ser#32276360 21 jewel14k 1944
Thank you for sending in this vintage wristwatch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today.
Gent’s, 6/0size, manually wound, 14k yellow gold, dress wristwatch with mid-20th century Speidel expandable steel bracelet, ‘Albright’ model or variant thereof, 21 jewel movement, made by the Waltham Watch Company, circa 1944.
Case: 6/0 size, round, two leaf, 14k yellow gold, wristwatch with fluted polished lobster claw lugs, narrow fluted gold winding crown, round ‘bubble back ‘style back cover in polished gold. The inside of the cover is NOT shown. The watch is integrated with a contemporary (of the case) gold plated steel expandable bracelet made by Speidel.
Dial: Silvered round enameled dial with black Arabic hours at the quarters, gold dotted hours at the balance of the hours, closed bar minute track, subsidiary seconds @6, steel ‘Scottie’-type Art Deco hands and the upper dial signed ‘Waltham’. . .
Movement: NOT SHOWN – a size 6/0 movement, most likely a split three quarter, nickel plate layout with serial no. 32276360, made circa 1944 in a run of 5000 such movements and made with 21 jewels. The movement may have been called the ‘Emerald’ (second version) by Waltham and they were made from 1942 until the end of the decade. The Emerald series was made early in the 20th century by Waltham using mostly 15 and 17 jewels. The movement would be properly signed and numbered by Waltham. Therefore, this would be a second generation of the Emerald movements. . .
Case – Very good with some scuffing of the surface on the back cover.
Dial: Few speckles of oxidation of the surface of the dial, but very good also.
Movement – Not evaluated, but will consider that the movement is original to this case, genuine and functional for this valuation.
Generally one would consider Waltham watches on a lower level than some other American wristwatch, e.g. Hamilton, and truly most are and were quite ordinary, watches for everyday use. The watches made during the 1940’s included some interesting examples with fancy lugs, solid gold examples and military models which would be at a higher price level. However, here is an example of your watch combined in a lot with a solid gold thimble that brought $250 in 2019. See:
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/73054203_14kt-gold-waltham-wrist-watch-and-14kt-thimble. ($250 in 2019)
https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/waltham-usa-wristwatch-men-s-watch-c-1930-7sC6wPiDkM (sold for $458 in 2016)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/7341349_278-waltham-25j-14k-wrist-watch (SOLD FOR $160 IN 2010 BEFORE THE JUMP IN GOLD PRICES.)
Overall, the solid gold vintage wristwatches that I could find generally sold in the $175-$250 range, not terribly impressive, but I find your watch very impressive and the price of gold is heading up toward $2000/ounce. So, in its current condition if you offered it at auction I believe it would have a fair market value (on the watch market and not the gold market) in the range of $650-$750 and a retail price higher than that. This watch has a wonderful late Art Deco look and it should stay on the stretchable gold plated band that I grew up with all those years ago. Hope you enjoy it.
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