Today, I am very pleased to introduce you to the new WALTHAM Field & Marine Dual time, produced by Watch Angels. Indeed I have had the privilege to be lent a sample of the watch for a few days test. I will go straight to the point for now, but I invite you to watch at the end of this review the video presenting the very exciting concept of crowed manufacturing created by Watch Angels. I have been totally seduced by this new way of designing, producing and selling watches. A few months ago I pledged on the first watches they produced, the CB01-14060 designed by Cedric Bellon. I will share a review with you as soon as possible.
WALTHAM History and legacy
This is the easiest part of my review. Indeed, Watch Angels made a great job to present and share with the community the WALTHAM industrial history. The new Field & Marine is the heir to its rich watchmaking heritage. Before reading, or after depending on your mood or the available time you’ve got, I strongly invite you to watch the two following videos.
A major actor of the US industrialisation
I learnt a lot watching this retrospective. The Waltham company has truly been a major actor of the US industrial revolution. Its founders were precursors and by creating the first assembly lines, long before Henry Ford who was inspired by their know-how. (Video duration: 18’38”)
The WALTHAM Field & Marine legacy
The WALTHAM company was involved in the WW1 US national effort. It is in this difficult context that the first Field & Marine was created, dedicated to soldiers who need to have a reliable watch in the hostile trenches environment made of permanent dust, mud and humidity. Here is the historical legacy of the new Field & Marine told by WW1 watches historian and owner of LRF Antique Watches, Stan Czubernat (Video duration 2’36”)
The WALTHAM Field & Marine Dual Time
The Waltham Field & Marine case is massive. Here are the dimensions: 43mm diameter without crown, 13.18mm thickness, 47.9mm lug to lug and… 47,9mm wide with the crown. Yes. It’s a square. However the watch is quite comfortable, even on a small wrist like mine’s (17,C cm), thanks to its very short lugs. The simpler 3 hands model also available for subscription has slightly smaller dimensions: 41mm diameter without crown, 45.9mm wide with the crown, 46.9mm lug to lug.
The finishing quality of this watch is really great. The various surface treatments, brushed, polished or sandblast lead to light effects very pleasant for the eye. The polished chamfer bring a welcome touch of refinement to this manly watch.
The two parts caseback offers a very pleasant to watch contrast between the sandblast “Chuck Key” screw ring and the mirror polished core disk. In case you’re a manic, maybe you will be tempted to keep the plastic protection in order to keep the coredisk free of scratches. The trench watch has been refined!
The Watch Angels logo is discreetly engraved on one lug.
The WALTHAM Field & Marine Dial
The blue sunray dial of the WALTHAM Field & Marine is very pleasant to the eye. It offers a perfect readability. While playing with the light, it passes from light to deep blue in a glance. That’s full of life.
The numerals have the same typeface than the original Field & Marine. But whereas they were painted on the trench watch, they are now applied, with a polished edge, which gives them a modern touch.
The hands and hour markers are filled with TRITEC Swiss Super-Luminova®. The TRITEC official website proudly proclaims that “The new Swiss Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 shows a performance increase of up to 60% after two hours compared to the standard grade”. I haven’t had the patience to wait for two hours, but however made a little test, here after. As far as I’m concerned, I note above all that Watch Angels chose the highest grade of TRITEC Super-Luminova® among the three available references: Standard, Grade A, Grade X1. Thanks!
I’m not satisfied with the poor quality of my “macro” pictures of the two sub-counters. The domed sapphire crystal doesn’t help. The pocket Camera doesn’t help. And please, don’t ask about the photographer’s talent.
However both these microgroove sub-dials are worth a dedicated picture. Especially the power reserve counter, whose design is really greaHowever both these microgroove sub-dials are worth a dedicated picture. Especially the power reserve counter, whose design I like very much. Look at the details!
As with any watch with a power reserve indicator, it is a pleasure to observe the counter hand rising to the spring barrel « full power » zone as you wind the watch, especially when it’s stopped after being unused for a long time.
At first glance, the deep date aperture is a little surprising. But you get used to it very quickly and, in fact, this discreet date numeral turns out to be full of charm.
The dial is protected by a superb sapphire domed crystal respecting the shape of the original WALTHAM Field & Marine. It leads to sympathetic distorsions from certain angles.
The Waltham Bayonet Crown
The Bayonet Crown is obviously the most visible and interesting asset of the new WALTHAM Field & Marine. It is inspired by the invention of Charles L. Depollier who played a major role part in the WALTHAM watchmaking history. His purpose was to deliver to US soldiers a watch able to resist to the natural elements to that soldiers faced in the trenches of the First World War: water, humidity, moisture, dust, mud… He invented the first waterproof crown ever made.
