American watches nickel plates

Keith R...

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Most of my nickel plates are on Rockford's, so those movements at
the earliest would be 1876. Our friend Dave Coatsworth has many
an Illinois with nickel plates, but that's 1869 at best.

What are our earliest nickel plates on an American movement, (I
count Tremont as American)? I have collected about all and they all
are gilt pre 1870, (mine are anyway).

I ask because I just picked up an Auguste Saltzman for the American
market, dated to about 1860, (patent date 1859). Thanks in advance if
you have an early American nickel and can help me date our American
watches. Note, both watches shown are 15J.


Keith R...

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Tom McIntyre

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Waltham's American Grade 1868 model is nickel. They also made some 1860 model (KW16) in nickel at about the same time Here is the ledger page for 410401. The dates given are Dec 1868 to Apr 1872.
[pdf]487699[/pdf]
 

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ben_hutcherson

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The 1868 model and KW16 came to mind for me, and Tom has given you a date range on those.

It would be worth looking at when Marion started making nickel watches also-I don't know offhand.
 

Tom McIntyre

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It would be worth looking at when Marion started making nickel watches also-I don't know offhand.
The Frederic Atherton 19J were all gilt. I think they may have not made any nickel for a year or two. Ehrhardt/Hanson may have an accurate date in the Marion Guide.
 

Keith R...

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This is exactly what I was hoping for, thanks Tom and also Ben!! I had looked at Marion
as I do have one in gilt, about 1868, perhaps someone will check the Marion Guide for
any nickel.

Thanks guys!

Keith R...

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Clint Geller

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The first nickel plated Howard movements, around S/N 21,561, came out in July, 1869. The first solid nickel Howard movements were S/N 52,001 in L Size (June, 1870), and S/N 32,001 in N Size (December, 1871). Perhaps the owner of S/N 32,001 will come forward and show it here.
 
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Keith R...

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Thanks Clint, so we have Howard & Waltham. I think we can rule out Elgin, Tremont and Melrose.
I do not recall any New York Watch Co. or the United States Watch Co. Marion in nickel, but would
love to see one. Thanks guys for the info.

Keith R...
 

Keith R...

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If there are any nickel for these brands we would love to see them.

Keith R...

Note, for all who know Omexa (Ray), he's home from the hospital.

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geo.ulrich

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Kieth, Marion made a few nickel plates first to come to mind is George Channing. I will look further this evening if time allows ...
 

Keith R...

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Great response guys!! C, .................yes I remembered your New York, but I like that you have
included it in this thread, as this thread identifies early American nickel movements for future
searches.

George, I hope you find us a Marion nickel!

shovelhead, please feel free to post your N size nickel Howard, all mine are gilt and I don't
know what a nickel key wind Howard would look like. shovelhead, just saw your post for a
series IV. Thanks for posting.

Thanks much to all the participants in this thread!

Keith R...
 

geo.ulrich

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Keith, me too sorry no pictures. I looked up in Marion A History of the United States Watch Co. says 1869 first Nickel plates made....I haven't dug in boneyard but I do not remember any...
 

Keith R...

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The 1869 date works George and all of us appreciate it.

So with the information provided, the early American made nickel plate watches first produced in
the United States, was December of 1868 for Waltham, July 1869 for E Howard, Dec 1869 for US
Watch Co. Marion NJ, December 1875 for New York Watch Co Springfield Mass.

Thanks to all the participants for their contributions to this thread. I will leave us with what nickel
plates developed into.

PS, if one has a US watch, feel free to provide a nickel example. If no US, an American private
label will suffice, post 1860, (post #1).

Keith R...

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Clint Geller

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The first nickel plated Howard movements, around S/N 21,561, came out in July, 1869. The first solid nickel Howard movements were S/N 52,001 in L Size (June, 1870), and S/N 32,001 in N Size (December, 1871). Perhaps the owner of S/N 32,001 will come forward and show it here.
Howard S/N 52,696 is an L Size nickel keywind movement, the only one I have ever seen or heard of. Howard finished one run of 30 nickel L Size movements with both KW and SW mechanisms, but S/N 52,696 is the only straight keywind nickel L Size movement I've ever seen.
 
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Keith R...

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Reading Clint's response on Howard L size nickel, the date year 1870 comes out. I think the
Howard plates defined the nickel process and the rest of the industry began to catch up on
nickel plates. This is one of my nickel favorites about 1876, (including the added Teske
regulator). Serviced by Rob Carter, Kingsport TN.

I would love to see Howard SN# 52,696.

Keith R...

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Clint Geller

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Reading Clint's response on Howard L size nickel, the date year 1870 comes out. I think the
Howard plates defined the nickel process and the rest of the industry began to catch up on
nickel plates. This is one of my nickel favorites about 1876, (including the added Teske
regulator). Serviced by Rob Carter, Kingsport TN.

I would love to see Howard SN# 52,696.

Keith R...

