Goal: $300, Received: $90.00 (30%) Contribute Now
Donate whatever you can or Join the 14,000 other NAWCC members for only $80 (plus $10 for hard copy publications). Check it out here.

E. Howard Watch Co.

E. Howard Watch Co. (Keystone-Howard): A Thumbnail Description

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 (Note: from E. Howard & Co.) 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 (see these 19-Apr-09 and 10-May-09 posts on the subject by Jerry Treiman). The watches were labeled "E. Howard Watch Co."

It has been 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 and polishing 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. Jerry Treiman reported in a message board thread about a U.S. Watch Co. watch that "... the history provided in legal documents for the anti-trust case against Keystone ... states that all of the capital stock of a newly organized Philadelphia Watch Case Co. (August 1900) was owned by Keystone. Thus, Keystone acquired a watch factory in Waltham, Massachusetts.

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. However, in a suit against the parent company, the Keystone Watch Case Co. - accused of violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act - testimony was given in which it was stated that Keystone-Howard's patents were "... not worth the paper they are written on." Be that as it may, Keystone-Howard produced its own watches, for which it charged a premium, for about 25 years. It all came to a halt in 1930, when the company (Howard, not the parent, Keystone) became a victim of the Great Depression. The rights to the Howard name for use on watches was then sold to Hamilton.

Series Number

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. Dr. 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," see References, below.

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.

Catalog Number Example

The information below, pertaining to the Series 5 movement, is quoted from page 13 of Howard Watches – An Illustrated Description of the Complete Series of Howards – Including the Latest Developments in this Celebrated Watch, see References, below.

"16-size, 19-jewel
Railroad Standard
Bridge Model
Hunting or Open Face
(Open Face supplied either Pendant or Lever Setting)"

"The Open-face lever-setting model of this movement, when fitted in the Howard special dust-proof, Swing Ring case, is especially recommended for railroad service and for the use of railroad men (see page 40 - Note: Pages 40-1 further describe the swing ring case). Extra five-position adjustment. 19 fine jewels – going parts of barrel jeweled.”

“ ‘Crescent’ Extra
No. 550 Plain - $62.50
No. 560 E. T. - $62.50”

“or ‘Jas. Boss’ Extra Gold Filled
No. 555 Plain - $60.00
No. 565 E. T. - $60.00
Screw Bezel, Solid Back, Swing Ring, Dust Proof
No. 575 Plain - $60.00
No. 585 E. T. - $60.00”

There is nothing to indicate that, except for the Swing Ring cases, none of the cases are anything but hinged, double-back cases. Also, the open-face, lever-set movement did not have to be in a swing ring case to be accepted into railroad time service.

Cases

It is believed that all Keystone-Howard signed watches were originally sold as complete watches only, fitted into Howard-signed gold or gold-filled (and possibly platinum) cases. The cases were also stamped with Keystone or Crescent Watch Case Co. trade marks. These were available in Hunting, Screw Back & Bezel, Clamshell, Swing Ring and Hinged, Double-Back cases. No watches are known to have been factory fitted into base metal or nickel cases, nor has any catalog indicated that they were offered in these cases. However, as Jerry Treiman pointed out in a 10-May-09 post, a number of retailers had contracts to sell E. Howard Watch Co. Waltham-built watches and these may thus not have been placed in Howard-signed cases.

16-Size, 17-Jewel, 3/4-Plate Movement Series Numbers

The style of damaskeened patterns described below refer to this Illustration:

Series 2 - Light, parallel bar damaskeening, Adjusted to Temperature, Isochronism and Five Positions, Double Roller, Hunting-Case and Open-Face, Pendant Setting Only. Thus reads a 1909 catalog description. However, Dr. Selman (Sandy) Berger reported: "The Series 2, characterized by parallel line damaskeening, adjusted to 5 positions, was also produced as a lever set RR model. I have three such movements, all with a wider separation of 1/4 in. between the parallel lines, compared to the narrow separation of the typical Series 2 model." Some of the lever-set, parallel bar damaskeened movements are marked "Adjust. 5 Positions."

Series 3 - (Concentric) Circular damaskeening, Adjusted to Temperature, Isochronism and Three Positions, Single Roller, Hunting-Case and Open-Face, Pendant Setting Only.

Series 4 - Checkerboard damaskeening, Adjusted to Temperature, Isochronism and Five Positions, Double Roller, Hunting-Case and Open-Face, Hunting-Case are Pendant Setting Only, Open-Face are Pendant or Lever Setting.

Series 9 - Checkerboard damaskeening, Adjusted to Temperature, Isochronism and Three Positions, Double Roller, Hunting-Case and Open-Face, Pendant Setting Only.

Notes
  • The Howard-built, 16-size, 3/4-plate movements are a 1905 model. Since all but those having the lowest serial numbers seem to have been marked with that patent date, that represents the earliest date that those marked movements were made.
  • Based upon what was being offered in catalogs and ads, the Series 9 seems to have been created around 1910-1911, just about the time that the 16-size, 17-jewel bridge model Series 2 entered production and the three-quarter plate Series 2 and Series 4 movements were discontinued.
  • By 1918, the Series 3 no longer appears in catalogs and was probably discontinuted.

