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I love holding a little piece of history in my hands.
I joined the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, the NAWCC, and they had regular meetings where you could meet with other collectors and buy, sell, and trade with them.
A watch with no jewels is metal grinding on metal and pretty soon will stop.
They’re real jewels like rubies, diamonds, and sapphires – the shaft of each wheel goes through this little donut shaped jewel to reduce the friction.
The Waltham name has been either acquired or stolen by various companies over the years, so sometimes you’ll see a modern, cheap battery operated watch that has a big red W on it, but that has no relation to the Waltham Company. Over the years I’ve had hundreds, but over time I’ve traded up to get better examples.
When I started collecting, I had in my mind a growing list of the types of watches I wanted to buy, representative samples of various types of watches. There would be two I wanted to keep, and eight that were similar to ones I already had or were not in as good condition.
Jewels are basically bearings on the various gears.
There were smaller companies that made watches by hand as far back as the 1700s, but Waltham was the first American company to use the assembly line to mass-produce watches.
And second, they made pretty much every type of watch, which no other American company did.
A great companion to the above article, “Care for Your Antique Pocket Watch”. ” – Article explaining what jewels are used for in watches, courtesy of Pocketwatcher.
“How to Wear Your Pocket Watch” – Another useful article courtesy of Pocketwatcher, showing detailed photos of how to wear your antique pocket watch.