View attachment 488001
Well, Waltham's first nickel finish watches appeared perhaps a year before Howard's, and it was another year or so before Howard's first solid nickel movements came out. However, the AWCo only made 101 of the nickel, American Grade, Model 1868's (in two runs of 50, plus a later one-off). I'm not sure how many nickel American Grade 16KW's they made, but I'm sure it wasn't many. Howard made perhaps 141 nickel plated N Size Model 1862's (i.e., Series III's), but I think the Model 1869 L Size movements may have been the first larger production run of nickel movements. Waltham is also known to have made one nickel 20 Size movement, S/N 50,001, with an unique, Swiss-style plate layout. However, I have no idea as to the production date of that movement.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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upload_2018-8-6_15-5-2.png I believe that 501,501 to 501,520 are 1868 model and the remainder of the watches from 501,521 to 501,600 are nickel keywinds.

I am pretty sure that Waltham thought of those as keywind 1868 models, but since modern collectors agree that the stem winding feature is required for the 1868 model they must be nickel KW16, regardless of what they thought when they were making them. :)

420,601 is listed as a run of a single watch. It is not listed as stem wind and could be a keywind, but that is not explicit.

Movement2.jpg I have included an image of the page to illustrate how difficult it is to interpret what was being recorded. These watches were recorded on job cards when they were made in the late 1860's but the transcriptions to the existing ledgers were not made until 1912 to 1914.

Looking at the recordings, one might infer that the 1868 model was not a great success and that some were finished as keywinds to satisfy customers.

In the case of my nickel KW16 it was converted to Abbot's stem winding attachment fairly early in its life.
 

ben_hutcherson

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Nickel Marions are reasonably common.

Later Channings are probably one of the more frequently seen ones, but IMO the nickel isn't the best. A good portion of US Watch Co. grade watches are nickel, as are several of the other better grades.

IMG_0384.jpg
 
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Clint Geller

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View attachment 488272 I believe that 501,501 to 501,520 are 1868 model and the remainder of the watches from 501,521 to 501,600 are nickel keywinds.

I am pretty sure that Waltham thought of those as keywind 1868 models, but since modern collectors agree that the stem winding feature is required for the 1868 model they must be nickel KW16, regardless of what they thought when they were making them. :)

420,601 is listed as a run of a single watch. It is not listed as stem wind and could be a keywind, but that is not explicit.

View attachment 488273 I have included an image of the page to illustrate how difficult it is to interpret what was being recorded. These watches were recorded on job cards when they were made in the late 1860's but the transcriptions to the existing ledgers were not made until 1912 to 1914.

Looking at the recordings, one might infer that the 1868 model was not a great success and that some were finished as keywinds to satisfy customers.

In the case of my nickel KW16 it was converted to Abbot's stem winding attachment fairly early in its life.
Ah, I hadn't known that Waltham's second run of 50 supposedly American Grade "Model 1868" movements were not all SW/LS. However, the "one-off" to which I referred was a direct observation of a watch, of which I unfortunately did not record the S#, but I think it was much later than 420,601. However, I seem to recall that folks thought at the time that it had been finished up considerably later than the other Model 1868's.
 

Keith R...

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Nice nickel examples guys and great info on both Howard & Waltham production. Here's one
of my few remaining Hamden lever set movements in an 18 size glass back, from about 1910,
in nickel with gold inlay.

It's 17J, marked adjusted.

Keith R...

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Tom McIntyre

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Here are a couple of higher grade nickel New York/Hampden examples. I think these were both made originally in Springfield MA.
76-jpg.jpg 77-jpg.jpg
 

Bila

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Those Philadelphia's are nice watches Keith, I have a 19Jewel one floating around here somewhere, but unfortunately it is not cased, been looking for years for a case and have never been able to pick one up:(
 

4thdimension

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Probably won't count but I've never seen a Charles Jacot in anything but nickel.Are any watches he made considered American? -Cort
 

Keith R...

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Thanks Bila. Also Cort I agree, nice watch shovelhead!

Cort, Charles Jacot had an 1858 patent and was associated with Saltzman (post #1) for about 10 years.
However, he was considered a Swiss watch maker and they were sold to US jewelers who cased and
created them, as American private labels.

Keith R...
 

Tom McIntyre

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Jacot's manufacturing was probably always in Switzerlamnd. However, his star duplexes and some other early watches are found marked for New York and that was his residence. Saltzman was always the Swiss partner even when Jacot was here.

He may have had Saltzman assemble ebauches for him that he used to work on escapement designs.
 

Clint Geller

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Probably won't count but I've never seen a Charles Jacot in anything but nickel.Are any watches he made considered American? -Cort
I saw a Chas. Jacot tourbillon chronometer movement years ago that I am pretty sure was not nickel. I watched a friend of mine buy it in a gold filled recase for $800!
 
