LRF Antique Watches - Specializing in Elgin Trench Watches & Waltham Trench Watches
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FAKE WWI Depollier Waterproof Watches now being made!!!!!

Very SAD news to report!

The guy who is making the FAKE WWII B.U. Ships Waterproof Watches has now moved onto making FAKE WWI Depollier Waterproof Watches!

When I saw the listing it honestly turned my stomach.

Some might think that what is is doing is fine but just stop and think about the long term affects of his actions.

Years down the road when these watches are re-sold MANY people are going to get ripped off BIG TIME thinking that they are buying the real deal!

The trained eye will be able to spot these FAKES but many un-knowledgeable people will get ripped off out of THOUSANDS of dollars!

This ebay seller has personally tainted the watch pool for years to come!

The long term affects of the FAKE WWII B.U. Ships watches and now the FAKE WWI Depollier Waterproof Watches will be devastating to the watch collecting community. 

When somebody finds out that they have purchased a FAKE down the road they will probably be turned away from the hobby and all of us will suffer in the long run.

This is NOTHING more than somebody trying to make a quick buck and line their own pocket without giving a damn about the recourse of their actions and the harm it will do to others.

Do your homework folks ! ! ! ! 

I've already received 3 phone calls about this today and 2 emails and it's only 8:30am!

People are STEAMING MAD right now!!!!

AVOID these watches like The Plague ! ! !

Ask an expert BEFORE you buy ! ! ! !

FAKE Depollier Waterproof Watch!!FAKE Depollier Waterproof Watch!!FAKE Depollier Waterproof Watch!!FAKE Depollier Waterproof Watch!!FAKE Depollier Waterproof Watch!!FAKE Depollier Waterproof Watch!!
FAKE Depollier Waterproof Watch!!FAKE Depollier Waterproof Watch!!




Waltham Watches, from WWI and Today

As a lot of you already know Waltham Watches was relaunched in June of 2014, once again featuring high end mechanical movements. This afternoon I had the opportunity to see the new Waltham Angular Aeronaval Collection for the first time at I.W. Marks Jewelers in Houston Texas. (I've been busy writing and researching my latest book "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War" for the past few years). The first thing that caught my eye was the stand alone display case for Waltham Watches in the showroom. I really liked this, it certainly made them stand out in a showroom filled with at least a dozen other high end brands. After speaking with the very polite staff at I.W. Marks for a few minutes it was time to get a closer look of the new Waltham Watches that is now under the direction of CEO Antonio DiBenedetto. The very first thing that caught my attention on all of the Waltham models were the dials. The Waltham design team did a wonderful job paying homage to iconic dials of the past from the Waltham XA Type 37 Aeronautical Clock, the Waltham CDIA Aircraft Clock and the Waltham Type A13a Aircraft Clock. Those of you who know me know that I absolutely love old military watches and clocks so I was pretty much hooked from the get go on the new Angular Aeronaval designs. The Waltham design team obviously spent a lot of time thinking this through and in my professional opinion they nailed it in honoring Waltham's rich history. In order to know where you are going you have to know where you came from. The first watch that I tried on was the ETC Black Matter. Within seconds I realized how comfortable the watch felt on my wrist, this was obviously due to the well thought out angular design of the Titanium case. The deployment clasp on the VulCarbone rubber strap was a very nice refinement. Next I tried on the CDI Eclipse that features green 24 hour time markers on the ceramic bezel. What really stood out on this model was the central date indicator, essentially a fourth hand that shows the date. Last but certainly not least I tried on the XA Pure with the second hand at the 12 o'clock position. A classic design honoring Charles Lindbergh and the Waltham XA Type 37 Aircraft Clock. You guys know that I have always had a hard time laying off of the black dial watches which makes picking a favorite out of these three extremely difficult! There is even more military history in new Waltham Watches than most of you even realize like the all black finish on the Black Matter models. On October 24, 1916 the United States Army set fourth General Specification No. 579-D for wrist watches. Section 5, sub-section D required that all wrist watches purchased by the US Army were to have a case with a black finish. This was done to prevent anything shiny in the field that might give your position away to an enemy sniper from across "no-man's land" during the Great War. In 1918 The spec was once again changed requiring black dials as well. All said, I absolutely love the new Waltham Watches Angular Aeronaval Collection. The awe inspiring case and dial designs featuring Dubois-Depraz movements are bound to impress loyal fans and newcomers to the Waltham name around the world. If you would like to view the entire Waltham Angular Aeronaval Collection simply visit their web page and make sure you watch the video with the sound on. http://www.waltham.ch/
A brand new Waltham ETC Black Matter next to my 1917 WWI Waltham "RED 12" Trench Watch.The new Waltham ETC Black MatterWaltham ETC Black Matter next to my latest book, "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"Waltham VulCarbone Rubber StrapWaltham CDI EclipseWaltham VulCarbone Rubber Strap
Waltham CDI PureWaltham VulCarbone Rubber Strap"Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War", by Stan Czubernat"Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War", by Stan Czubernat

