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18s Special? Railway Tu-Tone "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
One of my latest acquisitions. Because of the pressed centre jewel, the lack of gilded screws and the way the word "SPECIAL" is oriented I have a suspicion that it is a 15 jewel Railway up-jewelled to 17. What say you?

 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
Mvt. S/N 635731

 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
And I guess while I am at it I should ask about a part I need. This is not the part I need and this is not even from this watch but it looks like this.

I need the little part that goes on top of this part. Not the right term but my watch guy called it a "spring limiter". It goes in the motor barrel and keeps you from, he used the term "overwinding" but he also said it is not overwinding. The watch runs very well without it but I was cautioned to only wind it about 15 turns until I get this part.
Clear as mud I know but hopefully someone will know what it is that I need.

 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
IHC Life Member
Picture of Richard M. Jones
posted
Lorne you have a very nice Hampden and a relatively rare watch. The dial is an excellent example of Hampdens double sunk 24 hour or Canadian dial and is scarce in that condition. They are more commonly found as single sunk dials. I believe you are looking for the stop works part and Hampdens with that feature are not often found. Based on the serial number, the damasceening, the lettering, and the stop works design I believe you have a 15 jewel Railway movement up jeweled to 17 jewels. I will check to see what I have for parts but am not optimistic that I have what you need but will let you know. As a certified Hampden nut I would love to own your beautiful watch if you ever want to part with it. Congratulations on a fine and most interesting watch.


Deacon
 
Posts: 1021 | Location: Omaha, Nebraska in the USA | Registered: February 14, 2009
IHC Member 1110
posted
Hi Lorne,You have a really nice Hampden there!I'm turning green looking at it.As Deacon said, it does look up-jeweled for sure,if it was built with 17 jewels,it would be marked.Whoever did the work did a nice job, looks like a gold setting in the center.I wonder if that could have been a factory job.You did good!Best regards, Ted.
 
Posts: 1201 | Location: Lebanon, Connecticut USA | Registered: March 28, 2008
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
Deacon, thank you for the information confirming an up-jewelled Railway. The dial looks even a bit better than the pic since I cleaned it but at some point in it's life something was dropped on it and there is a spider emanating from the m.

It looks a bit "heavy handed" for this dial but I have seen what I believe to be the same hands on other Hampdens. I had considered the butterfly hands seen on some early watches but am quite happy with this one as it came to me.

The Wadsworth 20 year case is in better shape than one would expect for a watch this old. I don't see other screw marks.

As to parting with the watch I am still in the puppy love stage with this one so it won't be on the block for some time. I am however partial to anyone who is a certified nut so should it come available I will let you know.

I appreciate you having a look for the part.

What spawned your interest in Hampdens?
 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
Ted, thanks, you slipped in there without me noticing. This watch has a bit darker hour chapter. I have seen this in a few other non Hampden watches of this era. I assume the sunken portions were cut from different porcelain batches, is the colour variation due to manufacturing inconsistency of the time?

Could this be (Joking) the rare and highly prized Tu-Tone dial?
 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
IHC Member 1110
posted
Hi Lorne, could be that the center area of the dial being thinner may just look a little different because of the thickness.Do you see many Hampdens up there in Canada? Take care, Ted.
 
Posts: 1201 | Location: Lebanon, Connecticut USA | Registered: March 28, 2008
IHC Life Member
Picture of Richard M. Jones
posted
Hi Lorne, As a child I lived in Springfield Mass. (Hampden County) and fairly near the Armory. At that time in the early 1950's Springfield had a substantial number of skilled craftsmen, tool and die makers etc. and I would listen to what they did and it seemed "awesome". At age 8 I inherited an 18s watch and took it apart to my mothers dismay and expense for putting it back together. Then moving to Omaha where the railroads were and hitting the hock shops for pocket watches somehow set me on Hampdens. They were fairly well represented in this part of the country and have always been cheaper and somewhat disparaged when in fact they made some excellent watches. It is fair to say that the 15j Railway was a strong competitor to the big boys and the 17 j Special Railway was also. John Dueber was a hard boiled old German but an excellent case maker and great competitor known for conservatism and honesty. I am looking in my parts pile for your stop works piece which is quite unusual on Hampdens and I believe only found on a limited range of serial numbers around the time yours was made. Incidentally that time period is when they were going to the 17j upgrade and I would be guessing but do not think more than a few hundred were made such as yours and probably not more than 100. I look for unusual Hampdens and have never seen one exactly like yours. The hands are not original but look fine. Your watch is probably as rare as a Hampden Ball and yet not that pricey. Ah, the vagaries of the collectors life!!!!


Deacon
 
Posts: 1021 | Location: Omaha, Nebraska in the USA | Registered: February 14, 2009
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
Deacon, that sounds like a wonderful childhood. Throughout my life as a Locomotive Engineer I was certainly aware of PW's but only recently became interested in collecting. Your information makes me covet this watch even more.

Regarding being a certified nut, my buddy always says of himself, "I'm not crazy and I have the papers to prove it"

Ted, I have not been collecting long enough to say with any certainty but think Hampdens are an unsual find, even more so in western Canada.
 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
From the Jewelers Circular, 1891

 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
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