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Clint Geller

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Here is my nickel plated Howard # 23464. I have posted it before but thought it might be of interest. It is waiting for it stop work replaceme

View attachment 490716
Keith,

Nickel Model 1862-N movements SN 23,469, 23,471, and 23, 23,476 were part of a run of 20 nickel plated and ray damaskeened movements, and these three all have Coles resilient banking escapements. The factory records never mention whether a movement has a Coles escapement. Does your movement SN 23,464 have a Coles escapement as well?
 

Keith R...

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I never could figure out why the Rockford 15 Ruby jewel cost more at auction than this
21 Ruby Jewel Crescent Street. I like the nickel plates though. So here's my one and
only model 92.

Some jeweler put a bulls eye crystal on it, as it still remains.

Keith R...

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Keith R...

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Rockford model 2, 15 Ruby jewels.

Now I've got the one spot to clean, but it has been serviced and keeps perfect time.

Edit for Tom.

Keith R...

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Tom McIntyre

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Rockford model 2, 15 Ruby jewels.

Now I've got the one spot to clean, but it has been serviced and keeps perfect time.

Keith R...
Keith, what does the dial look like on your Rockford?

I have a 15 Ruby Rockford from Fred Selchow's movement collection that Denis has repaired for me and I just bought a case for it this evening. I was planning to wait until I had it cased to post pictures, but it is rather different from yours from the previous run sn 58601.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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Keith, what does the dial look like on your Rockford?

I have a 15 Ruby Rockford from Fred Selchow's movement collection that Denis has repaired for me and I just bought a case for it this evening. I was planning to wait until I had it cased to post pictures, but it is rather different from yours from the previous run sn 58601.
Here are the pictures of my watch in its case donated by cousin 66426.
IMG_3193.jpg IMG_3194.jpg IMG_3195.jpg IMG_3197.jpg IMG_3198.JPG IMG_3199.JPG IMG_3200.jpg IMG_3201.jpg IMG_3202.jpg IMG_3203.JPG IMG_3204.jpg
 

Jim Haney

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I think I would vote for Keith's, because the plates are sharper and the square in the middle with a rayed inside it, just looks a little classier.
 

Keith R...

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Jim, Tom's has the swirls around 15 Ruby area, plus hunter case and darnedest
balance cock I've seen. But thanks.

Classic Tom, I like the case and Denis did a great job!!!

Note to you both, Tom's case is pre-1885 (correct). Mine is moving to GF Pre- 1885
I had shown in the Hamilton thread. (it will still be a sidewinder though). Also, only
95 movements apart from each. Tom's is marked adjusted. Rockford sig spelled out,
mine just R.W.Co. and just 15 R, (mines the fast food version). :)

Plus 4 GJS for Tom's. Also, Tom's has Ruby spelled out.

Keith R..
 
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Tom McIntyre

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That balance cock and regulator are the "signature" feature on the 19 Ruby Jewel Rockfords. It would appear that the reason a lot of Rockfords were considered scarce was that the late Dean Olson and his son had bought nearly all of them.

The damaskeening looks much better with the watch in hand. I was trying to shoot for detail in the movement pictures.

Keith's balance and regulator are the same as found on the model 6 with the exposed escape wheel.

I am curious about the case mark that I tried to get some close up images of. It appears under my loupe to be an anchor with a crown rather far below it as such mark arrangements go. I do not recall seeing this combination before. The isolated crown is associated with both Muhr and Cronin trademarks. The Philadelphia mark is shown with a surround. The anchor is associated with Dueber but it is either tilted or has a rope wrapped loosely around it. (from Niebling's section on trademarks.)
 
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Keith R...

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I believe Dueber had an upside down anchor with a loose rope tied to the eye, dropping
back down toward the anchor, (their 25 year gold filled). I've got one or so around.

Sounds like the Dueber anchor partly.

Keith R...
 
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Keith R...

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This is a bit odd, I decided to go find one of my gold filled cases that has the
upside down anchor and rope tied to the eye, hanging down, wrapped around
the shaft. After a bunch of Jas Boss cased watches and GW Ladd cased watches,
I found it, on the Rockford 15 Ruby jewel, that's in post #39 of this thread.

Not the best night time photo, but here it is. There is no case name, just a case
number and that anchor in an oval. Best I could do Tom. I have more, I believe
my Illinois Railroad King has one, among others.


Keith R...

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Tom McIntyre

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The odd thing about this case is that J&H tested it for 10 karat. The anchor does not have the hawser and in addition, the crown is down there with about 4 times the heights of the two marks separating them, maybe more. I am pretty certain I have never seen that combination of marks before. The marks are pretty badly rubbed which I would guess is due to prior owners trying to determine the gold content.

Maybe someone has a case marked the same. It is not really all that important since the case is clearly correct for the movement.
 
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Clint Geller

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Hi Clint, Ref SN 23,464, yes it does have Cole's escapement and without the banking pins added to some of them. Here are pics of the escape wheel and pallet arm.

View attachment 502793 View attachment 502794
Thank you, sir! That run of 20 nickel plated Model 1862-N movements is the only run of nickel plated Model 1862-N movements known to have Coles escapements.
 
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