Depollier, Waltham Trench Watch Retail and Dealer Catalogs, 1917

Here is the 1917 Waltham Depollier Trench Watch Retail Catalog and the 1917 Waltham Depollier Trench Watch Dealer catalog. These catalogs are filled with wonderful information about Depollier watch cases and the salling points for each case along with movement options. Just click on the first image and it will enlarge, then enjoy the side show.

1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat
1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat
1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat
1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat1917 Waltham Depollier Catalog, LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat









Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War, Book

My latest book about WWI trench watches has been completed!

"WALTHAM TRENCH WATCHES of the GREAT WAR" by Stan Czubernat

Signed copies are now available.

ISBN: 9780692468296

Hard cover, 279 pages

Dimensions: 11" x  8.7" x  1"

Language: English

A combination of 542 photos, advertisements, original patent drawings and pamphlets. The informative text tells the story of the Waltham Watch Company wristwatches that accompanied the United States, United Kingdom and Canadian armies into the trenches of Europe during the Great War. Hundreds of different case and dial combinations are covered including some of the rarest case styles ever produced, several that have never been published before. Pricing, rarity, US Army specifications and a brief company history are included. The three generations of Depollier waterproof watch cases with advertising and patent drawings. The Depollier and Waltham relationship is discussed including the influence that Mr. Ezra Fitch had on case design. The RED 12 Dials, the Arabic Dials and the Shadow Box Dials are prominently featured. The Engine Turned cases, the Giant size 6 cases, the Behemoth size 12 cases, the Dennison cases and the "named" Illinois Watch Case Company cases are all featured. Also covered are the crystal guards, case grades per manufacturer and serial number production dates. Waltham Trench Watch movements, from the standard 7 jewel all the way up to the exceptional 19 jewel Riverside Maximus with a solid gold train featuring real Ruby, Sapphire and Diamond jewels. Several step by step Waltham Trench Watch restorations. 16 chapters in all, including one very special chapter featuring the 1917 trench watch pamphlet written by Charles L. Depollier himself. This historical company set the standard for American industry, many of their innovative manufacturing techniques are still used in modern factories around the world today.

Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War, by Stan Czubernat

The Behemoth Size 12s Elgin Admiral Evans Trench Watch

This is the RAREST and MOST desirable American Trench Watch that has ever been manufactured! This is a behemoth size 12s 1917 WWI Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch and it's THE ONLY EXAMPLE KNOWN TO EXIST! Size 12s trench watches were the BIGGEST ever made by the Americans. For the past 8 years I have done a hard target search looking for this trench watch and in August of 2015 one finally surfaced. There are 5 advertisements from the Illinois Watch Case Company out of Elgin, Illinois stating that these behemoth size 12s trench watches were first available in 1917 but until now none have even been documented. I have contacted some of the greatest minds in the antique watch world and nobody has ever seen one of these before. Combined these experts have hundreds of years of experience and all agree that it is in fact genuine. What makes this trench watch so incredibly special is it's size. It simply dwarfs every other Elgin, Waltham or Illinois Trench Watch. Normally when you see an octagon shaped "Admiral Evans" trench watch case it is the regular sized 3/0s and the case measures 31.5mm going across, not including the crown. This behemoth size 12s "Admiral Evans" is about 44% larger than the common sized 3/0s version. This size 12s "Admiral Evans" measures a whopping 43.5mm going across, not including the crown. I photographed a size 3/0s Waltham Admiral Evans next to this size 12s Elgin Admiral Evans so you can see the size difference which is quite substantial. I personally inspected the lugs on this watch case after removing the movement to ensure that the lugs were NOT added after the fact. There were NOT any tool marks and the lugs were installed in the EXACT manner and style that was used by the Illinois Watch case Company, they are genuine. I then did a very through inspection of the crown tube to ensure that it had NOT been shortened after the fact for wrist watch use. Everything on the crown tube is EXACTLY as it should be from the Illinois Watch Case Company factory. I have certified this size 12s "Admiral Evans" case as GENUINE, it is the real deal and is NOT one of those horrible Ukraine Specials that you should avoid like The Plague. The experts that I have consulted with have zero doubt about this watch's authenticity, as do I. IWCCo advertising states that size 12s trench watch cases were available in round and square sizes as well. But, this is the octagon shaped "Admiral Evans" design which in my professional opinion is the most desirable and collectible case shape ever made by ANY American case manufacturer. The fact that one has finally surfaced is almost unbelievable and it's a gold filled version which just puts a cherry on top of it all. This watch was in all likelihood would have been used by a WWI US Army Air Corps Pilot due to it's behemoth size. Pilots wore much larger wrist watches than the infantry soldiers in the trenches. A pilot had to be able to read the time with just a quick glance so a smaller wrist watch simply would not work well for them. Pilots had a lot going on in the cockpit like flying, navigating, manning his machine guns and avoiding being shot down so this larger size 12s wrist watch would be the perfect tool for an aviator. Our Great Grandfather's knew how to make things that would last for generations. The 1917 15 jewel movement was just completely taken apart and serviced on 8-13-2015 and a new mainspring has also been installed. It's in superb running condition and keeping near flawless timing, within just a few seconds per day. Quite remarkable considering that this watch is 98 years old! This watch has been tested on a professional Timegraph 5000 Machine for accuracy so rest assured! Take another look at picture number three again, this movement is clean as a whistle and stunning in it's beauty! This watch is going NOWHERE but up in value down the road! While doing research for my books about American Trench Watches I discovered an amazing document from the Illinois Watch Case Company dating back to 1917 that gives PROPER NAMES to many of their watch cases. This particular watch case model was named the "ADMIRAL EVANS". Robley D. Evans (aka Fighting Bob) served in the United States Navy from Civil War through the Spanish American War achieving the rank of Rear Admiral in 1901. He was Commander in Chief of the Asiatic Fleet and the North Atlantic Fleet. Two US Navy Destroyers were named in his honor (1918 & 1942). So, it makes complete sense that the Illinois Watch Case Company would honor him and name one of their top of the line military watch cases after him. It is VERY RARE to discover "proper" watch names nearly 100 years later so this new evidence is almost unbelievable! The case has been nicely polished and now has a beautiful finish once again, looks simply fantastic! The corners of case do have some very minor wear spots but nothing that I would consider major. This simply means that somebody wore this Admiral Evans very often and loved wearing it. The enamel military dial on this watch is among the most desirable that Elgin ever produced, the Shadow Box Military Dial! The military dial is original to the watch as are the military style center reservoir hands. The enamel dial features a bright white face, shadow box numerals, an outer chapter of minute markers, the correct hands, sub-second hand at 6 o'clock and is signed "ELGIN USA" near the center. The original center reservoir hands have been re-lumed using Bergeon luminous material, they will glow in the dark once properly charged by sunlight. This historic and iconic Great War American Trench Watch has been fitted with a 14mm dark brown genuine leather strap that absolutely makes the watch! Take another look at picture number two again, this watch looks stunning on the wrist. It will have a bit of wear on it because I seriously could not resist wearing this one for a few days, can you blame me? It's kind of like Ferris Bueller and that Ferrari, if you had access to one would you just leave it in a garage? I think not! Here are the movement details: 1917 Elgin, 15 jewels, size 12s, serial number 20590637, grade 314. Take another look at the demaskeen design on the movement they just don't make them like this anymore! The case measures a whopping 53mm lug to lug, 43.5mm without the crown with a 13mm lug diameter. I just installed a brand new inner sleeve and stem on the crown tube, the crown now has a nice firm "pop", just as it should. A brand new glass crystal has also been installed using UV cement and a UV curing machine, looks fantastic. This watch is ready to be worn and shown off, it will surely get noticed! I put a lot of time and effort into this Elgin "Admiral Evans", I'm sure that you will appreciate the quality and quantity of work that has been done. Solid old World craftsmanship at it's finest! Chances are that you will NEVER see another one of these genuine size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watches again in your lifetime, this watch is truly that rare! I've been doing this for a long time now, I've even wrote two books about trench watches and I can honestly say that this is the rarest trench watch that I have ever seen, it seriously has NO EQUAL! No other trench watch even comes close! This watch will be prominently featured in my next book about trench watches!