Within each series, there are two basic versions of the movements, hunting-case and open-face. The difference is where the winding stem is positioned on the movement, with respect to the location of the second hand post (which always at the 6 o'clock position - except when special conversion dials are used). A hunting-case movement's winding stem is at the 3 o'clock position and an open-face movement has the winding stem at the 12 o'clock position. This results in a change of position of the winding wheels. A hunting-case movement has the larger winding wheel (the ratchet wheel) closer to the regulator (the pointer and looped spring for adjusting the timekeeping rate of the watch). An open-face movement is the opposite, with the smaller winding wheel (the crown wheel) closer to the regulator.

A table is available of Keystone-Howard 16-Size, 17-Jewel, 3/4-Plate Movement Examples. Those having additional examples are encouraged to post the data in the Discussion Tab.

Abbott Watch Co.

Keystone-Howard built a number of 16-size, 17-jewel, Series 3, hunting movements bearing the private label watch marking, "Abbott Watch Co." The dials of these watches carried the signature, "Abbott Sure Time" which seems not to have been fired onto the dial (or covered with a clear glaze that was then fired onto the dial), as a number of suriving examples of these have a deteriorated signature, or are now unsigned. In late 2012, one such example was reported to have had the signature, but it came off when the dial was cleaned.

It has been said that the watches were sold this way in order to clear less popular (very slow selling) movements out of inventory, and that Keystone-Howard created attractive pricing for them. The reduced demand for hunting-case watches in the mid-to-late teens (when these were made) would seem to support this theory. However, there is no documentation that this was anything other than a common instance of a movement manufacturer producing specially marked movements/dials under contract for a third party. Nevertheless, it was unusual for Keystone-Howard to have participated in this practice. The fact that these movements were marketed separately as a private label watch (i.e., not bearing the E. Howard name) means that they were not sold (by Keystone-Howard) as complete watches and would therefore not be in Howard-signed, factory cases. Reported examples of these Abbott Watch Co. movements are identified in the Keystone-Howard 16-Size, 17-Jewel, 3/4-Plate Movement Examples Encyclopedia article.

Climax

A small number of 16-size, 3/4-plate, 7-jewel, gilt, Howard movements have been reported whose dials and movements are both marked "Climax - U.S.A." A discussion of these, along with pictures of an example, can be seen in this Message Board Thread started in February, 2005. Although they aren't 17-jewel movments, reported examples of these "Climax - U.S.A." movements are identified in the Keystone-Howard 16-Size, 17-Jewel, 3/4-Plate Movement Examples Encyclopedia article.

10-Size

On page 959, of his article, “The Howard Ten Size WatchNAWCC Bulletin see References, below, Arthur Borg pointed out that the 10-size watches had their own series of serial numbers, relating only to the sequence in which the 10-size watches were built. The innovative design of Keystone-Howard's 10-size watch began in 1918, but production didn't begin until 1921. Production ceased in 1930 when the firm discontinued business. Although a number of dials may have been of Swiss manufacture, the watch was made in Massachusetts. The cases for these watches were made by Howard's owner, the Keystone Watch Case Company.


Estimated 10-Size 21-Jewel Movement Runs

Case/Dial and Movement posted by Jerry Treiman

From S/NTo S/NQty
1,0018,0007,000
38,00139,0001,000
43,00143,500500
48,00149,0001,000
Total:9,500


Estimated 10-Size 19-Jewel Movement Runs

Dial and Movement posted by Ron DeGenaro

From S/NTo S/NQty
8,00112,0004,000
52,00153,0001,000
Total:5,000


Estimated 10-Size 17-Jewel Movement Runs

Dial, Case and Movement posted by JJensen

From S/NTo S/NQty
12,00138,00026,000
40,00143,0003,000
44,00147,0003,000
49,00152,0003,000
53,00163,4509,450
Total:44,450

Serial Numbers and Production Dates

The rate of production of Keystone-Howard watches was not always a constant. Nor, apparently, were the serial numbers assigned in chronological order. The size of watch runs, consisting of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, or more, suggests that the serial numbers were pre-assigned to a series as a block and that much smaller runs were built within the block as needed. It is highly unlikely that a company the size of Keystone-Howard, which produced less than 400,000 watches over a twenty-five year span, would have built 1,000, or more, of one grade (series) of watch without building other grades in-between. Thus, serial number vs. date tables that are based upon dividing the overall range of serial numbers by the total years the watches were in production (1905 - 1930), or even those that show the serial numbers in chronological order, just don't apply. This means that determining the date of manufacture of a given movement is very difficult beyond a few key dates. Attempts to use the afore mentioned tables can result in errors of 5-10 years, or more. The chronological mismatch of serial numbers with those of other series (grades) of movements is especially pronounced in the more expensive watches, such as the Series 0, the Series 1 or the Series 10. This is because the more very expensive watches tended to sell at a much slower rate than the others.

A means of determining very approximate production dates is from case inscriptions as shown in the Encyclopedia article entitled "Keystone-Howard Case Dates vs. Movement Data"

16-Size Dials

A number of different enamel dials were available for Keystone-Howard's 16-size watches, although they all may not have been available at the same time. While Howard's watch catalog numbers inherently describe the movement and case, there is nothing about the catalog numbers that indicate the dial with which the watch is fitted. One might think that the jeweler/inspector would fit the desired dial on the movement at the time of retail sale, drawing the dial from a stock on hand. This might well have been the case, but a Howard ad featuring its "Marginal Minute Dial" states "Nine out of ten purchasers of Howard Lever-Setting models specify this dial when ordering." The ad leads one to believe that, at least for those buying a railroad watch, the process involved selecting the combination of movement, dial and case, and then waiting for it to be ordered from the factory and received. Of course, jewelers may well have stocked several of the more popular combinations, but was is still a limit to how many could be kept in stock.

