American Watch Case Co., Ltd. (Toronto)

Jerry Treiman

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Although making sense of case serial numbers is very difficult with some of the larger companies* I think some progress can be made with some of the smaller companies. I have recently begun looking at the American Watch Case Co., Ltd of Toronto, Canada. Limited examples, so far, suggest that their solid gold cases may be numbered separately from their gold-filled labels (such as Empress, Fortune or Cashier). If anyone has well-dated examples (based on original movements or inscriptions) I would be interested in seeing postings of the case serial number, estimated date, and case grade. I say "estimated date" since I recognize that either case or movement could have lain in stock before being used and/or presented. Attached is an image of the common marks found in solid gold cases by A.W.C.Co.

(* notwithstanding Mike Chamelin's excellent work with Wadsworth)
 

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Jerry Treiman

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Yes - these are what I am looking to record. What will make the numbers useful is if I can fit the case to a time period, within a year or two.
 

Fred Hansen

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Hi Jerry -

From recently completed eBay ...

Waltham Riverside movement #17114154
Case serial #135122
Case signed ... "A.W.C.Co., 14K, (wheel and wing symbol), (cross type symbol)"


... and I see nothing to suggest this watch is not an original combination.

Fred

p.s. The photos are still visible, so if interested just send me an email for a link to the auction result.
 

Jerry Treiman

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Thanks, guys! I now have five numbers in my list :eek:, but that's how any research begins. As the information file grows and if it looks like any conclusions can be drawn I will post the info.
 
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Kent

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Oops!
 

Jerry Treiman

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Thanks for raising the question, Ethan. The logo you show was registered in the U.S. in 1905 by the American Watch Case Co., NYC and the shield is different from what is used by the Canadian firm. I had always assumed that we had two different companies -- one in Toronto and one in New York. The scanty information that I have so far lists a NY sales office for the Canadian company on Maiden Lane (in 1908). I have a later
listing of the American firm on 40th St. (in 1927). Both firms are listed separately in the 1927 "The Jewelers' Index"

To add to the puzzle, the winged wheel logo was trademarked by the Philadelphia Watch Case Co. (Philadelphia, PA) in 1889. Perhaps they established a Canadian factory to case imported movements in Canada? This is beginning to smell like the presence of Theophilus Zurbrugg, but I am not certain yet when he became connected with Philadelphia.
 

Jerry Treiman

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I checked my notes and sources to add the following:

Theophilus Zurbrugg bought the Philadelphia casemaking firm of Leichty & Le Bouba in1884. Within a few years (ca.1888) the company name was changed to Philadelphia Watch Case Co. and in 1889 they registered the winged wheel trademark.

The Canadian firm may have been established as early as 1885 and their principal factory was built around 1893. Around 1903 the capital stock of the American Watch Case Co. (Toronto) was bought by Keystone (then a Zurbrugg-owned company), Waltham and Elgin. I believe most of the use of the winged-wheel logo post-dates the stock acquisition by Zurbrugg and the watch companies.

I found in another reference that that the New York-based A.W.C.Co. was founded by Henry Oppenheimer, originally on 23rd St. in Manhattan. I do not have a date yet for this company's formation.
 

Cary Hurt

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Jerry,

Will this help? It's not gold, but it does house an apparently original to this case Waltham 0-size, #13171790, 1900 model grade 115 from approximately 1905.
http://www.members.aol.com/churt44966/awcc.jpg
I will say that the movement appears to be older than the case (it's a trench-style wristwatch case), so it may be that the movement was salvaged and re-cased into this case for a second chance at a useful life. It came to me from England, and looked as if it had been untouched for quite some time.

Regards,

Cary
 

Jerry Treiman

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Thanks, Cary. This does help. So far I have logged solid gold cases with serial numbers ranging from 135-thousand to 184-thousand and apparently spanning the time fram from perhaps 1909 to 1919. I have a gold-filled case from the same time frame with a 700-thousand serial number, and now your silver case at 1-million. Either the silver case is much later or it suggests that different case grades may have had their own number sequence. Does the style of the silver case suggest a specific time period, or at least a feeling that it is before or after a particular date? As you recognize, the movement date may not be a defining characteristic.
 

Cary Hurt

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Jerry,

Here's the watch. Unfortunately, it's a pretty generic case. I'd place a date at anywhere from 1915 to 1925.

http://www.members.aol.com/churt44966/awcc2.jpg

The case does appear to have been made as a wristwatch case though, no signs of having been converted from a pendant case.

Regards,

Cary
 

Adam

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Hi Jerry,

Forgive me if my terminology is not correct, as I am by no means an experienced watch person, by any stretch of the imagination.

