Friday, 28 February 2014

Spot the difference - 1899 vs 1908 Vanguard.

1908-Vanguard 23J 1913/14
Top right is a newly restored 1908-Vanguard made in 1913 or 1914, below is the 1899-Vanguard made in 1904 or 1905 shown in detail in a previous post (anatomy of an 1899 Vanguard). Both have 23 jewels so what is the difference?

Well as you can see, not a lot, this particular 1908 model has the better type of regulator but most 1908's have the star macro regulator seen here on the 1899.

The later model also has ruby & sapphire jeweling with diamond end stones to the balance and the 1899 is missing the diamonds but again only a minority of the 1908's had them.

1899-Vanguard 23J 1904/05
In fact a glance at my 1939 edition of the Waltham spares catalogue show only trivial differences (trivial that is if you don't happen to need one of the few variant parts!). JS, a long term collector and correspondent points out that "The fundamental difference between those models is the configuration of the winding crown wheel. The radius of the right-angle gearing is greater (and it is beveled) for the 1908 model, making for easier winding, and less wear, but with more turns."

In fact there were some bigger changes to the 1908 during its extended life time than there are between the 1899 and 1908 models.

So the bottom line is that the model number change was as much a marketing ploy than anything else.

Some things never change.

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