An article that reviews pocket watches made by Waltham and shows serial numbers and advises on value. Detailed information on these pocket watches with videos Thanks for reading this article on Waltham pocket watches. I am not an expert on these watches by any means but I thought I would include a section on Waltham as that was where the Elgin company actually started from so in many ways their history is inter-linked. Waltham Pocket Watches Value. The main question I always get asked is what is the value of a pocket watch. I can never tell you that with any degree of accuracy as there are just too many variables. There are so many things that contribute to the value of a watch that it would be unfair to even an offer an estimate.
The American Waltham watch factory on the banks of the Charles River The American Waltham Watch Company had its beginnings in 1850 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The company was founded by David Davis, Aaron Dennison, and Edward Howard. Their vision was to form a watch company that could produce high-quality watches at a lower cost using interchangeable parts.
With financial backing from Samuel Curtis, of small-arms manufacturing fame, the watch production began in 1851, and the first small group of watches were finished in late 1852. The first watches produced went to officials of the company, and it was not until 1853 that the first watches were offered for sale to the public. Problems were encountered with the new production methods. The company was exploring innovative new ideas in watch manufacturing, such as using jewels, making enamel dials, and producing plates with a high-level of finish which required extensive tooling and resulted in a great financial burden.
They also found that even though they were using interchangeable parts, each watch was still unique and had its own set of errors to be corrected. It took months to adjust the watches to the point where they were any better than other widely available timepieces.
Customer Department at the Waltham Watch Company In 1853, the factory building was completed and the company began doing business under the name "American Horologe Company." The name was changed to "Boston Watch Company" in September 1853, and the factory in Waltham, Massachusetts was built in October 1854.
The movements produced here (serial numbers 1001 - 5000) were signed "Dennison, Howard,& Davis," "C. T. Parker," and "P.
S. Bartlett." The company went through a series of financial reorganizations and renamings over the next decades. The Boston Watch Company failed in 1857 and was sold at auction to Royal E. Robbins. It was reorganized as "Tracy, Baker & Co." and later that same year the name was again changed to "Appleton, Tracy & Co" and watches 5001 - 14,000 were produced. The first movements carried the Appleton, Tracy & Co. marking. The C. T. Parker movement was reintroduced as the model 1857 and sold for $12, no small amount in those days!
Waltham During the Civil War Years In January, 1859 the Waltham Improvement Co. and the Appleton, Tracy & Co. merged to form the "American Watch Company." The dial department of the Waltham Watch factory. In 1860, as Abraham Lincoln was elected President and the country found itself in the throes of the Civil War, the American Watch Company was faced with serious financial problems. By 1861, business had come to a standstill and bankruptcy seemed inevitable.
The factory was kept in operation through these years by cutting expenses to the lowest possible level... a strategy that proved successful.
According to the biography by Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln owned and carried a Waltham "Wm. Ellery" watch. The watch was an 11-jewel, 18 size, key-wind in a silver hunter case, and was produced in January of 1863. In 1885, the company became the "American Waltham Watch Company". In 1865 prices for movements only (no case) were: William Ellery $13, P.
S. Bartlett $16, Bartlett-Ladies $30, Appleton Tracy $38, A. T. & Co Ladies $40, and American Watch Grade $175! In 1906 the company was renamed the "Waltham Watch Company". In 1923, they became the "Waltham Watch and Clock Company" reflecting the new importance of clock manufacturing, but then in 1925 the name was changed back to "Waltham Watch Company". American Horology owes much to the brilliant visionaries of the Waltham Watch Company.
Bacon, Church, Dennison, Fogg, Howard, Marsh, Webster, and Woerd all contributed greatly to American watchmaking. Waltham continued to manufacture watches (and clocks) until 1957, when they ceased production and became the Waltham Precision Instrument Company.
The rights to the name "Waltham Watch Company" were sold to the Hallmark Watch Company of Chicago, Illinois who continued to sell imported watches using the Waltham name. Several of the original Waltham factory buildings are still standing, and were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Waltham Named Grades In addition to using grade numbers, Waltham also used many grade names on their watches, often choosing the names of Board members, company investors, or other prominent individuals.
