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14kt vintage Howard and Co. Boston

Clint Geller

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum.

What you have is a very nice E. Howard & Co. 15 jewel G Size (roughly Size 6) ladies watch, a Model 1874, also called a Series VI. The movement seems to be in good shape and reasonably clear of scratches. It would be nice to see a dial picture. Based on the movement serial number, I'd estimate your watch was made about 1880. It is stem wound and lever set. Your watch seems to have a very nice 14K case, but I'd need to see more pictures to know for sure whether it is a correct case for a Howard G Size. Specifically, I'd need to see a movement picture with all edges of the movement and the adjacent case ledge in the frame, a dial side picture, and a picture showing both sides of the pendant.

I am unfamiliar with the marking "A.L. & Co." in your case, but that doesn't mean it isn't correct. EH&Co did not make their own watchcases. Rather, all EH&Co movements were placed in cases made by other parties in either one of the Howard sales offices in Boston, NYC, or Chicago, or by a retailer. The Howard factory records mention a customer named Albert Lorsch & Co. in a slightly later period than your movement was produced, which could fit.
 
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Jewelry626

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum.

What you have is a very nice E. Howard & Co. 15 jewel G Size (roughly Size 6) ladies watch, a Model 1874, also called a Series VI. The movement seems to be in good shape and reasonably clear of scratches. It would be nice to see a dial picture. Based on the movement serial number, I'd estimate your watch was made about 1880. It is stem wound and lever set. Your watch seems to have a very nice 14K case, but I'd need to see more pictures to know for sure whether it is a correct case for a Howard G Size. Specifically, I'd need to see a movement picture with all edges of the movement and the adjacent case ledge in the frame, a dial side picture, and a picture showing both sides of the pendant.

I am unfamiliar with the marking "A.L. & Co." in your case, but that doesn't mean it isn't correct. EH&Co did not make their own watchcases. Rather, all EH&Co movements were placed in cases made by other parties in either one of the Howard sales offices in Boston, NYC, or Chicago, or by a retailer. The Howard factory records mention a customer named Albert Lorsch & Co. in a slightly later period than your movement was produced, which could fit.
Thank you here are a few more pictures . Would you happen to know the value of such a pocket watch?

20210920_082744.jpg 20210920_082707.jpg 20210920_082641.jpg 20210920_082548.jpg 20210920_082512.jpg 20210920_082453.jpg
 

Clint Geller

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Good news. I think your watch looks completely correct and original. What the watch would bring at sale would depend in part on how you try to sell it. If you know how to figure the scrap gold value of a watchcase, add say $300 to that number, assuming the watch is in good running order, and that is about what you might hope to receive at auction, minus any auction fees that may apply. That's just my opinion, and I'm no expert on the market. In a direct sale to a collector, you might do a little better - at least there would be no auction fees. It's a lovely watch and in a just world it should bring more, but it is also a ladies watch, so even though it is a Howard, collector interest is somewhat limited. And it breaks my heart to tell you this because I love early Howards. The Jones & Horan sales archive is usually a good indicator of market values, especially for American watches.
 
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Clint Geller

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By the way, while I don't seem to have a copy of the exact page of the EH&Co factory records that lists the completion date of movement SN 102,733, I can tell you that the movements with SNs from 102,551 to 102,587 were finished between February and September 1886, though not in serial order. That's five or six years later than my first, hip-shooting production date estimate. This fact may be significant because Albert Lorsch & Co. was in business in Providence, RI from 1885 to 1925, though they stopped selling watches in 1894. Cheers.
 

Jewelry626

New User
Sep 19, 2021
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Good news. I think your watch looks completely correct and original. What the watch would bring at sale would depend in part on how you try to sell it. If you know how to figure the scrap gold value of a watchcase, add say $300 to that number, assuming the watch is in good running order, and that is about what you might hope to receive at auction, minus any auction fees that may apply. That's just my opinion, and I'm no expert on the market. In a direct sale to a collector, you might do a little better - at least there would be no auction fees. It's a lovely watch and in a just world it should bring more, but it is also a ladies watch, so even though it is a Howard, collector interest is somewhat limited. And it breaks my heart to tell you this because I love early Howards. The Jones & Horan sales archive is usually a good indicator of market values, especially for American watches.
Thank you
By the way, while I don't seem to have a copy of the exact page of the EH&Co factory records that lists the completion date of movement SN 102,733, I can tell you that the movements with SNs from 102,551 to 102,587 were finished between February and September 1886, though not in serial order. That's five or six years later than my first, hip-shooting production date estimate. This fact may be significant because Albert Lorsch & Co. was in business in Providence, RI from 1885 to 1925, though they stopped selling watches in 1894. Cheers.
WOW!! Thank you very much for the information. It's exciting to see and have such an old time piece.
 

MrRoundel

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Dec 28, 2010
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Great early Howard "G" size pocket watch! FWIW, most of the "G" sizes I've seen have been those with gilt (Gold-colored/coated) plates, as opposed to nickel finished like yours. Granted, this may just be in my personal experience. The nickel plates generally pull a better price. I'd guess maybe 20% more at times. Dr. Geller's estimate sounds about right to me, for what that's worth.

And the case is very nice as well. Most of the solid gold cases have been melted by now, so it's great to find one that has outrun the scrapper through many gold cycles, depression, recessions, etc.

One minor point is that as a general rule women's watches are found in cases of better condition, i.e., less wear and tear. This is because they weren't usually worn every day the way a man's watch was. There were, of course exceptions to the rule.

Enjoy the watch. It's a nice example of an early Howard "G". Cheers.
 
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