1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch
1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch
1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch1917 WWI Size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch

Waltham Trench Watch Restorations

Here are just some of my WWI Waltham Trench Watch Restorations form 2013 and 2014. Some of these watches will be featured in my upcoming book "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch

Elgin Trench Watch Restorations

Here are some of my recent WWI Elgin Trench Watch restorations from 2013 and 2014. Some of these watches are featured in my new book "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War" that will be available in very early 2015. 

Illinois Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchBurlington Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchIllinois Trench WatchIllinois General Joffre Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Admiral Evans Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch

Waltham Depollier Trench Watches from WWI

Some of my favorite trench watch cases from WWI were made by J. Depollier & Son out of New York. These cases had superior quality design features that made them top shelf. In September 1917 Depollier came out with their "double clinched bezel" which helped prevent dust and moisture from infiltrating the watch. Their watch cases made before September of 1917 did not have this design feature. It is a very common misconception that there is something wrong with the watch if it does not have the "double clinched bezel" which could be no further from the truth, these are simply earlier versions of the well known "KHAKI" Trench Watches. Depollier cases were very well made, the bezels and case backs always snap together crisply. Depollier cases were available in Nickel, Sterling Silver, 14k Solid Gold, 18k Solid Gold and Platinum. Depollier was at the forefront of waterproof case design and they introduced the  "Depollier Waterproof and Dustproof Strap Watch" in June of 1919, this is one of the most coveted WWI Trench Watches to obtain by collectors. Many sterling silver trench watches cases manufactured during WWI were rather flimsy and only had about 8-9 grams of sterling silver in the case construction. In 1918 Depollier came out with their cushion design that had 19 grams of sterling silver, this case was very robust and designed for the riggers of warfare. Enjoy viewing the pictures below featuring many of the Depollier case designs with a vast range of case materials.
Waltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham Depollier
Waltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham Depollier
Waltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham Depollier
Waltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham Depollier
Waltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham Depollier
Waltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham DepollierWaltham Depollier


Trench Watch Shrapnel Guards, Two of the RAREST in the World

Pictured below are two of the RAREST Trench Watch Shrapnel Guards in the WORLD ! ! This is a GOLD FILLED LATH, aka the WARRIOR and a STERLING SILVER CROSS PROTECTOR. Both of them are the larger size 0s. I have only seen ONE Gold Filled Lath and ONE Sterling Silver Cross Protector and they are photographed here together for your viewing pleasure! What makes these guards so rare is the metal content, guards usually consist of common solid nickel, not gold fill or sterling silver. Even in common solid nickel these designs are extremely difficult to locate and obtain. I have documented only 4 Laths (3 nickel and 1 gold filled) and this is the ONLY Cross Protector that has been documented in the past 5 years so that should tell you something about their rarity! Both of these designs were available from The Mealy Manufacturing Company, the largest watch attachment manufacturer in the world during the Great War. Each one of these guards are off the charts rare and probably deserves a dedicated blog posting which would be great, but to see them documented and photographed together is a true once in a lifetime opportunity ! ! I hope you enjoy the pictures ! ! !
Trench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards
Trench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards

1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version

I recently obtained an original copy of the 1934 Waltham Wrist Watch & Pocket Watch Catalog, it's the United Kingdom version. The first several pages show that the "TRENCH WATCH" style cases were still very popular in the UK well into the mid 1930's. While it's sort of hard to tell from the pictures a few of these watches have RED 12 enamel dials! The 9k solid gold Waltham Wrist Watches in this catalog can be found with just a few key strokes but the 18k solid gold versions are rather hard to obtain. The round 9k and the round 18k were both available during the Great War. Enjoy!
1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version
1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version
1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version : 1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version1934 Waltham Wrist Watch Catalog, UK Version


