Opera Watch
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Dial.jpg (408231 bytes) Back.jpg (454885 bytes) Movement.jpg (769629 bytes)
Front, Back, Dial, Case mark, Bezel mark, Movement, Angle view of movement

This lovely little watch was apparently the personal trophy for the 1914 Club Champion of the Bellerive Country Club. It is interesting because of the dial which is enamel instead of the metal dial found almost universally on these Opera Style watches.

The Opera Style watch uses a small movement and a large dial to produce a small man's watch that is very thin in appearance. Waltham produced quite a few of these in a variety of grades, but I have never seen one with an enamel dial. The Grade 201 Frances Rubie is an Opera Style watch also, but it like the Walthams has a metal dial.

The movement in this example is an ordinary 15 jewel unadjusted Grade 355 movement, although it has a nice patent regulator. These movements are very common with a total production of 47,000.

Bellerive Country Club is located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is a major course designed originally by Robert Trent Jones. The club was founded in 1897. In 1965 it was the site of the U. S. Open won by Gary Player. In 2004 it hosted the U. S. Senior Open with Gary Player serving as Honorary Chairman. It was also the site of the 1992 PGA Championship Tournament.

I don't know who won the club championship in 1914, but even with its modest movement, this watch was a pretty special award with the special dial and presentation back with a circle of white enamel to highlight it. The prize would have been even nicer with a Grade 205 movement in it. The current movement was made in 1907 and it is possible that it has replaced a higher grade movement that was originally in the case. The last run of Grade 205, made in 1911 were marked Frances Rubie in the production records, just like the last run of Grade 201 were. Since these were very likely Opera Watches, that supports the suspicion that the case originally housed a Grade 205.