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  1. #1

    Default Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber

    I am only seeking an approximate value on this watch for insurance purposes -- the watch is not for sale. It is an 1898 Hampden-Dueber in a 14K gold-filled case. I would grade the outer case as a high-7, the inner rear case as a high-9, the face and crystal as a 9. The watch runs perfectly, keeps excellent time, and has been recently cleaned and oiled by a professional. It is generally stored, and therefore is only wound/run occasionally. The serial number is 1075087. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered User richiec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: milano99)

    Unfortunately, we are not allowed to give appraisals or values on this site, suggest you check with a jeweler or antique appraiser or look at ebay for recent listings for an approximate idea of what yours may be worth.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: richiec)

    Quote Originally Posted by richiec View Post
    Unfortunately, we are not allowed to give appraisals or values on this site, suggest you check with a jeweler or antique appraiser or look at ebay for recent listings for an approximate idea of what yours may be worth.
    Then the next question is: Is anyone aware of a certified appraiser (that can also grade the watch) in Oklahoma? I'm in the Tulsa area. I should mention that the pro who serviced the watch for me is a retired friend in Texas that did this for me as a favor. He refused to grade the watch because "you need to go to an active, certified appraiser" (his exact words). Thanks, Joel.

  4. #4

    Smile Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: milano99)

    Hi Joel:

    Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

    It is probably not worth the cost and trouble to go to "certified appraiser." There are very few Dueber-Hampden watches in gold-filled cases that are worth more than a few hundred dollars. If you can post pictures, or at least post all of the markings on the movement, dial and case, we can tell you if it is worth doing so. If you want the appraisal for insurance purposes, the cost of the rider may well exceed (over a couple of years) the value of the watch.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: Kent)

    Simply keep it in a safe place and save your money.

  6. #6

    Smile Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: Jon Hanson)

    Joel:

    Having had a chance to check out Dueber-Hampden movement serial number 1075087 at Henry Burgell's Interactive Hampden Serial Number Lookup Table, it can be seen to be an 18-size, 15-jewel, Hunting-case, "Dueber Watch Co." grade watch, built in about 1896 (give or take a couple of years). Although unadjusted, these are nice, nickel movements with blued screws and a Teske regulator (the arm with the screw adjustment to make the watch run a little faster or slower).

    These show up quite often on eBay (there were over 90,000 made). If you do an eBay search in the pocket watch section for "Hamdpen" you should have no troble finding some and if you track them over a couple of weeks, you can see the actual amount they sell for. Pay attention to the condition of the watches and look especially closely at the few that are in the same condition as your watch.

    For insurance purposes, the value will be two, or perhaps three, times the selling price on eBay insofar as it reflects the replacement value of the watch. One would go to a dealer with the pictures and description and ask for a replacement watch. Naturally, there will be dealer mark-ups for the dealer's service in rapidly finding a near replacement.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  7. #7

    Default Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: Kent)

    Thanks, gentlemen. When I checked the AWI website, the 1075087 serial number showed as falling into the 1898 production year. After I run some errands, I'll try to get a few good pictures to post. Checking e-Bay, I now have some idea of the value, and appraising it won't be worth the money. As for insurance, I'm with Allstate, and we have a clause for replacement value for virtually everything in the house, and it's fairly cheap. When I added 17 1920's-1940's Hummel figurines a few years ago, I valued them at $3400, and my insurance only went up $23/year.

    I really appreciate all the feedback. Kent's description of the watch is spot-on, down to the Teske regulator. The only oddity that I haven't seen on any of the e-Bay watches is that "Safety Pinion" is stamped on the movement plate, and there is no etching on the inside of the outer rear cover other than the anchor and the case serial number. Instead, there is a paper insert from Dueber stating it is a "14 Karat Special Gold-Filled Watch Case" guaranteed "For 25 years". Oh, and the face says "Hampden Watch Co.", not Dueber, but the movement plate says "Dueber Watch Co.".

    Pictures will be forthcoming coming. Thanks again.

    Joel
    Last edited by milano99; 01-06-2009 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Updated description

  8. #8

    Smile Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: milano99)

    Joel:

    The movement manufacturer was the Hampden Watch Co. The grade (quality) of the movement is "Dueber Watch Co." grade. The case manufacturer was the Dueber Watch Case Manufacturing Co., whose trade mark is the anchor.

