SERVICE/REPAIR: Waltham Model 1857 P.S. Bartlett Keywind/Keyset

One of my favorite make and model, the Waltham 1857 is one of the first mass produced watches (this one was made around 1859). It’s robust build quality enable these to be restored to working condition many times over. Here it a nice example disassembled and prepared for cleaning.

This model had a the non-temperature compensating solid balance. The click spring/pawl combination must have broken some time in the past, as it has been clearly remade (somewhat crudely, but very effective). All parts have been cleaned, inspected, pivot holes on the bottom plate burnished, and pivots polished. A new upper cap jewel was also installed.

The center wheel front pivot and arbor had worn, and the cannon pinion was not fitting tight. The cannon pinion normally is tight enough to move the hour hand (that is attached), but loose enough to slip when setting the hands. When worn down, the hands will slip and stop moving. The repair is to remove and replace the pivot/arbor.

Once assembled, this piece happily sprung to life with an abundance of amplitude. With it’s removable jewel settings on the balance and upper wheel pivots, this watch was built to be repaired and used even after 160 years. Although spotted with age, this piece has a subtle beauty, with most of it’s original parts intact.