Well, this is a Waltham, and it isn't... Webb C. ball of Cleveland, Ohio, was the general time inspector for a large chunk of the railroad in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It was Ball who was originally commissioned by the railroad officials to develop the standards for railroad approved watches. The Ball Watch Company [est. 1879] didn't produce any watches itself, but instead took high grade watches manufactured by other companies and placed its stamp of approval on them. One interesting note is that Ball was not a fan of highly jewelled watches, feeling that anything beyond 17 or 19 jewels was unnecessary. As other companies began producing 21 and 23 jewel watches and demand for them grew, however, Ball also began marketing higher jewelled watches.

This particular watch is a 16 Size Waltham Ball, produced by the American Waltham Watch Company for Ball, and bearing the offical "RR Standard" seal of approval directly on the movement. It has 21 jewels and is stem wind, lever set and adjusted to 5 positions. The serial number is "B 246678", which dates it to about 1915. The nicely engraved case is gold filled and is marked "BALL MODEL". Later Ball watches had a unique "stirrup bow" case, but these earlier Waltham models did not.

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