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Calling all Pocket Watch Buffs

  1. DaveK Yoda of Yodelers Feb 23, 2021

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  2. Borosilikat Feb 23, 2021

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    All beautiful pieces ! Are those solid gold chains ? They fit very very nicely.

    Do you have any advice on where I could get a chain like that ?
     
  3. noelekal Home For Wayward Watches Feb 23, 2021

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    I'm a pocket watch fan with no pocket watches. I've looked at them for decades in pawn shops and at gun shows with a view to acquiring one, but have never purchased. This would be a good place to regularly see pocket watches to learn what's out there, which are good brands and features to watch for, also perhaps learn what to avoid.

    I don't need another collecting field and have avoided going down this particular rabbit hole, but it's probably inevitable that I gather in an example or two or ...

    I recall my grandfather having a pocket watch that had been his father's watch. It was a Waltham hunter in a dented silver bullseye case. Seems that grandpappy was set upon by a tornado while afield at the old family place in Mississippi. He was running across a cotton field to seek shelter from the storm. While he was running across the field the watch fell out of his pocket and was kicked by his running feet.

    I don't know who in the family has ended up with the watch. It's been decades since I last saw it, but it was running at the time though still dented. My grandfather was born in 1894, my great grandfather in 1857. I have no idea how old the watch is or when it received its dent. I'd enjoy finding a similar example (without dent).

    Here's a photo gleaned off Ebay of a Waltham with a similar styled case.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Canuck Feb 23, 2021

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    There are three different styles of chain on three different watches. So you would need to make a choice as to which chain you desired.

    1/ The chain on the open-faced Waltham is often called an Albert. A swivel on one end for the pocket watch, a relatively short chain (compared to the other two chains), and a large spring ring on the other end. This style of chain is typically worn with a waistcoat (vest), with the watch in a pocket, and the spring ring around a button. Could be worn in a trouser watch pocket. Named after Albert, the Prince Consort.

    2/ The chain worn on the Waltham hunter watch. A chain typically worn on a lapel watch (small pocket style watch worn around the neck, by a lady, the watch being hung from a chatelaine, pinned to a lapel or dress front), the chain having a friction slide so chain length can be varied. You probably wouldn’t use one of these.

    3/ The chain worn on the Omega. One of several styles called a Waldemar. A longer chain with a swivel on one end, a short chain and a “T” bar in the middle that goes through a button hole, and a spring ring at the other end for a pen knife. In the age of your key winder, the pen knife might be used to shape a quill (feather) for a pen. In the era of your key winder, there might also have been a short chain below the “T” bar where a signet would be hung. These signets were used to make an impression in the paraffin (wax) blob used to seal the flap on a letter. These signets were often set with a bloodstone, onyx, or sardonyx stone with an insignia or family crest carved in a mirror image. Some Waldemars don’t have the “T” bar. This style of Waldemar actually would be put through a button hole.

    4/ A chain (not shown) is called a “Dicken”. It is like the Albert, only shorter. Usually used on a watch to be carried in a trouser watch pocket.

    Now that you know more about pocket watch chains than you likely wanted to know, which style would you prefer?
     
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  5. Canuck Feb 23, 2021

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    The subject watch could be a Waltham 1877 model, stem wind, lever set, hunter case. Likely, in a coin silver case.
     
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  6. SmithSJ Feb 23, 2021

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    I fairly recently found this Rockford 18s gold filled watch from the last 1880s. In a rather battered condition but had it serviced and runs well. We think my great great grandfather may have bought it when he travelled by rail across the US in 1889 during a round the world tour from the UK. Looks great also on a leather lanyard from 063EED60-53CD-4D34-9902-DB2EAF44017A.jpeg D7B15833-B5A0-4554-B08B-05F8283905CF.jpeg DDC7F523-F2EA-4689-96AA-F66560FED028.jpeg
     
  7. Canuck Feb 23, 2021

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    Serial number on my reference indicates circa 1887, so he may have acquired the watch, new, or almost new. The gold filled case is indicating that it was much loved, and used a lot over its years. One thing every pocket watch collection shares is (of course) pocket watches. But some watches in our collections are more interesting because they come with a story, like your Rockford.
     
