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Waltham Database Glossary

This Glossary explains many of the common terms and abbreviations used in the database. Many of the abbreviations are those used by Waltham in the original handwritten records. The glossary document file can be downloaded here. You might also find it convenient to open this glossary in a separate window when working with the database.

Start and End dates between which a particular run of movements were delivered.
First and Last serial number range assigned to a given run of movements.
Model refers to the overall design of the watch movement. Waltham's model numbers generally correspond to the year in which the watch was designed or first introduced (e.g., "77" refers to the "Model 1877," which was first introduced in 1877; "83" refers to the"Model 1883," which was first introduced in that year, etc.). 
Name (or "Grade") is the name typically engraved on the movement, and generally can be used to identify the quality of a watch. Many are simply designated by number. Numeric grades are not usually engraved on the movement except for later railroad grades. Name and Grade abbreviations used in the database include the following:
ATCo. or A.T.& C.  Appleton, Tracy & Co.
AWCo.  American Watch Co
Am.W. Co.  Am. Grade
Amn W Co.  Am'n Grade
AWWCo.  American Waltham Watch Co.
Bd.St.  Bond Street
B. & K.  Bigelow, Kennard & Co. (Marked for a large customer)
Chron.  Chronograph
C.T.P.  Charles T. Parker (Marked C. T. Parker or Chas. T. Parker)
Col Max. Colonial Maximus
Comm. Std.  Commercial Standard (made for Ball Watch Co.)
C.P.R.  Canadian Pacific Railway
Cres. Gar.  Crescent Garden
Cres.St.  Crescent Street
C.R.T.S.  Canadian Railway Time Service
D. H. & D.  Dennison, Howard & Davis
Dia Diamond (jewel series 6/0)
Home W. Co H.W.Co. H.W.C. or Home  Home Watch Co.
Off. Std.  Official Rail Road Standard (made for Ball Watch Co.)
P.S.B.  P.S. Bartlett
Prem. Premier
Pre. Max.  Premier Maximus
R.E.R.   R. E. Robbins 
Riv. Riverside
Riv. Col. Riverside Colonial
Riv. Max.  Riverside Maximus
Roy Royal
Ruby Ruby (jewel series 6/0)
Sap. Sapphire (jewel series 6/0)
W. W. Co. . Waltham Watch Co
Watson  J.W. Watson
Wm.E.  William Ellery
Material refers to grades of Waltham material, generally reflecting the grade of the watch. The following is a general description, and as with most generalizations there will be exceptions:
  U "U" stands for "Unadjusted." These include most 7-15 jewel watches. These are usually not adjusted for positions or temperature (other than that provided by the bi-metallic compensation balance). Timing screws are brass and there are usually no mean-time screws. A "U"-grade balance staff has no oil grooves and the coarsest pivots. Wheel pivots are the coarsest used in the model.
A "A" stands for "Adjusted." These watches, usually with 15-17 jewels, are usually adjusted to temperature and perhaps 3 positions. They may have a gold center wheel. The balance wheel may have one pair of gold mean-time screws, but the other balance screws are usually still brass. An "A"-grade balance staff may have one oil groove and intermediate pivots. Wheel pivots are intermediate in size.
P "P" stands for "Positions." These are usually 17-23 jewel watches adjusted to 5 or 6 positions. They almost always have a gold center wheel and the highest grades have an entirely gold train. Usually they also have gold jewel settings. The balance wheel usually has gold balance screws, and often has two pair of gold mean-time screws. A "P"-grade balance staff may have two oil grooves and has the finest pivots. The wheel pivots are the finest used on the model.
  AWCo This material grade is not marked in the database but does appear in the material catalogs. P grade material will function in an American Watch Co. grade watch, but does not have the appropriate finish in the earlier models. In particular for the 1872 model, the AWCo grade material is unique (and was much more expensive).
Size "Size" refers to the size of the movement, using the "Lancashire Gauge" system for measuring watch sizes. In this system, a "0" size is 1 and 5/30 inches across, a "6" size is 1 11/30 inches across, a "12" size is 1 17/30 inches, an "18" size is 1 23/30 inches, etc.
Plate "Plate" refers to the design of the top plate. 
  3/4 "3/4" stands for "3/4 Plate" (the top plate is "cut away" with the balance wheel sunk down to the same level as the other gears, portions of which will be visible).
FP "FP" stands for "Full Plate" (only the balance wheel and balance cock are visible and located above the top plate, which fully covers the gears).
Jewelling "Jewels" or "Jewelling" refer to the number of jewels used in the watch to reduce friction on the bearing points. 7 jewels are found in the escapement, and additional jewels if used would typically be found on the plates for jewelling the gear train. Notations found in the database are as follows: 
  Plain 7 jewels
  4 holes  11 jewels all in top plate (looks like 15J)
  2 pairs 11 jewels
  3 pairs  13 jewels
  4 pairs 15 jewels except that on AWCo grade there are usually additional cap jewels
  4 pairs 16 jewels except AWCo and sometimes Am'n  have cap jewels in addition to hole jewels
  5 pairs 17 jewels. Essentially all of these are AWCo grade and  have cap jewels in addition to hole jewels. This results in 19 and sometimes 21 jewels.
  7 to 23 Later runs have the actual jewel count listed rather than jewel pairs
Balance "Balance" refers to the type of balance (material and design):
  Exp  "Ex" or "exp." stands for "expansion balance," which is made of steel on the inside of the balance wheel and brass on the outside, with a split rim, to compensate for the decrease in hairspring elasticity as the temperature increases. 
  Steel or Gold or Nickel refer to the material from which the balance is made. This implies a plain balance without screws or a cut rim.
  Chrono "Chrono." is short for "chronometer" balance, and is an early term used by Waltham for a higher grade expansion balance.
Style  refers to the type of case for which the movement was designed. 
  Htg "Htg" refers to a "hunting" or "hunter" case movement, which has the winding  pendant at the 3 o'clock position, and is designed for a case with a cover that closes over the face. The pendant is at 90 degrees from the 4th wheel. Various dials can put the dial numbers at other positions
  OF "OF" refers to an "open face" case movement, which has the winding pendant at the 12 o'clock position, and does not have a cover that closes over the face. The pendant is 180 degrees from the 4th wheel and seconds indication.
  Rect "Rect." refers to a "rectangular" shaped movement, with the winding pendant at 3 o'clock (for smaller wristwatch-sized movements). Almost all rectangular movements have the hunting or 90 degree configuration
Comment Contains anything that did not fit in with the standard fields. Sometimes this is commentary by the transcribers. Sometimes it is material that was distributed across the columns in the original manuscript. For serial numbers above 7,555,000 The comment field contains the page number from the printed serial number list. The "Comment" field uses the following abbreviations:
  BH BH or Breg. means Breguet hairspring
  big N The manuscript contains a large script N for New model (I believe this notation is used to refer to the "new" 1877 model)
  Church  The "Church" or 1883 model watch. Sometimes just "CH"
  Pat Reg. Patent Regulator
  Eng Made for the English market
  Htg Hunting style. Sometimes appears here instead of Style column
  KW Key wind
  LS Lever set
  Ladies Ladies watch (can be determined from the model but most often 10 size.)
  OF Open Face style
  PS Pendant Setting
  SW Stem winding
  QT Quick Train
Source Initials of the volunteer who transcribed the manuscript material. For observations, the initials of the individual contributing the observation
Date Date material was transcribed. For observations, the date the observation was entered.
When the Source and date fields are blank for a run, the material was contributed by Jim Schneider who transcribed the Waltham printed serial number list.

NL means "None Listed" or no information provided in any of our information sources.