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A comprehensive archive of WALTHAM Watches. Each model or type is featured with detailed pictures & specifications to tell you virtually everything you need to know about WALTHAM wristwatches we've handled since 2005.
The American WALTHAM Watch Company produced about 40 million high quality watches, clocks, speedometers, compasses, time fuses & other precision instruments between 1850 & 1950.
In 1850, Roxbury, Massachusetts, David Davis, Edward Howard & Aaron Lufkin Dennison formed together the company that would later become the American 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 & Dennison would eventually perfect & patent their precision watch making machines & create the American System of Watch Manufacturing.
In 1851, the company took the name "American Horologe Company" & production started in the new factory building. Late 1852, the first watches were complete. The first 17 watches, marked "The Warren Mfg Co" were distributed among company officials. Number 18 to 100 were named "Warren Boston" & the following 800 "Samuel Curtis". A few, marked "Fellows & Schell", sold for $40.
The company was renamed "Boston Watch Company" in September 1853. A new factory was built in WALTHAM, Massachusetts, on the banks of the Charles River, which grew over the years to its present size. In October 1854 the company moved into the new factory. The next movements manufactured (1001-5000) were marked "Dennison, Howard, & Davis", "P.S.Bartlett", & "C.T. Parker". The company had financial difficulties & Edward Howard left to form E. Howard & Co..
Upon bankruptcy, the company was sold at auction to Royal E. Robbins, who reorganised it under the new name "Appleton Tracy & Co" in May 1857. Bearing this name, the next movements produced, WALTHAM Model 1857, were numbered 5001 to 14,000. Also the "C.T. Parker" was introduced as 1857 model: 399 units were made. Also 598 chronometers were manufactured. January 1853 saw the introduction of the P.S. Bartlett watch.
The "WALTHAM Improvement Co." merged in January 1859 with the "Appleton, Tracy & Co." forming the American WALTHAM Watch Company (AWWCo). In 1860, as President Abraham Lincoln was elected, the country was in Civil War. Production ground to a halt. However, the company decided to downsize to the lowest possible level to keep the factory open. It worked: Upon his Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln became the proud owner of a WALTHAM watch: Model 1857, Grade Wm Ellery, serial number no 67613.
WALTHAM became the main supplier of Railroad chronometers to the various railroads in America & in as many as 52 other countries of the world. In 1876, WALTHAM disclosed the first automatic screw making machinery & obtained the first Gold Medal in a watch precision contest at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Not only the American Horology but also the world owes much to the early members of the WALTHAM Watch entity, such as Bacon, Church, Dennison, Fogg, H. Marsh, Webster & Woerd for their technical inventions & developments.
In U.S.A. the manufacturing of WALTHAM watches & watch parts had stopped altogether latest in 1957, having been transferred to Switzerland to WALTHAM International SA, a company previously especially founded for the purpose by the US parent. However, clocks continued to be made in the WALTHAM factory for a time under the name of WALTHAM Precision Instruments Company. Nowadays furthered by WALTHAM Aircraft Clock Corporation
Astronaut Dave Scott, commander of the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, wore a WALTHAM watch in his third lunar EVA when his standard Omega Speedmaster Professional chronograph became damaged.
Wikipedia contributors. WALTHAM Watch Company. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. March 31, 2007, 06:41 UTC. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/withindex.php?title=Waltham_Watch_Company&oldid=119219707. Accessed May 7, 2007.