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dial collecting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:21 pm Reply with quote
doc ron
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Joined: 13 Dec 2002
Posts: 159




jon what was the genesis for your dial collecting when and what got you started

doc ron

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:23 pm Reply with quote
Jon
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Location: Boston, Ma




I remember vividly buying an 18s pink fancy dial 1883 Waltham OF watch in a heavily worn brass case from an old, old watchmaker in BH in that famous and beautiful Spanish style arcade on the corner of Beverly Drive and Santa Monica Blvd in BH. This was 1957.

I never chased FD--they just seemed to accumulate, mostly from removal from incorrect match ups (mov't and dial). I acquired a few FDed choice gold watches from George "Patina" Kelsch is the early days, but my first real score was that 1873 Chicago Interstate Industrial Expo pen and ink Elgin I showed the members earlier. Yes, George K. sold me this in the early 60s; it was from his personal collection and he wanted me to have it.

Remember, in the early days FDs were plentiful and cheap. I remember Russell Nelson buying/having a "roll" of about 30 or 40 UNUSED ALL MATCHING 18S Elgin dials. He sold few at the 1976 national convention at $20. each. I think I bought 2 or 3 but they were not particularly fancy.

More later--got to run an errand.......

Remember buying FDs for as little as $3. AND I DON"T MEAN JUST ONE! The ladies Wal & Elgin FD were everywhere. Damaged or hairline were everywhere. I learned early on that the prefect ones were the ones to keep, plus exotics. I once happened on to 2 large butterfly type cases with glass holding massive amounts of fancy dials at a chapter 4 meeting. The fellow, Tave Krohn, was opening up his mart table with piles of KAKA (literally). The rush was on and about 25-30 people rushed to buy this and that, I spotted these two display cases underneath the piles of watch stuff. I wormed my way in and reached a long arm on to these two cases and removed them, asked a price and bought them literally under the bodies and eyes of the watch scroungers. At 100. per case and nearly 100 dials total it wowed the crowd as such a deal at 2. each. There were many GOOD, perfect and scarce dials in that lot. The moral of that story was one has to know what to look for when hunting this stuff. Buy and keep the top ones and keep hunting.

Now a days good ones do show up on eBay and at auctions but many are not perfect or the hot shot dealers run up the exotics. Many being cased poorly makes it even more tough to rip a great one at the right price.

I consider my dials a separate horological collection. I am sure the RR boys use up their dials placing them on appropriate watches to keep or sell. I have many of these also but I generally also keep them in the dial cabinet; besides, they are easier to photograph when naked! Wink

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SUPPORT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN HOROLOGY--Keep watches original--DO NOT SWITCH, PART OUT OR "CREATE" PW abortions!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:28 pm Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
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Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 1018




I've got a couple, three. I've noticed that the perfect, unchecked ones are scarce. Not all are great designs either.

kh
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:31 pm Reply with quote
Jon
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Location: Boston, Ma




I have been collecting dials since the early 1960s, but I saw few "killers" in those early days. Now with all the auctions I see many more; BUT, the trick is to find the exotic and perfect ones!

It is still a quest but very very selectively!

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Jon "the truth" Hanson
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" PW abortions!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:38 pm Reply with quote
John B Scott
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 95




For the first 30 years, or so, I actively avoided the many private label dials that could be had (often at lowered prices), sticking to straight down the line open face railroads. I thought I was working on the railroad (I was).

Having matured, a little, I now find that a good private label dial adds quite an important dimension, often including provenance, and they are often rather artistic. I think of dials as miniature works of art. I remain conscious of what is appropriate and what is not but the ideal is not always attainable. I will accept minor damage, knowing that there is often no alternative and rationalising it as evidence of real life usage.

However, I still shy away from fancy dials. Most are damaged, but I don't think they belong on a man's watch, anyway. Just my opinion. My watches are for using.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:41 pm Reply with quote
John B Scott
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For the first 30 years, or so, I actively avoided the many private label dials that could be had (often at lowered prices), sticking to straight down the line open face railroads. I thought I was working on the railroad (I was).

Having matured, a little, I now find that a good private label dial adds quite an important dimension, often including provenance, and they are often rather artistic. I think of dials as miniature works of art. I remain conscious of what is appropriate and what is not but the ideal is not always attainable.

However, I still shy away from fancy dials. Most are damaged, but I don't think they belong on a man's watch, anyway. Just my opinion. My watches are for using.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:04 pm Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
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To each his own. Some FDs are so artistic that they beg to be shown off. So I have no problem with gender I'D there. My own Iine is drawn at the hands! I don't like fancy hands at all. Only one of my FDs has 'em. It was unavoidable.
kh
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:22 pm Reply with quote
John B Scott
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
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I guess I should be clear about what I see as fancy dials - those colourful ones with bits of gold here and there. Yes, with curly gold hands.

I would never consider a Moorhouse EH&Co dial, for example, to be fancy in that way and I would never reject one! In fact, I have only one - it is one of those 18s Ball-Hampdens.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:12 pm Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
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Joined: 22 Jan 2015
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Heh! You're lucky to have ONE!

k.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:08 pm Reply with quote
Jon
Chapter President
Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 25757
Location: Boston, Ma




Like most things folks collect they graduate as to tastes, rarity, condition, subject matter, etc.

To be brutally honest most of my dials are naked, meaning not on dials or watches. I do, though, have ones on watches and/or movements that were acquired that way and not switched by me.

Trays of GOTFW dials make for a great collection in itself.

There is another reason NOT to use them on moments or watches--signatures. John Cote will tell of one of my greats (maybe his) one pen and ink I have that is fabulous and unique with important backside writing and a signature.


Last edited by Jon on Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Jon "the truth" Hanson
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" PW abortions!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:18 pm Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
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Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 1018




Good common sense. Collect them as they come to you. If the watch is a wreck but the dial is great, why look the other way? And vice versa.
Just price it accordingly, eh?

I'd have to check, but I think I have a JM signed, 16s E. Howard. The watch is in another case, I think, but I bought the piece for the dial.
kh
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:34 pm Reply with quote
Jon
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Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 25757
Location: Boston, Ma




newcomers, feast on these signed Moorhouse dials:

http://americanhorologe.com/Moorhouse/Moorhouse.aspx

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Jon "the truth" Hanson
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" PW abortions!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:41 pm Reply with quote
KennyHabeeb
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Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 1018




My bad. I should have said L-size, not 16s.

That is a collection not to be exceeded. One will note that only one, just one, has Roman numerals. This is support (Jon in absentia) that Moorhouse drew all the early A.T.&Cos with Arabic numeral dials. What else would he do back then when he was new to the company? Design machinery!?
And when you are young and new, you don't take risks with special characters and designs. You start conservatively. Instead, his artistry came out in the form of replicating what he saw on some high-end British dials (he had just some here from England only a few years earlier): Arabic numeral dials - when Arabic numerals had to be special ordered!
Later on, when he was a journeyman, the other signs of his work came forward: the mulberries, the fancier lettering. The older he got the more artistic license he was given. The fanciest stuff is (not all, but) mostly after 1880.

kh
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:22 am Reply with quote
John B Scott
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 95




Those are very interesting comments, especially the ones about freelancing and Arabic numerals.

You have made me wonder about this dial.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:35 am Reply with quote
John B Scott
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 95




This is the Ball-Hampden dial that I mentioned, above. Not blemish-free but it has cleaned up nicely and it looks very beautiful on 18s tu-tone 23J Special Railway 1150060.


Last edited by John B Scott on Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:31 am; edited 1 time in total

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dial collecting
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