Dial Designs
Not all of the dial designs are listed below. Others will be added as pictures become available.

Arabic, Plain, Single-sunk, Series 11
Montgomery, Single-sunk, Series 11
Arabic, Plain, Double-sunk
Arabic, Canadian, Red 13-24 Hour Figures, Red 5-Minute Track, Double-sunk, courtesy watchbob
Arabic, Red 5-Minute Track, Red Seconds, Double-sunk, Light
Arabic, Red 5-Minute Track, Red Seconds, Double-sunk, Heavy
"Gothic" Arabic, Red 5-Minute Track, Red Seconds, Double-sunk
Slanted Arabic, Double-sunk
Slanted Arabic, Double-sunk, Fancy 15-Minute Markers
Slanted Arabic, Red 5-Minute Track, Red Seconds, Double-sunk
Marginal Minute, radial, Double-sunk
Marginal Minute, radial, Canadian, Red 13-24 Hour Figures, Double-sunk
Marginal Minute, radial, Canadian, Black 13-24 Hour Figures, Double-sunk

Railroad Watches

Keystone-Howard Targeted The Railroad Market with lever-set versions of its watches, claiming "The lever-setting HOWARD is officially approved and certified by the Time Inspectors of 140 of the leading roads of America." Other ads, claimed that "... 180 railroads ... officially adopted the Howard Watch for their time-inspection service. In an uncommon ad in a railroad brotherhood journal, Howard listed the prices of its railroad standard watches. The company also touted The Howard Marginal Minute Dial as being,
" - the first watch face made especially to meet the Railroad Man's needs. ... Any Howard Railroad Watch is supplied with the Marginal Minute Dial, at the request of the purchaser, without extra charge." See the Dials section, above.

The Keystone-Howard 16-size watches, suitable for use as a railroad watch, to which this applied were the:
Series 0 (23-jewel)
Series 1 (21-jewel)
Series 10 (21-jewel)
Series 11 (21-jewel)
Series 5 (19-jewel)
Series 2 (17-jewel bridge model)
Series 2 (17-jewel 3/4-plate)
Series 4 (17-jewel)

Specific mention of the suitability for railroad time service appeared in Keystone-Howard catalogs, such as this listing for the Series 4. Like other watch manufacturers, Keystone-Howard continued to offer a number of grades suitable for the railroad workers falling under time service rules, a group that was forced by the requirements of their jobs to purchase high grade watches. Recognizing that its watches were higher priced than the typical railroad grade watch, Keystone-Howard designed a lower-cost movement specifically for railroad time service - the Series 11 Railroad Chronometer, see below. With well over 20,000 made, this was Howard's most popular railroad standard watch, by quite a large margin.

Initially, Keystone-Howard 16-size movements were not marked with their Series numbers. Then, in approximately 1911 (a very approximate date), the Series numbers started appearing on the 16-size movements. A number of 16-size movements have been seen that are marked with a number, specifically: No. 0, No. 1, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 10. For the most part, these have lower serial numbers than movements of the same Series that carry the Series numbers (except none of the Series 4 movements have been reported as being marked "Series 4"). It has been speculated that the number marking and shortly thereafter, the Series marking, was applied to meet emerging U.S. and/or Canadian railroad requirements that the grade name, or number, be marked on the movements. This has a ring of truth to it, but documentation has yet to appear that substantiates the belief.

The Series 0

Until the advent of the Edward Howard - a presentation grade watch, the 16-size, 23-jewel, bridge model Series 0 was Keystone-Howard's highest grade of watch. The first 16-size, 23-jewel Howard watches were built by Waltham; first for E. Howard & Co. just prior to its closing out of the watch business. These movements, and those with a lesser number of jewels, carry serial numbers having an 'H' prefix. The movements built for the newly organized E. Howard Watch Co. until that firm could get its own production started up have serial numbers just over 1,000,000. Upon manufacturing the watches themselves, the E. Howard Watch Co. assigned serial numbers to the Series 0 that conflicted with those used on the Waltham-built watches. This conflict has caused considerable confusion amongst collectors and it continues to do so.

The Series 0 was built in both open-face and hunting configurations. Within those are both lever-set and pendant-set versions. Keystone-Howard milled out the pillar plate in a manner such that only the placing of the particular parts for the desired type of setting was needed to make any given movement lever-set or pendant-set, although this wasn't necessarily done to movements having the lower serial numbers. This was seemingly done (indiscriminately with respect to serial number) either when a particular order was being filled, or to restore inventory of a few of each setting type following the filling of orders. One should keep in mind that Keystone-Howard only sold cased watches and that, probably, a large inventory of only the most popular combinations of case, dial, movement and setting means were keep on hand. The remainder were most likely only kept in small numbers while the bulk of inventory seems to have been uncased movements.

