Looking for ways how to identify a waltham pocket watch before you buy one? We have simple steps to guide you.
Old pocket watches that were manufactured decades ago, are now the rarest items to find. That is same reason Waltham pocket watches that have been around for more than a century, are few to find around. Since they are no longer being produced, their scarcity has made them become one of most treasured watches. Some people still hold a lot of value to the historic timepieces, may be because the watches relate to with their great grand parents somehow.
Actually, Waltham pocket watches, like any other vintage, antique pocket watch timepieces, have become very valuable pieces for collectors. How to Identify a genuine Waltham pocket watch is one off the biggest concern for Waltham pocket watch collectors. If you want to gather valuable information that would help you determine the true value of a Waltham pocket watch before buying or selling, this guide is created for you.
History of Waltham pocket watches
Waltham pocket watches were manufactured between 1851 and 1957, when the American watch company unfortunately closed down.
Waltham pocket watch identification
How can one identify the model and the manufacturing date of a genuine Waltham pocket watch?
Understand the Waltham pocket watch Design
The first step is to know how to indenting the type o pocket watch from the American Waltham pocket watchmakers. To begins with, Waltham made their pocket watches in 3 basic types
Hunter Waltham pocket watch
This is a kind of a closed watch. The Hunter styled case was designed to over the face or the dial of the timepiece. To read time, people needed to flip open the case and close.
Sidewinder Waltham pocket watch
A sidewinder Waltham pocket watch is another kind of open-face timepiece, but with the winder positioned at the side, at 3 O clock.
Open face Waltham pocket watch
Some timepieces simply had no cover on their faces, and you could easily just read time on a glance, as it is pulled out from the waist coast pocket. The open face models also had a winder located at the 12 O’clock position.
How to identify a genuine Waltham pocket watch
If you want to purchase your own Waltham pocket watch, you would want to first verify if the supposed Waltham pocket watch is really authentic. Here is how to go about it.
1. Waltham watch face markings
Try to Identify the Markings Found On The Waltham pocket Watch if you can. Every Waltham pocket watch was made with some markings on the watch face. If you don’t see this A.W.W.Co” and “Waltham, Mass.” written on the face, probably, that is not a Waltham pocket watch.
Sometimes, the person putting up the old Waltham pocket watch or sale can by evil in the deal. Some unscrupulous guys can fits a low value movement inside a pocket watch case. So you have to check the inside of the pocket watch too.
Open the pocket watch caseback with a finger but a knife can easily lever open the back cover if it’s too tight. Depending on the type of pocket watch, check out various ways how to open a pocket watch caseback. Be careful not to ruin everything by mistakenly damaging the movement inside.
2. Check the pocket watch movement markings
What is there in the pocket watch movement? A genuine Waltham pocket watch movement comes with “A.W.W.Co” and “Waltham, Mass.” marked on it. For example : a riverside grade Waltham pocket watch has its movement marked with “A.W.W.Co. Riverside Waltham, Mass.”. Finding the grade marking inside the pocket watch movement is the quickest way to identify an authentic Waltham pocket timepiece.
Related: How To Wear A Pocket Watch properly
3. The pocket watch Cover markings
Your Waltham pocket watch could possible come inside a different watch case. In the olden days, customers were allowed to buy their ideal pocket watch movement and asked their local jeweler to make a customized case to fit it.
As a result of this watch case customization, Waltham knew they had to differentiate their watch cases, with unique markings, related to their trademark.
A pocket watch that comes with a cover, like the hunter-case pocket watches, would likely have markings in it. You should check and if you find “AWco” marked inside pocket watch cover, that case was 100% designed and made by Waltham watch manufacturers.
4. Check the production date
How do you date a Waltham watch to see if it’s genuine? Use the pocket watch serial number which is also on the movement, and plugin it into the pocket watch database table. You may get lucky to determine the year, your pocket watch was manufactured.
If you can also get the manufacturing dates online( Oldwatch.com site). If you have the pocket watch serial numbe, go to a site like Oldwatch.com if you can find the corresponding pocket watch production year listed. That site displays manufacturing date and pocket watch serial numbers.
This is an exception, if your serial number comes between two dates, then the earlier year is when the pocket watch was made. Check this table with waltham pocket watch serial numbers
Tips opening pocket watches
You may see “adjusted” in some pocket watch movement at the back. It means the watch movement had been adjusted to keep time.
When opening the pocket watch, take care not to break the crystal, or the movement, with the opening tool.
What does “K” in some Waltham pocket markings?
A “K” that is engraved in a Waltham pocket watch signifies that the timepiece is gold-toned. The”K” is written, alongside a number, which indicates how many carats of gold were used in the watch. For example: “K15” on a pocket watch case, movement or cover means 15-carats gold was used in the pocket watch manufacturing.
Where is the serial number on a Waltham pocket watch?
The wrath movement. Waltham engraved the serial numbers on the pocket watch movement. So open up the watch caseback, and get the serial number.