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Author Topic: Help Identifying a Waltham Watch Case!  (Read 2806 times)
Nefthys
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« on: January 18, 2011, 05:49:00 pm »

Hello,

The collections manager at the museum I work at approached me with a Waltham Pocket Watch Case. He needed to know more about it to put into the collection archives on the artefact. He knew that I collected pocket watches and asked if I could tell him anything about it. Apart from knowing it's a watch case, I cannot tell him more. Below are some pictures and I am wondering if anyone can help with some more information. When it was made? Where it was made? The type of people who would have used it? And if at all possible, it's value at time of purchase, and value today?

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Cheers!
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Abslomrob
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 08:42:04 pm »

I'm guessing it was a shipping container.  Back at the turn of the century, watchmakers (for the most part) didn't make cases, they just made the movement.  Jewelry stores would stock movements and cases separately, and the buyer would select one of each.  The in-house watchmaker would then mount the movement in the case.  Obviously then, the watch manufactures need to create containers to ship the raw movements in, so that the movement wouldn't become damaged or dirty.  This is probably one of those.

Now having said that, most of the shipping containers I've seen are simply round tin affairs; I've never seen one like this before.  Could be size thing (how big is it?) or it could be relative to the quality of the movement (higher end movements shipped in containers with glass, so you could see the movement without opening the tin).  Here's an example:
http://cgi.ebay.ca/2-Waltham-18S-Glass-back-Movement-Shipping-Containers-/380306543145?pt=Pocket_Watches&hash=item588c095229

In general, such tins aren't worth a great deal, but there's always collectors looking for 'em. 
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Nefthys
Snr. Officer
****
Canada Canada


Captain of the Airship Odonata


« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 10:06:50 pm »

It is 2.5 inches high and wide, and 1 inch in depth. It came out of a Second World War soldiers pack. My Waltham pocket watch fits into it quite nicely. 
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Abslomrob
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 06:15:36 pm »

Interesting.  In the 1920's, Waltham started selling factory-cased pocket watches again ( the "Colonial" series); this may have been a shipping container for one of those.  I can't imagine that it would have been designed for daily use; I wouldn't trust those clips to hold the watch secure, and the whole point to putting a watch on a chain was so that if you dropped it, it wouldn't get destroyed.  This box wouldn't help that.  You said that your pocket watch fits into it; how big is your watch?  My rough calculations based on the dimensions you posted suggests that this would accept a watch approximately 1.9" in diameter, which would be a 12 or 14 size watch. 
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watch_guy
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United States United States


« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 06:52:51 pm »

I have a box full of glass-back shipping tins, and just went through and measured a couple of Waltham-marked ones.

Even the largest ones-that will hold an 18 size watch, are 1 7/8" in diameter and 3/4" thick. Thus, I believe that this could have easily any size watch in a glassback tin, even up to an 18 size.

I've seen this sort of packaging holding 1892 model Vanguards, although such watches were long out of production by WWII. I've also seen similar boxes holding 16 size 1908 Vanguards(in shipping tins) on up through the 1920s and 1930s.

I would just about guess that this is earlier than WWII-perhaps the soldier had re-purposed it for other uses. Around this time(and on up after the war) Hamilton was packaging their 16 size RR watches in a flip-top plastic box that could be used as a cigarette box after the watch was removed-perhaps the owner of this box had similar ideas.
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Abslomrob
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2011, 09:47:29 pm »

A member on another board mentioned the use of external shock-absorbing cases for navigation pocketwatches (you can see an example here:
http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=20904 ).  

These were military grade cases used for the AN-5740 navigation timers, but the concept seems similar to what your case provides.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 09:55:22 pm by Abslomrob » Logged
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