Here's a little Waltham mystery for our listening audience.

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441victor
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Here's a little Waltham mystery for our listening audience.

#1 Post by 441victor » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:07 pm

It’s a case produced for Waltham by the Illinois Watch Case Company. It's made to hold one of their 7.25 ligne movements. That puts its birthdate anytime from the early 20’s to the late 30’s. But the mystery isn’t about when it was made but how it was worn.

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Since the seller didn’t show the opened case, I assumed it was based on a hidden lug design I was already familiar with. Back in 2011 I acquired and posted about a Waltham which had an interesting method for attaching the strap to the case.

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One of my first posts here on VWF showed the Skyliner and featured its design for fixing the strap to lugs built into the back of the case. The bezel was just a cover that snapped over top hiding the ends inside.

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Thinking I could research the evolution of this design, I picked up this other model for a whopping $19.99. When it arrived, I put it away to wait for some free time. My recent purchase of other 7.25 ligne watches prompted me to dig it out and have a look inside.

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Of course my original assumption proved to be unfounded and the lug design is not related to the Skyliner at all. To top off my consternation, it is also missing a piece that would allow it to function.

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Inside the slots that let the strap exit the case, there is no place to hold a pair of spring bars, male or female. Just some recesses that would appear to hold the ends of piece necessary to secure the strap in place.

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I have a couple of possibilities for solving this. Plan A, historically the most promising path is to appeal to the massive store of knowledge here on the forum. An ad or an example of a whole case would make up for my lack of imagination as to what this piece looks like. Plan B is to use female spring bars to hold the strap ends inside the slot.

(P.S. Extra credit for any theories about the over-stamping of the case serial number.)

Joel

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JerryT
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Re: Here's a little Waltham mystery for our listening audience.

#2 Post by JerryT » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:15 pm

Have you looked up the patents listed in the case? Manheimer had other patents as well.

https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/referen ... atch-wrist

https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/referen ... watch-band

Magpie
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:53 am

Re: Here's a little Waltham mystery for our listening audience.

#3 Post by Magpie » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:38 pm

Have you looked up the patents listed in the case? Manheimer had other patents as well.
Joel, I believe the second Manheimer patent that Jerry gives the link to (above) is the answer about your Waltham; the patent number matches one in the case. (The first link, to a slightly earlier patent, is discussed by Fred Friedberg in his new book set, The Illinois Watch & Its Hamilton Years. He shows the patent drawing and also discusses the use of a lugless case for a certain Illinois model and a Hamilton one too. Waltham is also mentioned briefly.)

441victor
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:56 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: Here's a little Waltham mystery for our listening audience.

#4 Post by 441victor » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:31 pm

Thanks for the links to the patent information. Even though I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering, patents are just a grind to work through and understand. From what I gather so far, these two patents describe the voids remaining when the upper and lower case halves are snapped together. Their shape matches the contours of a normal leather strap with a male spring bar inserted through the end. The opening left inside my case has a different shape which leads me to guess about an additional missing piece. Plan B has worked out well though. I was able to use a female spring bar that catches inside the exit slot and holds a thin strap securely in place.

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As an added bonus, I found an ad from the Janney, Semple, Hill & Co. dated 1937.
Douglas 1937 Janney Semple Hill & Co Ad.jpg
Douglas 1937 Janney Semple Hill & Co Ad.jpg (219.35 KiB) Viewed 324 times
It gives the model name Douglas and mentions the "lug-less patent". At $40 it was pretty pricey for rolled gold plate and an end of life movement without a second hand. Joel

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