Waltham pocket watch serial number dating

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Suddenly, watches reflected the correct time within minutes rather than being off by close to an hour. A hand to measure seconds was added a little less than a century later.

As years passed, the customer's appetite for more and more gadgets on pocket watches led to the addition of calendars (marking the day, date and month), phases of the moon, alarms, chimes and music.

They are sought by collectors and Civil War buffs and re-enactors, says Eric Engh, co-owner of the website the world's largest seller of pocket watches on the internet."Walthams, in particular, are very collectible," he said.

"They were the first mass produced watches with interchangeable parts.

It was the discovery of spring technology by Peter Henlein and others that made the personal timepiece possible.

Spiral springs could be wound and uncoiled to move the hour hand of the clock.

Most clocks were huge and resided in churches or cathedrals.

Counterbalances and weights to power clocks were usually made of stone blocks or metal.

Eventually locksmiths dominated the trade as brass, silver and gold were used to replace steel.The manufacturer's name or mark is usually found on a pair case.If it doesn't match the name on the watch, then the pair case is not the original, but a replacement.Although the technology was a great leap forward from hanging weights, it was still highly inaccurate because coiled springs don't unwind at a constant speed.But in comparison to judging the hour by the sun, having a timepiece you can carry or wear on a necklace - even though it was off by an hour or so - was close to a miracle.

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