I'm trying to not repeat postings and instead focus on new things to add. I did a post on the Wilshire (introduced in 1939) over a year ago... Here it is. But since the Wilshire is one of several watches that were offered in "coral gold" in 1940 and 1941, I thought I'd make an exception.
The Coral Wilshire was available with a black numeral dial as shown in the catalog, or an applied gold numeral dial where the numerals are rhodium plated to make them silver-colored. The 14K gold filled case is rose gold filled - which offers the watch a totally unique look.
Behind the dial you should find a 19 jewel 982 movement.
I recently picked up a Coral Wilshire and I took a little bit of a chance on it since it had a lot of things going wrong with it. Check out the photo below...
My photo doesn't really do the colors justice but here's a few of the things that are off. First, it has a yellow gold expansion bracelet - that should count as two things wrong... it shouldn't be yellow and it shouldn't really have an expansion bracelet with this style of lugs. In addition, the crown is also yellow. And finally, the crystal is actually faceted, giving the watch an interesting look. But I can't say I really appreciate the "bent" hour hand caused by it. (it's not really bent)
In the shot below, you can see the crystal really isn't a very good fit. In fact, there's an opening in the corner.
With an opening under the crystal, the dial is pretty dirty and a lot of lint has collected.
Oddly enough, this watch is outfitted with a 980 movement. It dates to 1942 - close to 1941 I suppose but it really should be a 982. I'll have to look for a spare 982 to swap out someday.
This watch was well maintained. I counted about 20 watchmaker's marks inside so it was serviced quite a bit over it's lifetime. I'm not sure which is better... a watch that is well maintained like this one or a watch that was not maintained and perhaps stopped and sat in a drawer for 50 years. A well maintained watch has had a lot of wear to it. While a watch that has sat for 50 years has not been worn a lot - although there is probably a reason it didn't run.
All cleaned up with it's running 980 movement, a fresh glass crystal and a nice lizard strap, this Coral Wilshire turned out pretty well. The dial is okay. It's original but a little faded after I cleaned off all the crud. I could get it refinished but it's not that bad.
Here's a photo of the black numeral dial version as depicted in the catalog image. It's a striking model, in my opinion.
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