Waltham Pilot Cushion w/ 3/0 15j Model 1907 from 1930.

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441victor
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:56 pm
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Waltham Pilot Cushion w/ 3/0 15j Model 1907 from 1930.

#1 Post by 441victor » Fri May 11, 2018 8:39 pm

Until this February, few people knew of the existence of the Waltham wrist models intended to exploit the public’s interest in aviation and compete directly with the popular Elgin Avigos. Then, Stan featured an example of their Pilot model and went into detail about his hunt for verifying information.

http://www.vintagewatchforums.com/viewt ... 35&t=11638

Recently I stumbled on a British ebay auction for a Waltham that was clearly related to Stan’s Pilot and was successful in bringing it back home.

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A quick comparison reveals some obvious differences in the two models. Stan’s excellent example wears a nickel case with a cushion shaped opening versus yellow gold filled with a round opening and dial. The high end 17 jewel movement in Stan’s watch and its rotating disc complication for showing the seconds are indications that it was a top quality offering from Waltham. This watch is more middle range, having a 15j 3/0 sized movement and a normal sunken sub-seconds dial. Waltham’s catalog pages often gave the buyer a choice of 7, 15 or 17 jewel movements for the same model at an increase in price.

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It does inherit the Pilot styling and its dial has the same larger font for the quarter hour numerals that along with the 5 minute markers are filled with green lume. Most important though, it carries the “Prop & Wings" logo prominently under the 12. It is shiny gold leaf overprinted with black detail and has the hologram type reflective property, that Stan described, when rotated in the light. This model lacks the printed “Pilot” label but there is no doubt in my mind that they were meant to be brothers-in-arms.

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When I first looked inside the bezel, I was concerned that there was a mismatch between its hand scratched numbers and the last 4 digits of the case serial number. Then I realized that they used 5 digits instead of the normal 4 and it did match with 22048.

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The movement is a 15 jewel grade 365 with a good balance but in need of a COA. It has nice damascening and finish but lacks the gold setting of Waltham’s better movents. Although it does have gold mean time screws shining on the balance.

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There is a relatively short list of tasks ahead. As much as I love to provide good homes for my Riverside movements, this watch will continue life unmolested. I’ll just get it running again. The lume is so nice, I’m afraid to do any cleaning on the dial. It’s bright enough that there’s not much to gain and plenty to lose. I’ll probably just add a matching minute and second hand and maybe fill them with a closely colored film of paint. No heroics trying to repair the brassing on the bezel. It’s earned its scars.

Joel

semroc
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Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:21 pm
Location: Washington

Re: Waltham Pilot Cushion w/ 3/0 15j Model 1907 from 1930.

#2 Post by semroc » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:54 pm

Beautiful watch. How's it coming along?

441victor
Posts: 1100
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:56 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: Waltham Pilot Cushion w/ 3/0 15j Model 1907 from 1930.

#3 Post by 441victor » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:59 am

It's in for getting a COA. That list always seems to grow faster than the time I have to spend on it. Joel

441victor
Posts: 1100
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:56 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: Waltham Pilot Cushion w/ 3/0 15j Model 1907 from 1930.

#4 Post by 441victor » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:54 pm

Here’s another to add to the 4 examples shown here on the forum so far. Again different except for movement size and dial.

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This one is running a 3/0 size 7j grade 361.That puts this dial on every grade of 3/0 movement that Waltham produced including the 361SS that would fit under the dial that magpie shows in the Swartchild & Co. catalog clipping.

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This watch also adds a 4th case into the mix. An Illinois Tivoli in white gold fill that has seen better days. One of the first restoration tasks will be to fill the hole on the back with some gold solder to at least keep out the weather and make it more presentable at the same time.

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The exposure of this model here on VFW has already had an affect on the bidding for these recently unknown Walthams. This auction got a little hot near the end. It would be nice if the notoriety would also bring out some advertisements. Seems to me that such a broad range of models must have been better hyped in the brochures of the 30s than the lack of ads so far would indicate. The headliner version is the Stan’s Spartan cased 367 with the seconds indicator disk but most surprising to me is the Depollier watch that semroc posted. Not a good time to relax the search for Walthams on ebay.

semroc
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:21 pm
Location: Washington

Re: Waltham Pilot Cushion w/ 3/0 15j Model 1907 from 1930.

#5 Post by semroc » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:48 am

Great score. That crown is sweet. I've been looking into the history of the wings and prop logo. The crest is worn by the 3rd, and 29th Infantry Division, Combat Aviation Brigades respectively. It looks like they adopted the crest in the 1950's. Still looking for prior history. I'm envious you have two now, lol. Great watches.

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