    Only a small percentage of American watches (or Swiss watches for the North American market) were cased at the factories prior to the mid-1920's (even then, uncased movements were furnished to the trade at least until the 1960's). Most watch companies just made movements (the "works") in industry standard sizes. The case companies made cases in those same sizes. The practice at that time was to go to a jeweler, select the quality of the movement and then pick out the desired style and quality of case. The jeweler would then fit the movement to the case in a matter of moments.

    Or, watches were sold by mail-order. Large outfits such as Sears, Roebuck & Co., Montgomery Ward, or T. Eaton (in Canada), would offer the movements in a variety of cases of different design and quality in their catalogs. Smaller mail-order retailers would case the watches, typically in a 20-year gold filled case and offer it only that way, with the buyer not having a choice of cases.

    There was a long-standing marketing trust formed by the largest watch and case manufacturers. This also included jobbers. Although the following may seem local to New York City, bear in mind that this was the focal point of the industry. The New York Times carried an article on July 15, 1892 entitled:

    "Amenable For Conspiracy
    ...
    "The combination which has existed for the past seven years among the manufacturers and jobbers of watches, by means of which the price of timepieces in this county has been kept in the control of the makers, is just now receiving the attention of District Attorney Nicoll. The probable result of the investigation will be the indictment of several well-known New Yorkers for conspiracy.

    "Two associations are responsible for the present condition of affairs. One is an organization in which are included the principal manufacturers of watch movements, and the other is the National Association of Jobbers of American Watches. In the former are the American Waltham Watch Company, the Columbus Watch Company, the Elgin National Watch Company, the E. Howard Watch and Clock Company, the New-York Standard Watch Company and the Seth Thomas Clock Company. The Trenton Watch Company was formerly a member, but withdrew several months ago.

    "The association of jobbers includes nearly all the largest handlers of watches in the country. ...

    "The purpose for which the association of jobbers was formed is expressed in a circular mailed to its members, in which the names of the manufacturers of movements and cases precede the following words:

    'Please remember that only the above manufacturers are in co-operation with the association, and in return for such co-operation the members have agreed to handle no American movements or gold, filled, silver, or base metal cases except of their manufacture. Job lots of movements and cases, made by other manufacturers, are thrown upon the market from time to time, and have been offered to our members. Therefore, I desire to call your attention to the fact that it will be contrary to the agreement made with the manufacturers at the annual meeting if you purchase such goods under any circumstances, either from the manufacturers of them or from any other party or parties who may offer them for sale.'

    "This was signed by James H. Noyes, Secretary and Commissioner."

    A description of the trust's actions can be seen in this 'statement on a jobber price sheet from the Lapp & Florshem Co, Chicago,' posted on the NAWCC Pocket Watch Message Board by 4thdimension (Cort), June 21, 2006:

    "At a meeting of the Watch Case and Movement Manufacturers, and the Jobbers, Association of the United States, the following rules were passed governing sales of product of
    Elgin Watch Co. Springfield Watch Co. Brooklyn Watch case Co. Waltham Watch Co. Howard Watch Co. Blauer Watch Case Co. Hampden Watch Co. Keystone Watch Case Co. Crescent Watch Case Co. Columbus Watch Co. Jos. Fahys & Co. Courvoisier-Wilcoxc Co. H. Muhrs's Sons. Bates & Bacon


    "No Jobber shall be allowed to sell any American movements without cases. The cases may be of Gold, Gold Filled, Silver, or Base Metal, and it is not necessary that they should fit the movements sold with them, but as many cases as movements must be sold in each bill.

    "Cases may be sold in excess of, and without movements to any desired extent, but not a movement without a case of some kind accompanying it."

    The actions of the trust affected a number of companies. Dueber-Hampden is a good example. One of John Dueber's main reasons for buying into Hampden was to be able to offer movements and cases to independent jewelers. One of the means used by the jobbers to control the market was to only sell nearly equal amounts of cases and movements to dealers. Without a supply of movements, for which the jewelers had no cases, Dueber was having trouble getting his cases sold.

    Several years after the above described trust fell apart, another attempt got started. The N.Y. Times reported, on June 18, 1896 that Mr. J.H. Noyes (Secretary and Commissioner of the former trust) told a reporter:

    "Efforts have been made for a number of months to organize a new association of watch jobbers throughout the country. ... Mr. Noyes wished it understood that the new association was in no sense a trust."

