Watch Review: Vintage Waltham Small Seconds

Vintage Waltham, Small Seconds

When going to my usual antique store for vintage watches, the owner said he had a new shipment for me.  Did he ever!  I picked up two watches.  This was the first I pulled out the bucket.  A stunning, blue, Waltham watch, with small seconds.  I really wanted a small seconds watch in my collection, and I finally have one.  It is made in France and I have not had the heart to open up the back to see what makes it tick.  Whatever is beating back there is accurate as hell.  After 3 days, it was dead on!  Not even my new Seiko automatics can boast that.

The face is a blue, radial sunburst pattern.  The applied markers are crystals/cut glass.  The bezel is very small, so even though this watch is just 36mm or so across, it looks much larger.  The hands are very long, with the minute hand almost touching the bezel. The tiny seconds hand moves smoothly across the sub-dial and does not stop and start like some sub-seconds watches.  The crystal is a lightly domed acrylic with very few scratches.

The case is base metal with a stainless steel back. 36mm in diameter and 7mm thick, with the crystal.   The crown is signed (W) and turns easily.  The movement is a low beat, but very accurate.  The lugs are typical 50’s to 60′ at 17mm.  The age of the watch is unknown and I have not really been able to find a comparable piece online.  I put the watch on a black, alligator grain, patent leather band.  I think it is very appropriate for the watch.

Overall, the watch is stunning on the wrist and very comfortable to wear.  It is very thin (most hand wind only watches are) and looks like it was a pretty pricey watch when it was new.  It reminds me of  Omega DeVille small seconds.  It was a great find and is an excellent change of pace from typical, gold or silver face vintage pieces.

Case: 36mm, base metal with chrome plating.

Back: Stainless, Marked Waltham, Water Resistant, Shock Resistant.

Crystal: Acrylic with a light dome.

Movement: Hand wound Waltham, 18,000 BPH,  small seconds.

Complications: None.

Other: Currently on alligator grain leather band.

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Caravelle, Vintage

Vintage Caravelle, Hand Wind

aWhat we have here is a simple, hand wound Caravelle watch (by Bulova) made in 1969.  It has a 7 or 17 jewel (probably 17) Citizen made movement.  It is a Japan made watch, with Ttritium painted dial.  The dial is a subtle, satin finish with Arabic markers.  The hands are simple sticks, tipped with luminous material.  It is a Japan made watch.  At the time, Bulova was trying compete head to head with Timex for the entry level watch market.  In fact, this particular watch was originally $9.95, just like Timex.  Unlike Timex, this is a partially or fully jeweled movement, not a pin lever movement like Timex’s.  The case is quite small at just over 33mm with 17mm lugs.  I put it on a jubilee bracelet to give it a 60’s Rolex look.  It works quite well.

Overall, I do like this watch.  It winds easily and keeps excellent time, running about +10 seconds a day, a tribute to Japanese watch makers.

Features:

Case: 33mm, base metal with chrome plating.

Back: Stainless, Marked Caravelle, Water Resistant, Shock Resistant, Anti-Magnetic, Base metal Bezel, Stainless Steel Back.

Crystal: Acrylic with a light dome.

Movement: Hand wound Citizen, Caliber DP11, 7 or 17 jewels, I have not opened the case.

Complications: None.

Other: Currently on stainless Jubilee bracelet.

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Watch Review: Timex vintage 46150

Review Timex 46150 from 1973

As part of my expanding vintage watch collection, I have added a Timex Automatic watch from 1973. It has a nice mid seventies look to it, complete with pillow shaped case and abstract styling. The dial is a gray metallic with ‘H’ shaped markers with a splash of red on the cross part of the ‘H’. It has no day feature. The hands are stick with a wide, easy to see black stripe going down the center of the hour and minute hands. The case is 34mm diameter without and 36mm diameter with the crown, but it looks larger than it is due to the pillow shaped case. The lugs are 19mm. Movement wise, it is an ordinary 31 movement from 1973. Automatic with hand winding, no date. The power reserve is quite impressive so far, with lasting over 2 days in the watch box before stopping. This indicates a movement in very good shape, since it is accurate and has a long reserve. When movements need service they will run fast (counter-intuitively) and have poor power reserve.

Overall, I am very happy with this watch. It is attractive and contemporary looking without having too much seventies funk. The watch was probably worn rarely, since the crown has little wear and the watch is in overall excellent shape, with no wear through on the plating. I currently have it on a military style nylon strap, which brings a little more color and character to the watch.

Features:

Case: 34mm, base metal with chrome plating.

Back: Stainless, Marked Water Resistant, Self-Winding, Dust Resistant,CHR plate over base metal.

Crystal: Acrylic with a light dome.

Movement: Automatic with hand winding, Timex no-jewel pin lever escapement. Caliber 32, 18000 BPH.

Complications: None.

Other: Currently on nylon band.

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