torstai 1. marraskuuta 2012

Waltham 100 jewel watch

Waltham 100 jewel watch
The automatic watch movement shown here would very likely be the Granddaddy of all watches when it comes to non-functional jewels. It is the Waltham 100 Jewel watch movement, and takes pride of place along with it's cousin, the Waltham 75 Jewel watch movement as being among the movements with the highest number of non-functional jewels ever made. Looking at this movement now, it is hard to imagine if the Waltham Company was seriously trying to market this watch as being better due to the high jewel count, or whether it was just a huge gag - that ended up being taken seriously.

The Waltham Watch Company, also known as the American Waltham Watch Co. and the American Watch Co., produced about 40 million high quality watches, clocks, speedometers, compasses, time fuses and other precision instruments between 1850 and 1957. The company's historic manufacturing facilities in Waltham, Massachusetts have been preserved as the American Waltham Watch Company Historic District.

Waltham 100 jewel watch
In 1850, Roxbury, Massachusetts, David Davis, Edward Howard and Aaron Lufkin Dennison formed together the company that would later become the Waltham Watch Company. The revolutionary business plan was to manufacture the movement parts so precisely that they would become fully interchangeable. Based upon the experience of earlier failed trials, Howard and Dennison would eventually perfect and patent their precision watch making machines and create the American System of Watch Manufacturing.

Waltham 100 jewel watch

In 1851, according to some sources, the company took the name "American Horologe Company" and production started in the new factory building. However, in October 1886, Waltham co-founder, Aaron Lufkin Dennison, in a letter to author Crossman, refuted the name and stated that the first Company name was the Warren Manufacturing Company, named for General Warren of Roxbury, a famous soldier of the War of Independence.The word "watch" was specifically omitted to retain secrecy of the novel operation.

Late 1852, the first watches were complete. The first 17 watches, which ran for 8 days, marked "Howard, Davis & Dennison" were distributed among company officials. Number-1 given to Edward Howard resides in the Smithsonian Collection. Numbers 18 to 100 were named "Warren, Boston" and the following 800 "Samuel Curtis", after the financial backer. A few, marked "Fellows & Schell", sold for $40. January 1853 saw the introduction of the "P.S. Bartlett" watch (named for Patten Sargeant Bartlett, an early employee).
The Waltham Watch Company went out of business in 1957, but had founded a subsidiary in Switzerland in 1954, Waltham International SA. Waltham International SA retains the right to the Waltham trade name outside of North America, and continues to produce mechanical wrist watches and mechanical pocket watches under the "Waltham" brand. It is a full-fledged member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH.

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