    Nevertheless,
    " ...the essential features of the association will be as follows:

    "Membership will be open to every dealer in the wholesale watch or jewelry business who keeps a stock of American watches, movements, and cases in proportion to the amount of his general business. Each member of the association shall place with the Secretary during the month of January in each year a true and complete printed copy of his price lists of all American watches watch movements, and gold, filled, silver, and base metal watch cases in which he deals, and shall not make any change whatever in the list without first communicating the change to the Secretary.

    "The officers and Directors are to urge both manufacturers and retailers to do business with those jobbers who are members of the association,

    "Each manufacturer is to pay to the Treasurer of the association on the first day of each month a sum equal to a certain per cent on his price list of all goods purchased of him by members of the association.
    "The plan, it is declared does not provide for any regulation of the output or for any combination of manufacturers.
    "

    This sure sounds like a trust, with the manufacturers paying rebates to the jobbers. Apparently some body or some organization had significant negative input to the association. On July 16, 1896, the N.Y. Times carried an item under the heading:

    "No Watch Trust At Present
    ...
    "It was decided at a meeting of watch jobbers at 130 Broadway yesterday that it was inexpedient for them to organize an association. About twenty-five jobbers from all over the country were present and it was said that they represented $20,000,000 of capital."

    Be all that as it may, trusts and similar organizations continued, such that in the `teens, the Burlington Watch Co. was selling mail-order, using a fight against "The Trust" as a major selling point. This started at least as early as May 1910 and Continued for a year or more. The was a lot of truth in Burlington's claims, but there was a certain amount of advertising hype as well. Nahum Lewis wrote an excellent article, "The Burlington Watch Company's Fight Against the Trust," which appeared in the December 1997 NAWCC Bulletin on pages 706-9.

    The history of The Dueber-Hampden Watch Co. is told in From Springfield To Moscow: The Complete Dueber-Hampden Story by James W. Gibbs, a revised and enlarged successor to the 1954 Supplement to the NAWCC Bulletin, Philadelphia, PA, 1986 (this should be available to members on loan by mail from the NAWCC Library & Research Center). Briefly, John C. Dueber established a watch case company in Newport, KY in the late 1870's. In the mid-to-late 1880's he purchased a controlling interest in the Hampden Watch Co. of Springfield, MA. In 1888-1889, both operations were moved to a dual, attached set of factory buildings in Canton, OH. The Dueber Watch Case Manufacturing Co. was a separate company from the Hampden Watch Co., although the ads used the Dueber-Hampden name and that name was (and still is) in common usage, and they were housed in adjacent buildings. It stayed that way until about 1925 when the companies were merged. Hampden movements were frequently offered factory fitted into Dueber cases, such as seen in an 1908 Ad. The companies continued in business, producing both watches and cases until falling sales in the mid-1920's led to receivership in 1927. The manufacturing equipment, parts on hand and work in progress were sold to Russia. Operations ceased in 1930 when the machinery was shipped to Russia. It is believed that all factory records either went with the equipment, or were destroyed, and there are no surviving records from which to match serial numbers of watches, or cases, against models and grades.

    Dueber ads from the years 1891 and 1908 can be seen at:
    elginwatches.org/scans/misc_ads/m_index.html

    To view, go to the Elgin Watch Collectors Site Home Page at elginwatches.org, then copy and paste the address in your browser's address bar and click on 'Go'.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  9. #9

    Default Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: Kent)

    I have pictures, but I messed up and resized the originals to thumbnails, then deleted the originals from my camera card. I'll take new pictures tomorrow -- it's my turn to cook dinner. The thumbnails are pretty clear, but not detailed enough for my liking.

    http://members.cox.net/joel.johnson/pocket_watch.html

    Cheers,
    Joel

  10. #10

    Thumbs up Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: milano99)

    Yep, its a handsome watch!
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: Kent)

    For those interested in looking for certain watch company information, refer to the Chapter 149 web site.....

    http://www.nawcc-ch149.com/pw_dbresearch.html

    Presently information by serial number lookup is for:

    HAMILTON
    HAMPDEN
    SOUTH BEND
    ROCKFPORD

    New info for imput is always welcome; visit the chapter message board.

    Additional companies are planned.

    The Illinois individual CD serial number lookup is also available; if interested, contact me.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: Jon Hanson)

    I've fixed the website -- the thumbnails now expand to the full pictures.

    http://members.cox.net/joel.johnson/pocket_watch.html

    Cheers,
    Joel

  13. #13

    Default Re: Approx. value -- 1898 Hampden-Dueber (RE: Kent)

    Excellent thread Ken. Thanks

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