Are you still working on this? I have a small 14K Waltham PW with a hinged back. I initially found this site while trying to info on 3 old pockets watches that originally belonged to my grandparents. Anyway, your post caught my attention because I took notice of the AWC Co stamp on the inside of the back cover this small Waltham. In addition to the AWC Co stamp, there's an iron cross and a serial number of 104XXX. Does that help? I have no idea what kind of Waltham this is. The size of the watch is about an inch in diameter and the serial number on the movement is 14297XXX. It has the American Waltham Watch Co. script on the movement but no model number/name. The movement sort of looks like an 1891 Riverside (as pictured here http://www.awco.org/AWCo/Small/Maximus0s/Model91/Model91.htm ) but on mine, the faceplate has the small dial in the 3 o'clock position and the winding knob is at the top of the watch. Hopefully this assists you with your research.

BTW... I've seen some people post the full serial numbers but I've always thought doing so was bad practice online. I hope the numbers I've provided are sufficient. Cheers.
 

doug sinclair

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Jerry,

I have an 1892 Waltham Vanguard, S # 12512314 in an A W C O, all capitals, (not AWCCo) case, with no other identifiers, case S# 48067, the only quality mark being K over 18 in an oval shield. Case screw marks tell me this is a replacement case on this movement. This may or may not be relevant to your research.

Doug S.
 

Kent

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Doug:

Would you please confirm that serial number?

Thanks,
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Jerry, I am still not sure whether the wheel-less A.W.C.O. cases are from the Canadian company you are researching or from an entirely different U.S. company of the same name. In addition to the A.W.C.O.-cased V&C I discussed in my earlier reply, I have four other A.W.C.O. cases, all wheel-less, and none with date inscriptions. As shown in the photos below, they are (listed in order of likely age)

1. A 14k OF engraved case, #79,916, housing an Elgin 194, almost certainly not its original case; case probably from 1890s

2. A 14k OF, #105,182, housing a C.H. Meylan Hudson & Son PL; case probably from 1900-1910

3. A 14k OF, #197,558, housing a C.H. Meylan Galt & Bros. PL; case probably from 1910-1915

4. A platinum OF engraved case, #222,071, housing a Merimont (most likely a V&C PL); case probably from 1920-1925
 

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Jerry Treiman

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Thanks, everyone. I am still compiling data and don't know yet if it will make anything clearer. It does help to have photos, like Ethan provided, so that I can use the stamping style to try to assign them to either the Toronto or the New York case factory. The Maltese cross is distinctive for the Toronto firm. I believe the incuse shield or banner, like Ethan's first two, is fairly characteristic of the New York factory. If it lacks banner or cross I am left to try to guess. Without an original movement or an inscription to judge the age of the case a bare serial number is of less use.
 

Kent

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Kent,

The woes of bad light, a dirty loupe, failing eye sight, and failing memory. The number is actually # 12552314.

Doug
So that would be a 19-jewel Vanguard?

Being a good friend, or at least a tolerable acquaintance, I've got no comment on your first sentence.
 

doug sinclair

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Kent,

'S'right! 19 jewels. But the case trade mark has me buffaloed! A W C O is not quite A W C Co. The 24-hour dial is an indication (at least) that it might have been sold in Canada, possibly in a Canadian case. But the extra case screw mark on the case could mean a case swap somewhere in the past. Canadian case? Who knows?

Doug
 

Jerry Treiman

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Thank you. It would help a little more if you can tell me what the movement is in the watch, including serial number, and if there is any date inscription on the watch. Is there any reason to believe it may not be original? The reason I ask is that this information can help me assign a rough date to the case.
 

Fra

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Hi Jerry,

my pocket watch is a Cyma and unfortunately inside there is no date but a serial number "7797"on the mechanism, and as far as I know no records of Cyma serial numbers exist. I attached the photo of the mechanism with serial number and everything, just to show to you.
This was my husband's great-grandfather pocket watch and I would guess that the watch dates is anywhere between 1890 and 1910. I hope this help a little.
Let me know.
 

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dramasdad

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I have an Elgin Ser # 13472434 (maybe you can help with the date) it has a screw down case Cashier mark and Ser # 370604 A.W.C.Co 25years




dramasdad
 

Kent

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Hi dramasdad:

Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

Checking the references listed in the Elgin Watch Co. Encyclopedia article, Elgin movement serial number 13472434 can be seen to be an 18-size, 17-jewel, open-face, full-plate, model 5, grade No. 336, built in about 1907-1908, thereabouts. This was a very popular movement of which over 272,000 were built between 1904 and 1922. You can see a picture, the catalog description and where the grade No. 336 fit within Elgin's line of 18-size watches on pages E3 and E2 of the 1917 Oskamp-Nolting Catalog.

