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Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review

Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

When we last discussed the Rpaige (Richard Paige) watch brand, it was as a review of the Rpaige Wrocket watch. If you recall, the concept was to take the movement of a vintage American pocket watch, and place it in a watch case with a special dial unique to the Wrocket collection. Consider, for a moment, if you took that concept back a step, and instead of Rpaige using a Wrocket dial, they just used an original pocket watch dial to match the antique movement. That is what I am going to review today: an Rpaige Waltham Original Antique limited edition watch.

When I first put one of these on my wrist, I thought it was most cool. I am normally not into vintage timepieces, but this is even beyond that. This is the movement and dial of what used to be in a pocket watch, and I don’t suspect the people using them at the time generations ago would have imagined that someday people would be putting them on their wrists. That is pretty cool if you ask me, and they actually look really nice on the wrist today.

Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rpaige has assorted an amazing collection of antique pocket watch movements and dials over the years. Each is faithfully restored, but also very much an historic item. While the movements are each in fine working order, one can visually see the patina of time and signs of actual use. One of the most interesting parts of the movements is how nicely they are decorated. The movement restoration cleans them to back the original luster without losing the intricate engraving designs. In some instances, Rpaige offers even higher-grade movements that are less common and more impressively detailed.

Rpaige indicates that each of his Original Antique watches use American-made Waltham or Elgin movements that are sometimes over 100 years old. Waltham produced watches in Massachusetts, while Elgin produced watches in Illinois. This particular watch contains a Waltham pocket watch movement. Waltham officially closed in 1957, and its original factory is preserved by Massachusetts as a state historic structure.

Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The mechanical movements are manually wound and feature just the time with a subsidiary seconds dial. The cases are well-designed to fit the movements, and I like how they take up most of the caseback space under the sapphire crystal exhibition window. I actually wonder why modern watch companies don’t finish or decorate their movements in this way, as it might be interesting. I mean, why doesn’t Breguet apply machine guilloche engraving on its movement surfaces, in addition to the dials?

The Rpaige Waltham Original Antique watch case is 44mm wide, and available in steel or titanium. This case happens to be in titanium. The design of the case is art deco-inspired, but versatile enough so that it looks appropriate with a range of dials. Richard Paige himself is an avid art deco collector. An unnecessary, albeit appreciated detail on the case is the blue sapphire crystal cabochon in the crown.

Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Attached to the case is a simple black leather strap, though other options are available. You’ve probably noticed that the strap can be easily changed, which would give a timepiece like this a lot of wearing options. I am sure someone has already tried it on a NATO strap. Funny enough, it is very enjoyable to wear a pocket watch on your wrist. Tastes for watches at this size are common now, and it looks remarkably appropriate on the wrist of the correct person.

The watch dials are cleaned and restored as well, but the bright and vibrant colors they retain are likely due to the fact that they are enamel painted. Enamel painting and then backing is an excellent way of preserving colors. Compare an enamel painted dial with one that isn’t from the same historic era, and you’ll surely notice the difference in how they age. Even today, enamel painting is not really surpassed when wanting to preserve the look of a dial.

Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rpaige Waltham Original Antique Dial Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Looking at the Rpaige website, you’ll see the range of Original Antique dial and movement watches. Some dials are popular classics, while others are more unique or even one-of-a-kind pieces. Very few collectors such as Richard Paige could even assemble a collection like this. It feels special being able to wear them as well, because of their being matched to an original movement. Prices for most of these Waltham or Elgin-dialed watches is $2,800 – $3,500. Only the most rare models are a bit more. That is also priced at least a few hundred dollars above the price of an Rpaige Wrocket. Nevertheless, the prices feel really quite fair.

Rpaige offers both a nostalgic and historic sense of value in these watches. This particular version is limited to 50 pieces, which means the dial was common, but also very popular. Even for non-watch collectors, I can see a lot of people enjoying a watch like this, where the visual presentation is equal to the story behind it. Quite nicely done, this Rpaige Waltham Original Antique dial and movement watch is priced at $2,900.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Rpaige
>Model: Waltham Original Antique dial
>Price: $2,900 USD
>Size: 44mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Historic American watch-lover looking for something really cool.
>Best characteristic of watch: Faithfully captures the spirit of a classic American pocket watch for today, and on the wrist.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Not all the dials match the case as well. People might complain about 44mm width, but with these movements, there isn’t going to be anything smaller.

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  • The crown has a blue Swarovski crystal, not a sapphire (but they do look like what you’d find on a Cartier even though they are not).
    Richard has lots of antique dials and hands so while you can’t say that a given dial is totally unique (he might have  2 or 3  of some), by the time you select an available dial and hands and case (polished SS or matte finish titanium) and put one one of his many available straps (which includes Australian Barramundi fish), you just won’t see someone else walking down the street wearing the same watch.
    And for a taste of things to come, check out his Facebook page for some shots of his new Duo-Face case which allows you to wear the dial or movement side up. (case design by…well…a friend of Richard’s shall we say).

  • Noodlefish

    The damaskeening on the plates / parts is rather lovely. How’s the shock protection on those watches?

  • joshgraves

    Excellent!  I love the simple dial and the effort put into the polishing/etching of the movement.  The blue crystal seems a bit out of place though.

  • joshgraves Richard is a fan of Cartier (which was his inspiration for a blue crown stone). How it matches  the dial and hands varies what the buyer selected

  • Noodlefish Incabloc was  invented in 1934. Do the math as they say, ha ha. Cheers.

  • Noodlefish Don’t take my flippant response too seriously. While modern shock protection did not come until later, these pocket watch movements were as stout as could be for their day. While not G-Shocks, the RPaige watches are certainly up  to normal wear requirements. I have seen lots of them at BlackPoint Fine Watches in the Sheration Waikiki (Honolulu) and customer reported issues are very rare according to the sales/service personal there (whom I know as the store also carries my watches).

