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  1. #1

    Default N.H.W. Co pocket watch info

    I am brand new to pocket watch collecting/repairing. I've searched all over the internet to find some background on this N.H.W. pocket watch I bought. There is nothing out there. Did this company have another name? I'm sure the price guide book (that I don't have yet) would shed some light on the company that made this watch. But I am baffled why I can't find anything on the internet. Can someone steer me in the right direction? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
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    Smile Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: babsw)

    Welcome to pocket watch collecting.

    Almost all New Hampshire Watch Co. examples are Swiss fakes intended to look like American watches with fictitious information engraved on them.

    I once had a New Hampshire and Main RR watch that was made by the U.S. Watch Co. of Marion NJ, but that was a private label watch.

    You will get more attention to your question if this is move to either of the Pocket Watch discussion area.

  3. #3

    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: Tom McIntyre)

    Please post pix of your watch, both dial and movement. That will give us something to go on.


  4. #4

    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info -w/PHOTOS (By: Tom Huber)

    I should mention that the watch came in pieces. However, on what I believe is the large bridge the initials NHW Co are etched. The dial also has the same initials and I believe it to be an enamel dial, but I really don't know what I'm talking about.

    I hope you can magnify the pictures because if you can the NHW Co initials are readily visible on both the bridge and the dial. I also included one photo that shows all the parts that came with this pocket watch movement.

    Someone said this post would be moved because of the subject matter. Where will it go? I'd like to be able to find it. Thank you.
    Any help with finding out about this watch would be very much appreciated
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  5. #5

    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: babsw)

    I just saw the word "Swiss" at the bottom of the dial!!!:| Anyway there is a serial number on the bridge: 1668307. Also there is a patent number: 8098.

  6. #6

    Smile Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: babsw)

    Your watch appears to be what is referred to as a “Swiss Fake.” This is a term used to describe inexpensive watches made to resemble medium-to-high grade American watches. They are marked with names similar to those of American watches, or with names that sound as though they should be an American watch. They frequently have a distinctive lettering style on their plates. Another distinctive feature is the lack of a fine finish on exposed parts, such as the winding wheels and regulator (which may be gilded). Many “Swiss Fakes” made to resemble 16-size, American railroad standard watches also have "21 Jewels" on the dial, in an arc over the seconds bit. This too, is in a distinctive (red) lettering style. These watches were imported from the last quarter of the nineteenth century through the end of the American pocket watch era in the 1960’s. On some, their jewels seem to be larger than on most American watches and they may not all be functional. The Elgin Watch Collectors Site contains a 1908 Article Describing One Such Watch.

    Also in 1908, C.D. Rood, president of the Hamilton Watch Co. testified before congress during tariff hearings. The text of his testimony is Available Online (although you might have to copy it and blow it up a little to read it) thanks to Robert Sweet.

    The markings on “Swiss Fakes” as to adjustment are not to be trusted. No American watches come to mind whose adjustment markings are to less than 3 positions, or 5 adjustments (heat, cold and 3 positions). Markings on “Swiss Fakes” may be 1, 2 or 3 adjustments. The deception occasionally goes as far as simulating a temperature compensated balance. On a true compensated balance, the rim of the balance (wheel) has two cuts, all the way through the rim, one near each of the two arms that support the rim. Sometimes, these cuts are faked by the use of a slot that goes half way through the rim. A real temperature compensated balance has the inside of the rim made of a different color material than the outside of the rim. A faked compensated balance is made entirely of the same material. Most “Swiss Fakes” don’t bother doing this and the balances don’t have any cuts at all. These are not to be confused with post-1930 quality watches whose anti-magnetic, temperature immune balances are not cut.

    The Trans Pacific is one of the better-known, 16-size "Swiss Fake" pocket watches, while the Time Ball Special is a well-known 18-size "Swiss Fake." Another 18-size "Swiss Fake," named Howland, made by a different company, Exhibits the Same Style of Lettering and has another attribute which serves as a tipoff. It has an upper plate above the normal top plate. This is hard to see in the image of the Time Ball Special (visible in the manner in which the balance is recessed), but it stands out in the Howland watch, not only because of the recessed balance, but because of the way that the upper jewels are mounted. I cannot think of any high grade watches, American or otherwise, that have this arrangement.

    Some "Swiss Fakes" such as the "Frisco Special" have locomotives on the Dial or engraved on the Movement. The nearly identical "Engineers' Special" Dial and Movement movement also bear a locomotive. Very few American watches have this embellishment and when they do, the locomotive will be of American design, not European, as seen on the examples shown in the above links.