If you've read the above thread, then you've probably already found your way to the American Watch Case Co. Encyclopedia article.

You should have the watch serviced before running it very much. It may be helpful for you to read the Encyclopedia article on Watch Service and its related links, especially the one to the message board thread on the subject.

Good luck,
 
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sunnyboy

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I have a AWC co Fortune gold filled # 1048501 it houses the following Waltham
Model:
1883
Name:

Material:
U
Grade:
No. 81,
Size:
18
Size:
18
Plate:
FP
Plate:

Jewelling:

Jewels:
15
Balance:

Bal:
Breguet Spring
Style:
OF
Style:
O.F.​
 

Bill Manders

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Hi Jerry,
Here is an AWCCo. Fortune case, I believe it original to my ca:1909 Ham 940. I also know I have some other Fortune cases with the wheel and wings at home, I will let you know when I return frrom holidays.
Hope this is what you are looking for.
Bill
 

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Jerry Treiman

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Thanks Bill.
Sunnyboy - can you tell me the movement serial number so I can get an approximate age? The case serial number is higher than other Fortune cases I have recorded and may be a later re-case.
 

fishmen222

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Hey Jerry,
I doubt this helps, but I just wrote my first post yesterday inquiring about my grandfather's model 1883. Based on the information in ths thread, I do not think it is the type DSCF0404.JPG DSCF0406.JPG DSCF0407.JPG DSCF0408.JPG DSCF0411.JPG DSCF0412.JPG DSCF0414.JPG you are looking for, but what the heck!
 

Kent

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fishmen222:

Although it is difficult to see in your picture, the inside of your case seems to be marked "A.W.Co." not "A.W.C.Co." Thus, it is one of the American Watch Co. cases, not made by the American Watch Case Co.
 

Paul Sullivan

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Larry,

An old thread, so not sure if your still compiling information on A.W.C.Co. Here are some of mine which can be dated, but only by lack of other screw marks.

A.W.C.Co. 18s swing out GF "Fortune" case #3659531. This houses a Waltham (#22017547) 1892 Vanguard C.R.T.S. movement from about 1918. No other screw makes seen on the ring.

CRTS RING.JPG Case back.JPG iNSIDE CASE BACK.JPG
Movement and ring Inside case back Inside detail

A.W.C.Co. 16s GF screw B&B "Cashier" Extra #1360777. Houses a Waltham 1908 623 from about 1914 no additional screw marks.

1908 Grade 623 - 19850756 (3).JPG 1908 Grade 623 - 19850756 (1914) case back.JPG
Movement Inside of case back

A.W.C.Co. 16s Screw B&B 10k GF "Fortune Sturdy" #4626452. Appears to be picture of tree below Fortune. Houses an Elgin 590 BWR #43394893 circa 1945. No additional screw marks.

590 case lighter a.JPG IMG_8986.JPG
Movement Inside case back

Rgds,

Paul
 

purdywatchdog

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20150331_131046.jpg 20150331_130637.jpg my 1908 crts#18038119 in a.w.c.co case #1421082. Case is original to movement and was presented in 1919. The movement dates to 1911 or 1912. I don't know what "peerless" is supposed to mean as seen engraved above the winged wheel. I'm guessing the movement may have sat in stock at jewelers until sold in 1919? I hope this helps in your dating study of a.w.c.co cases.
 

darrahg

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I don't want to put a damper or go off-topic on this thread but thought everyone might be interested in knowing that W. F. Doll (Rockford Doll watch dude) brought suit against the case company claiming that solid gold cases (rings) were not 100% solid. Here is an ad he posted in 1890. He lost the suit against them but stated that it was due to politics at that time. I am still doing research on the topic.

public being swindled Ad 1890.jpg
 

purdywatchdog

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20160619_130042.jpg Good response for this thead. It will just encourage us to check our a.w c.co gold and gold filled cases and increase the ability to date some of these. The back cover shown here a.w.c co.#272651 cashier warranted 25 years has no wear down of gold fill anddoesn't indicate 14 k gold fill but the serial # seems fairly early. Unfortunately this case came to me with no movement so not really helpful for dating aid. Also no "case made in canada" mark as seen on some.
 

purdywatchdog

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20150814_175138.jpg here is another one, 1883 cpr, 3957451 cased in a.w.c co. fortune case "207451. No gold filled marks,no warranted period marks,not even an a.w.c co. The winged wheel trade mark has different orientation. I'm a bit, no a lot confused. Some comments please.
 