1918 Elgin Trench Watch Restored to Military Specifications, Painted Black Case

97 years ago this week on October 24, 1916 the United States Army revised the general specification for wrist watches. The revised specification required that all wrist watches cases were to be painted black, along with the crown and strap buckle. In mid-1918 another revision was made requiring that the dial of the watch be black in color as well. The Elgin Trench Watch photographed here is a 1918 model. You may have seen some watches like this before but most of the original paint has worn away and only trace patches remain. Spray paint and powder coating was not invented until 1949 - 1950 so the methods used during the Great War were either hand painting or some sort of gravity spray. The quality of paints nearly 100 years ago were moderate at best so the paint would scratch off easily, this is why you don't see any pristine original examples today. The paint on this case is just like the paint on a car, if it gets scratched it will leave a mark. I know what the exact requirements were so I decided to restore this 1918 Elgin Trench Watch back to US Army specifications. It was not as easy as simply spray painting the case, trust me. A certain order had to be followed so the paint would not run and the final results would have the required finish. I wanted to feel the same sensation that a WWI American Soldier would have felt when he first strapped on his military spec Elgin Trench Watch! I have been searching for years in the hopes of finding an original 1918 photograph showing a mil spec Elgin but I am starting to believe that none exist. Only artist's renderings (drawings) are out there, no actual pictures. So, all I had to go by was the written US Army general specifications and some Great War era advertisement drawings. The restoration of this Elgin far excides my expectations! I had to idea that it would turn out as well as it did. It is truly quite a treat to see this Elgin as it once was now that it has been returned to the condition as worn by US Soldiers. Below is a picture of this mil spec Elgin with an artist's rendering of a similar watch. This Elgin has a "Black Star Dial" while the artist's rendering shows a "White Star Dial", either dial would have been correct. Open face movements were correct in these cases but more often than not you will see them with hunting case movements. Watch info: sterling silver Illinois Watch Case Company cushion trench watch case, original sterling factory crown, 1918 7 jewel Elgin movement, grade 463, enamel black star dial, original military hands that have been re-lumed, new glass crystal, new mainspring, new 14mm leather strap, painted case & strap buckle. Enjoy the pictures because chances are you have never seen this level of restoration on an Elgin Trench Watch to true US Army specifications before!
1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case
1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case

WW1 Trench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal Guards

The popular name for this optional equipment on trench watches is "Shrapnel Guard" but the actual correct name is "Crystal Guard" or "Watch Protector". I have done an incredible amount of research on this topic and I have not found a single reference to them being called "Shrapnel Guards" when they first came to market in late 1914. Can you really imagine this small piece of tin actually stopping a piece of flying shrapnel while in battle trying to cross "no man's land"? If a piece of red hot shrapnel hit your trench watch I tend to think that you were going to have bigger problems to worry about like your hand no longer being attached to your arm. Simply stated, the name "Crystal Guard" says it all. These were designed to protect the watch crystal and watch face from cracking and other light damage when in the field. A wide variety of design patients were filed for this optional equipment, I found no less than 40. Back in 1917 at their peak of popularity the snap on "Crystal Guards" could be bought for only about 35 cents each depending on the style, after the Great War ended they could be had for only 20 cents each. Prices for these guards have gone up drastically in recent times! Just for the guard (not including the watch) be prepared to spend about $80.00 - $150.00 for an average design snap on or strap on model. For the more elaborate and rare designs be prepared to dig a bit deeper in your pocket for about $100.00 up to $3000.00. In 1917 Joseph Fahys & Company came out with their "Armored Case" design that was a giant leap forward in technology. Instead of the crystal guard being strapped onto the case or snapped on OVER the case the guard was actually part of the trench watch case itself. These were called "Integrated Crystal Guard Cases", the guard would be snapped directly onto an outer ring around the bezel or if the case was semi-hermetic the guard would be screwed into place. Today the "Integrated Crystal Guard Cases" are highly sought after by collectors. Prices for these prized "Integrated Guard" trench watches that have been fully restored sell for $1,000.00+ depending on the manufacturer, movement and dial. Over the past several years some questionable folks have decided to start manufacturing fake copies of the snap on and strap on versions of the crystal guards. These fake versions are selling for about $35.00 and they are just horrible! I would say that 9 out of 10 "real" crystal guards  had a "makers mark" or a "patient applied for mark" underneath the guard. If you can't tell the difference ask an expert before making a purchase that you will regret soon as you open the package. Ask the seller to take a picture of the backside of the guard and look for a marker's mark! 
Trench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal Guards
Trench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal Guards
Trench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal Guards
Trench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal GuardsTrench Watch Shrapnel Guards & Trench Watch Crystal Guards

