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I got my start in watch collecting with a simple search for a replacement case for a pocket watch. In 1972 I was living in Gallup NM which was founded in 1881 by the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad which later became the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. Not surprisingly I found a RR pocket watch in a jewelers store on the main street, Route 66. It was a trade-in by a railroad employee on a new Accutron and was for sale for $25. Deal (engraved name included). It had a base metal case with a worn out pedestal that would let the bow pop off about every 50th time I would pull it out of my pocket. The first balance staff cost me … $25. Each one after that would be about $20 more. Finally sometime after I finished college I put it away broken. Several years ago I got the watch repaired (turned out to be a piece of fluff loose in the movement) and started looking for a case. So I had my first 21j RR approved pocket watch.
A Ball Hamilton 999B from 1954.





Of course in the process I had found Ebay and all the other 21j RR approved pocket watches so I started a collection.
A Hamilton 992 from 1902. One of the first made.





An Illinois Bunn Special from 1918.





And a Hamilton 992 from 1932. Close to the last of the grade.





I also have an Illinois Sangamo that needs a mainspring and a clear dial. The main theme is to collect a 21j railroad watch from each decade. I have tried to get good quality running movements with as perfect a dial as possible. The cases are functional and as nice as I can afford but are really secondary. I still want to find a Waltham Vanguard from the 40s and an Elgin from the 20s. A Veritas or a B W Raymond. The only thing standing in my way of course is this new austerity plan that has forced me to dabble at collecting wrist watches.

Joel
 

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Joel,

Nice collection! Your 999B is a prize.

If you hadn't already guessed, I'm rather fond of pocket watches from myself.

I'm a Waltham man primarily, but also collect Illinois and Marion. Even though I swear I don't collect Hamiltons, I can't seem to resist picking them up.

My most recent acquisition was a 17 Ruby Jewel Illinois Bunn.
 

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Those are great! I especially like the Ball Hamilton, complete with the signature Ball bow. That circular damaskeening must have been reserved for Ball, because I don't think I've seen it on a Hamilton.

Then again, the Illinois is also sweet. Beautiful movement - not that there's anything wrong with either of the 992s! I've got one with that straight-line damaskeening, and a 992E with the wider pattern.

I actually started out back in the early 1990s collecting Hamilton Railroad watches, and indeed I carried a pocket watch as my daily watch for at least 5-7 years. My wife finally got tired of sewing watch pockets into my trousers, and I sold most of my collection. :001_unsure:
 

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The different styles of damaskeening is very interesting........much like their own secret handshake, only seen when the movement is exposed and each unique....:thumbup:
 

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Let's keep this going

21 Jewel Elgin Veritas with rare 24-Hour Dial, gold jewel settings, rare double sunk porcelain dial with black Arabic hr. chapters and black inner 24-hr. numerals. The dial is perfect and the crystal is good to the naked:eek:hmy: eye except for a small chip:cursing: at the 1:00 position. Not running at the moment and missing the second hand. The Veritas is part of a "junk drawer" purchase of four watches which also included a 30 jewel Lord Elgin self winder from 1962, in the box and in VGC (Being serviced at the moment). I'll post it when I get it back. In the meantime, can anyone confirm the grade of this movement as I may part out the watch. Thanks.
 

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Almost forgot to spread the love

.....for your watches and your story. I just noticed I've never lost my lust for Bunns.....did that come out right? I love that fine checkerboard damaskeening. That 992 dial is off the charts. Serious RR look!




EDIT: That would have sounded much worse if I was talking about the Ball watch.
 
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Thank you for your help. This is the first Veritas I've owned and as I've read, the name was sometimes used loosely.....maybe for marketing pruposes. I've even read where you can remove the back from a Father Time and see a Veritas movement or vice versa. I guess it's strategery time as the watch clearly has some mechanical issues despite it's condition. This could become a collection flagship.
 

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