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About Always"watching"

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  • Birthday 01/01/1955

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  1. I have been having a big sort through my collection, and as a fun thing to do I tested out some lumed watches from the 1950s and 1960s to see what was what. The testing was obviously not executed in the manner of a scientific study but the results were interesting nonetheless. The modus operandi was as follows: The watches were first kept in a dark-box for some hours and then, at night, when the room was dark, they were taken out and examined to see if there was any glow. Then, the watches were exposed to a multi-LED desk lamp for a few minutes to see what glow this resulted in. I believe that all the watches were painted with lume based on zinc sulphide. A few were marked on the dial for tritium and one watch was marked for radium. The results turned out to be somewhat unexpected. All the watches that I suspected were "excited" by the inclusion of radium in the lume failed to glow at all on removal from the dark-box, including the watch marked as being radium. In addition, none of these watches produced any glow after being exposed to the desk lamp. As for the watches marked for tritium, none of them glowed when removed from the dark-box but all of them glowed after exposure to the LED light. As well as these two groups of watches, there was a third group that did not glow on removal from the glow box but produced a substantial and longer lasting glow when exposed to the light. None of these watches bore any markings to show what type of exciter had been used and for the most part I considered it likely that these were lumed with zinc sulphide activated by copper. I am aware that lume activated by ionising radiation will tend to break down over time and with some of the watches there was evidence of this. However, I was surprised at how the radium activated zinc sulphide lume used on the watches from the late 1950s, including an example where the lume was in very good condition, no longer produced any glow, while the 1960s tritium watches, though not active after the hours spent in the dark, did at least glow when lit by light. I can only assume that the much shorter half-life of tritium protected the lume from decay when compared with radium. I would be most interested to hear from other Forum members who have tested the lume on their older post-World War Two watches. I make no claims for the results of my tests, but the subject of lume has long been an interest of mine.
  2. I see that Scott has sensibly removed the link and I will therefore leave this topic as it is.
  3. I have to admit that this time I really feared that I had been defeated. Westbury is a name that has a familiar ring to it, at least from a British perspective, and there is a good variety of surviving watches so branded, all of which gave me high hopes of finding some interesting information about the Westbury brand, yet only at the last minute after diligent research did I discover some relevant information. The first possible clue I discovered that might relate to the Westbury watch brand was from duedil.com and concerns a company based in Dublin and titled, "Westbury Jewellers Parent Company Limited," which was incorporated on 2 August 1990. This private limited company with share capital is listed as being involved in the "Manufacture of Clocks and Watches" and the last accounts were submitted in 2011, probably meaning that it has been defunct for some years. The original and short-lived registration for the firm was under the name, Paul Sheeran (Jewellery) Limited, before the change of name. It is just possible that the Westbury name went back into the past, with eponymous forerunners of the modern incorporated company producing/selling (not manufacturing) watches under the Westbury brand name, based in Ireland. The potential Irish connection kept me going for a while although it was a long-shot, but it was superseded by an important piece of information accompanying a notice for the sale of a Westbury Superautomatic - like my own Westbury watch mentioned below - placed on the Trebor's Vintage Watches Canadian website. According to this seller, "THE WESTBURY WATCH COMPANY LTD. trademark was registered in Canada from 1963 to 1984, the company imported movements from Switzerland and cased them in Canada, it is possible that watches were produced under the Westbury name before the trademark was registered." Having provided a small amount of text to try and illuminate the Westbury watch brand, I now turn to the watches themselves in the hope that we can at least obtain some conclusions about Westbury. In my own collection, I have a Westbury 30J hand-wind "Superautomatic" gents watch dating to the later 1950s, and judging by the watches illustrated online, Westbury was an active brand producing/selling a variety of gents and ladies' watches from about the later 1940s up to and including the early 1980s. I believe that completed watches were purchased by Westbury for resale in addition to those that they had cased-up themselves. I haven't yet seen a quartz Westbury watch and it may be that the demise of the Canadian Westbury Watch Company Ltd., occurred before (and was partly brought on by) the final onslaught of less expensive quartz watches on the market. I end this topic with illustrations of some Westbury watches, and a hope that some Canadian or Canadian-based Forum member will be able to shed more light on the Westbury