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  1. #1

    Default Keystone-howard pocket watch

    I recently purchased a 12 size series 7
    pocket watch from keystone-howard. The dial
    simply says Howard on it. The serial number
    on the movenent is 1393538. Can anyone
    tell me which company made the movement?
    I can't find it listed in my books or in online
    searches. Any info about this watch would
    be most appreciated.

    Thanks

    Pago

  2. #2

    Default Keystone-howard pocket watch (RE: pago)

    I recently purchased a 12 size series 7
    pocket watch from keystone-howard. The dial
    simply says Howard on it. The serial number
    on the movenent is 1393538. Can anyone
    tell me which company made the movement?
    I can't find it listed in my books or in online
    searches. Any info about this watch would
    be most appreciated.

    Thanks

    Pago

  3. #3

    Default Keystone-howard pocket watch (RE: pago)

    Hi Pago:

    Welcome to the NAWCC Pocket Watch Message Board!

    The following information is mostly based upon “The Howard Ten Size Watch,” Arthur N. Borg, NAWCC Bulletin No. 129 (August 1967): pp.941-64.

    The Keystone Watch Case Co. purchased the rights to use the Howard name on watches <span class="ev_code_blue">(Note: from the E. Howard Watch & Clock Co.)</span> sometime around 1903, reportedly to provide a market for their better grades of cases. At first, the firm had watches built under the E. Howard name by the American Waltham Watch Co., which Keystone-Howard then marketed. The watches were labeled "E. Howard Watch Co."

    Its said that Keystone "finished" these watches at the New York Standard Watch Co., a firm, based in New Jersey, already owned by Keystone. However, it may be that the "finishing" may have simply meant mounting a dial and placing the movement in a case. The reason for the quotation marks is that the term "finish" in the watch industry usually refers to the process of turning a set of raw movement parts into a smoothly functioning movement, as well as adding whatever decorating that was to be done. The overall quality of watches produced by Standard was well below the high grade watches that Keystone-Howard offered and the New York Standard plant may not have had the necessary capability of such fine work.

    Back in 1901, the Philadelphia Watch Case Co. had purchased the U.S. Watch Co. at Waltham, see:
    <span class="ev_code_brown">elginwatches.org/scans/non_elgin_articles/m_1901_philadelpha_buys_US_watch_co.html</span>
    <span class="ev_code_blue">To view, go to the </span><span class="ev_code_brown">Elgin Watch Collectors Site Home Page</span> <span class="ev_code_blue">at</span> <span class="ev_code_brown">elginwatches.com</span>, <span class="ev_code_blue">then copy and paste the address in your browser's address bar and click on </span>'Go'.
    In 1904, Keystone, Philadelphia and a number of other watch case companies merged, continuing under the Keystone name. Thus, Keystone acquired a watch factory in Massachusetts in 1904. By 1905, Keystone-Howard had patented a 16-size, 17-jewel, three-quarter plate movement design which they began making in both hunting-case and open-face versions under the “E. Howard Watch Co.” name. Keystone-Howard stopped manufacturing watches around 1930, a victim of the Depression. The rights to the Howard name for use on watches was then sold to Hamilton.

    The grades of many Keystone-Howard movements are identified by their series numbers. Later 16-size movements were marked with the series numbers, but not the earlier ones. This fact has caused a great deal of confusion in identifying the series of unmarked movements, especially the 21-jewel series 1 and 10, and the 17-jewel series 2, 3, 4 and 9. Selman (Sandy) Berger discusses the subject in great detail in his article "Some Aspects Regarding the Significance and Evolution of Model Number Designations for Keystone Howard Watches," NAWCC Bulletin, June 2001, pages 305-309. Essentially, the only indication of the movement series numbers in Keystone-Howard catalogs is in the complete watch catalog number. The catalog numbers are two, three or four digits. The two rightmost digits of a catalog number identify case material and style and the remaining digit(s) to the left are the series number. In the instances of two digit catalog numbers, the movement is the 23-jewel series 0. As an example, watch catalog No. 13 (written that way in lieu of No. 013 - the zero is understood) is a 23-jewel, series 0 movement in a 18 K, solid gold, extra heavy, engine-turned hunting-case. Similarly, catalog No. 413 is a 17-jewel, series 4 movement in the same case.

    If all of this seems confusing, welcome to the club. Even experienced collectors have a problem understanding Keystone-Howard's series numbering system, especially as it applies to their 3/4-plate, 16-size movements. There's still a lot to be learned about it.

    Pictures and some catalog information on Keystone-Howard watches can be viewed at the excellent E. Howard Watch Co. website. Additional pictures and more information can be viewed at Howard Pocket Watches 1858-1930. Its believed that all Keystone-Howard watches were furnished in Howard-signed gold, or gold-filled Keystone or Crescent (a Keystone company) cases. Keystone-Howard’s railroad grade watches are discussed in some detail in the NAWCC Bulletin, April 1999, pages 191-206.

    Good luck,
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  4. #4

    Default Keystone-howard pocket watch (RE: pago)

    Thanks Kent -- I got some work to do!

    Pago

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