testguy

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Cashier Case S/N 724868. Ladies Hunter Case. Watch was gifted Christmas 1911. The watch movement is a Regina S/N 2895412.
IMG_0565.jpg IMG_0566.jpg
 

purdywatchdog

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20160621_175614.jpg 20160621_175543.jpg 20160621_175507.jpg 20160621_175156.jpg Here's one close to test guys a.w.c.co.cashier case 724868. Mine is a 0 size waltham #15938099, looks like 13 jewel gilt plate housed in what appears to to be original case. No extra screw marks. The case is a a.w.c.co cashier no. 729148. 5 spoke wheel with no mention of warranted 14k or number of years garanteed. Looks like around 1907 ,1908. Hope the pics are clear and help with this thread.

Jim
 

Paul Sullivan

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I don't want to put a damper or go off-topic on this thread but thought everyone might be interested in knowing that W. F. Doll (Rockford Doll watch dude) brought suit against the case company claiming that solid gold cases (rings) were not 100% solid. Here is an ad he posted in 1890. He lost the suit against them but stated that it was due to politics at that time. I am still doing research on the topic.

273380.jpg
Here is a link to what appears to be an 1896 pamphlet written about this case which is extremely critical of the A.W.C.Co. and also somewhat humorous to read.
 

Tom McIntyre

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Very interesting pamphlet! Does that mean we need to assay some of the AWCCo cases that are marked 14K or 18K?

Does anyone have an example that is worn through?
 

GOODWEH

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Although making sense of case serial numbers is very difficult with some of the larger companies* I think some progress can be made with some of the smaller companies. I have recently begun looking at the American Watch Case Co., Ltd of Toronto, Canada. Limited examples, so far, suggest that their solid gold cases may be numbered separately from their gold-filled labels (such as Empress, Fortune or Cashier). If anyone has well-dated examples (based on original movements or inscriptions) I would be interested in seeing postings of the case serial number, estimated date, and case grade. I say "estimated date" since I recognize that either case or movement could have lain in stock before being used and/or presented. Attached is an image of the common marks found in solid gold cases by A.W.C.Co.

(* notwithstanding Mike Chamelin's excellent work with Wadsworth)
I just found the back of one of the watches you mention it reads A W C C O Sterling has the ball with the wings logo and numbers 1126291 inscribed on it.
 

Hawkette96

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Hi Jerry,

I've found this post very interesting and thought I would add to your list. I have a Waltham watch (20191182) in the AWCCO case that states it is 14k. The case number is 171284. The watch was engraved and presented by a professional organization to their honoree in 1921.

20180825_131533.jpg 20180825_131721.jpg 20180825_131729.jpg
 

Jerry Treiman

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Thanks for sharing your information ... your watch presents some interesting dilemmas. The marks indicate it was made by the AWCCo in New York City. The case serial number falls among others that predate 1910, based on presentation dates; the movement falls around 1914 for production; the case presentation is 1921. Evidently this case sat in jeweler's stock for a number of years before it was finally sold. It looks like there may be other case screw marks just a little off from the current screws, suggesting that the movement may be a replacement, but if so it too was old stock as it significantly predates the presentation date.
 

Hawkette96

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Interesting! Thanks for the information. When I looked up how much this watch would cost in today's terms, I was astounded that this would be a gift from the Board of Health. But if it sat around for a while, perhaps it was sold at a discount. I have other watches if you are researching any other brands or cases from the late 1800s/early 1900s sold in NY. This is my only AWCCo case. I have several Montauks, but I imagine those aren't of much interest. I also have a Premier. All have been in the family since the original owner.
 

PapaLouies

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Hi Jerry,
This case houses a Riverside Maximus # 10,587,XXX.

IMG_1728.JPG IMG_1729.JPG

Regards, PL
 
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Jerry Treiman

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PL - thanks for the data point. The movement is a tad early for this case number, but a Riverside Maximus movement, like many high-end movements, had a tendency to sit in jeweler's stock a little longer. This is from the Toronto, Canada case company which goes well with the 24-hour Canadian-style dial.
 

Jumbosausage

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Stumbled upon this thread whilst trying to find out if what I have has any value. I was left this along with numerous other items by my late grandfather.

The rear cover has the writing...Fortune AWC Co gold filled s.no 727628
The watch itself say Waltham USA

2E02B6EF-BD5A-429D-80B5-61F92F4D66B1.jpeg 63BFA0A5-E79D-4104-9415-1AAECEFCDFE7.jpeg
 

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