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  8. 140dave Feb 23, 2021

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    Ahhh another pocket watch thread. One of these days I will learn how to take good pictures, these will have to do for now.
    23jewel, 60 hour Type II movement, in a brilliant factory pattern back case. One of the top examples I saved from my once-mighty Illinois collection. (Kept the 5 best I have ever owned, this being one)
    B3A966FF-2ED9-4550-8360-BDF6EA5FCFEE.jpeg B0C75C5D-9369-4DFB-AF33-1809FBBFE708.jpeg A6585CB8-FF7B-4E9A-BC49-E23A28AF23D7.jpeg FDE932B4-7BD4-4783-8B17-9864CAF84F07.jpeg
     
  9. TexOmega Feb 23, 2021

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    Early Omega

    IMG_5225.JPG Omega Pocket watch.jpg
     
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  10. 140dave Feb 23, 2021

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    And it doesn’t matter what brand you like, a good factory patternback case is awesome to look at. Condition is always the issue, only takes a couple of rubs with a cape cod cloth to lose the really fine lines.
    This pattern back is known as the “Purse” style.
    30A16C63-440B-4F17-B7EC-D6F1DA6394F9.jpeg 3D0517D7-0444-41E1-9BFF-9FB8B64B5C69.jpeg 26898852-F79B-4DCA-AFA9-D955C2BCA1D0.jpeg
     
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  11. amcclell Feb 23, 2021

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    None are solid gold but then again, none of the watches are either. The 16 ligne Waltham chain was bought by my kids from our local jewelers, as a gift. The opal slip chain on the ladies Waltham came with the watch and the last one on the Omega was bought through an online estate auction. Online estate auctions are the best source for plated and gold filled chains.
     
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  12. Canuck Feb 23, 2021

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    Have you been hiding this one from us?;) Wow! The white gold (filled?) case is in exquisite condition! As is (of course) the rest of the watch. According to Bill Meggers (and Roy Ehrhardt) in the Illinois “blue” book, your watch has the “second and least common in the Sixty Hour marking.” I can see why you kept it!
     
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  13. Borosilikat Feb 23, 2021

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    I love the third!, the Waldemar looks extremely fancy and antiquated, do you think it would fit a watch such as mine ?
    And I am grateful that you made such a long and detailed post, you did not write more than I wanted to know at all, in fact I am always eager to learn more about watches and their history :)
    Great chains all!
     
  14. Borosilikat Feb 23, 2021

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    Good to know, i'll be sure to have a look at some estate auctions in the near future.
     
  15. Borosilikat Feb 23, 2021

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    Better than the pictures I take!
    Really great looking movement, be sure to post the other four!

    Sadly these are quite hard to get in Europe, I very much like Illionois watches but any pocket watch that wasn't made in Europe is a rarity here unfortunately (although we do have enough of our own to make up for it fortunately).
     
  16. 140dave Feb 23, 2021

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    It is actually one of the reasons I prefer white gold filled (wgf) cases as any condition issues stand out like a sore thumb. The brass underneath the gold looks a lot like yellow gold and a good polish will blur the lines and blend to the point it is hard to see wear through on a picture. Not so with white gold, that yellow brass jumps out.
     
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  17. Borosilikat Feb 23, 2021

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    Do you prefer white gold filled even to solid gold or just to yellow/red gold filled ?
     
  18. 140dave Feb 23, 2021

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    Well of course solid gold is nice! :) But I am an Illinois collector and they didn’t case any models in solid gold cases. Hamilton did, I had a nice solid gold model 17 case I sold a while back when transitioning from collecting Hamilton to Illinois. So was referring to white gold filled vs yellow or green gold filled.
     
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  19. amcclell Feb 23, 2021

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    You definitely dropped the mic with this watch. One of these days, I will get a really nice American-made pocket watch like a Bunn Special, 992 or Vanguard power reserve.
     
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  20. Borosilikat Feb 23, 2021

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    I see!

    Well Illinois is very nice, I can see why you like them they really have a lot of charm to them, especially the movements:)