At the very summit of American railroad-grade watches before the automobile began overtaking rail lines as a means of travel was the wind-indicator. Having a fuel gauge is a handy thing, and that is precisely what the 4th hand on a wind-indicator displays - how much run time is left on an unspooling mainspring. Waltham's Vanguard was built to the closest tolerances of the day, using the very best materials - including diamond balance cap jewels.
American Waltham's flagship 16S railroad-grade watch after the turn of the century was the Vanguard. It was offered in jewel counts of 19, 21, and 23, with an indicator option available on the latter two, which was also referred to as an "Up/Down" watch. An indicator dial had markings of Up at zero, which meant that zero hours had passed since it had been wound, and Down at the 24-hour mark to remind the owner to wind it back up. This fantastic 23-jewel example still has both diamond end stones on the balance caps and the gilt hardware package on the gear train jewels. It's a Model '08, meaning that it debuted in 1908, which placed the setting lever at the 11:00 mark instead of the traditional location to allow for the indicator components. It was just cleaned, oiled and timed, and is ready for daily carry, fronting a snow-white triple-sunk Arabic dial and correct blued hands. It's housed in a 20-year gold-filled Keystone case with a tight bow, a glass crystal and a sharp new crown.
Manufacturer - Waltham
Serial Number - 20013367
Watch Size - 16
Watch Model - 1908
Watch Grade - Vanguard w/ WI
Jewel Count - 23
Winding/Setting - Stem/Lever
Production Year - 1914
Straps are an alternative to chains, which don't grind up the metal bows. Prevent drops with these supple straps, hand-braided from top-grain leather in your choice of colors.
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