The Americans closed down a great swathe of their watch industry during World War II, as they wnated to use skilled people to make aircraft, ship, submarine instruments, plus military spec watches. Understandable, but after 1945 the Yanks loaned money to Britain to fund the revival of our watch manufacturing sector, in the shape of Smiths-Ingersoll-Triumph, plus Timex at Dundee.
I wonder how Waltham would have developed their pocket watches if they had survived after the 1940s? To be fair, the US govt did put $6m into a rescue plan, but by 1950 it was game over for Waltham.
Look at this superb Riverside Maximus movement from the 1920s – state of the art back then – and you can imagine a range of mechanical watches to rival the Swiss with that extra dollop of American marketing on top. (This example is solid 9ct gold btw, and in stock right now at £995.)
A Waltham slimline 1950s Madison Avenue range, perhaps an electronic watch to rival Hamilton, NASA branded watches for youngsters and would-be astronauts. Maybe Waltham would have bought George Daniels co-axial escapement in the mid 1970s when he was first perfecting that piece of low speed, ultra reliable balance assembly magic.
All of those moments, lost in time…