The grade name basically designates the model and/or level of finish of the watch. Some of the more popular Waltham named grades were: P. S. Bartlett, Appleton Tracy & Co., William Ellery, Crescent Street, Colonial, Riverside, Central Park, Broadway, Royal E. Robbins, Vanguard, Bond Street, Sterling, Premier, Royal, and Maximus. Modern Waltham Watches It is still possible to purchase modern quartz watches that bear the Waltham name, but these watches are unrelated to the "genuine" American Waltham Watch Company.
In fact, a 1961 ruling by the Federal Trade Commission prohibited any inference that a relationship to the original Waltham Watch Company exists. American Waltham Watch Company Waltham Watch Serial Numbers and Production Dates Total Production: Approx. 35 Million Watches Year S/N 1852 50 1853 400 1854 1000 1855 2500 1856 4000 1857 6000 1858 10,000 1859 15,000 1860 20,000 1861 30,000 1862 45,000 1863 65,000 1864 110,000 1865 180,000 1866 260,000 1867 330,000 1868 410,000 1869 460,000 1870 500,000 1871 540,000 1872 590,000 1873 680,000 1874 730,000 1875 810,000 1876 910,000 1877 1,000,000 1878 1,150,000 1879 1,350,000 1880 1,500,000 1881 1,670,000 1882 1,835,000 1883 2,000,000 1884 2,350,000 1885 2,650,000 1886 3,000,000 1887 3,400,000 Year S/N 1888 3,800,000 1889 4,200,000 1890 4,700,000 1891 5,200,000 1892 5,800,000 1893 6,300,000 1894 6,700,000 1895 7,100,000 1896 7,450,000 1897 8,100,000 1898 8,400,000 1899 9,000,000 1900 9,500,000 1901 10,200,000 1902 11,100,000 1903 12,100,000 1904 13,500,000 1905 14,300,000 1906 14,700,000 1907 15,500,000 1908 16,400,000 1909 17,600,000 1910 17,900,000 1911 18,100,000 1912 18,200,000 1913 18,900,000 1914 19,500,000 1915 20,000,000 1916 20,500,000 1917 20,900,000 1918 21,800,000 1919 22,500,000 1920 23,400,000 1921 23,900,000 1922 24,100,000 1923 24,300,000 Year S/N 1924 24,550,000 1925 24,800,000 1926 25,200,000 1927 26,100,000 1928 26,400,000 1929 26,900,000 1930 27,100,000 1931 27,300,000 1932 27,550,000 1933 27,750,000 1934 28,100,000 1935 28,600,000 1936 29,100,000 1937 29,400,000 1938 29,750,000 1939 30,050,000 1940 30,250,000 1941 30,750,000 1942 31,050,000 1943 31,400,000 1944 31,700,000 1945 32,100,000 1946 32,350,000 1947 32,750,000 1948 33,100,000 1949 33,500,000 1950 33,560,000 1951 33,600,000 1952 33,700,000 1953 33,800,000 1954 34,100,000 1955 34,450,000 1956 34,700,000 1957 35,000,000 - - - - Be sure to use the serial number on the movement (the works) of the watch.
Do not use the serial number from the watch case. Can’t find your serial number in the table? for an explanation and example of how to use our serial number tables.
Need help finding the serial number on your watch? for instructions on how to identify and open most common case types. At Renaissance Watch Repair, we are experts in the repair and restoration of antique watches made by the American Waltham Watch Company.
Please if you have any questions about the repair of your vintage Waltham watch.
best dating waltham watches - WALTHAM SWISS MADE WATCHES
Waltham Wristwatches with Alarm Always arrive on time when you're wearing a waltham watch with an alarm. These waltham watches have alarms for added practicality and convenience. Popular Strap Materials for Waltham Wristwatches with Alarms: • Stainless Steel • PVD Coated • Plastic • Platinum • Silver Stainless steel band wristwatches have a modern style, which gives them a sleek, contemporary feel.
They are designed with scratch-resistant straps for enhanced durability. PVD coated band wristwatches are made with very strong materials for durable designs. PVD coated bands are resistant to corrosion, so they will look like new for seasons to come. Available Movement Types for Waltham Watches with Alarms: • Tuning Fork Movements • Quartz Automatic Movements • Automatic Movements • Mechanical Hand-Wound Movements • Quartz Solar-Powered Movements Commonly used in the late fifties and sixties, the tuning forks produce a subtle humming sound.
