Tuesday, 19 November 2013

How To Open A Waltham Pocket Watch

This article is about how to open up a Waltham pocket watch. By the time you finish reading this article you should be able to pop open your own watch and have a look inside. The first thing you need to find out is which type of Waltham watch you actually have. Once we know that then we can get it opened up.

Types of Cases

There are basically two types of cases which are "screw on" and "snap on." Depending on the type you have they are opened in slightly different ways. I have included some videos below that show you how to do just that.

Types of Waltham Watches

Waltham were the first company to mass produce watches and over their long and varied history, they managed to produce over 35 million watches. So as you can imagine not only did they produce a lot of watches, but they produced quite a wide variety of them as well.

Models & Grades of Waltham Watches

When we talk about models of watches this refers specifically to the design of the movement inside the watch. The manufacturers mean by this the size and shape of the plates and bridges.
At the same time they will also talk about the grade of a watch. So any individual model can have several different grades. This grade is determined by the finished movement, the number of jewels and the settings. The model is typically a number such as "1857" and the grade could be something like the "Vanguard." Grades were typically named either after people's names who were workers, historical figures, railroads etc.

Waltham Watches Sizes

These also came in different sizes which were Size 0, 6, 8,10,12, 14,16 and 18. Now that we know this information, you can see that there were quite a number of variations. Most of them open in the same way but there will be subtle differences along the way.

How To Open Up A Waltham Pocket Watch

Sometimes seeing is much easier than reading about it. I have included a video below of a gentleman opening up a Waltham watch with the Model number 1857.In this case it has a Hunter back. This means that the face is not covered so as it is always on display.
With these types of watches you open it by pushing down on the winder at the top and the back should flip open. Have a look at the video as this is covered in the first minute.

You can see that this flips open quite easily. He then removes the back using a small pen knife. Unless you are confident in what you are doing, you should avoid this, as it requires some expertise. In the remainder of the video he then takes the watch apart and that is really only for an expert to do.

Opening A Different Waltham Watch

Here is another video where someone opens up a different model of Waltham. In this one you will notice that he pushes down twice on the winder. The first push opens up the case cover, and then the second push allows him to remove the back as well.

How To Open A Screw Back Waltham

In this video you will notice that the back is actually screwed off.

Opening Up Pocket Watches

And finally I thought I would include a video that is really a catch all. In this one you will see someone open up a variety of different pocket watches. Hopefully that will cover off whatever type of watch you actually have.