Watch Co. Ltd.. A Westbury chronograph from the early 1950s with a 36.5mm gold plated case and screw-on steel back, powered by a Landeron 48 17J hand-wind movement (Pics from ranfft.de): A Westbury triple calendar chronograph with a 36mm gold plated case and powered by a 17J hand-wind Valjoux 72C movement. According to the information provided with the illustrations, this piece pre-dates 1950 and was produced by Westbury Watch Co and, "made in Switzerland for the English market" (pics from assets.catawiki.nl): A Westbury automatic dive watch from the 1960s with a screw-down crown and back, and powered by a 25J automatic Swiss movement (pics from vintagewatch.ca): A Westbury world time wristwatch made in Germany c.1970 by the Provita Watch Corporation, with a 36mm case, inner-disk rotating cities of the world, and powered by a Soviet-made INT 471-7 movement (pics from vintagewatch.ca): A Westbury 25J Superautomatic wristwatch from the mid-1970s (pic from i.pinimg.com/originals): A mid to later 1970s Westbury chronograph with a 37mm (excl. crown) steel? [probably plated base metal] case and powered by a Valjoux 7733 hand-wind movement (pics from assets.catawiki.nl): A 1950s Westbury 14 carat white gold and diamond hand-wind ladies' wristwatch with 15mm wide case (pics fromvintagewatch.ca): A late 1950s Westbury gold plated gents wristwatch with a 17J automatic AS1700/01 movement and a 36mm (not incl. crown) case - note the designation on the dial for radium lume. Note also the name of the Choisi Watch Company stamped on the movement - another watch company in need of a topic (pics from i.ebayimg.com):
  4. That's a bit different, Alan, and quite something. Not sure if it quite hangs together aesthetically but I like it anyway.
  5. I have to say that I do agree with Wrench. Seiko usually gets things right, design-wise, but the hands on that Samurai are rather ugly in my opinion, especially compared to the much nicer hands on the Turtle. The Samurai hour hand has a stunted appearance when compared to the proper Arrow design of the Turtle minutes hand, and I am not that keen on matching that stunted arrow with the shape of the Samurai minutes hand.
  6. As members will surely know, the number of watch brands that have come and gone (or been resurrected) over the years of wristwatch production has been considerable to say the least, and as a researcher into the history of watches I encounter brands and companies that have almost no traceable history, sometimes because their lives were cut short. In this topic, I shall look at a brand that seems to have had a brief life and has not left much in terms of documentary evidence for its history. Fortunately though, we do have some extant watches, and they indicate that A.E.C. Watch as a brand name may have only lasted little more than a decade from the early 1940s until, and including, the early 1950s. A.E.C. Watch - was a brand mark registered on 18 April 1944 for Hans E. Meier Ltd., trading as Praesent Watch Co. Ltd. This firm also used "Praesent" as a brand name on watches and I do wonder if A.E.C. originated as an abbreviation of a company name (or partners names) where the 'C' stood for "Company" (perhaps a firm or partnership taken over by Hans Meier). The earliest date I have seen attributed to an A.E.C. watch is 1938, for a chronograph being sold online through Chrono 24, although this dating does not appear to be based on hard evidence such as an inscription, and the design of that watch could place it into the early 1940s. As mentioned above, we really only have firm evidence for the history of this brand in the surviving watches. For myself, I have a rolled gold Art Deco A.E.C. Watch ladies' watch with a square case and hand-wind movement dating to the early or mid 1940s. Anyway, here are some A.E.C. Watch wristwatches for your perusal, and may I end this text with an appeal for any information on this little-known watch brand... STOP PRESS: just before finishing this topic, I discovered an entry in the Swiss Federal Archives referring to "Meier HE, Praesent Watch Co. Ltd., Zurich," and giving the date of 1954 for the creation of this company. This reference may indicate something happening to, or within, the Meier concern rather than the actual inception of Praesent watch company, but whatever the case, the date of 1954 coincides neatly with my proposed date for when the A.E.C. Watch branding was dropped. An A.E.C. Watch gents chronograph dating to the late 1940s in 18 carat pink gold with a 36mm case and powered by a Landeron #148 hand-wind movement (pics from assets.catawiki.nl): A rare A.E.C. Watch 1940s regulator dual dial wristwatch probably for use by a doctor powered by a 15J movement (pics from timelyclassics.com): An A.E.C. Watch gents wristwatch dating to about the early 1950s and powered by a hand-wind AS1187-1194 movement (pic from i.pinimg.com/originals): A 1940s A.E.C. Watch wristwatch with 34.5mm (not incl. crown) plated base metal case. Subsidiary seconds register, and powered by a 15K hand-wind movement (pic from uhrforum.de): A 1940s 18 carat gold A.E.C. Watch chronograph with a 35mm X 11mm case, powered by a hand-wind Landeron caliber 50 movement (pics from assets.catawiki.nl):
  7. What an interesting watch, dear Lug. That must be the earliest Russian/Soviet wristwatch I have seen to date, made extra interesting by the engraving on the caseback. The engraving itself looks as if it might have been executed by an enthusiastic amateur. I wonder what form of gun controls were in force in the Soviet Union at the time of that watch?
