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Ball Marked as "SINGLE ROLLER" watches are interesting...
Recently on my wanderings through the wilderness of eBay I came across what is likely a difficult to find watch. The one in the eBay auction was movement 284938 and a close number 284901 which was found pictured and offered for sale on an internet website are both worth noting for future reference.
The eBay seller stated his belief of a production total of 2,450 for marked "Single Roller" Ball-Hamilton grade 999 movements. I doubt that anything approaching that number were built due to the fact they rarely show up and the fact Ball-Hamilton movements were almost invariably produced in mixed runs.
Last year, in August of 2002 as part of their Bulletin "Railroaders Corner" series Ed Ueberall and Kent Singer mentioned the marked as "Single Roller" Ball-Hamiltons within their Ball Watch Company article. They showed a picture of number 170240 on page 480 and I have a close number 170249 which appears below...
I've asked Ed Ueberall to weigh in with more about these unusual movements.
Webb C. Ball is certainly one of the most intriguing characters we encounter in the study of watch and clock related items and materials. Today, many of us have come to recognize Ball for being a true merchandising genius and I would be willing to bet the only reason he had marked "Single Roller" movements produced was to be able to show a perceived as inferior watch in comparison the Double Roller versions he also had available for sale. Both then and now "trading-up" the customer can be a very successful marketing ploy.
That may also help account for the unique and very uncommon Double Sunk, Large Signature ORRS Dial we find on movement number 170249 as shown in the following illustration...
|IHC Life Member|
RR Watch Expert
The following information should form a database and will be kept updated:
18 size 17 jewel Ball-Hamilton movements confirmed as "Single Roller" marked...
90220 Dial DS •
90513 Dial DS •
90557 Dial DS •
90576 Dial DS •
90578 Dial DS •
90611 Dial --- Much later, repainted dial shown on watch (as of 11/16) is completely wrong, should be DS ORRS "Ball & Co." marked.
90617 Dial DS •
90624 Dial DS • "B of LE" on movement and dial (see 2-21-2007 post below)
90646 Dial DS •
90671 Dial DS •
170144 Dial SS
170162 Dial DS *
170197 Dial ---
170206 Dial DS •
170210 Dial DS •
170240 Dial SS
170247 Dial DS •
170249 Dial DS • (Shown Above, marked "Ball & Co." on movement and Double-Sunk dial)
170257 Dial SS
170282 Dial DS • (Shown Below, marked "Ball & Co." on movement and Double-Sunk dial)
170354 Dial SS
170370 Dial DS • (Shown Below, marked "Ball & Co." on movement and Double-Sunk dial)
170376 Dial DS • ("Ball & Co." Double-Sunk Dial)
170392 Dial SS
170952 Dial SS
170964 Dial SS
170984 Dial SS << Movement and dial marked "Ball Watch Co."
170966 Dial SS
170988 Dial SS
208008 Dial SS
208071 Dial SS
208087 Dial SS
208123 Dial SS
208154 Dial SS
208190 (partial mvt)
208203 Dial SS
208233 Dial SS
208263 Dial SS
208265 Dial SS
208304 (partial mvt)
208323 Dial SS
208377 Dial SS
208392 Dial ---
208399 Dial ---
284901 Dial SS
284938 Dial SS
284980 Dial ---
The following movements are also listed as having DS dials, but do not indicate if Single Roller:
EXPLANATION OF SYMBOLS: "DS • " = Double-Sunk / "SS" = Single-Sunk / All are "AN" = Arabic Numeral dials unless otherwise noted. / All dials and movements are Official RR Standard (ORRS) unless otherwise noted.
Last updated March 2019 (LVR)
IHC Member 34
It's great to have your input. There's always a surprise or two when we do a data base.
Looks like this seller has something unusual here! I must also commend this seller on the style and particularly the substance of his auction.
Anyone else who has or knows of a Ball-Hamilton MARKED on the barrel plate as "Single Roller" please post the movement number in this topic with a scan or photograph if at all possible. We need to continue tracing these and other unusual markings.
And just in case you have a Ball-Hamilton 18-size "999" with a DOUBLE SUNK DIAL we'd all like to know everything you can tell us about that one as well. There are presently only three known examples in the data base which will be maintained and kept updated.
The data-base several of our members are helping putting together is worthwhile to the future of Horology. Here at IHC185™ we are strongly in favor of the free and unselfish sharing of all Horological Information and Knowledge. This data-base will be updated periodically. Please help by adding verified numbers and descriptions whenever you can!
Revisiting the Unusual Ball Marked "Single-Roller" watches...
Just about a year ago the topic you see above garnered some interesting information about the somewhat unusual marked "Single Roller" Ball Official Standard watches. Apparently there were no less than three runs that each included a few of these. Ed Uberall listed the then-known examples above from the data-base he and Kent Singer have compiled through research in conjunction with their "Railroaders Corner" series of Bulletin articles.
Earlier today I received an eMail from one of our members asking my take on a current eBay Auction featuring one of these watches. The eBay example from Ron Starnes, it is movement number 208323 and it looks like a good one. It also fits neatly into the listing of numbers shown above in this topic.
I asked last year that if anyone has a marked "Single Roller" not listed above please let us know about it. An additional curiosity are Ball ORRS Double-Sunk dials which seem to show up on the Single Roller movements and they are always of interest as well.
Please do share any information that would help in this!
From the eBay Auction here's 208323 which fits with known numbers...
Another one from the 170,001-171,000 run. Marked Commercial Standard #170,803. Not marked single roller, just listing it for Ed and Lindell as they are keeping notes on this run.
