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More details, variations quibbles... and new Grades discovered! "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Life Member
Picture of Frank Kusumoto
Sorry for the long winded explanations*:

1. From the 1912 catalogue the designation of the Model #'s is different than what is commonly shown elsewhere/afterwards. It doesn't seem to be widely known since the general public has only seen the 1917 catalogue, posted here on 185, for a few years. Before that all the South Bend collectors I had met only had seen some pages with the dials displayed. (Anecdotal evidence to be sure but at least one collector who was a leading authority and had published several well-received articles and had met hundreds of other SB collectors had never seen the 1912 catalogue.)

As you see the 16s had three designations, the first Model for the first 16s watches (M#1), and the 2nd series divided up by 3/4 plate (M#3) or the 3 finger bridge (M#2).

2.1. This designation changed in the 1917 and 1928 catalogues and although there were only two Model #'s used, in the case of the 16s watches, there were three distinct classes of watch materials; Highest for the 229,227,223 - Middle for the Adjusted 217,215,212,211(post 1917),219(post 1917) - Unadjusted 209,207,204,203, 211(pre-1917).

2.2. I find it very interesting that the 227, the standard RR Grade watch used the same mechanical parts as the 229. It would seem that the mechanical materials and time-keeping accuracy should be equivalent between the two watches. Perhaps this helps explain why any "hunk o' junk" 229 still goes for a fairly good price on Ebay (minus about $150-$200, the price of a 227).

3. From the distinction in the 1912 catalogue of four different Models #'s of 0s watches one wonders if the 150/151 Grades should be Model #5 (and #6).

4. One last quibble (and WAG) comes again from the 1912 catalog:

Notice that THERE ARE TWO NEW GRADES OF WATCHES, THE 200 & 216! If this is a typo it's one that's carried on throughout the catalogue. Considering how fastidious the SBWCo was about assigning specific materials for different Grades of movements it seems unlikely that no one would have notice this. But who knows now?

4.1. My GUESS is that the Grade 200 was going to be the HC counterpart of the Grade 203, and; the Grade 216 was to be the HC version of the Grade 217. Considering the time when the catalogue was published , 1912, and at least some circumstantial evidence that the catalogue had been in the works since 1907 or 1908, it would not be surprising for a HC version of a Model/Grade to be dropped. There's are also some small errors with those Grade numbers but I'll leave it to the gentle reader to find those at their own leisure and satisfaction.

5. In all mentions in SB Company catalogues, the 429 IS NOT a Chesterfield, it is referred to as "The Grade 429 Special".

* - I'm sure someone has expounded on all of this in much greater clarity and and wit, and the very soul of wit is brevity. So it must have been shorter and more interesting. These are just random observations that I've made over the years. My minor annoyance with the CPGTW and subsequent posting this week has spurred me on to a more complete catharsis.
Posts: 1029 | Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A. | Registered: October 08, 2004
Wow very fascinating! Thanks for including all the gritty details.

What a find! I really appreciate you sharing this Frank. It's very interesting to see how the folks at the SBWCo decided to separate specific material grades based for different watches.
Posts: 82 | Location: Portland, Oregon in the USA | Registered: May 25, 2010
IHC Life Member
Picture of Frank Kusumoto
Thanks Adonya, I appreciate the appreciation. Sometimes I feel like a disc-jockey. I put out the material on web: articles, scanned manuals and catalogs, new discoveries, an I guess hundreds of people may read some of the material I contribute or work on, maybe some things no one reads, but I never know how many or who appreciates it. So, I guess that's at least one for this one, and I'm glad to see a new South Bend fan/collector! -FRANK
Posts: 1029 | Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A. | Registered: October 08, 2004
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