These watches are designed with accurate movements and give off gentle humming noises, so you can be certain that they are working effectively. Automatic quartz movement watches tick with the help of a small crystal that vibrates to power the hands. They are very low-maintenance for added convenience.
The Waltham Watch Company, also known as the American Waltham Watch Co. and the American Watch Co., produced about 40 million watches, clocks, speedometers, compasses, time fuses, and other precision instruments between 1850 and 1957.
The company's historic 19th-century manufacturing facilities in have been preserved as the . Waltham Watch Company Industry Fate moved to Switzerland 1957 Founded 1850 Headquarters , , Products , & clocks Footnotes / references see (Switzerland) & , Alabama (U.S.A.) In 1850, at , David Davis, Edward Howard, and formed the company that would later become the Waltham Watch Company.
Their revolutionary was to manufacture the parts of watches so precisely that they would become fully . Based upon the experience of earlier failed trials, Howard and Dennison eventually perfected and their precision watch making machines, creating what has been called the .
American Horologe Company (Warren Manufacturing Company) The original name of the company, which began operations in 1851, is unclear. Some sources say the name was the "American Company". However, in 1886, Dennison stated that the first company name was the Warren Manufacturing Company, named for , a famous soldier of the War of Independence. The word "watch" was specifically omitted to retain secrecy of the novel operation.
In 1851, production began in a new factory building. In late 1852, the first watches were complete. The first 17 watches, which ran for 8 days, and were marked "Howard, Davis & Dennison", were distributed among company officials. Number 1, given to Howard, is now at the . Numbers 18 to 100 were named "Warren, Boston" and the following 800 "Samuel Curtis", after the financial backer of the company.
A few, marked "Fellows & Schell", sold for $40. January 1853 saw the introduction of the "P.S. Bartlett" watch, named for early employee Patten Sargent Bartlett. Boston Watch Company In September 1853 the company was renamed the Boston Watch Company.
A new factory was built in , on the banks of the , which the company occupied in 1854. Growth of the company prompted significant expansion of these premises, whose surviving elements now date to the period 1879–1913. Now repurposed to residential and commercial use, the complex was listed on the in 1989. The next movements manufactured (1001-5000) were marked "Dennison, Howard, & Davis", "P.S.Bartlett", and "C.T.
Parker". The company had financial difficulties and Howard left to form Appleton Tracy & Company Upon bankruptcy, the company was sold at auction to , who reorganized it under the new name Appleton Tracy & Company (ATCo) with his brother, , in May 1857.
The next movements produced, Serial numbers 5001 to 14,000, were used in the watch, the first pocket watch produced in America of standard parts. The "C.T. Parker" was introduced as the 1857 model. 399 units were made. American Watch Company In January 1859 the Waltham Improvement Company merged with Appleton, Tracy & Company, forming the American Watch Company (AWCo). In 1861, as the country entered the , production stopped.
The company decided to downsize to the lowest possible level to keep the factory open, which was successful. After the Civil War, the company became the main supplier of to various in North America and more than fifty other countries. In 1876, the company showed off the first automatic screw making machinery and obtained the first Gold Medal in a watch precision contest at the Philadelphia .
American Waltham Watch Company In 1885 the company name changed to the American Waltham Watch Company (AWWCo). Waltham model 1899 pocketwatch movement. Two groups of high-quality watches were produced by the company for orders placed by the . One large group has the shield and beaver emblem of the Railway engraved on the movements, and is known as the "CPR" type. The second group has "Canadian Railway Time Service" engraved on the movements, and is known as the "CRTS" type.
They are both highly prized by collectors. Serial numbers (2702) Waltham model 1899 pocket watch face Every watch that the company produced was engraved with an individual .
That number can be used to estimate the date of production. Volunteers have created a database of Waltham serial numbers, models and grades, and descriptions of observed watches. Waltham Precision Instruments Company The company closed its factory doors and declared bankruptcy in 1949, although the factory briefly reopened a few times, primarily to finish and case existing watch inventory for sale.