A nice example (Single Roller, DS dial, serial #170370) from eBay a few weeks back.
Your watch is a good indication of how these were indeed "mixed runs" and that too helps narrow things down.
Interesting to find number 170370 from the same run as my 170249 and of course to see it too has evidently spent its life until very recently in Northern Ohio. Even more amazing to find it has the same exact dial and hands! That dial, as I mentioned previously is considered to be uncommon. The winner in that auction is a winner on several levels.
Here is a dial image from the eBay auction mentioned above...
|IHC Member 274|
Life Member 27
I know I'm late, but some say "better late than never!"
Add these numbers to your Hamilton Ball single roller list.
208008 (SS DIAL)
170952 (SS DIAL)
170966 (SS DIAL)
90576 (DS DIAL)
284901 (exceptional SS DIAL)
Jack E. Goldstein
Here is one more for your list, #208233 has a nice SS dial.
WELCOME ABOARD PETE, WE'RE GLAD TO HAVE YOU WITH US!
Your Single Roller example fits in neatly and helps expand the known numbers. Except for the easily replaced broken whip-spring your watch looks good. Worthwhile to anyone as fascinated with Ball Watches as I am.
These Ball ORRS marked Single Roller watches were clearly made in very limited numbers. The more of them we see the more we find the numbers are clustered, apparently produced as part of just four mixed runs. As I noted earlier in this topic, my bet is this was one of Webb C. Ball's more unusual merchandising ploys.
Below, dial and hands on Pete's example...
Serial number 170210. D. S. dial, I think. Will check, as this piece is in the bank vault. Yes! I checked, it has a double sunk dial.
IHC Life Member
I have movement number 208190 and it's missing the barrel and the dial.
|IHC Member 665|
Partial movement 208304 marked Single Roller sold on eBay last week.
Thanks to Charlie Winters for reporting the one you see in these next two images.
It recently sold on eBay and is the only example of a Marked "Single Roller" BROTHERHOOD movement we have ever seen or heard of. You will notice it it also fronts the appropriately marked, apparently original and exceptionally rare DOUBLE-SUNK dial with the entirely proper "B of LE" markings.
90624 with "Single Roller" and "B of L E" markings...
And here's the DOUBLE SUNK marked "B of L E" dial...
I just came across this thread. I have a Ball Single Roller serial number 170206 with DS dial with a poor repair. I'll post pictures tomorrow.
As promised, here are a few pictures od S/N 170206. As you can see it's not perfect, but trying to get your hands on one of these is no easy task. The case is not original, but the best I got until something better comes along. Am willing to entertain dial help. The repair on the outer chapter is temporary and would like to have it done right including the hash marks that are missing. Findind a replacement DS "Ball & Co. Cleveland" is also no easy task.
Another dial picture.
Joseph W. Robinson
Picture of movement.
Joseph W. Robinson
|IHC Member 32|
Better late then never
Serial number 170282
|IHC Member 32|
and the dial
|IHC Member 1120|
Here's a single roller listed on eBay. Looks to be in nice condition. Serial #208023
|IHC Member 1120|
Here's the dial to serial #208023
To answer a question that often arises, marked as "Single Roller" examples discussed in this topic all pre-date the use of marked "Ball Model" cases on 18-size Ball movements. The next two digitally enhanced images shown below are from eBay number 20025838917 which is a "fuseez" auction. The hands shown in the second of those images are from an 18-size Hamilton, otherwise it looks to be a nice example.
At the beginning of this topic you will see number 170249 shown. Even though the movement numbers are relatively close there is one very important change that took place in these movements and dials between the point when 170249 and 170282 and 170370 all three of which are shown and discussed above in this topic and 170984 which is the slightly later example shown below were made.
Close examination of these watches reveals the movement and dial signature "Ball & Co." had changed to "The Ball Watch Co." by 170984 due to a reorganization that took place within the Ball Company and their business enterprises. This occurred early in the New Century, and the change in markings took place during this numbered 170001-171000 and dated as being 1901-1902 production run.
The lowest number I have come across with a "The Ball Watch Company" marking is 170704 which is shown in chronological order here...
Early Ball-Hamilton 18-size images
I hope others find this of interest, for me these subtle evolutionary changes are fascinating.
Auction example has later "The Ball Watch Co." signature...
The matching dial also with a "Ball Watch Co." signature...
|IHC Member 328|
Interesting to note that the examples given seem to have correct matching dials. If there was ever two runs where someone could claim "transition" and try to justify mismatches, these are the runs! I agree that calling the 90K and 170K two runs is inaccurate, these numbers are from several mixed runs. We have Ball and Co, Brotherhoods, Ball Watch co, Commercial standards, RRWCO,and Balls Standard RRWCO and yet they all seem to have similar dial designs.
Makes you wonder how earlier runs with mismatched dials can claim with a straight face that they are original!
This might be interesting to consider...
Recently this seldom seen movement variant with "Adjusted Double Roller" markings surfaced in billiegirl200 auctions on number 462525 which is considerably later than the three ranges of numbers where we have found "Adjusted Single Roller" markings. Of course with Ball Watches, it's... "the same thing only different" ...after all.
Same style but "Adjusted Double Roller" marking...
Hi Lindell, please add to your list of single rollers my 18s 17j ORRS single roller serial # 208123 marked "The BALL WATCH CO" with single sunk ORRS dial and triple hinged Gold Filled case.
Hunting has been very good to me lately.
|IHC Member 1689|
Hi Lindell Add another one I just got it off of e-bay and need a balance staff for it. Thanks, Robin
|IHC Member 1689|
here is another one for the books.
serial # 284980
Got this one from a good friend
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