The VERY Desirable GIANT Size 6s Elgin Trench Watches, 38mm

The of the most desirable (and expensive) American Trench Watches is the GIANT 38mm Size 6s. These watches are prized both for their beauty and their unusually large size. Most American Trench Watches of the Great War were much smaller, they were a size 3/0s or a 0s. These two sizes ranged from 31mm up to 33mm going across without counting the crown. A giant size 6s trench watch measures 37mm up to 40mm across making it highly sought after by collectors. The three main watch case manufacturers that provided cases for size 6s movements were The Illinois Watch Case Company, The Philadelphia Watch Case Company and the Bates & Bacon Watch Case Company. The Bates & Bacon version only came in 14k yellow gold fill and was their "ROYAL" series. The Philadelphia cases were only manufactured out of Silverode. Silverode is a nickel alloy consisting of nickel, copper, manganese and possibly zinc. The Illinois size 6s trench watch cases were made of solid nickel. Out of all of these cases I would have to say that the rarest one by far is the Illinois case that is semi-hermetic with swivel lugs, these are VERY hard to obtain! I am currently restoring a size 6s 1917 Elgin Trench Watch with one of the Illinois semi-hermetic cases with swivel lugs, I should be done with it in about a month or so. This watch can be seen in the last three pictures, still working on it so these pictures show it unrestored. (update, 4-3-2012 it's now completed). Manufacturing numbers for the size 6s cases are not available but I can tell you that they made far fewer of them compared to the size 3/0s and 0s, probably around 90% fewer. Below are the size 6s trench watches that I have restored, it's less than 10, remember these are VERY hard to come by so the number is small. Out of the watches pictured below I would have to say that the RED XII size 6s trench watch has the rarest dial, it's almost impossible to obtain, especially in mint condition like this one! Prices for size 6s American Trench Watches in this excellent condition range from $1,000.00 up to $1,300.00 fully restored. A Size 6s Elgin Trench Watch with the correct year movement, an Illinois Semi-Hermetic Case, Swivel Lugs, the correct Military Dial and Hands will go for $1,500.00 up to $2,000.00.
 

WW1 Elgin Trench Watch & WW1 Waltham Trench Watch BOLD Arabic Dials

One of my favorite Elgin Trench Watch & Waltham Trench Watch dials is the "BOLD Arabic" enamel dial. Other than the RED 12 trench watch dials these were considered among the first "military" style dials. Elgin only date stamped dials on the back side that were considered "military" dials, the exact reason for this is still unknown. Waltham never date stamped any of their dials. Elgin began manufacturing these dial around 1913-1914, the same goes for Waltham. The oversized bold numerals were very easy to read at a quick glance. These dials were available with a few variations such as a BOLD RED 12 and factory drilled hour marker lum dots. I even found an Elgin with all blue bold Arabic numerals, the only one that I have ever seen. Elgin made these dials in sizes 3/0s, 0s and 6s while Waltham only made this style in 3/0s and 0s. Here are just a few of my favorite examples that I have restored.
BOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench Watch
BOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench Watch
BOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench Watch
BOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench Watch
BOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench WatchBOLD Arabic Trench Watch