Estimated Series 0 Runs Built By Keystone-Howard:

From S/NTo S/NQtyTypeComments
953,001953,100100HCAdj, St. Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, Early Criss-Cross Damaskeen
953,101953,200100OFAdj, St. Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, Early Criss-Cross Damaskeen
953,201953,350150HCAdj, St. Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, Early Criss-Cross Damaskeen, S/N 953,320 has Wide Parallel Bar Damaskeening
953,351954,000650OFAdj, St. Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, Early Criss-Cross Damaskeen, S/N 953,495 is an HC Mvt
976,001977,0001,000OFAdj, St. Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, 976,014 reported as A5P
1,003,5011,004,000500HC
1,054,0011,054,500500OFAdj, St. Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,057,3011,057,500200HCAdj, Jwl'd Bbl
1,066,5011,066,600100OFAdj, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,077,0011,077,700700HCA5PT, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd bbl
1,078,5511,079,000450OFA5PT, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,078,990 Marked "No. 0"
1,079,8001,080,000200OFA5PT, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,079,856 & 1,079,884 Marked "No. 0"
1,086,0011,087,0001,000OFAdj, A5PT, Hooked Fingers, A&C Symbol intermittently appears, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,086,766 & 1,086,818 Marked "No. 0"
1,103,0011,103,500500OFA5PT, A&C Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,103,5011,104,000500HCA5PT, A&C Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,112,0011,114,0002,000OFA5PT, A&C Symbol, Ser 0, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,112,071 Marked "No. 0"
1,116,5011,117,000500OFA5PT, A&C Symbol, Ser 0, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd B'Pins
1,143,0011,143,500500HCA5PT, A&C Symbol, Ser 0, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd B'Pins
1,155,0011,156,0001,000OFA5PT, A&C Symbol, Ser 0, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd B'Pins
1,158,5011,160,0001,500OFA5PT, A&C Symbol, Ser 0, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd B'Pins
1,237,0011,238,0001,000OFA5PT, A&C Symbol, Ser 0, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd B'Pins
1,285,0011,286,0001,000OFA5PT, A&C Symbol, Ser 0, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd B'Pins
1,286,0011,286,200200HCA5PT, A&C Symbol, Ser 0, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd B'Pins
1,316,0011,317,0001,000OFA5PT, A&C Symbol, Ser 0, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd B'Pins

Additionally, Series 0 movements, bearing serial numbers 1,319,654, 1,319,960 and 1,319,982 have been seen. The first two are within the highest block of serial numbers carried by Series 10 movements (see below). The third serial number is just beyond the end of that block. It is unknown if these were single, one-off movements, made to fill orders or if they were part of very small runs of Series 0 movements.


Estimated Series 0 Total Quantities Built By Keystone-Howard:

TypeJwl'd BblJwl'd B'Pins
HC2,150700
OF6,5006,000

Please refer to the Table Notes for an explanation of the basis for the estimates and the abbreviations.

The Series 1 & Series 10

16-size, 21-jewel watches did not appear in early E. Howard Watch Co. literature, although a few, built by Waltham, were produced under contract for E. Howard & Co. prior to Keystone acquiring the rights to the Howard name for use on watches. A 1907 catalog lists 23-jewel, 19-jewel and 17-jewel watches, but not 21-jewel. A 1909 catalog also fails to show a 21-jewel watch. Then, in 1911, the Series 1, 21-jewel, 16-size watch is listed on a catalog page of Howard railroad watches. However, the catalog fails to show a picture of the Series 1 movement, nor does it mention the safety barrel (although a Series 0 is shown with one). A 1912 Howard catalog lists the Series 10 and not the Series 1, showing a cut of a 21-jewel movement bearing a safety barrel (which isn't mentioned in the description). However, the cut has a serial number lower than the marked "Series 1" movements and thus may simply be the reuse of an old cut.

The 16-size, 21-jewel, Keystone-Howard movements seem to have been designed for use in railroad time service. All Series 1 and Series 10 movements are open-face. No literature has been found that indicates that hunting-case movements have been built, nor have any surviving examples been reported. Almost all of the Series 1 and Series 10 movements are lever-set with only a few (a total of eight) reported exceptions (and there are probably more); one Series 1, serial number 1,114,322 (marked "No. 10"); and seven Series 10, of which, serial number 1,150,059 has the lowest serial number. All carry the symbol (on the center bridge) of an arrow thru a circle with a star inside of the circle, which is Keystone-Howard's trade mark indicating a 21-jewel movement having adjustment to temperature, isochronism and five positions. Additionally, all have the marking "Extra Adjustment Five Positions Temperature" on the pillar plate, below the balance.

Since Keystone-Howard didn't mark the series numbers on the movements in the earlier years; and since the available literature doesn't distinguish the difference between the Series 1 and Series 10 movements (descriptive literature covering the years when the Series 1 was phased out and Series 10 introduced has yet to appear), it seems hard to distinguish between the two. However, looking at examples of surviving watches (and ignoring the series number mentioned in the description of unmarked movements by possibly uninformed persons), and accepting that within the sequence of Series 1 and Series 10 movements the serial numbers are in chronological order (but not necessarily in chronological order with the Series 11 or movements of other jewelling or size), identification becomes simple.

