With the increasing interest in collecting vintage road bicycles is a growing interest in authenticating and documenting individual bicycles. Waterford acquired a collection of Schwinn Paramount production which can help with this process. The records, which start in 1959 through 1979, show varying levels of information about individual frame orders. A few years ago, Waterford introduced an authentication service which we call the Provenance Report.
When ordering a Provenance Report, you provide Waterford what you know about your Paramount. We require the serial number and ideally the size and color. We then locate any information we have on your bike based on the serial number. For most bikes, this information includes the original dealer to whom the bike was sold, the model, size, color and approximate production dates. The quality of record-keeping varied considerably over the 30 years covered by our records, with a few gaps where no records exist (in the 1962 period). In some cases, the records may indicate the saddle and/or tires chosen, but little on the other components assembled with the bike. In rare cases, Schwinn produced custom geometry frames for which we have the drawings.
Most of the time, the report matches the information you provided us. In other cases we find surprises, like a different color or size. We will typically contact you and ask you to check the serial number. If we find such a discrepancy, we will note it in the report.
The Provenance Report takes the form of a letter to you. It summarizes what information you gave to us, what we confirmed about your description and any other information we found about the bike. If we have a custom drawing tied to the serial number (and relatively few Paramounts had custom drawings), we will provide you a copy of the drawing.
Unfortunately, the service does not provide complete specifications, component lists or (but for very very rare circumstances) original owner information. If you are cultivating your Paramount for collectibility, we suggest hunting down other information, like period catalogs and other information about your bike. Together with a well cared-for machine and the authenication provided in the Provenance Report you enhance the collectible value of your Paramount.
The fee includes US 1st Class postage of the provenance letter. For international orders, we will email you a pdf file. The Waterford price list includes the current price of this service. Completion times range from 7 to 30 days.