Hi All, I was shown a Wrist Watch today and owner would like some info'. I said the guys here may help . It is a round Gents wrist watch, White face, seconds bit at 6. Waltham USA under #12. Thin Wire lugs .It is housed in a Dennison Watch Case co 18ct London Hall marked Case, date letter U in a shield. Movement is like new and ser no is . 21515488. I hope this is enough information for you to work on. It needs a Strap, Cutting it out of bubble wrap, owner cut end of new Lizard Skin strap off(I wouldn't have told anybody). . Thanks in anticipation of a good response, Ged.
Posts: 909 | Location: Winterton-on-Sea Norfolk, England | Registered: February 17, 2003
This sounds like a typical conversion era wristwatch using one of Waltham's nice 0-size movements. The USA notation is usually thought to indicate that it was intended for export to the UK. The 18K case is a nice touch, if not terribly rare, most of these were cased in silver or 14K. The London "U" most likely indicates 1914 or 1919.
These watches are often marketed as "Trench Watches", which is not entirely unfair, because it's watches of this type that were worn by the Tommy's and Doughboy's during the First World War. It's unlikely that an 18K model was used in battle, but maybe one of those young noble gents in the British Officer Corps would have had a watch like that. More likely it was the politician who sent him, but still, "Trench Watch" is an evocative term, and appropriate enough. The history and the importance in the evolution of the wristwatch make these some of my favorites.
Dan Mitchell's recent post about "0-Size wristwatches" has a photo of what is likely a similar watch, albeit cased in silver. Dan may have more info to add.
Posts: 267 | Location: Huntsville, Alabama USA | Registered: December 12, 2005
Here is a 0s Waltham that I picked up a while ago. It's not gold, just stainless but the porcelain dial sure is pretty. This one is 1917 according to the serial number, but it is anybodys guess as to when it was cased.
Posts: 116 | Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma USA | Registered: February 07, 2007