
Delaware Heritage Collection : Item Viewer
B & O Official Wounded-1900
http://www.ohiostatepress.org/books/...Daniel%206.pdf Refer to page 164 mentioning Galloway should have become President of the B&O, however he had just passed away December 1940 aged 72.
The photos---start to finish--- are just amazing. Can't thank you folks enough for sharing.
I love PW's.
here's one of mine. i don't know too much about it, though, and would appreciate any information:
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