Waltham Tonneau Step Side Grade 621 Emerald 21j Movement.

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

Waltham Tonneau Step Side Grade 621 Emerald 21j Movement.

#1 Post by 441victor » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:15 pm

Look what the mailman brought me today. An extraordinary 1936 Waltham.

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During the last half of the thirties, Waltham advertisements lauded their production of the world’s smallest round and rectangular movements. They featured trendy narrow and curved case designs that held the latest 8.75 ligne movements. They were setting the company up to compete with Elgin and Gruen. This art deco beauty ignored all the rules and instead wrapped a 6/0 21j movement in a stepped side tonneau design that measures 47 mm lug tip to lug tip. Here's how it appeared in the 1939 catalog.

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It doesn't hold just any movement though.

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As the Great Depression came to an end, Waltham’s production of highly decorated and finished wrist movements also ended. No more 3/0 Riversides or even 6/0 Ruby movements. By 1936 this was Waltham’s flagship movement, the grade 621 Emerald. Eventually the damascening and gold settings seen here would give way to plain butler finishing and pressed in end stones for the final runs of the Jewel Series. Not too disturbing to most watch owners who never saw the inside of their watches, but disappointing to collectors.

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The dial is pretty standard for the period with a sunken sub seconds register and raised gold numerals. It still has its reference number 681R showing at the bottom edge and is illustrated in the 1958 Watch and Clock Material book.

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I appreciate this Waltham for a several reasons. Primarily, its defiance of the path the company thought it was on heading into the 40's and it's movement, not for what it would become but the heritage behind it.

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Now I just need to find the time for a service, a quick dial cleanup and to add some glue to keep the crystal from popping out. I also need to dig up a better crown. Easy.

Joel

semroc
Posts: 307
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:21 pm
Location: Washington

Re: Waltham Tonneau Step Side Grade 621 Emerald 21j Movement.

#2 Post by semroc » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:32 am

Very cool. The inside of the watch looks real clean. Thanks for including catalog pics.

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