Conocida también como "Waltham Watch Company", la compañía americana RELOJES WALTHAM fue la primera empresa que comenzó una producción masiva de relojes en los Estados Unidos, y ha sido siempre considerada la compañía de relojes más importante de los Estados Unidos.


La historia de la compañía es un poco complicada, pero todo empezó en 1850 cuando Edward Howard, David Davis y Aarón Dennison se reunieron en Roxbury, Massachussets, y decidieron fundar su propia compañía de relojes. Ellos formaron la "American Horologue Company" en 1851, y en 1952 se fabricaron 17 relojes prototipo con "Howard, Davis & Dennison" grabado en los movimientos. El nombre de la compañía se cambió por el de "Warren Mfg. Co" (nombre tomado de un famoso héroe de guerra revolucionario), y los siguientes 26 relojes llevaban el nombre de "Warren" en sus movimientos.


In 1856, the Boston Watch Co. went bankrupt, and was sold at auction in 1857.

It was sold to a New York watch dealer named Royal E. Robbins and a group of associates for $ 56,000 and was reorganised as Appleton, Tracy and Co.. Within a short time, the company acquired the Nashua Watch Co., a small, financially troubled, but very advanced manufacturer. This opened the door for Waltham to become the power in American watchmaking that it became. Nashua watch designs influenced Waltham's production for many years thereafter.


The economy in America during these years was stricken with recession, and bankruptcies affected the majority of the American watch manufacturers that were contemporaries of Waltham. Finally, in 1892, standards for railroad watches were established. Waltham, and the other American companies that had survived the tough times, suddenly found themselves confronted with demand for the high quality watches they had become capable of building over many tough years. Business boomed!


The Waltham company was placed on the map with their first high volume success, the 18 size model 1883. This was followed by the 18 size, 1892 model which was specifically designed to conform to the newly established standards for railroad watches. Then came the smaller 16 size, 1898 model which gained acceptance because of its smaller, slimmer profile.


Within five years, the 1892 model was dropped, but the 1883, 18 size continued in production until about 1919.


The output of the Waltham factory was prodigious – by 1880, one and a half million watches were being produced per year; in 1900, nine million were produced, and this had risen to 27 million in 1930. It must be appreciated also that these were not 'dollar' watches, but high grade jewelled lever movements, many with 21 jewels, some adjusted to 6 positions. The first stem wind watch was produced as early as 1868, and the last keywound model was made in about 1919. A small number of chronographs and repeaters were also made.


By 1915, the wrist Swiss watch had appeared on the North American scene, and Waltham and the other American manufacturers were caught napping. The public that had always accepted the American pocket watch was now accepting the Swiss wrist watch. The North American manufacturers were put into a position of losing and trying to regain their market share. It spelled the beginning of the end for the American companies.


The last watch made by Waltham name was produced in 1957. The name has been sold on and you can now get quartz watches with the Waltham name on them


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