It seems that all of the movements that lack the series number marking are fitted with the safety barrels (characterized by a bushing and three small screws in the center of the ratchet wheel - the larger of the two winding wheels). None of the unmarked movements have a going barrel (identified by a hub and single large screw in the center of the ratchet wheel). Of the 16-size, 21-jewel movements that are fitted with safety barrels, those having the highest serial numbers carry the "Series 1" marking. All of the 16-size, 21-jewel movements that are fitted with going barrels carry the "Series 10" marking. The highest reported serial number of 16-size, 21-jewel movements having a safety barrel and lacking a series marking is 1,114,497. The reported serial numbers of 16-size, 21-jewel movements that are marked "Series 1" are all between the numbers 1,114,683 and 1,114,743 (inclusive). The lowest reported serial number of a movement that is marked "Series 10" is 1,136,864. No 16-size, 21-jewel movement has been reported as having a higher serial number and as being marked "Series 1" or having a safety barrel. Thus, unlike the 23-jewel Series 0 and the 19-jewel Series 5, which retained their series numbers when the less expensive going barrel replaced the safety barrel, Howard seems to have chosen to create a new series by discontinuing the safety-barrel-equipped Series 1 and introducing the going-barrel-equipped Series 10.

What might be the last Series 10 movements manufactured, serial numbers 1,319,961 - 1,319,970, are unassembled in a partitioned wooden tray at the NAWCC Museum. It is believed that these were in inventory at Keystone-Howard when the factory closed around 1930. No higher serial numbered Series 10 movements are listed in the data base maintained by Ed Ueberall & Kent Singer. The next lowest reported serial number of a Series 10 is 1,319,830. The Series 10 was cataloged as late as 1926 and were probably available right up to the time that the factory closed.

The Series 1 and Series 10 watches were available with a variety of double-sink dials.

The total number of Series 1 and Series 10 watches produced are based upon the estimated runs listed in the tables below:
Total estimated Series 1 production = 5,500
Total estimated Series 10 production = 18,470


Estimated Series 1 Runs

From S/NTo S/NQtyComments
1,095,5011,097,0001,500A5PT, Model C, A&S Symbol, S/N 1,095,574 may be marked "No. 1", S/N 1,095,796 reported as 23J Ser 0, S/N 1,095,796 reported as PS, S/N 1,096,048 reported as 17J, S/N 1,096,556 Model D, S/N 1,095,527 & 1,096,848 "No.10"
1,100,0011,101,5001,500Adj, A5PT, Hooked Fingers, Safety Bbl, A&S Symbol, S/N 1,100,202 may be marked "No. 1", S/N 1,100,634, 1,100,348 marked "No. 10", S/N 1,100,341 & 1,101,312 may be marked "No. 10"
1,102,0011,103,0001,000A5PT, Hooked Fingers, Safety Bbl, A&S Symbol, S/N 1,102,100 reported as 23J Ser 0
1,107,0011,107,500500A5PT, A&S Symbol, S/N 1,107,413 marked "No. 1"
1,114,0011,114,500500A5PT, Hooked Fingers, Safety Bbl, A&S Symbol, S/N 1,114,049 1,114,270 1,114,322 1,114,323 1,114,346 marked "No. 10"
1,114,5011,115,000500A5PT, Hooked Fingers, Safety Bbl, A&S Symbol, Ser 1

Please refer to the Table Notes for an explanation of the basis for the estimates and the abbreviations.


Estimated Series 10 Runs

From S/NTo S/NQtyComments
1,136,5011,137,000500A5PT, A&S Symbol, Ser 10
1,144,5011,145,000500A5PT, Hooked Fingers, A&S Symbol, Ser 10
1,146,0011,147,0001,000A5PT, A&S Symbol, Ser 10, S/N 1,146,027 reported as having a Safety Bbl
1,148,0011,155,0007,000A5PT, A&S Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Going Bbl, Ser 10, S/N 1,150,059 reported as Pendant-Set & S/N 1,152,218 reported as Pendant-Set & Jwl'd B'Pins
1,158,0011,158,500500May only be a run of 100 (1,158,301 - 1,158,400)
1,170,0011,172,0002,000A5PT, A&S Symbol, Going Bbl, Ser 10, S/N 1,170,759 reported as marked "Series 11" having a Bbl Brg swapped from Series 11
1,238,0011,240,0002,000A5PT, A&S Symbol, Ser 10, S/N 1,238,110 1,239,016 1,239,117 reported as Pendant-Set
1,278,0011,280,0002,000A5PT, A&S Symbol, Model C, Hooked Fingers, Going Bbl, Ser 10, S/N 1,276,211 1,278810 reported as Pendant-Set
1,309,0011,311,0002,000A5PT, A&S Symbol, Ser 10
1,319,0011,319,970970A5PT, A&S Symbol, Ser 10

Please refer to the Table Notes for an explanation of the basis for the estimates and the abbreviations.

The Railroad Chronometer, Series 11

Keystone-Howard's Series 11 Railroad Chronometer, a 16-size, 21-jewel, railroad grade watch whose design was based upon that of a Keystone-New York Standard movement, was a value-engineered alternative to the firm's more expensive Series 10. This can be seen by its relative pricing of $80.00 (Cat. No. 1195), on a 1926 Distributor catalog page, vs. the Series 10 movement in the same case price of $90.00 (Cat. No. 1095). With well over 20,000 made, the Series 11 was Howard's most popular railroad standard watch, by quite a large margin.

