Database Story

In the mid 1990's I began taking computer courses.  This occured around the same time I began to get interested in pocket watches again after not being involved with them for many, many years.  In order to practice my new found database skills, I began entering the Waltham Serial Number List in a database.  At some point I decided that it was more than just a practice exercise and set about entering the whole list which amounts to over 15,000 records.  It took a couple of years and there were periods of time when I took a break from it.  Eventually, it was done and needless to say I was relieved and thrilled all at the same time.  The thrill was shortlived.  I had maybe a dozen Waltham watches at hand and proceeded enter their serial numbers in a look-up query.  It seems to me that 6 of them did not jive with the list.  Eventually I discovered the caveat written on the first page of the Gray Book where is says, "To economize space and to keep the list from being too voluminous we have occasionally used a single grade name to represent a group that used practically all of the same material, except possibly the jewels".  The use of the word occasioanally is a joke.  It is all too common to find a number of grades listed under one model which makes it almost useless in determining production figures.  I decided to focus on one model and since my favorite was the Model 1892, I set about extracting all of the Model 92 runs from the Gray Book database and collecting serial numbers from actual watches which were enterered into the framework of the extracted database. 
I have had to lower my expectations in terms of production figures.  As frustrated as I was when I finished compiling the Gray Book database, I did not fully understand just how lacking and misleading it is. With all its deficiencies, we are fortunate to have it and you will find constant references to it on these pages.  Without it we would be completely lost and have no structure whatsoever.  Where possible I have tried to reconcile Gray Book information with actual reported watches.  These reconcilliations are presented so the user can make his or her own conclusions as to production figures.  Exact production figures may never be a reality and the caveat "the current research would suggest" follows any information you may find here. 
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