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Ball-Hampden "High Grade" on eBay "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Life Member
Wristwatch Host
Picture of Tony Dukes
posted

THIS TOPIC ORIGINATED IN "AVOIDING THE PITFALLS OF ON-LINE TRADING"
AND IS NOW PRESERVED IN OUR "BALL WATCH COMPANY RESEARCH FORUM"

__________________________________________________________

What say you///// Smile

http://cgi.ebay.com/Webb-C-Ball-Pocket-Watch-Size-18-OF...QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 
Posts: 1945 | Location: Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S.A. | Registered: August 01, 2003
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
One thing looks strange to me, I don't see the mainspring barrel arbor in the hole in the plate. Is it missing the mainspring barrel?

 
Posts: 5113 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Also, on the dial is Ball supposed to be Balle? On the movement is it suppose to be marked Ball's? Also has a broken screw on the mainspring plate. I would be interested in hearing from the ball experts.

 
Posts: 5113 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Member 179
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Harold Visser
posted
One thing for sure, the dial has Josiah Moorhouse fingerprints all over it.....Moorhouse did work at Hampden for a while...The "mulberrys" at the 15 minute markers are a dead giveaway...
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Scottsdale, Arizona USA | Registered: November 25, 2002
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle
posted

Thanks Harold,

That makes this watch a real prize Cool even in its present condition.

Although as Tom correctly mentioned, one or more persons unfortunately removed a few parts over the years this one is a prime candidate for professional restoration. These early Ball-Hampden Superior Grades are hard to find and highly prized by Ball collectors.

Adding another dial comment for Tom, the circular flourishes at the end of words like Ball and Cleveland although confusing today are typical of fancy calligraphy of that era.

Thanks to Tony for bringing our attention to this one.

Lindell


Note the "mulberries" that Harold referred to at 15 minutes markers...


 
Posts: 10521 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
IHC Member 328
posted
Hi guys and gals,

The wife and I are on a road trip right now, just leaving West Grand Canyon. Will be home about the first of the month and after I take delivery of this beauty, I will have Marty our watch wizz disasemble this and i will take some pics and further explain why I think this Hampden is so special.

happy hunting,

Bill Kapp
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Vice President
Pitfalls Moderator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Edward L. Parsons, Jr.
posted
Congrats Bill, I'll be looking forward to seeing those pictures.Smile


Best Regards,

Ed
 
Posts: 6719 | Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania, USA | Registered: April 19, 2004
IHC Member 179
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Harold Visser
posted
Hopefully it will have the "Moorhouse" signature on the back side of the dial, let us know OK?
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Scottsdale, Arizona USA | Registered: November 25, 2002
IHC Life Member
Wristwatch Host
Picture of Tony Dukes
posted
All,
This is the first example of the Ball-Hampden marked High Grade that I have seen. What say you///// Smile
Tony
 
Posts: 1945 | Location: Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S.A. | Registered: August 01, 2003
IHC Member 328
posted
Tony and all,

That is one of the features that I was going to point out after taking posession. If you look in the Ball research section, you will see where I have listed the known Ball Hampden survivors. There are only 3 known High Grades counting this one. One of the reasons I posted that list was to alert the members here that Ball Superior grade is the most common type seen even tho it is "valued" higher.

Only 10 percent are marked High Grade and another 10 percent are marked Ball's Standard Cleveland Ohio. 80 percent are marked Superior Grade. of course with only about 31 Ball Hampden's known, it is not fair to call any version "common"

The other detail on this watch that got me more excited than usual is that it is the lowest serial number Ball hampden marked movement yet reported.

Of course the museum example marked Whitcomb Ball is in a class all by itself.

It hasn't arrived yet, will post pics shortly after having it cleaned and dismantled.

Happy hunting
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
Two things;
1. We should move this thread to Ball Watch Research Forum.
2. When you restore this I am sure we can round up any mechanical parts needed.
 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Member 328
posted
David,

Thanks, Marty has a pretty good inventory but when he gets it apart, we will see.

Its nice to have a network of helping members.

Happy hunting,
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
Hi again,

Well, we have taken it apart. It needs a barrel and mainspring, roller jewel, pallet fork, two broken jewels, two broken screws, and the case screws.

That said, it will be beautiful when it is finished. I am thrilled to be its caretaker.

This is the earliest Hampden Ball to have surfaced to date and it is one of three marked Ball's Standard High Grade.

The Moorehouse style dyle has markings on the back.
Appears to be 8/21 and then 9 ' C. I speculate
that this is similar to the fergueson almost look alikes that were probably done to avoid the fees invlolved. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

The case is two pieces with the anit magnetic shield being an insert. Both are marked as Walthams. one is pat from 79 and the other in 83.


Happy hunting,

dialback
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
more pics

parts
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
shield

 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
flip side of shield

 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
Coin silver case

Should have this beauty assembled and fully restored in the next day or so. will post updates.

Still deciding on whether to keep the scratched up thick crystal, have a lens guy polish it or just replace it.

happy hunting,

 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
Hi again guys and gals.

Marty finished today. In total he had to replace 6 of the jewels. One end of the balance staff was badly damaged so he had to restaff it also. A big pain was encountered when one of the pillars had a broken screw. Naturaly the hairspring had to be straightened also.

But after restoring all the parts with correct replacements, it has been adjusted to keep time to a few seconds a day in 5 positions. The coin silver case shined up respectably also.