RED 12 Waltham Trench Watch & RED 12 Elgin Trench Watch

RED XII Elgin Trench Watches & Waltham Trench Watches are among my favorite American trench watches. They are prized by collectors for their stunning overall beauty and mystery. Nobody has been able to unlock the origins of the RED 12 dials, in all likelihood the RED 12's were first used by the Swiss watchmakers starting around the year 1900. My best guess is that Waltham starting using RED 12's around 1911 and Elgin started using them around 1912 but nobody knows for certain. Why a RED 12 at all? Some folks say that it is just an easy reference point for telling the time while others suggest that it started out as decorative addition to the dial. Your guess is probably a pretty good explanation too. After awhile these RED 12 dials found their way to Swiss and American WWI military watches and became a staple. Elgin and Waltham manufactured dozens of RED 12 styles such as Arabic, Arabic military, Roman & Bold Roman. Red 12's were available on enamel as well as metal dials from Waltham and Elgin. Most of these RED 12 dials were specifically manufactured for the European and other overseas markets like Australia, they were also very popular in Canada. The most desirable of the RED 12's also had a "USA" or Made in USA" stamp on the dial just below the manufacturers signature or just above the sub dial. I've even seen a few very rare versions that had a double "Made in USA" stamp but these are extremely hard to come by. I have restored well over 100 RED 12 Trench Watches, the ones pictured below are just some of my favorites.
RED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench Watch
RED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench Watch
RED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench Watch
RED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench WatchRED 12 Trench Watch

Elgin Trench Watch

This is a 1917 Elgin "White Star Dial" Trench Watch that is the rarest of the metal "Star Dial" series. What makes this watch the rarest is the dial configuration, the 3-9-12 were originally filled with Radium Lum while the 1-2-4-5-7-8-10-11 had a Radium Lum hole drilled on the minute track. This configuration is extremely hard to come by, I've only seen 3 of them in the past 3 years. This dial is also date stamped on the back side, 10-17 for October 1917 making it one of the very first "Star Dials" ever manufactured by the Elgin National Watch Company. October of 1917 was the very first month that these dials were available making it extremely collectible. The seven jewel movement has been completely taken apart and properly cleaned, a brand new mainspring has been installed. The seven jewel movement is set inside a Sterling Silver Semi-Hermetic Case with an Offset crown that was manufactured by the Philadelphia Watch Case Company. This Elgin Trench Watch also has a WWI Crystal Guard, stamped "DEPOSE" which is the French word for "registered". A slot has been cut on the guard to accommodate the offset crown case style. Somebody over the years replaced the original factory crown with a wrong crown so I replaced it with a correct one once again. As you can see in the pictures this watch was in pretty bad condition when it first arrived. The movement was broken, it had case damage, a missing crystal, a filthy dial and hands. This watch had been neglected for years but has now been brought back to splendor! The rarest "Star Dial" with a Sterling Silver Semi-Hermetic Philadelphia Case with an Offset Crown makes for one heck of a trench watch ! ! ! ! ! The last two pictures shows both of the metal "White Star Dials" side by side, the very last picture shows the FAR more rare version. Enjoy the before and after pictures!
1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial
1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial
1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial
1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial
1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial1917 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, White Star Dial

Waltham Trench Watch

The American Waltham Watch Company was founded back in 1851 in Massachusetts by Davis, Dennison and Howard and shortly thereafter became a powerhouse in the watch world. The Waltham dial designs are certain among my favorites by American watch manufacturers. Their movements have a simple yet sophisticated design that are a pleasure to work on. Two of the staple trench watch cases for Waltham movements were made by the Dennison Watch Case Company of England and the Depollier Watch Case Company of the United States. Waltham Trench Watches were extremely popular in Europe and especially England due to Dennison. More often than not when you find a Waltham gold filled or solid gold trench watch from the UK it will be in a Dennison case. These were very well made cases, prized for their durability and beauty. Dennison was still manufacturing solid lug cases for Waltham movements well into the mid-1930's even though spring bar lug cases were all the rage. The Walthams pictured below are just some of my favorites out of the 100+ that I have restored. Enjoy!
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Wrist WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Wrist WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Wrist WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Wrist WatchWaltham Wrist WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Wrist WatchWaltham Wrist Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Wrist WatchWaltham Wrist WatchWaltham Wrist WatchWaltham Trench WatchWaltham Trench Watch
Waltham Trench WatchWaltham Wrist Watch