Its hard to determine exactly when the Series 11 was introduced. It apparently doesn't appear in any Keystone-Howard literature until 1919 (but perhaps a copy of an earlier ad or catalog page will come to light). The Series 11 doesn't appear in Howard Watches - Catalogue No. 7, E. Howard Watch Works, 1918 (reprinted by the Arlington Book Co., Fairfax, VA, undated, but probably mid-1980’s). But, as strong of an indication of lack of availability that is, the absence doesn’t necessarily mean that the series 11 wasn’t being made at that time. Only a year later, the Series 11 is included in a Keystone Watch Case Co. Material Catalog, see References, below.

The earliest pricing that can be found is $75.00 in an April 1922 mail-order ad for L.W. Sweet. For comparison, a June 1922 Ad from the same company offered a 21-jewel Bunn Special in a 20-year case for $57.50, or a 992, also in a 20-year case, for $60.00. Both of these are a little early to be in factory cases.

If the runs shown as possibly being continuous actually are, the total increases from 24,000 to approximately 25,400. If the runs (except the last) begin and end at even thousands (there are no reported watches in-between), the total then rises to approximately 26,300.

All of the Series 11 Railroad Chronometers seem to have come from the factory with a single-sunk snap-on dial, either Arabic or Montgomery. There have not been reports of any of these dials bearing 13-24 hour markings (such as have been frequently seen on watches used in Canadian railway time service), nor are there reports of any Roman dials. These dials are not interchangeable with those on other 16-size, Keystone-Howard watches. The one report of a Series 11 having a dial bearing 13-24 hour figures was a double-sink dial that was most likely not original to the movement, probably being held in place by "dial dots" or glue.

Keystone-Howard used two different barrel bridges on the Series 11, one to accommodate a recoil click, a small round click adjacent to the ratchet wheel, near the crown wheel; the other a spring click, a long, straight, bar-shaped click (appearing at the 1 o'clock and 10 o'clock positions of the ratchet wheel in the picture). Insufficient data has been collected to do more than tentatively determine how these were distributed though the runs.

Movements in the two runs of Series 11s having the highest serial numbers are damaskeened with a a circular pattern. All others have plain finished plates.

Note that the double bar "Safety Bow" case shown on the 1926 Distributor Catalog Page seems not to have been promoted when the Series 11 was first introduced. They mostly appear on movements from the five runs of series 11's having the highest serial numbers.

Estimated Series 11 Runs

From S/NTo S/NQtyMarked DRA&S SymbolClickComments
1,181,0011,187,0006,000DRNo A&SSpring ClickMay be continuous run with following run. Only 2 reported in Safety Bow Case
1,188,1011,189,6001,500No DRA&SRecoil ClickMay be continuous run with previous run. 4 reported in Safety Bow Case
1,260,0011,265,0005,000DRNo A&SRecoil ClickS/N 1260675 reported as No DR. Only 1 reported in Safety Bow Case
1,283,0011,284,0001,000DRNo A&SRecoil Click
1,311,0011,313,0002,000No DRNo A&SRecoil ClickMay be continuous run with following run
1,313,3011,314,000700No DRA&SRecoil ClickMay be continuous run with previous run
1,317,0011,319,0002,000No DRA&SRecoil ClickOnly one reported in Safety Bow Case. Several reported w/o A&S Symbol
1,360,0011,362,7002,700No DRA&SRecoil ClickMany (if not all) in Safety Bow Case, S/N 1,361,319 reported to have Spring Click
1,374,0011,375,0001,000No DRA&SRecoil ClickMany (if not all) in Safety Bow Case
1,378,2011,379,000800No DRA&SRecoil ClickMany (if not all) in Safety Bow Case
1,385,0011,386,0001,000No DRA&SRecoil ClickMany (if not all) in Safety Bow Case. Circular damaskeening pattern
1,396,0011,396,300300No DRA&SSpring ClickMany (if not all) in Safety Bow Case. Circular damaskeening pattern


Please refer to the Table Notes for an explanation of the basis for the estimates and the abbreviations.

The Series 5

16-size, 19-jewel watches were offered by Keystone-Howard from the very beginning. The first ones were built by Waltham, and strictly speaking, were not part of the Series 5 grouping in any way. In fact, using their convention that the first one or two digits of the watch catalog number being the series number (see above), the 19-jewel, Waltham-built Howard watches, which were pendant-set, were the first Series 1 (see a 1907 catalog, page 3), although Howard may not have thought of them that way. When the first 16-size, 19-jewel watches were built at Keystone-Howard, a lever-set version of a 16-size, 19-jewel movement, along with pendent-set versions, were shown as the Series 5. The pendant-set only, slightly higher grade version remained as the Series 1 in a 1909 catalog (the 21-jewel watch hadn't been introduced yet), but by 1912 only the Series 5 was offered. In the table below entitled "Estimated Series 5 Runs", Some of the lowest serial numbered runs may include (or entirely consist of) 19-jewel, Series 1 movements.

Like the Series 0, the Series 5 was built in both open-face and hunting configurations. And again, like the Series 0, within those open-face and hunting configurations are both lever-set and pendant-set versions, created indiscriminately with respect to serial number. There were two bridge (finger) styles, straight and hooked (straight on one edge, having a notch on the other - giving it a "hook" appearance).