Check my website at:
Hampden Ball list
for other examples of Moorehouse style dials and a pic of my Other Hampden Ball.

 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
AWWCO Coin silver case.

 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle
posted

It's coming along nicely Bill...

Congratulations!

Wink
 
Posts: 10521 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
IHC Member 328
posted
Thanks Lindell.

Just in the last 6 months, I have been fortunate enough to come across an almost unbelievable group of scare Ball 18 sz watches! You can see them listed in the IHC Ball Research section

Numbers like one out of three, or one of 7, less than 12 known to exist etc make me want to pinch myself to make sure it isn't a dream!

I am glad that we have a Ball Research section on this board as it makes it so much more convenient having so much data and info all in one place.

Regards,

Bill
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
Hi again,

I found a Waltham Ad for anti mag shields in the March 1888 BLE Journal.

 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
FWIW,

Here is a Ball Ad from Dec 1887 BLE Journal where Deuber derides the concept of anti magnetic.

It must really tic him off that Ball and others would case his Hampden movements in non Deuber cases.

Happy hunting

 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
A few months ago, Joel Sarich asked me about the serial number under the barrel bridge on my other Ball Hampden, the one marked Ball's Standard Cleveland O.

I told him I didn't know and didn't use tools so the next time I took it to Marty, I would find out. Joel mentioned that he had seen some with either no serial number or possibly mismatched numbers.

Well, when Marty took this Hi Grade apart, we noticed that there were no serial numbers under the Barrel Bridge. I finaly took the other one back in today and discovered that there is no serial number under its Barrel Bridge either.

Marty and I inspected several 11-15 jewel Hampdens and they all had serial numbers under the barrel bridge. They were pretty crudely done, were obviously stamped one number at a time, spacing wasn't uniform and the alignment was uneven.

That said, it would be a simple thing to put the serial number under the bridge and forestall any further discussion. It would also prevent any future owner from taking these bridges and "discovering" a 23 jewel Ball Hampden. However I am inclined to leave it the way I found it.

The Hi Grade was in poor shape when I got it, no way it would have been a reasonable choice for a put together watch! Besides if someone could make these bridges, why not make the apparantly more valuable Superior Grade and why leave off the serial number?

So the question is, Did Ball or Hampden put these bridges on the watches?

Henry tells us of the apparant randomness of these private label occurrences. Did Dueber take from existing stock when he got a private label order and just replace the barrel bridge, or did Ball at his "factory" replace the bridge and dials?

Joel said he saw others like this. I can understand why some collectors might be reluctant to discuss this anomoly, but in the interest of increasing our overall knowledge, I would ask anyone with similar examples to share the information with all of us.

Thanks,

Bill Kapp
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
Gary Keys just sent me pics of his High Grade,

This makes 4 know survivors so marked out of a total of 39 surviving Ball Hampdens known to me.


serial # 444051

Happy hunting

High Grade
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
IHC Member 328
posted
Note that it is another Moorhouse style dial.



happy hunting

BSHG dial
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
Picture of Ken Habeeb
posted
Since this topic is back up again, I'd like to ask why the first watch in this discussion was so mistreated and/or missing a bridge etc.?
Nothing obvious occurs to me off the top.

An owner early in its life and knowing its value would never allow that to happen. And conversely, it should not have survived at all if it fell into the hands of a hack, or someone who didn't care, much less survive with missing parts! Help me with this.

Even speculation would be of interest.

kh
 
Posts: 948 | Location: California in the USA | Registered: March 25, 2013
IHC Member 328
posted
Ken,

It wasn't missing a bridge. It was missing the mainspring and its barrel, presumably removed and lost when a previous owner started thinking about repair.

AS to knowing its value, if you go by the price guide, you might come to the conclusion that only the Superior Grade has high $ and collector interest. The High Grade is not mentioned in the guide and one might think that non Superior Grades are worth about 25% of the Superior Grades even though they are 5 to 7 times rarer.


29 Ball's Standard Superior Grade
6 Ball's Standard Cleveland O
4 Ball's Standard High Grade
____
39 Ball Hampden survivors known to me.

It needed a lot more repair than a mainspring! I would speculate that the previous owner just gave up on it and failed to put the mainspring barrel back in and left it with the broken mainspring.

It is a sweet runner now and the 3 hairlines radiating from the 12-1 to the center are much less noticeable after a good cleaning.


happy hunting

 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
Picture of Ken Habeeb
posted
Thanks for the reply, Bill. Half of it makes sense in this day and age anyway. That is, I'll bet very few collectors have any idea about the difference between Superior Grade and High Grade, but 'everyone' knows the rarity of a Hampden Ball, and few would turn away from one and ask a seller about a clean but relatively common Hamilton Ball instead.

I'm only guessing, but maybe there wasn't much cognizance of high value in those Hampdens decades ago (pre-Internet) when that watch might have been as you suggest, tinkered with, so a collector-owner might have felt lonely working on a restoring such a 'project.'

Today, clearly a person with little interest in paying someone to restore it could still shovel the mess of parts onto an auction site and make a bundle.

kh

Oh, and by the way, it's pretty obvious at least to me that you can chuck anything the "book" says about Hampden Balls right out the window. Those numbers look silly. You couldn't get in the same room with a Ball Hampden for anything that low.
 
Posts: 948 | Location: California in the USA | Registered: March 25, 2013
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