Trench Watch

When reading my other blogs about WWI American Trench Watches be sure to check out my "Trench Watches for Sale" page within the menu bar on the left side of the page. My stock changes regularly and new watches for sale are added on a weekly basis. Many restoration projects are always in the pipeline so if you don't see the exact watch you are looking for check back often or just drop me a line and give me the details.
Elgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Transition Wrist WatchWaltham Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchWaltham Depollier Trench WatchElgin Trench Watch
Elgin Trench WatchWaltham Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchElgin Trench WatchIllinois Trench WatchIllinois Trench Watch
 

1914 Sterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham Depollier

This coming Friday in two days will be me and Tiffany's four year anniversary that we have been together, engaged but not married yet. So, I have been feverishly searching for a great present. This past Sunday I saw a watch that she has mentioned to me a couple of times over the years. Her name is Tiffany so she has this infatuation with all things from Tiffany & Company. Anyway, I bought the watch and it arrived this morning in the mail. With only two days until our anniversary I immediately got to work after I opened the package! This is a 1914 Tiffany & Company Waltham Depollier. These watches were made for Tiffany & Company by the American Waltham Watch Company using a case made by J. Depollier & Sons. Waltham and Depollier had a VERY close relationship at this point in time. As you can see from the pictures this watch was is SERIOUS TROUBLE before any work had begun. It had all sorts of issues like massive case damage, a badly cracked enamel dial, all three hands were the wrong ones, it had a golden crown that was wrong, it was filthy dirty and the movement had not been serviced in YEARS!!! It was in pieces shortly after the BEFORE pictures were taken, remember I'm on a short deadline to get this watch done! My biggest concern was the dial, it had sustained a massive amount of damage over the years and I was seriously doubting whether or not I would be able to save it. Working on a dial like this one can have a very high risk/high reward outcome. But, I was able to save the dial and it looks 100% better now. You can still see the large hairline that ran the length of the dial but it is MUCH better now. They don't always turn out like this, it's always a crap shoot when it comes to results with a dial that has this much damage. The Sterling Silver J. Depollier & Sons case had two heavily damaged sections, those repairs turned out pretty good as well. I replaced the WRONG hands with a set of correct hands for this watch and I re-lumed them a few hours ago. The before and after shots are right next to each other for easy viewing.
Sterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham Depollier
Sterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham Depollier
Sterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham Depollier
Sterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham DepollierSterling Silver Tiffany & Company Waltham Depollier

Trench Watch

A couple of weeks ago an acquaintance of mine started a thread about "The Fighting Man's Watch" and within it there was an ad for Waltham watches from 1917. One of the Walthams in the ad had eluded me for many years, that is until now! I finally got my hands on one, it was in REALLY bad condition when it first arrived with MANY issues. Broken mainspring, fouled hairspring, missing crystal, bad re-lum job on the dial and on the hands, a stripped case back, case damage and so on. The biggest issue was the machined 14k yellow gold filled case back. Somebody over the years did not know exactly what this watch was and how rare it truly is. This is a SEMI-HERMETIC case! I have seen MANY of these watches before but NEVER one that was SEMI-HERMETIC ! ! ! I was absolutely blown away by this when it first arrived but then my joy soon turned into agony, somebody over the years did not realize that the case back and bezel screw on and off. So they pried the case back open ! ! ! ! The threading was completely ruined. Those of you who know about semi-hermetic case know that these are EXTREMELY difficult to re-thread and sometimes it's just a lost cause. But, I took the case over to James & Sons and they were able to re-thread the case back for me! I was absolutely elated!!! The details: 1916 Waltham, 7 jewels, serial number 20392981, grade 360, size 3/0s, model 1907, original enamel military, original skeleton hands, original factory crown. Another thing that makes this watch QUITE SPECIAL is that the inside of the case back is signed WALTHAM, very few American wrist watches were FACTORY CASED back in 1916, this is truly rare ! ! ! As you can see when I started to dis-assemble the watch many parts just started to disintegrate right in my hands, it had definitely seen better days. The lum on the hands just started to crumble off when I removed them so I just decided to restore the entire watch from that point. Another one saved from the scrap bin and brought back to splendor, you MUST have VISION in your watch projects ! ! ! I placed the BEFORE and AFTER pictures side by side so you can really see just how far this Waltham has come along. Click the first picture to enlarge & start the slide show.
WWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch Restoration
WWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch Restoration
WWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch Restoration
WWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch RestorationWWI Waltham Trench Watch Restoration
 
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