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Thread: Radium in old pocket watch

  1. #1
    Craftsman canuck's Avatar
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    Radium in old pocket watch

    Found these two in the house today. Is there any value to these? Given the radium in the one Iím considering just binning it. The Waltham however has lovely blues hands. I should have taken a better picture.

    Thoughts very welcome.


    Last edited by canuck; 4th December 2019 at 23:07.

  2. #2
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    That Waltham looks superb. Is the case 14K gold?

  3. #3
    Craftsman canuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post
    That Waltham looks superb. Is the case 14K gold?
    I have no idea... I guess Iíd need to look for a hallmark ?

  4. #4
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    Radium in old pocket watch

    I think it might just be marked 14K or not even have one, I think that is the way it works in the US. Webwatchmaker (Brendan) knows a lot about old Waltham pocket watches, might be worth dropping him a PM. They were apparently as good or better than anything Swiss at that time.
    Last edited by alfat33; 4th December 2019 at 23:21.

  5. #5
    Craftsman canuck's Avatar
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    Many thanks!

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    The Waltham 23 jewel could be a railroad grade watch.
    Iím guessing the top crown winds the watch but you cannot pull it out to set time? If so, unscrew the glass retaining front case to look for a small lever , pull lever up then turn crown to set time.
    Also if you can remove the case rear to check for serial numbers then input this on ďpocket watch databaseĒ . Should give an idea of quality/scarcity/value etc.
    Look forward to more pictures if you can.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Craftsman canuck's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip. Iíd have never noticed that lever on the front! Even when looking for it I barely noticed it.

    I took a few more photos. Also appears to be 10k gold not 14.


  8. #8
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    Radium in old pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by canuck View Post
    Thanks for the tip. Iíd have never noticed that lever on the front! Even when looking for it I barely noticed it.

    I took a few more photos. Also appears to be 10k gold not 14.
    Thanks for the pictures. Looks like a nice movement. 10K and not solid gold, filled is a kind of better alternative to plating.

    Still very nice, better than your average £50 pocket watch (of which I have a few).

    This link to the Waltham Pocket Watch serial number database tells you a bit more about your watch.

    https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/sear...ltham/30750168

    Breguet hairspring, railroad grade movement - pretty cool.
    Last edited by alfat33; 6th December 2019 at 16:10.

  9. #9
    Craftsman canuck's Avatar
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    Radium in old pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post

    Bregeut hairspring, railroad grade movement - pretty cool.
    Thanks for the advice! I havenít timed it but it ticks over fine and everything seems to work as it should.
    Last edited by canuck; 5th December 2019 at 20:27.

  10. #10
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    I`ve just checked the database linked above, values estimated as follows;-

    working condition, low value/poor condition $173

    average $325

    high $493

    retail $598-$793

    All in all a very nice, quality pocket watch.

    I would recommend a service to keep it running well, chap I used was Michael Swift, Isle of Bute but there are others on here as well.

  11. #11
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    The Waltham is beautiful canuck. American watch companies competed for the lucrative railway contracts so performance and quality were exceptional.
    * I would be wary of relying too much on Cooksey and Shugart's valuations. Their book is great but they are buyers and collectors.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Iím no expert, but shouldnít something with radium in be disposed in a certain way, rather than just being put in a bin? Of course, you may well just be using that as an expression...

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