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A Pair of Waltham Type A-8 10 Second Timers "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
I have two Elgin Type A-8, 10 second military timers and recently acquired two Waltham A-8's.

I was not aware that the Waltham Type A-8 movement does not run continuously like the Elgin, but rather only starts when the crown is first depressed. When you depress the crown a second time, the Waltham Type A-8 movement physically stops, whereas with the Elgin, the hands stop but the movement continues to run.

What really has me curious is that the two Waltham Type A-8's were in the leather case shown in the pictures. The case has every appearance that both stop watches had been stored in it for a very long time. Both stop watches are in good operating condition.

The leather case itself is in very good condition. It is well made and has held up well over the years. The leather case looks to have been specifically made for the stop watches (as opposed to someone just making something do). Based on the markings on the timer case backs, the Waltham Type A-8's are from WWII ca: 1944.

Has anyone ever seen two of these military A-8 timers stored in this type of case? Was there a military reason for having two 10 second timers in one leather case?

Thanks

Richard
 
Posts: 24 | Location: Minden, Nevada U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2006
posted
Hi RIchard.

These A-8 stopwatches are perhaps the most common of all WW2 military timepieces as they made hundreds of thousands of them. Waltham alone produced 15 different variations in 5 different frequencies (1/5, 1/10, 1/30, 1/50, and 1/100th seconds) and used four different types of mechanisms in them. Elgin produced them as well. While they are typically called navigation or ground speed watches they were used by all of the branches of the military for every imaginable use where a short, split second timer was needed. Having two in one case does not sound unreasonable as there are many situations I can think of where having two might be better than a single one. For just one example, you could have one mounted in your octant and use the other for ground speed calculations. Or you could be using another for calibrating your aerial photo camera or mount another on some of the bombsights, etc. and these are just some of the aviation uses.
 
Posts: 862 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
Thanks Jim,

Here are a couple of pictures of the two Waltham A-8's together in the leather case.

Richard

 
Posts: 24 | Location: Minden, Nevada U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2006
posted
Second picture

 
Posts: 24 | Location: Minden, Nevada U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2006
posted
I agree that the carrying pouch appears to be of the era, or at least a long time carrying case. Could you please also post photos of the backs of these with their A-8 markings? Are the serial numbers consecutive which would show they have been together since the beginning?
 
Posts: 862 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
Jim,

The movement serial number for the timer with the leather strap is 31,831,784. The markings on the back case cover are:
Type A-8
Ser. No. AF-44-14613
ORD. NO. W-11-107-ac-693
SPEC. NO. 94-27749,"AM".#3".
MFR'S PART NO.130
WALTHAM


The movement serial number for the timer without the leather strap is 31,830,296. The markings on the back case cover are:
Type A-8
Ser. No. AF-44-13892
ORD. NO. W-11-107-ac-693
SPEC. NO. 94-27749,"AM".#3".
MFR'S PART NO.130
WALTHAM

Movement serial numbers in the 31,8xx,xxx range suggest ca: 1944. Serial numbers on case backs also suggest ca: 1944.

Richard
 
Posts: 24 | Location: Minden, Nevada U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2006
posted
Movement and case back pictures.

 
Posts: 24 | Location: Minden, Nevada U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2006
posted
2nd movement and case back picture

 
Posts: 24 | Location: Minden, Nevada U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2006
posted
Correct, the Army Air Force serial numbers on the back of the case are saying that both of these were purchased under a contract issued to Waltham in 1944 which normally means they were made and delivered to the Army that year, or possibly in the following year since these were delivered as they were completed rather than waiting for all of them to be completed before shipping them to the Army.

Given they are not consecutive numbers - wither Army serials nor Waltham serials the chances that they were issued together in this carrying case as a set is reduced, thoughn it is possible.
 
Posts: 862 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
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