Estimated Series 5 Runs

From S/NTo S/NQtyTypeComments
970,001970,800800OFAdj, Straight Fingers, Going Bbl
970,801971,000100HCAdj, Straight Fingers, Going Bbl
979,001979,800800OFAdj, Straight Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
979,801980.000200HCAdj, Straight Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,005,0011,005,500500OFAdj, Straight Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,050,0011,050,500500OFAdj, Straight Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,050,8011,050,900100OFAdj, Straight Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,056,0011,057,0001,000OFAdj, Straight Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,057,0011,057,500500HCAdj, Straight Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,057,5011,058,000500OFAdj, Straight Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,076,0011,077,0001,000OFA5PT, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,076,122 marked "No. 5"
1,077,7011,078,000300HCA5PT, (Counted as Hooked Fingers in Est. Totals), Jwl'd Bbl
1,078,0011,078,550550OFA5PT, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,078,270 marked "No. 5"
1,079,0011,079,700700OFA5PT, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,090,0011,091,0001,000OFA5PT, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,090,304 marked "No. 5", S/N 1,090,407 may be marked "No. 5"
1,094,0011,095,0001,000OFA5PT, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl
1,101,5011,102,000500OFA5PT, A&T Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,101,513 1,101,890 marked "No. 5"
1,104,0011,105,0001,000OFA5PT, A&T Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,104,312 1,104,469 marked "No. 5"
1,105,0011,105,300300HCA5PT, (Counted as Hooked Fingers in Est. Totals), A&T Symbol
1,108,0011,109,0001,000OFA5PT, A&T Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, S/N 1,108,165 & 1,108,910 marked "No. 5"
1,110,5011,112,0001,500OFA5PT, A&T Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, Ser 5, S/N 1,110,926 1,111,946 may be marked "No. 5
1,115,0011,116,0001,000OFA5PT, A&T Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Going Bbl, Ser 5
1,127,0011,127,500500OFA5PT, A&T Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Jwl'd Bbl, Ser 5,
1,143,5011,144,5001,000OFA5PT, A&T Symbol, Hooked Fingers, Going Bbl, Ser 5

Please refer to the Table Notes for an explanation of the basis for the estimates and the abbreviations.


Estimated Series 5 Total Quantities

TypeStraight FingersHooked Fingers
HC800600
OF3,40010,750

The Series 2, Bridge Model

The first Keystone-Howard Series 2 was a 16-size, 17-jewel, 3/4-plate movement having parallel bar damaskeening (see above). These appeared as late as a 1911 catalog, but are missing from a 1912 catalog. That 1912 catalog and a June 1913 Howard ad showed the 16-size, 17-jewel, bridge model "Series 2". The 3/4-plate Series 2 was not seen in Howard literature after that date.

Like the Series 0 and Series 5, the bridge model Series 2 was built in both open-face and hunting configurations. Within the open-face configuration are both lever-set and pendant-set versions, apparently created indiscriminately with respect to serial number. The hunting configuration may have only been built in the pendant-set version, but the number of reported examples is too small to state for sure. All bridge model Series 2 movements are marked "Series 2" on the right side of the barrel bridge and are fitted with going barrels. Also, the bridge model Series 2 was furnished with a double-sunk dial.

The total number of Series 2 watches produced:
Total estimated Series 2 open-face production = 4,500
Total estimated Series 2 hunting-case production = 1,000


Estimated Series 2 Bridge Model Runs

From S/NTo S/NQtyTypeComments
1,116,0011,116,500500OFA5PT, A Symbol, Ser 2
1,117,0011,119,0002,000OFA5PT, A Symbol, Going Bbl, Ser 2
1,122,5011,123,5001,000OFA5PT, A Symbol, Ser 2
1,284,0011,285,0001,000OFA Symbol, Going Bbl, Ser 2
1,314,0011,315,0001,000HCA Symbol, Going Bbl, Ser 2

Table Notes

The runs listed in tables were generated from the movements listed in the data base created and maintained by Ed Ueberall and Kent Singer. The data was collected from internet listings, dealer mail-order lists, reports and personal observations, mostly at NAWCC marts. As such, it is subject to errors in listing, reporting or recording. There are a number watches reported outside of the runs shown in the tables, and there are watches reported within runs of a different series or size. These may represent individual watches, small runs, or perhaps more likely, they are errors in reporting or transcribing. Total estimated productions are based upon the summation of the quantities of the runs listed in the tables. Members having examples from ranges other than those shown in the tables applying to their examples, or who believe they have not yet been otherwise reported and wish to do so, are encouraged to report these movements under the Discussion Tab at the top of the article.

Abbreviations Used In Tables:

TermFull Explanation
AdjCenter bridge marked "Adjusted"
A5PTIf Series 0: Pillar plate marked "Special Adjustment Five Positions Temperature"
A5PTIf Series 1, 10 or 5: Pillar plate marked "Extra Adjustment Five Positions Temperature"
A5PTIf Series 2: Pillar plate marked "Adjustment Five Positions Temperature"
St. FingersStraight Bridge Fingers, Ser 0 mvt type B1, Ser 5 mvt type H1, see Apr 99 article in References, below.
Hooked FingersHooked Bridge Fingers, Ser 0 mvt type B, Ser 1 mvt type D, Ser 10 mvt type C, Ser 5 mvt type H, see Apr 99 article in References, below.
Hooked FingersSer 2 mvt type K, see Apr 99 article in References, below.
A&C SymbolSeries 0: Arrow thru Circle with Maltese Cross inside of circle on center bridge
A&S SymbolSeries 1, 10 & 11: Arrow thru Circle with Star inside of circle on center bridge
A&T SymbolSeries 5: Arrow thru Circle with Triangle inside of circle on center bridge
A SymbolSeries 2 Bridge Model: Arrow thru empty Circle on center bridge
Ser 0"Series 0" marked on right side of barrel bridge
Ser 1"Series 1" marked on right side of barrel bridge
Ser 10"Series 10" marked on right side of barrel bridge
Ser 11"Series 11" marked on center bridge
Ser 5"Series 5" marked on right side of barrel bridge
Ser 2"Series 2" marked on right side of barrel bridge
Safety BblBushed safety barrel w/ 3 small screws on ratchet wheel (large winding wheel), Series 1
Jwl'd BblJeweled safety barrel w/ 3 small screws on ratchet wheel (large winding wheel), Series 0 & 5
Going BblSingle large screw on ratchet wheel (large winding wheel)
Spring ClickStraight bar visible on both sides of ratchet wheel (large winding wheel)
Recoil ClickRound click on side of ratchet wheel (large winding wheel)
Marked DR"Double Roller" on balance cock. (Posted by Joseph Short)
Jwl'd B'PinsJeweled banking pins & going barrel
HCHunting-case movement
OFOpen-face movement

References

Online Information
E. Howard Watch Co. website - Pictures and some catalog information on Keystone-Howard watches.

Howard Pocket Watches 1858-1930 - Brief history and pictures.

"The Newest Products of the Howard" - 1907 Keystone-Howard catalog shows the watches made for Keystone-Howard by Waltham.

12-Size Keystone-Howard Watches - 1911 Catalog page.

The Bridges of Middlesex County - "The story of Waltham, E. Howard & Co. and the E. Howard Watch Co. and their Bridge Model Watches."


Most of the catalogs, and all of the NAWCC Bulletin back issues containing the articles, listed below are available to members on loan by mail from the NAWCC Lending Library. Use the Lending Library Form..


Howard Catalogs
Pages from a 1903 Hayden W. Wheeler catalog show cased watches bearing movements made for Keystone-Howard by Waltham in thisTom McIntyre post.

The 1907 Keystone-Howard catalog, posted by Fred Hansen shows the watches made for Keystone-Howard by Waltham "The Newest Products of the Howard"

A 1909 catalog, Howard Watches - Being a Concise Summary of Howard Watch Movements and Cases for the Information of the Howard Jeweler, E. Howard Watch Co., Waltham, MA, 1909, with additional material from 1912-1918, reprinted by American Reprints, undated, but probably late-1960’s.

1910: The Story Of Edward Howard And The First American Watch, E. Howard Watch Works, Boston, MA, 1910, see pages 21-24.

1911 Howard catalog pages are reproduced in the book Catalogue of Watches Illustrated & Priced: Reproduced from Young & Co., Chicago, Illinois 1911 Catalogue, Seymour Glick Enterprises, Wantaugh, NY.

1912 Howard catalog - 48-page reprint, Vintage Catalogs.

1915 Standard Illustrated Price List - Norris, Alister-Ball Co., Chicago, IL, Courtesy Jeff Hess
Page No.Description
0Title Page
37The Edward Howard
3816-Size Gold Watches
3916-Size Gold-Filled Watches

1918 Howard catalog (Catalogue No. 7) - 52-page reprint, Arlington Books.

1918 Illustrated Catalogue - C.B. Norton Jewelry Co., Kansas City, MO, Courtesy Michael McNamee
(There were no page numbers; the ones shown below were arbitrarily assigned)
Page No.Description
112-Size Open-Face Watches
212-Size & 16-Size Hunting Watches
312-Size Period Watches
416-Size Open-Face Railroad Watches

Keystone Watch Case Co. Material Catalog, Keystone Watch Case Co., 1919. reprinted by Clock Works Press, Shingle Springs, CA, 1999.

1924 Otto Young & Co. Catalog Sheet - Howard 16-Size Watches

1926 Otto Young & Co. Catalog Sheet - Howard 16-Size Watches


Articles
“The Howard Ten Size Watch,” Arthur Borg, NAWCC Bulletin No. 129 (August 1967): pp.941-64.

"Some Aspects in the Recasing of 12S and 10S Howard Watches," Dr. Selman (Sandy) Berger, NAWCC Bulletin No. 319 (April 1999), pages 174-177

"The Movement Design and Case Styling of the 10S Howard Watch," Dr. Selman (Sandy) Berger, NAWCC Bulletin, No. 326 (June 2000), pages 329-334

"Some Aspects Regarding the Significance and Evolution of Model Number Designations for Keystone Howard Watches," Dr. Selman (Sandy) Berger, NAWCC Bulletin, No. 332 (June 2001), pages 305-309

"Characteristics of the 16-Size, 3/4‑Plate 1905 Howard Movement," Dr. Selman (Sandy) Berger, Watch & Clock Bulletin, No. 424 (November/December 2016), pages 512-522

"Keystone-Howard & Their Standard Watches," Ed Ueberall & Kent Singer, NAWCC Bulletin, No. 319 (April 1999), pages 191-206.

American watch makers

This page has been seen 37,182 times.

    • Created by on
      Last updated by on