  8. Very nice collection there dear Martin, and beautifully kept/displayed by those boxes . Thanks for showing us.
  9. May I echo the sentiments expressed here above by my colleagues bridgeman and KAS118. I think that you have given us a new twist in the design of watches, and brought new life to the single-hand wristwatch. I wish you all the best with this venture.
  10. I think that questions of security and available space are very relevant to this question of choosing between a fine car or a fine watch. I do like cars but there is no way I could fit a second car outside our terraced house - the parking is already a nightmare - and a classic car parked on our road might attract vandalism or theft. Oh, and by the way, I don't drive.
  11. I will just interject here to clarify a few things about this Permadate watch subsequent to my prevous post on this thread. Firstly, the monthly calendar feature is not powered by the movement in the watch and operates via the quickset date feature on the crown. Secondly, and with regard to attribution of this model, there are other models out there also bearing the Selectron name but probably not products of Ollech & Wajs. For example, the Lemania powered 41mm (case width) chronograph shown here below appears to be linked with the producer/original seller of Roy's watch shown above and is almost certainly nothing to do with Ollech & Wajs. And further to any firm attribution, I would be most interested to know of any link between Roy's Permadate watch and Rodania, @Shoughie0, as mentioned above by you. In the absence of any firm attribution, the likely conclusion drawn is that an unknown watch producer in the mid-1970s decided to use "Selectron" as a brand name but either went out of business relatively quickly or realised that there were legal concerns over using that name. (pics from forums TZ and atgvintagewatches.com)
  12. Thanks for showing that eccentric and rather interesting calendar watch, dear @Roy. Selectron was a brand used by Ollech & Wajs but it would appear that this model is not an Ollech & Wajs product but the product of another company choosing to use the Selectron name. I presume, going on evidence found online, that this particular watch dates to about 1975, is steel-cased with a screw-on back and is powered by a 25J AS2086 automatic movement.
  13. Pity Simon Freese is ex STS rather than ex SAS; he could then put the frighteners on and get Swisstime to get their act together and do the job right. I have often wondered just how easy it is for dodgy watch repairers to either bodge a job or do only the minimum work required to prevent the watch owner from noticing...
  14. This thread should hopefully fill up with interesting contenders for the $500 watch and already there have been some great watches shown. I am really at a loss for making a firm choice - I prefer to blow in the wind and get hooked on different watches when I see them and can afford them on my tight budget.
  15. Thanks for posting that, dear @niveketak. Tempic is a brand of mixed quality over the years and might be worth a topic at some time. There is some information available online if one searches using Google but the history of Tempic needs to be carefully pieced together, and added to, if a useful history of the brand is to emerge. Here is a 1980s Tempic chronograph with a slightly oval 40mm wide (not incl. crown) rolled gold case for your perusal, powered by a Poljot caliber 3133 hand-wind movement: Pics from thumbs.worthpoint.com:
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