  • thornwood36

    Totally my type of timepiece. I can see the possible Cartier inspired  blue crown stone but like Josh i feel is a little out of place. .and wasn’t needed.. Beautiful movement thought and clear from 100 m. uncluttered ( never been a fan of a chronograph on a timepiece ( if i had the money i would certainly have some in my collection ) but i have never needed to know the tenth of a second of anytinhg

  • Noodlefish

    Thank you. I’m aware of the dates – hence the question. If I were to build a new Model T Ford and attempt to sell it, I think there would be expectations around safety, etc that would not have been raised 106 years ago. I would argue that it’s not an unreasonable expectation that any “modern” watch for sale today, even those with an antique movement, meet current watchmaking standards. Swapping out parts / upgrading parts is a way of improving the movement without losing the history. Marriage watches are abundant, but even they are rarely sold as daily wearers. Having said that, it’s good to read about real world experience of similar movements.

  • Ulysses31

    A lovely face and interestingly decorated movement that reminds me of banknote anti-forgery patterns.  I really hate those lugs though.

  • Really nice movement, and the dial is great as well, but that case/lugs are awful, and it looks even worse in Ti. That matte colour combined with those stepped lugs makes the case look like it was cast, not milled – the hallmark of cheapness. 

    Also, is that an original handset? I am not enjoying the 2-tone look, would have been better presented if they were all blued, but I understand why they weren’t changed if that’s how they look originally. Don’t know that I’ve seen that look on a vintage pocket watch though (not that I’m a connoisseur though).

  • Fraser Petrick

    Unlike some others I like the lugs: they’re old fashioned-modern in keeping with the watch’s “generation”. I also like the blue jeweled crown: it adds a little mystery; as in, “The Sultan of Something or Other-kesh” gave me the Blue Sapphire of the Desert and I had it inserted in the crown by a master jeweler in Amsterdam way back before your time, sonny.”

    Handsome watch, indeed.

  • This is terrific enterprise!  The results are rather pricey for timepieces made out of parts from the junkyard, so to say.

    My only remark is that Ti is perhaps not the best material to encase an heirloom movement.  It doesn’t even jive well with the Art Déco leanings, I’m not sure if it’s its color or the sandblasted finish, though the use of a modern metal is very much in line with that school of design.

  • I_G

    A couple of years ago I did a somewhat “similar” project, with a Russian Molniya pocket watch movment and my own dial face, as a one-handed watch. It’s still my daily wear.

  • bichondaddy

    One of my friends has had this done to 2 or 3 pocket watch movements.  Seems people are finding their grandfathers old gold pocket watches and taking the movements out then selling the gold cases.  He finds them on ebay and then has them put into cases and then wears them.   They make some really nice watches….and an interesting conversation piece.

  • bichondaddy

    I_G Very nice!!

  • emenezes Since the movements have to be refurbished, their cost is probably as much or more than something like an ETA 2824. So the parts cost is only part of the cost 🙂

  • Shawnnny

    Ariel, that is super cool! I’d like to see more stuff like this here!

  • thornwood36

    bichondaddy I_G 


  • spiceballs

    I_G  extremely well done!

  • spiceballs

    Very nicely done (as is I_G’s watch below) and possibly the only manual wind watches. I would consider owning/wearing.  Something about having that bit of history – – -.  Those decorated movements are everso pleasant and the price seems very fair.

  • Time2Go

    Oh man, I think this is such a cool idea!  Those old movements look incredible and deserve to be seen and used for another 100 years.  Love the art deco lugs on the case, too.  To my eye, they look just right with the old faces.  Love it.

  • bdekok

    This is seriously cool.  I’d love one of these and I really like the clean look of those old dial faces

  • stefanv

    I_G Wow! What does AQVINCVM mean?

  • DG Cayse

    Beautiful in its simplicity and provenance. Lovely mechanicals – note the fast/slow adjustment feature.

    I am curious as to its +/- time accuracy?

    A beautiful watch that looks ready for another 100 years.

  • DG Cayse I was down at BlackPoint Fine Watches over the weekend and for fun we put an RPaige watch on the TimeGrapher 1000. In the crystal up position it ran dead accurate to +1. In other position not quite to chronometric standards but still less than 10 off in any other position.  Prettty darn good for even a  modern movement, let alone one roughly 100 years old. Just for grins I put some old watches I had laying around the house on the TimeGrapher before I took it to BlackPoint  and the ones with Chinese movements all ran about 30 seconds a day fast and varied more than 10 or more seconds between positions. Back at BlackPoint, we put a Seven Friday (Miyota 3Hz movement) on the machine and it was very accurate. Just data points…

  • DG Cayse

    MarkCarson DG Cayse Great accuracy. Beats a lot of high-ends right out of the box.

  • DG Cayse All of that from a leisurely 2.5 Hz (18,000 bph) beating movement.

  • DG Cayse

    MarkCarson DG Cayse Ahh yes. Leisurely. Unhurried. Unworried. Dependable.

  • DG Cayse  I guess one should be able to regulate a  movement of any frequency tto be accurate. But that slower ones are  supposed to be more easily “upset” by shocks or positions changes before settling back down to a steady beat. I did notice using the timing machine that right after a position change (you just rotate the attachment bar the watch is held onto) that the rate changes but returns to a steady (and better) result. I’m guessing that is the gyroscopic effect on the balance wheel needing some time to settle.

  • I_G

    stefanv Aquincum is the name of an ancient Roman city in the area of the current Budapest, Hungary.

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