Thursday, 30 March 2017

A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

I had mentioned in an early blog that when I find a watch I try and find an accompanying period correct presentation box. Sometimes a watch I find comes with the original box while other watches have me searching for a period correct box separately. Two of my recent watch finds I feature in this blog came with their original boxes, the other watch box featured I found recently to house a watch I received several years ago.


1932 Bulova Miss America


You might remember my blog about the 1928 Bulova Miss America that I had to find a separte box for.  Well, I found another Miss America, albeit a different year and design - the 1932 Miss America above. This watch however came with its original box, hang and price tags and original filagree watch bracelet. It came from a family in Ontario that had recently found the watch and box sitting in the back of a dresser drawer. It is in amazing condition for being 85 years old.


A  close-up of the 1932 Miss America (sitting on a vintage jewellers velvet display panel)


1932 Bulova "Miss America" tucked nicely in its box.


1930 Ad for Bulova Miss America (top right) courtesy of Mybulova.com.
This Miss America variant appears to have been produced from 1930 to 1932 with slight variations.


Considering some of the presentation boxes I have are 70-90 years old, its a wonder that the boxes survive. I find the pre-1930s boxes are hard to come by as they tend not to hold up very well because of the material used to make them.


1929 Gruen "Strap" in its original box


The Gruen box that came with my 1929 watch above isn't in the best shape, but then again, it's almost 90 years old! This particular box is made of paper and cardboard lined with printed silk sitting on velvet covered carboard; not great materials to survive 90 years.

The following Hamilton box circa 1930s is a little more robust than the Gruen and was obviously well cared for. It houses my 1933 Hamilton Putnam. Took me a while and a number of bidding wars on eBay to find this one. It's in great shape with only a small nick on the front near the "H". You can read about the watch in my previous blog called "This is where it begins - It's About Time."


1933 Hamilton "Putnam" in its box


There are still a number of presentation boxes that elude me but then again the hunt is half the fun with my watch obsession so I'll keep on looking.  For now, a number of my watches (and my wifes) are tucked nicely in their place and others, they'll just have to wait.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

It Takes a Licking

Another new one for me - a Timex.

This is no ordinary Timex though. It is an electric, run by a battery and from 1965. I am breaking from what I usually collect (fully mechanical watches) so not only is the watch is new to me, the type of movement is new to me.

In addition, there is no visible crown to set the time on the hands.

Officially called a Timex Electric back-set. Instead of a spring to generate the power like that in a fully mechanical watch, the power in electric watches come from a battery. Not to be confused with quartz battery powered watches (they came at the end of the 60s/70s), this is no quartz watch.


1965 Timex Electric

While Timex was an American company at the time, the movement was made in West Germany and the case in the UK. Apparently Timex bought the company that made the West German movements as they wanted to enter the market for these types of watches quickly and the company making them was simply purchased by Timex.

I found this particular watch at one of the antique stores in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island that we visit from time to time. They are primarily antique furniture retailers, but yesterday, I found this one sitting in a display case.


The dial outside of it's case - in amazing condition


It is hard to make out with the size of the photos on my blog but there are a series of numbers in the above photo that are just above the 12 o'clock position. These number indicate the year of manufacture and the model number.

Well, I got it apart as you can see from these photos, getting it running was easy (new battery) but putting it back together, not so easy. I was the one taking a licking on this one! The most difficult part was putting back the crown onto the setting post; apparently they have to be precisely lined up in order for the crown to sit flush with the back of the watch. The setting crown is on the back of the watch, adding to the uniqueness of this watch. The crown is usually sticking out of the side of a watch.


The back shows the setting crown and the battery cover


If you look closely to the watch back picture above, you can see the setting crown is the one with the ridged wheel with a screw in the centre. If you remove the screw and then the crown (which you have to to take apart the watch), you'll see a post sticking out of the watch case. It's the post and crown that need to be precisely lined up for the crown to sit flat on the back of the watch. It took me some time with the watch apart to find out there was a specific orientation needed.


Iniside back of watch


I managed to track down a Timex catalog page (see picture below) that shows my watch and particular dial. From the watch page you can see there were three different dial patterns. Mine is the one on the bottom. So, according to the numbers on the dial above the 6 o'clock position and the confirmation of the catalog page below, my watch is from 1965.




I also found a vintage magazine add below with the Timex Electric. While it doesn't have the same dial as mine, it is definately the same watch case and movement inside. This add from 1962 shows the watch going for $39.95; that's over $300 today. I can say I didn't have to pay $300 for it yesterday. As a matter of fact, if this is what I believe to be an add from a US magazine, I basically paid about the same as it was back in the 60s.




While I took a licking putting this Timex back together, it keeps on ticking! An interesting additon to my collection.