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Waltham 7.25 Ligne Rectangular Model from 1935.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:58 pm
by 441victor
This is something that I’ve been avoiding for some time. Getting involved with a new movement. Of course that phrase brings up different flashbacks for those of us who lived through the 60’s. In this case I’m referring to working on Waltham’s rectangular shaped 7.25 ligne movements. It’s a challenge because I have no experience and no carefully hoarded stash of parts and parts movements to help me out. I guess my recent dive into Illinois collecting has loosened up my inhibitions. Sorta like the 60’s maybe. Anyway here's the little culprit.

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I haven’t seen it’s exact duplicate in any of the adverts I’ve managed to gather but it seems to be closely related to two models from the 1937 catalog. I've added a couple of clips below. It sports the case of the upper model having a catalog number of 3790 along with one of the two dials versions offered on the lower watch, catalog number 3783 having a leather thong strap with a ratchet clasp.

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That dial is what drew me in and got me hooked. Sector dials are one of the latest trends on modern watches. Although like women’s fashions they have been popular several times before. This rectangular shape definitely makes it one of the most uncommon sector dial designs.

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The 7 ¼ ligne movement was in production from 1921 to 1937. It roughly overlapped Elgin’s production of 18/0 movements and covered the same portfolio of designs. For each company these appeared in both men's and lady's wrist watches and were the first movements not originating from their pocket and pendant watch lines. They were almost exclusively without second hands as their layout didn’t lend itself to just extending the fourth wheel pivot up through the dial. The exceptions being the grade 522 that Elgin used in the William Osler doctors model and the rare Waltham with a second rotor added behind the dial at 9 o’clock. Most of Waltham’s production runs were divided between the 7j grade 761 and 15j grade 765 movements with the 17j 767 or 737 and 21j grade 741 movements coming toward the end. There was also a nine jewel, grade 729.

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This Waltham has much the same appeal as the Elgin 1971 that I have been collecting for the last couple of years. They wear like a much larger watch but the narrow cases match the flow of their straps for a very vintage look on the wrist. Waltham also made lug and dial versions of this case so the new search begins. Here’s the numeral dialed model from the catalog that I just picked up.

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Next the hunt is on for the thong strap variant. And maybe a nine jewel model or the 15j 765. Problem? What problem. I can stop anytime. Nope, really I can.

Joel

Re: Waltham 7.25 Ligne Rectangular Model from 1935.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:07 pm
by semroc
Beautiful watches, with great dials.

Re: Waltham 7.25 Ligne Rectangular Model from 1935.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:11 pm
by JerryT
Thanks for the interesting introduction to these. My Waltham wristwatch interest has been for earlier models than these, but I did have to get this example (movement only) for my Riverside collection. (... looks like some inappropriate jewel replacements, but I got it cheap) --
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Re: Waltham 7.25 Ligne Rectangular Model from 1935.

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:06 pm
by 441victor
Thank for the comments. Jerry, I think those jewels are a factory mod. Much like the 6/0 Ruby and Emerald movements, the 7 1/4 appears to have transitioned to pressed in jewels without settings. Though in my mind the word inappropriate still applies. Joel