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WORLDWIDE Chapter 149 Message Board Forum Index » Pocket Watch Value Line for Collectors » James Russell & Co., Hartford, Conn. dials/watches Goto page 1, 2  Next
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James Russell & Co., Hartford, Conn. dials/watches
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:58 am Reply with quote
Jon
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Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 27881
Location: Boston, Massachusetts




Reports are flying in on these--that they are NOW A BIG DEAL?

Does anyone have a handle on their value a a dial (with the script signature)?

I have two different types; one appears signed. PLUS, another one somewhere?

Thanks.

Jon

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Jon "the truth" Hanson,
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:56 pm Reply with quote
Jon
Chapter President
Joined: 02 Dec 2002
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts




I take it no one here has any experience with these Russell dials? Rolling Eyes

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Jon "the truth" Hanson,
"playing" with watches now for 71 years
Founder and President of Chapter 149--the leading horological collectors' club!

American Horologe Co -- America's Most Respected Name
SUPPORT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN HOROLOGY--Keep watches original--DO NOT SWITCH, PART OUT OR "CREATE" POCKET abortions!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:11 am Reply with quote
geno
Chapter Member
Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 1803




Haven't heard anything and it means nothing to me. Geno
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:35 am Reply with quote
interstatetime
Chapter Member
Joined: 03 Dec 2002
Posts: 3785
Location: Indiana




I think they are becoming a big deal among a very narrow segment of collectors and researchers. I don't think there is really a way to value this stuff yet. Very few people know enough about it to know what is what. It is scarce and there is not enough trade to make a market. Maybe when more research is done and more pieces are found and more people get interested values will become more concrete.

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James Russells
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:42 pm Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
Chapter Member
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 1070




John is exactly right. In fact, more than just "not enough known," they are mystery watches worth researching.

Why? Because they often have A.W.Co factory parts in them along with some parts that don't quite measure up to factory specs.
Around half of them are of A.T.&Co. grade and the other half P.S. Bartlett grade, and many of them have the same, or very similar radial Arabic-numbered dials as the small number of A.T. & Cos that have such dials, along with a very few early E. Howards, like Jon's series II.

Because they were issued at roughly the same time as the A.T.&Cos., as well as that same E. Howard, @1860-1862, they have become a recent center of controversy. For example, who put them together if some parts came from Waltham stock? To date, there is no such person named James Russell known to be working in the wide area at that time. Is it therefore a fictitious name?
I think some plausible speculation revolves around the fact that A.W.Co. was under a lot of pressure in the tough economy of those few years, and movements and/or parts may have been discount dumped by the company into the hands of resellers to remain afloat. Things were done on the cheap and around the market by some people. At one point Robbins pawned a lot of movements, it was that desperate. The reason I seem to be so damned fixated on the dials mentioned above is that they are a common thread between early A.T. & Co., early E. Howard, and James Russell. Possibly the same hand. Maybe not. The movements are less similar. No one has asked about the cases to date. Probably should have.

There are about 15 to twenty known James Russells. They are not Swiss fakes.

K.


Last edited by KennyHabeeb on Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:09 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:12 pm Reply with quote
Jon
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Joined: 02 Dec 2002
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts




Don't bet on it! Wink

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Jon "the truth" Hanson,
"playing" with watches now for 71 years
Founder and President of Chapter 149--the leading horological collectors' club!

American Horologe Co -- America's Most Respected Name
SUPPORT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN HOROLOGY--Keep watches original--DO NOT SWITCH, PART OUT OR "CREATE" POCKET abortions!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:29 am Reply with quote
Neilywatch
Chapter Member
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 5835




I have seen pictures of them.

IMO, these are English copies of Wallies - they have nothing to do with the Waltham factory or product.

I think the speculation is just a result of ignorance.

Nothing to see here, I am moving along! Very Happy

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Neil - Crazy for Walthams!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:08 am Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
Chapter Member
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 1070




Of course you don't have to be interested, Neil, but the James Russells can't be dismissed that easily.
How do the English get a hold of Waltham-made or spec'd parts? Train speed is the Model 57 speed of 16,200 beats per hour, not the earlier English speed of 14,400.


Last edited by KennyHabeeb on Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:16 am Reply with quote
Jon
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts




Does anyone really think Russells have American gilding?

THEY HAVE NON AMERICAN FINISHES or GILDING that CERTAINLY LOOKS SWISS!

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Jon "the truth" Hanson,
"playing" with watches now for 71 years
Founder and President of Chapter 149--the leading horological collectors' club!

American Horologe Co -- America's Most Respected Name
SUPPORT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN HOROLOGY--Keep watches original--DO NOT SWITCH, PART OUT OR "CREATE" POCKET abortions!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:25 am Reply with quote
Neilywatch
Chapter Member
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 5835




The engraving is not of the Waltham style either.

You are making an assumption that these watches have Wallie parts.

Yes, the material looks similar - but not hard to copy.

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Neil - Crazy for Walthams!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:35 am Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
Chapter Member
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 1070




No, not necessarily Waltham parts, but Waltham spec'd parts.

People were barely buying into the American-made watch in the early 1860s. From what I've read, most were still buying Swiss and English. A wachmaker ledger was found in New Orleans for that time. There were two or three American watches (A.T. & Co, and P.S. Bartlett) among many English and Swiss. What incentive would the Swiss or English have at that point in time to copy an American watch?

By the way, most parts found in the James Russells were machine-made, as in made in America.

Jon -- Inferior gilding doesn't necessarily mean Swiss guilding.

K.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:37 am Reply with quote
Jon
Chapter President
Joined: 02 Dec 2002
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts




PROFIT and possibly cheaper labor

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Jon "the truth" Hanson,
"playing" with watches now for 71 years
Founder and President of Chapter 149--the leading horological collectors' club!

American Horologe Co -- America's Most Respected Name
SUPPORT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN HOROLOGY--Keep watches original--DO NOT SWITCH, PART OUT OR "CREATE" POCKET abortions!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:40 am Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
Chapter Member
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 1070




Then you have to explain the dials. Or are you prepared to say that your serpentine red-numeral dial watch could be Swiss?!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:47 am Reply with quote
Jon
Chapter President
Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 27881
Location: Boston, Massachusetts




The Americans bought Swiss parts and they reversed it --they used American fired dials; or, the movements were shipped here and fitted with Amer. dials!

_________________
Jon "the truth" Hanson,
"playing" with watches now for 71 years
Founder and President of Chapter 149--the leading horological collectors' club!

American Horologe Co -- America's Most Respected Name
SUPPORT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN HOROLOGY--Keep watches original--DO NOT SWITCH, PART OUT OR "CREATE" POCKET abortions!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:02 pm Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
Chapter Member
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 1070




That would be one plausible theory. I don't care much about the James Russells. That is, I don't and won't collect them. I'm just curious about the similarities.

K.
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James Russell & Co., Hartford, Conn. dials/watches
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