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Pultra Watchmakers' Lathes
Models 8 & 10

Pultra Home Page  A full Pultra Data Pack and Catalogues are available

In addition to the common P-type and later 1750, 1770 and 1590 (and the rare original Pultra WW-style lathe watchmaker's lathe believed to have been first manufactured in the late 1930s) one other regular production model was made, a "Geneva-pattern" model. This was advertised as the "P.T.A. 8"  and "P.T.A. 10"  - and later, unchanged, as the "Series 8" and Series 10".
Although the company's publicity literature made clear a distinction between the P.T.A. 8 and P.T.A. 10 and one would expect then to take 8 and 10 mm collets respectively, all examples so far found of each type have employed 8 mm collets - indeed, the only known surviving brochure for the 10 confirms this fitting as the standard specification. If produced, a Series 10 that actually does take 10 mm collets must be rare. Two types of bed have been discovered: one a plain bar - flattened on the top (in the usual Geneva style) and the other machined with a full-length T-slot down the flat section. In appearance the Pultra somewhat resembles the non-swing-headstock version of the popular Lorch Triumph, a lathe that dates back to the last decade of the 1800s.
As interest in traditional horology increases, numbers of Pultra watchmaker's lathes are beginning to emerge from long hibernation, though the writer has to express something of a disappointment concerning one he found in the late 9090s. Upon retrieving the pristine maker's box from the back of a junk cupboard, and beholding the array of perfectly preserved and complete accessories, he enquired where the lathe itself might be. The brother of the deceased owner, obviously not versed in the matter of quality machine tools, replied casually, "
Oh, that b***** little thing. Chucked it into the dustbin. Far too f****** small to turn anything, that little **** was." Upon which comments the writer was, for once, lost for words.
While the Model 10 had a distinctive appearance, the "WW" lathe was of entirely conventional design with all the major components - bed, headstock, tailstock and compound slide rest - stamped with the distinctive Pultra trademark name. Although the headstock and tailstock differed in design, the top section of the bed - with its bevelled edges and central T-slot - was identical to that used on other Pultra lathes and hence could carry most of the accessories from the rest of the range.
If you are the owner of either of these rare machines and can supply photographs or copies of any associated literature, the author would be very pleased to hear from you.
Tony Griffiths

A fine boxed Pultra Model 10 of the Geneva-pattern type with the standard internal and external collet set, tip-up toolholder wax chucks, hollow centres and a Burnerd Type 32P 3-jaw ring-scroll precision chuck.

Boxed set of the Model 10 Geneva- pattern watchmaker's lathe. This would have been the most expensive and complete kit offered by Pultra and included a tip-over hand-rest, 2 drive plates, a set of around "wire" collets, 5 ring-step collets, a universal faceplate and pump centre, compound slide rest, 3-jaw Self-centring chuck and several smaller items including wax chucks and button or crown chucks. Unlike the compound slide rest shown below, this set has one more closely resembling the type used on the Model P and 17/50 and 17/70 models.

Pultra Model 8 watchmakers' lathe. This bed is plain, without a T-slot

Pultra Model 8 watchmakers' lathe boxed kit

Pultra Model 8 or 10 fitted with the compound
slide rest form a BTM watchmakers' lathe

Pultra watchlathe price list from 1952

Original receipt for what most have been a basic Model 10 with a 1/20 h.p. motor, 2 gravers and 1 yard of (illegible) belting

A full Pultra Data Pack and Catalogues are available

Pultra Home Page 

Pultra Watchmakers' Lathes
Models 8 & 10