Several different plans were presented to restart the business, but all failed for various reasons. In 1958, the company got out of the consumer watch business completely, and reorganized into the . All remaining watch inventory had been sold to the the previous year, and rights to the "Waltham" trademark were sold to a new Waltham Watch Company incorporated in Delaware in exchange for stock.
Specialized clocks and for use in aircraft control panels continued to be made in the Waltham factory by the Waltham Precision Instruments Company until the company was sold in 1994. The company is now based in , as the . Waltham International SA Switzerland Before the Waltham Watch Company went out of business in 1957, it founded a subsidiary in in 1954, . Waltham International SA retains the right to the Waltham trade name outside of North America, and continues to produce mechanical wrist watches and mechanical pocket watches under the "Waltham" brand.
Hallmark Watch Company During their restructuring efforts in the 1950s, Waltham opened an office in New York for the purposes of importing Swiss watch movements and cases. Due to restrictions placed on the company by its main creditor, the , they could not sell these watches directly, so they were sold through an independent company, the . Waltham Watch Company (Delaware) The Waltham Watch Company (later known as Waltham of Chicago) was founded by one of the executives of the Hallmark Watch Company to carry on the Waltham trade name in the watch business.
In exchange for rights to the name, existing Waltham Watch Company (Mass) shareholders received 1 share of the new company for every 5 shares of the original company. In 1959, the Waltham Watch Company merged with the Hallmark Watch Company, giving the new company access to replacement parts to service existing Waltham watch owners.
The company came under much scrutiny by the throughout the 1960s, and ultimately was forced to change its advertising and branding policies to clearly indicate that it was not directly related to the original Waltham company, and that its products were not made in America.
manufactures and distributes Waltham watches in the market. For a period the sales were concentrated in the market. Since 2011, American entrepreneur Antonio DiBenedetto has been majority owner of the company. [ ] In February 1994, Prime Time Clocks purchased the last remaining product line, the mechanical aircraft clock. [ ] Waltham Precision Instruments was moved to . The company then incorporated in the state of Alabama under the name of Waltham Aircraft Clock Corporation.
[ ] Abraham Lincoln's Watch Upon giving the in 1863, was presented with a William Ellery, key wind watch , serial number 67613. This watch is now in the collection of the at the in . Waltham speedometer in a Ford The 1937 Ford sedans had Waltham speedometers, reputedly the only speedometer in a Ford to display the name of its manufacturers. A testor at the time was quoted as saying that accuracy had to be "plus or minus 10 MPH". Waltham Watch and the race to the moon In early 1962, (MIT) engineers began work on the navigation system.
The engineers' starting point was MIT's revolutionary guidance system, which included gyroscopes and instruments for measuring changes in direction. The guidance system was high mechanical technology, like the precision parts in a watch. MIT engineers, students and staff, led by Dr. , worked closely with the Waltham Watch Company. The MIT team learned how to work with high precision machining while under the operation and direction of military contractor Space and Information Systems Division Waltham Operations.
Mechanical gyroscopes, spinning with ever-higher precision, very low friction, and very low wear, required the utmost accuracy and absence of even the most minute defect. Nobody had ever tried to manufacture precision instruments that would work with such accuracy before the Waltham team.
It is said [ ] that the hygiene and cleanliness rules of the team were so strict that women were not allowed to wear makeup and if someone had just come back from a sunny vacation, they were forbidden to work near the assembly area for fear that they could have skin flaking off from their suntans. Waltham watch on the moon In 1996, astronaut , commander of the mission in 1971, stated that he wore a Waltham watch on his third lunar EVA when his standard chronograph became damaged.
In 2014, he confessed that he had made a mistake: "it was a , not a Waltham." • Carosso, Vincent P., , Bulletin of the Business Historical Society, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Dec., 1949), pp. 165–187, published by The President and Fellows of Harvard College • Engle, Tom; Richard E. Gilbert; and Cooksey Shugart, Complete Guide to Watches, Twenty Seventh Edition, January 2007, • Edward A.
Marsh (1896), , Chicago: G. K. Hazlitt & co. • Sandburg, Carl, Lincoln Collector: The Story of Oliver R. Barrett's Great Private Collection, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1949 • Shugart, Cooksey, The Complete Guide to American Pocket Watches, 1981,
How to Value & Date a Pocket Watch by Dr. Lori