    In recent years, “Swiss Fakes” have come to appeal to some collectors. They have a charm all their own and those examples in good running condition, that have been serviced properly, keep reasonable time - nothing spectacular - but within a couple of minutes a day or better.
    That guy down in Georgia

  7. #7

    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: Kent)

    I think 'shock' is the way I'd describe my current state of mind. Kent, your vast knowledge about this subject is more amazing to me than the fact that I got taken. Thank you so much for such a wonderful education. I was thoroughly engrossed in your narrative and in the references you so kindly posted. I would never have guessed that the reason I couldn't find the company's name on the internet was because it didn't exist. Once again, thoroughly fascinating and informative and I thank you.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: babsw)

    Don't feel bad about being snookered, there are a few of us that early on fell into the same deception. I purchased a Swiss fake about 9 years ago and recently sold it on ebay (making sure to mention that is said Swiss and not USA) and I lost about $15 so there is a market for the Swiss fakes if you want to fix and sell it. Much as Kent mentioned some details, they are usually full plate, mine was 18 size, lever set, marked heat/cold and 3 adjustments. Mine said 21 jewels but I am sure that was more mis-labeling, I have read that some say it is more like 10-13 jewels. I am sure in the hey days of Swiss fakes it was much like the Rolex fakes of the current time frame, unless you knew the tricks and deception it was easy to fall for the fake. I forgot to mention usually the dial was a tip off, mine along with yours has the Monty dial but the outer minute numbers are all red, this is not true for a true Monty dial.

  9. #9

    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: 49stude63)

    49stud63, thanks for your words of encouragement. It helps take the sting out of it and I do appreciate your kind words. And, you answered another important question I have....Do I throw the thing away or do I try to repair it? I have not yet taken a pocket watch apart and maybe this would be a good specimen to start on since it already is dismantled and from what I've read newbies usually break something while trying to do their first repair. So I think this will be my first project. And thank you for describing the difference between a fake and a real Monty dial. As you can see, I have a whole lot to learn. I surely do hope I haven't bought too many other fakes!!!

  10. #10

    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: babsw)

    babsw - You mention the watch is marked Swiss on the dial. Is it marked on the face or back of the dial? I would not consider a Swiss made, and clearly marked, watch a fake. As others have stated, many Swiss made, but not marked, watches were designed and marked to fool the ignorant consumer of the times. However, there were also many well made Swiss watches that were designed to appeal to the tastes of American consumers (so they looked like US watches) but were marked Swiss and were good value hence the many such watches exported to the US. I will look up the name on your watch in Swiss Timepiece Makers 1775-1975 to see if a maker is listed. Mike

  11. #11
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    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: CZHACK)

    BabSW I certainly would not toss it in the trash, I don't know how many jewels are marked on the plates (probably 21 at least if it is a fake) but look it over and count the number of jewels that you can see. I would clean it up put it back together again if all the parts are there. You dial looks to be in good condition if you reassemble it after cleaning then you can sell it if you choose or you can time it so it runs reasonably and wear it as an everyday watch. After I "stewed" for a while after be the lucky winner of my Swiss fake, I cleaned it up a bit and sold it and chalked it up as experience. When they start the line up for "perfect people" you certainly won't see me in that line , after I got my Swiss fake I did a lot more investigation before I hit that "bid" button. Now as CZHack said not all Swiss watches were cheap trash knock offs but I tend to think from the looks of yours since it looks a lot like mine and others I have seen that yours is fake and not one of the good Swiss watches, but by no means toss it as landfill fodder, if you can fix it without sinking a bunch more money into it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: 49stude63)

    Good to know the pw can possibly be salvaged!!

    CZHACK, thanks for looking up NHW in your book. I hope you find it. The word "Swiss" is in the teeniest writing I've ever seen below the 6 on the dial face. Also the dial has only 2 feet and there doesn't appear to have ever been a 3rd foot. Don't know if that's normal or what.

    49stude63, there are no markings on the plate denoting how many jewels there are. I can see 8 on what I think is called a 3/4 plate. I can also see a jewel on the balance staff. Since the pocket watch is in pieces I don't know if there were other jewels. The parts of the pw came in a cellophane bag and the seller had handwritten "21 jewels" on the bag's label.

    I'm also beginning to wonder if I have one whole pocket watch or the parts to several watches. There are 3 plates altogether...the one I just mentioned, the 3/4 plate that is 1-5/8" made of chrome(?), a second plate that measures 1-3/4" in diameter and is made of brass. That plate has 1 jewel. There is also another 1-3/4" plate made of chrome(?) that has 5 jewels. So that's, what, 15 jewels so far? I'm guessing at these metals. Any suggestions or thoughts?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: babsw)

    http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t...ght=swiss+fake Here is a link of a prior post on this subject and you can see from the first picture how your watch should go together.

  14. #14

    Arrow Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: 49stude63)

    Looks like this post has received some great replies thus far. At this point I would like to move this over to the European Forum for some additional exposure and evaluation. A link to this thread will be located in the American Forum for a month.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: N.H.W. Co pocket watch info (By: Bryan Eyring)

    >> I'm also beginning to wonder if I have one whole pocket watch or the parts to several watches.

    I looks like a bunch of parts. From what I can see, it looks like you are a couple of wheels (at least) short of a watch. (Is that like a "few anchovies short of a pizza"?)


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