Dating and appraising old bottles
I got interested in clocks in 1967, and I started collecting watches fairly seriously in the early ‘80s. Pocket watches are a little bit more manageable, and in some ways more interesting, too.I collect precision clocks, clocks that are very accurate timekeepers, and marine chronometers; things like that.
Once they got to using the machinery, they could produce some very wonderful things.It took quite a few years to persuade them, but a couple of Americans went over there and set up factories, and then the Swiss reports said that the machinery was the way to go.The Swiss developed a very similar style of making watches by machine, but not with large factories like the Americans had.I think they were surprised at how heavy they had to make the machinery and it took them a few years to work all that out, but by the early 1870s, the watches that were being made at Waltham were winning all of the prizes around the world for the best watches. They were still making them by hand in Europe until then, and then a fellow from Switzerland came over to our centennial exposition in 1876 and saw the Waltham watches being made by machinery.He went back to Switzerland and tried to persuade the Swiss to do that.I specialize in a few different specific types of pocket watches, but my principal interest is in the Waltham Watch Company, and even more specifically in the American Watch Co. When the American watch industry first began, the first successful company was called the American Watch Co., and it was founded out of the Boston Watch Company, which had failed in 1859. was formed, and it’s generally considered to be the first successful company.
It had many name changes over the years and a couple of small reorganizations and eventually became the Waltham Watch Company in the early 1900s.
The Pitkin watches used some machinery and were a first stab at doing it, but they didn’t do it all that well, so it didn’t really take off, and one of them went insane trying and killed himself.
: The point of manufacturing them was that if you made the same part over and over again, you could make it better than if you had to make each one from scratch each time.
They had special machinery that would make gears and special machinery that would make shafts and plates and little springs and all the various pieces of the watch, the screws and so forth, but it took a long time to develop all those machines.
The very first pocket watches they made with machinery were about as good as the regular run-of-the-mill watches that were being made in Europe, but they weren’t nearly as good as the very best European watchmakers could make them.
Tom Mc Intyre talks about antique pocket watches, discussing key manufacturers, the mechanics behind the watches, the varying types, and the collecting hobby in general.