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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I have inherited this Waltham Watch Co pocket watch.

IMG_6716.jpg IMG_6715.jpg

Any idea of model/value?

Many thanks for any help!

JLW.
 

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Hi, welcome to the American Forum!

In order to know anything about the watch, we'd need to see the movement. A hunter case like that will have usually an inner and outer back cover, both hinged at the bottom. If you look at the back, to the right of the stem, there's usually a little lip along the edge of the caseback. A fingernail, or - CAREFULLY!!!!! - a pocketknife inserted there can pop it open. There's usually a little indentation in the same place to open the inner cover. That should expose the movement. A good macro picture of that will allow us to tell you more about the quality of the movement, when it was manufactured, etc.

As long as its open, the outer caseback will be stamped with the maker, and an indicator of the material. Most PWs of that era were gold filled, which means two thin layers of gold bonded to a thicker brass sheet, before the case was stamped and formed. Some cases were solid gold, and that, too, will be apparent from the stampings.

Back in that time, watch companies like Waltham made only the movements, while watch case companies like Keystone, Star, J. Boss and others made the cases. Jewelers ordered movements and cases separately, and then put the two together as the customer desired. Movements were mostly made in a limited number of standard sizes, so that pretty much any movement of a particular size would fit a broad range of cases, and a case could hold a range of different movements.

Because of this, there is generally no predicting the quality of the movement from the quality of the case. Some customers cared more about how fancy the case was, and would skimp on the movement, while others like Railroaders required a very high grade movement, but didn't need a fancy case. Not only that, but because movements and cases could be easily swapped around, over the century or so since pocket watches were in fashion, many have been recased.
 

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What we can see so far is that it is one of Waltham's export models (typical export dial) in a 9-karat gold case made by Aaron Dennison. After Dennison left Waltham he went to England and started a case making enterprise. His company cased many of the watches that Waltham sold in England.

... now just waiting to see the movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys - massively helpful. I'm going to brave the case opening tonight :)

Will report back asap.
 

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Okay, so what you have there is a 7-jewel, gilt finished movement. Like I said above, movement quality and case quality don't always go together. 7-jewel movements are at the lower end of the quality scale.

Checking the NAWCC's Waltham Serial Number Lookup page, is shows up as a Model 1883, made in 1890.
 

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16 size waltham

that is a 16 size Traveler movement, 7 jewels, definitely an export to England from Waltham. Low quality, but rugged, yes. Lots made, not a true collectible unless you don't own one yet.
 

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Definitely not a model 1883; that was a full plate watch.
You're right, I missed an almost invisible '1' in front of the 4. C&B has the correct info.

This is what happens when the Waltham maven leaves. You're stuck with a poor substitute!
 

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This is typical of Waltham's export models. For some reason the British customers seemed to prefer gilt movements over nickel, so this is what was exported. Most of these have 7 to 15 jewels; very few have more. The higher jeweled models tend to have nickel plates and are not very common.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks so much guys - this is massively helpful! Lovely to be able to put a name to a face :biggrin:
 
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