The original US Patent 1,292,441
On a video posted by Watch Angels, I was able to identify the US patent number. It was then quite easy to find the original document.
Here is the second paragraph that explains the general principle of the invention:
“This invention relates to means for making a water-tight joint between a watch case and the crown which carries the winding and seting stem and it has for its object to provide simple and efective means for making the joint suficiently tight to the prevent the penetration of moisture within the watch case about the winding and setting stem while permitting the crown to be released readily for winding and seting.”
and the conclusion:
“I claim as my invention:
- In a watch, the combination of a watchcase center, a sleeve secured thereto, a crown, a second sleeve secured to the crown and surrounding and adapted to form a tight joint with the first names sleeve, a locking ring mounted on the second named sleeve to cooperate therewith, and devices carried by the watchcase center independent of said first named sleeve to cooperate with the locking ring
- In a watch, the combination of a watchcase center, a sleeve secured thereto, a crown, a second sleeve secured to the crown and adapted to form a tight with the first names sleeve, alocking ring mounted loosely on the second named sleeve and having a tapered flange, and overhanging lugs or ears secured to the watchcase center and adapted to cooperate with the locking ring.
- In a watch, the combination of watchcase center, a crown, a sleeve secured to the crown, a notched locking ring mounted on the sleeve, overhanging lugs or ears on the watchcase center to cooperate with the locking ring, and a retaining washer secured to the under surface of the locking ring to cooperate withe the overhanging lugs or ears.
This specification signed this 14th day of March, A.D. 1918.
Charles L. Depollier”
You’re still there ? You’ve read the whole text? Wow. Congrats. Crystal clear, isn’t it?
Hmm. Maybe You would like to keep or read this document more comfortably. Dowload it!
The WALTHAM Field & Marine revisited crown by Watch angels
Watch Angels made a great job. Manipulating the crown is easy, quite fun and pretty addictive. And, most of all, leads to a watch that is waterproof to 30 ATM. If you are one of the happy buyers, there is no doubt that you will like it. If you’re not, I hope what’s following will help you to understand the way it works.
When unlocked and pulled to its second notch, the crown reveals the brass locking lever.
On the picture below, look at the crown edge. Its sloping profile leads to tighten the crown against the case while turning it from the left to the right.
When locked, the whole crown parts are well maintained by compression between the two “shoulders’ ears”.
Know let’s have a closer look to the brass locking lever. By looking at the side, it is possible to see the 2 lugs of the lever, on which the crown will hook to drive it.
The crown “hidden” side hooks the locking lever lugs thanks to is symmetrical aperture.
A gasket is visible on the crown tube.
Quick video demo.
I really like the way Watch Angels shares short videos and information during the manufacturing process. It reinforces the feeling of being part of the adventure and is very instructive for those who want to get into the technical side of things. This video helps to understand the complexity of the machining of the case to allow the crown to ensure the watertightness of the watch.
A last point to end with this part. The bayonet system offers a pretty nice aesthetic advantage compared to screw down crowns. When locked, the logo engraved on the crown face is perfectly aligned and horizontal. I bet you’ve just said “Ah Yes. True! Cool!”
And You know what ? I didn’t even think of measuring the crown diameter! Well. Hmm. Actually, I did think about it. Once the watch was on its way back.
The WALTHAM Field & Marine Movement
Watch Angels chose a SOPROD C115 caliber to bring life to the WALTHAM Field & Marine Dual time. It is the first time I’m given the opportunity to have a close look at this movement. For what I have been able to see, the finishing quality is really good.
The movement seems to be put in the case from above.
The SOPROD C115 is a dual tome movement. The time zone can be set with the pusher on the edge of the case.
I appreciated the very good quality of the thick soft and comfortable leather strap. The signed buckle has a pleasant shape. The finishing, half brushed half polished, is good looking. Thanks for the quick release Spring bar that you will have noticed on previous pictures.
In one of the promotional videos for the WALTHAM Field & Marine, Guido Benedini, one of he 3 Watch Angels co founders said: “Let’s do this watch like Waltham would have done it today, with today standards and aesthetic sensibility”. I think the challenge is brillantly met.
A few more words to remember our elders who fought in the trenches for their families and their country. Some of them have worn the original WALTHAM Field & Marine. I wish to pay tribute to their courage, their self-sacrifice, their sense of honor and duty. This picture is dedicated to them.
Have a look to the Watch Angles video presentation enfd to the photo gallery here after
- have a look to the Watch Angels video presentation as to the photos gallery here after
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Take care of you. Jerry