A watch band my grandfather made

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A watch band my grandfather made

Postby svaglic » April 6th 2015, 11:50pm

My grandfather was a machinist for TWA. In the slow periods he made various items like lunch buckets, ashtrays etc... he also made watch bands one year. He made these things for family and friends, never as a side business. The year of watch bands, we all got one. I found a box of odd keepsakes upstairs at my parents house and found this in it. I was in jr. high when we got them, at first I thought this was mine, but I think it was my mothers. Mine was used often and I'm sure scratched up quite a bit. It's too small for my wrist, the underside digs in and is a little painful.
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The rally parts look to be welded onto the cuff. The tops are rolled over to hold the watch pins.
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The shine is quite nice and I remember it took a lot of punishment and still looked good. I'm not sure what material it was made of, but I seem to recall some talk about aircraft steel, or something like that. One of the aircraft guys here will probably be able to help me out on the material. It's thin, sturdy and does not bend easy, it hold its shape well. It would actually take a lot to bend this.
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Here is a Don Juan cuff for comparison. This one is slightly thinner than the one my grandfather made. It isn't as shiny, smooth or sturdy, it bends out of shape very easily.
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Here is the underside. There isn't a sharp edge on this, it's a pretty nice finish.
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The Don Juan has adjustable arms, the one my grandfather made doesn't, so it limits the size of the watch that it can fit.
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The side by side shot. You can see the thickness differences and the Don Juan is a rough band with sharper edges.
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Thanks for looking. I am just impressed that my grandfather was so talented.. well, to me he was.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby Mortuus » April 7th 2015, 12:50am

That is amazing stuff, Svagy! His work is simply beautiful and fares exceptionally well when compared with the mass-produced stuff that's out there nowadays. My guess on the material is that it's either one of the many high grades of aircraft aluminum that predated titanium, or a very well made and superbly honed stainless steel. (If I had to pick one, I'd go with the former; aviation aluminum is some amazing stuff, and when formulated correctly is actually stronger than steel. There are a goodly number of former ensigns and 2nd Louie's out there who have found this out the hard way... ;) ) I do hope you won't continue to be so modest about your granddad; he was indeed so very talented. Thanks so much for sharing him with us.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby jason_recliner » April 7th 2015, 1:25am

Man, your grandpa had skills! Now to pair it with the perfect vintage watch.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby ChronoMATT » April 7th 2015, 3:44am

This brings me back to my childhood. My grandfather used to exclusively wear Don Juans with his Timex watches.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby kevco » April 7th 2015, 5:11am

Fantastic..truly.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby Kahuna74 » April 7th 2015, 6:23am

That watch band is a thing of Beauty. Back when I was in the Army in the 70's a few guys wore this style of band. I did wear a cuff, but mine was leather. I still have it. Should dig it out.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby Wasp » April 7th 2015, 6:55am

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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby catnap » April 7th 2015, 7:07am

Very hoity toity
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby fenny » April 7th 2015, 11:39am

Cool thanks for posting
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby biglove » April 7th 2015, 2:54pm

I didn't know these metal bands were even out there.

Looking at the work your grandfather did, it is obvious he was quite talented technically and possessed at least a fair amount of artistic flair. The finish work is fantastic on what I am betting is Aluminum, as Mort said, and that stuff isn't the easiest metal to work with.

Thanks for sharing his work with us! A family treasure for sure!
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby Racer-X » April 7th 2015, 5:19pm

Now that is a band that makes you search for the perfect watch. Really cool, thanks for sharing svag.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby svaglic » April 7th 2015, 5:42pm

Thanks guys. TWA treated him well, he got quite a few awards for inventions while he worked there. Boeing tried hard to recruit him away, but he didn't want to leave the area his and my grandma's family's were from. He was Croatian, he didn't speak English until he was in the 6th grade, then he taught himself to speak it without an accent. I always remember thinking that he was a remarkable man.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby gerdson » April 7th 2015, 9:02pm

Amazing. I'd think it is made of steel. I recon it could be more comfortable to wear, when You actually put it on a watch.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby jason_recliner » April 7th 2015, 9:50pm

Oh. Putting in a vote for a stainless steel of some sort. Austentic, perhaps?
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby Mortuus » April 7th 2015, 10:35pm

Or Martensitic, maybe? Eye rectum it mite bea arthur that, despite its hardness and limited pliability...yup.
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby Mortuus » April 7th 2015, 10:53pm

svaglic wrote:Thanks guys. TWA treated him well, he got quite a few awards for inventions while he worked there. Boeing tried hard to recruit him away, but he didn't want to leave the area his and my grandma's family's were from. He was Croatian, he didn't speak English until he was in the 6th grade, then he taught himself to speak it without an accent. I always remember thinking that he was a remarkable man.

It sounds like you had every reason to think this. 'Americanized English' is one of the most difficult languages to master, even for a child of his age. As a would-be linguist myself, I certainly admire him for that. I can only imagine how much you miss him, Svagy.

I saw a saw a smallish aluminum sculpture of a B-36 Peacemaker bomber this morning on feeBay; it was attached to and appeared to be hovering ten inches over an aluminum ashtray set into an onyx base. It was very well executed, and it made me think of your granddad...
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby conjurer » April 7th 2015, 11:03pm

A remarkable thing to make!
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Re: A watch band my grandfather made

Postby jason_recliner » April 8th 2015, 2:14am

Mortuus wrote:Or Martensitic, maybe? Eye rectum it mite bea arthur that, despite its hardness and limited pliability...yup.


You might be on to something there mate. I was leaving towards Austenitic mainly due to the lack of any visible sitting or other marking that one night expect with an older piece of higher carbon steel. Of course, it may just as likely be a superior Martensitic alloy, worked with skill, and stored carefully.
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