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Versions of 21 Jewel Vanguards

We will now trace the 21 Jewel Vanguard through the various movement variations

Version 1  (VAN21-O-V1)  Occuring in the 6026001-7025000 range.

The first 21 jewel Vanguards are found  with the serial number in Serial Number Position 1 (SNP1),  beneath the words “Vanguard Waltham, Mass.”.  They are marked “Ruby Jewels” and have 2 screws in the barrel bridge.  This does not include the case screw.   The last run of Vanguards in SNP1 is 7022001-7025000.  The Handwritten Records indicate a run of 500 Crescent Streets within this run (7023501-7024000)  with 5 known examples from 7023623-7023901 showing the serial number next to the barrel bridge, SNP2.   The run is then completed by  SNP1 Vanguards.        
 The movement to the right is serial number 7011348.

Version 2  (VAN21-O-V2)  Occuring in the 7449001-9527500 range.

Our first change in movement variation will be the serial number position.  Up through run 7022001-7025000 we find the serial number underneath the word Vanguard (SNP1) except for the above mentioned Crescent Streets. At 7449001-7450000, the serial number moves next to the barrel bridge, SNP2.   


The movement to the right is serial number 9508647.


Serial Number Positions 




















Version 3 (VAN21-O-V3)  Occuring in the 10018051-10501000 Range

There will be 2 screws in the barrel bridge through 9525901-9527500.  The next run of 21 jewel Vanguards is 10018051-10019000 and those movements have 3 screws in the barrel bridge.   It should be noted that occaisionally movements previous to the 9525901 run have been reported with 3 barrel bridge screws but the overwhelming majority of these movements are hunters.  At this point the Upper Balance Jewel Screws are still in the north/south position.
The movement to the right is serial number 10069136.
 Movement Markings


Unlike the 17 jewel movements, the jewel count on the 21 jewel movements is marked and up through 10500201-10501000 they will be marked “Ruby Jewels” after which the word Ruby will be dropped.  The movements will also be marked “Safety Barrel ” up through the 10500201 serial number run after which the safety barrel is still used but the movement is no longer marked as such. 

Version 4 (VAN21-O-V4)  Occuring in the 10517521-10517800 

 At run 10517521-10517800, Waltham moves the serial number to the barrel bridge.  It will remain here until the end of Model 92 production.  The round hairspring stud is still being used and the balance jewel screws are still in the north/south position










Version 5 (VAN21-O-V5) Occurring in the 10524001-11058500 Range


 Initially the hairspring stud, the means by which the hairspring is attached to the balance bridge, is round which is typical of that used by Waltham and many other manufacturers.  It will change with  run 10517801-10518500 at which time the Patented Waltham Stud is introduced.  The patented stud  allows the balance wheel and hairspring assembly to be detached and reattached to the balance bridge while these components are in the watch, thus avoiding stressing or bending the hairspring.   The balance jewel screws are oriented in the north/south position.





Version 6 (VAN21-O-V6)  Occurring in the 11070301-14104500 Range


The jewel screws on the balance cock of the 21 Jewel Vanguards from run 11070301-11071000 are oriented in an east-west or right-left direction.  Up through run 11057001-11058500 these jewel screws are positioned in a north-south or up-down direction.  There is a very short run of 21 and 23 jewel hunting case movements between the above two runs (11070001-11070300) but the orientation of the jewel screws can not be stated with certainty at this time.  The case screws are still in the BET position.





 Version 7 (VAN21-O-V7) Occurring in the 14104001-16079000 Range 


There are 2 case screws on the Model 92 movement.  Originally there is one positioned on the outer edge of the movement between the winding wheels, the other on the outer edge of the movement opposite it.  At 14002001-14003000, a run of Crescent Streets, Waltham begins moving the screw on the barrel bridge to the left, near the edge of the bridge.  The screw on the opposite side of the movement is moved about the same distance to the right.  Throughout the next several runs, it is sometimes found between the  winding wheels and sometimes at the edge of the bridge even within the same run.  At 14104001-14104500, a run of 21 jewel Vanguards it is found at the edge of the barrel bridge and except for a very few examples, stays there throughout the rest of Model 92 production . The Solid Click and Star Regulator are still being used.



Version 8 (VAN21-O-V8)  Occurring in the 16126501-16188500 Range



The regulator used on the 21 jewel Vanguard is generally referred to as the “Star” Regulator. The actual star portion of the regulator used on the Vanguard grade is the same that is found on the Crescent Street and 845 grades.  It is gold and has a Celtic look to it.  At serial number 16125201-16126500 Waltham will begin using the ’08 or Ohlsen Patent Regulator on the Vanguard with regularity.  At this time, it can not be stated which regulator is used in the run before this, 16125101-16125200, a run of 23 jewel hunters that the Gray Book indicates are Wind Indicator movements.   Previous to these two runs, it would appear that Waltham either attempted to transition to the ‘08 regulator or perhaps retrofitted the “star” balance bridges by plugging the recess for the star and installing the 08 regulator.  This would appear to have begun occurring around serial number 15 million.  One can easily recognize the plugged balance cock because the post that serves as the arbor for the star will still be present. 




The Click 

The click or ratchet, also goes through a change.  The original click is a solid piece whose spring is found on the underside of the barrel bridge.  At run 16125201-16126500 the “split” click appears on Vanguard movements, with the spring being part of the piece and visible from the top side of the movement.   



Version 8 (VAN21-O-V8)  Occurring in the 17077001-20036000 range

The last change to the movement is the addition of a groove on the outer edge of the movement near the balance wheel.  The earliest example that can be documented occurs at serial number 16169112 but like some of the other changes, is not consistent until later on.  It would appear that with serial number run 17077001-17077500 the appearance of the groove becomes consistent. To date there have been no movements reported from the last run of 21 Jewel Vanguards, 20035501-20036000.