Pocket Horology
National Research Chapter 174
National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
June, 2005 - Updated August 2015

Waltham's Assorted Specials
 (click images for larger view)

 

The Waltham serial number lists, both the "Gray Book" (published by Waltham in the 1950s) and the early hand-written ledgers (covering up to around 1900), provide details of much of their production.  However, one consistent gap in the record are the thirty serial number blocks of varied special-order watches that are listed as "Ass't Spec." (Assorted Specials) or "Special Orders, Assorted Sizes and Grades".   These appear to consist of numerous small special orders that were too small to list individually.  However, cumulatively the thirty groups of specials, produced between 1907 and 1920 account for nearly 12,000 movements that are otherwise unknown.  These are mostly specially finished private-label watches, many with unique features.  The purpose of this research is to fill in these gaps in the Waltham production records. 

 

As an example, serial number group 17,051,501 - 17,052,500 includes numerous examples of the "Patrician" label, manufactured for and cased by casemaker H.W. Matalene (discussed in our January 2003 Newletter).  Within this run alone I have seen 10-ligne, 6/0, 0 and 14-size (Colonial Series) Patrician movements with 17 to 23 jewels.  Many have gold gear trains and exhibit characteristics of Waltham's highest quality work.  The group also includes some high-grade Colonial Series movements marked for Tiffany & Co. 
 

Maximus-grade Colonial Series "Patrician"
Riverside-grade Colonial Series for Tiffany

This Tiffany & Co movement is one of several I have seen that have been modified to read "TIERANY & COX".  The pillar plate has also been cut down from 14-size to 12-size.  Both of these Colonial Series movements have unique experimental features, such as a provision for pin or push setting that was, however, not utilized.  Both, also, take a unique footless dial with special dial screws that pinch the edge of the dial to hold it on.

 

Another group, 18,027,501 - 18,028,500, includes 9-ligne Patrician movements and various movements for Bigelow Kennard & Co. (utilizing the patent click also discussed in our January 2003 Newsletter).

Here is a complete list of the "special" groups, including a generalized notation of what has been found so far.  More detail will appear on this page later, including a listing of all reported examples.  Many of these have custom cases that will also be part of the research. 

 

run   serial number range        quantity   observed labels

 1)   16125001 -16125100      100          none recorded

 2)   16140501 -16140700      200          Barnes & Sons; E.C. Carpenter

 3)   16158001 -16158300      300          none recorded

 4)   16167401 -16167700      300          Bigelow, Kennard & Co.

 5)   16186601 -16186700      100          none recorded

 6)   16188501 -16188700      200          includes Riverside Maximus

 7)   16196701 -16197000      300          Bigelow. Kennard & Co.; N. Gamse; Riverside Maximus for export

 8)   17018501 -17018800      300          J.Q. Hatch

 9)   17051501 -17052500      1000        Tiffany & Co.;  Patrician; J.Q. Hatch; E.C. Carpenter

10)   17162001 -17162500     500          Hess & Culbertson; Shreve. Crump & Low Co.; Siderial

11)   17187501 -17188500     1000        J. Q. Hatch; N. Gamse; CPR; CRTS

12)   18027501 -18028500     1000        Bigelow. Kennard & Co.;  Patrician

13)   18049001 -18049500     500          W. Bartham; Tappin's; Northern Best; J.Q. Hatch

14)   18053651 -18054000     350          N. Gamse; G.W. Beall; unmarked Riverside grade

15)   18064411 -18064500     90            none recorded

16)   18120601 -18120700     100          none recorded

17)   18135001 -18136000     1000        J. Q. Hatch, Bigelow, Kennard & Co.; Warwick; CPR; Mermod Jaccard & Co.; A.S. Samuels Co.

18)   19084501 -19085000     500          Bigelow, Kennard & Co.; Hardy & Co.; J.Q. Hatch; Odin

19)   20012501 -20012800     300          A.S. Samuels Co.

20)   20024551 -20025100     550          J. Q. Hatch; Weber Bros.; export bridge model

21)   20056601 -20056794     194          none recorded

22)   20056995 -20057000     5              none recorded

23)   20092501 -20092600     100          Waltham gr.645

24)   20092701 -20093000     300          Waltham gr.645

25)   20309001 -20309500     500          Brenner Watch; Crest; Cronometro Supremo; No.999

26)   22082001 -22082500     500          Brenner Watch; Tiffany & Co.

27)   22190001 -22190500     500          Tiffany & Co.; J.Q. Hatch

28)   23004001 -23004500     500          Tiffany & Co.

29)   23013501 -23014000     500          Tiffany & Co.

30)   23203501 -23203900     400          none recorded

 

 

Data fields that I am seeking to fill include:  serial number, size, jewelling, movement marking and finish, plate layout, dial marking, special features (patent click, whiplash regulator, diamond endstone, gold train), and casing (style, material, markings, serial number, special features).  Photographs of movements, dials and cases are requested, when available.  

 

Information and photos should be sent to jtreiman@att.net   Data sources will be kept confidential.