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  1. NDLaw2009

    NDLaw2009 May 22, 2020 3:21pm

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    Hey all,

    I was hoping to get some advice re: a non-Omega trench watch. I know its not an Omega watch, but I am looking for general collector advice.

    I recently purchased this Waltham trench watch on Craigslist. Serial number dates the watch to 1907, I believe, and the engraving on the case back connects the watch to a former commander of the California National Guard who served with Pershing in the Mexican campaign and then in WW1.

    It clearly needs a service. The dial looks like it had the (likely radium?) lume removed at some point. What is better from a collector-preserve-the-watch-for-the-next-generation perspective? Have the numerals and hands re-lumed or leave as is? If the former, does anyone have any recommendations for a California based place that can do that?
     
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    UncleBuck and TexOmega like this.
  2. Vitezi

    Vitezi May 22, 2020 6:26pm

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  3. NDLaw2009

    NDLaw2009 May 22, 2020 6:32pm

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    Oh thanks for the book recommendation, I will definitely pick that up. I will also look into LA Watchworks!
     
  4. TexOmega

    TexOmega May 22, 2020 7:28pm

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    Great pick up, can you post pictures of the web strap and buckel?
     
  5. NDLaw2009

    NDLaw2009 May 22, 2020 7:33pm

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    This is the picture of the buckle on the strap I have on my phone. I'll take more pictures of it when I get home.

    The seller indicated it was a Bugbee & Niles Co. "Stronghold" strap/clasp.
     
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  6. NDLaw2009

    NDLaw2009 May 22, 2020 7:35pm

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    The seller also included the gentleman's military medals -- He apparently acquired the watch and medals from the estate of the grandson. They were in a "knick knack" bucket and he pulled them out...
     
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  7. TexOmega

    TexOmega May 22, 2020 7:40pm

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    Very nice, do you see US on the buckel?


    And that is a Fantastic reference book, he has a Elgin book also.
     
  8. agee

    agee May 22, 2020 7:41pm

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    Very nice and with provenance
    Great pick up Congrats!
     
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  9. UncleBuck

    UncleBuck understands the decision making hierarchy May 22, 2020 7:53pm

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    I'd rather see no lume than replaced lume on an old piece.
    Can you tie the service and the piece together?
     
  10. NDLaw2009

    NDLaw2009 May 22, 2020 8:00pm

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    Not directly. Googling just turned up references to him commanding the California National Guard for 6 months in 1916, serving on the Mexican Border, and eventually serving as assistant chief of staff for a military department. I have seen newspaper articles referring to him as a general (and the engraving on the back calls him a Lt. Col.) so either the engraving/watch is from earlier in his career or (more likely) the reference to him as "General" is because the commander of the California National Guard is the "Adjutant General" of the Guard.

    The strap does seem to be a military-style strap/buckle.

    If this website is right, http://www.pocketwatchrepair.com/histories/waltham.html , than the serial number resolves to c. 1915 (which matches up to the timeframe). For some reason I thought I saw a website that tied the serial number to 1907, but I might be mistaken...
     
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  11. UncleBuck

    UncleBuck understands the decision making hierarchy May 22, 2020 8:07pm

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    Light Colonel (lieutenant Colonel) , Colonel, General all can happen in a short time on a field of battle.
    Great piece and worthy of much more study.
    Don't sell unless it's to me!
     
  12. NDLaw2009

    NDLaw2009 May 22, 2020 8:11pm

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    I do wonder if an officer would really be wearing a solid gold-cased watch while serving in an active zone. It seems like it would be a bit rough on things.
     
  13. NDLaw2009

    NDLaw2009 May 23, 2020 9:34am

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    Other pictures of the band and clasp. I have been in contact with the author of the book recommended above -- he advises that the yellow plastic crystal is original to the watch and was a military option offered by the case maker to reduce the visibility of the lume that would have originally been on the watch.

    Still trying to decide whether or not to get the watch re-lumed. The dial and hands feel a little naked as they are.
     
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