Late 1920's Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch

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Literustyfan
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Late 1920's Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch

#1 Post by Literustyfan » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:01 am

I picked this Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch up a couple of days ago, late 1920's.

This is probably Waltham's answer to the Elgin Avigo from the late 1920's.

The Elgin Avigo used a size 4/0s movement, the Waltham PILOT used a high grade size 3/0s movement.

If you ask me the Waltham PILOT blows the doors off of the Elgin AVIGO!

This model is extremely rare, it's only the second one I've ever seen and the piece is still in superb condition.

Just wondering if anybody has ever seen an advertisement for this watch.

There is a picture of one on page 112 of "American Wristwatches, Five Decades of Style & Design" by Faber & Unger.

Zero information comes up on this watch through search engines.

Hoping somebody might have an advert tucked away somewhere for this model.

If so, please share!

Thanks in advance!
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http://www.LRFAntiqueWatches.com

Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of The Great War"

Author of "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WWITrenchWatch/

Magpie
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Re: Late 1920's Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch

#2 Post by Magpie » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:04 am

Stunning watch, Stan! When I get a chance, I'll look through my hoard of jobbers' and jewelers' catalogs and see whether I can find it. (I don't remember ever seeing one of these before -- but then again, I wasn't looking for Walthams . . .)

semroc
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Re: Late 1920's Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch

#3 Post by semroc » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:56 am

Awesome watch. Can we get a pick of the high grade 3/0 movement? Just so we know what to look for. Thanks.

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Literustyfan
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Re: Late 1920's Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch

#4 Post by Literustyfan » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:31 am

The new strap SHOULD be arriving tomorrow, soon as it does I'll post a full spread of pictures..................
http://www.LRFAntiqueWatches.com

Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of The Great War"

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WWITrenchWatch/

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Literustyfan
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Re: Late 1920's Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch

#5 Post by Literustyfan » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:22 am

Sorry for the delay!!!!!

The post office lost the new strap for several days but it FINALLY arrived safely yesterday night.

This is a 1930 Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch featuring a secrometer and the "Prop & Wings"!

This is only the 2nd one I've seen in my career, they are VERY hard to come by.

Rather than having a standard second hand this watch was designed with a secrometer disc underneath the dial.

It is extremely rare to see this on a Waltham.

Just below the 12 o'clock position there is a "Prop & Wings" logo.

There are a few versions of this logo.

This version with the "pointed" wing tips was first used by US Army Air Corps starting around 1920.

The "rounded" wing tips is currently used by the US Air Force Academy.

The logo is just like a hologram, it changes color and brightness in different angles of light.

Pretty advanced technology for an 88 year old wrist watch.

The case was made by the Illinois Watch Case Company, Spartan grade, chrome plated.

This appears to be the original factory crown in my opinion.

A similar watch can be seen on page 112 of "American Wristwatches, Five Decades of Style & Design" by Faber & Unger.

However, the photographer did not point out the "hologram" logo.

In his picture the "Prop & Wings" logo looks to be almost completely black in color.

He did not take the pic from an angle so it shows the hologram feature.

Also, the Waltham "Pilot" shown in that book does not have the correct crown.

This is an Illinois case and the watch in the book has a crown that was made by Wadsworth.

This is a size 3/0s high grade movement featuring 17 jewels.

You pretty much cannot put any movement into this watch and have it work properly due to the secrometer feature, a special factory modification had to be made to the 4th wheel post.

It's also pretty rare to see 20mm lugs on an American watch in 1930.

I did not do anything cosmetic to this watch, I only did mechanical repairs when I overhauled the movement last week.

This is my best guess, this was Waltham's answer to the Elgin Avigo from the late 1920's - early 1930's.

The Elgin Avigo used a wings logo as well but in my opinion the Waltham "Pilot" blows the Elgin "Avigo" out of the sky!

This Waltham is a size 3/0s, the Elgin Avigo used a smaller lower grade size 4/0s movement.

The last picture shows the Elgin Avigo dial so you can see the difference.
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http://www.LRFAntiqueWatches.com

Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of The Great War"

Author of "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WWITrenchWatch/

Magpie
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Re: Late 1920's Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch

#6 Post by Magpie » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:16 pm

I continue to marvel at this very unusual Waltham! It's so cool that the positioning the logo makes it serve as a great big "T" in the Waltham name (the regular printed "T" in the name is still there under it). This mysterious model is apparently in direct competition with not only Elgin (the "Avigo") but also another of Waltham's major competitors, the Illinois Watch Company. In fact, Waltham's "Pilot" gives Illinois a double whammy: a wings logo, to compete with the Illinois "Skyway" (like the "Pilot" a 3/0 size watch), and rotor seconds, to compete with the Illinois "Guardian" (likewise a 3/0)!

As yet, I've not found the Waltham "Pilot" in any of the catalogs I've examined, and I don't recall ever seeing it in any advertisement, but I'll continue to keep an eye out for it. It's possible, of course, that it was an exclusive model that Waltham made for one of its big customers and therefore not listed in jobbers' catalogs or widely advertised. If so, finding it will be a matter of sheer luck -- but that's sometimes happened for me.

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Re: Late 1920's Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch

#7 Post by Literustyfan » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:20 am

Thanks for keeping an eye out for any info!
http://www.LRFAntiqueWatches.com

Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of The Great War"

Author of "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WWITrenchWatch/

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randy van
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Re: Late 1920's Waltham "PILOT" Wrist Watch

#8 Post by randy van » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:36 am

Well, now I have to add another watch to my "must have" list. Great watch, Stan, and great post as usual.

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