Ball Watch Co. private-label watches

Jerry Treiman

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NAWCC Chapter 52 - Los Padres (California) posted a Webb C. Ball biography from 1918 - https://new.nawcc.org/images/chapte...ted as Chapter 52 Articles/Ball Biography.pdf This biography recounts how The Webb C. Ball Company was actually a “composite organization” that included the Ball Watch Co. and Ball Standard watches, the retail jewelry store and the railroad watch inspection service. There have been numerous threads and discussions of the Ball Standard watches for railroad service, but what about the private-label watches that were marked for, and sold in his Cleveland store, just as any jeweler might have ordered watches made with their name for general sales? Many of these seem to be Swiss. Was there a range of styles, sources and quality or did Ball only sell the better class of watches?

So I wonder, skipping the usual “Standard” and “Commercial” grades from American companies, what private label watches do you have to show, marked for “The Webb C. Ball Watch Co.” or “The Webb C. Ball Co.”? Does the style of the name reflect a specific time period?

I can start with two examples:
Ball_Co_x2.jpg

The small one (10-ligne) is by Waltham from about 1910. It has a high-grade, specially-finished 16-jewel movement with gold center wheel and settings and a steel escape wheel. The case is the earliest example I have found from the shop of H.W. Matalene - case #124 - and it bears his 1909 patent, applied to a pin-set movement. The inside back of the case is stamped “The Webb C. Ball Watch Co., Cleveland” and the dial (possibly re-finished) is marked with the abbreviated “Ball Watch Co., Cleveland”. (The hinged back of the case is plain with a monogram).
124f.jpg 124m.jpg Ball casemark.jpg patent.jpg

The larger watch (17 ligne) has a very high grade 21-jewel movement “Made Especially for the Webb C. Ball Co., Cleveland” by Robert Cart. This watch probably dates from the 1920s and is an AWCCo. case. Cart is better known for his wandering hour, (or Heures Sautantes), watches made for Breguet and Vacheron & Constantin.
Cart_24054_f.jpg DSCN0628.JPG
 

Kent

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Jerry:

I'm surprised that the larger watch lacks a patent regulator.
 

Jerry Treiman

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Jerry:

I'm surprised that the larger watch lacks a patent regulator.
I have actually seen this - a simple regulator - on many high-grade Swiss watches.
 

Old rookie

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Here is a Ball/Hamilton PL for J.C.Woelfle of Peoria, IL Woelfle was a jeweler in Peoria for 52 years. He was born in Baden, Germany on 16 Jan 1843 and died in Peoria on 6 Dec 1919. He sold standard watches but I have yet to find any link with him and the Toledo Peoria and Western Railroad.
Note the center jewel has been brutally attacked by some evil watch gremlin.

50001436_1405110794.jpg Woelfle7.jpg woelfle4.jpg woelfle2.jpg woelfle3.jpg woelfle5.jpg
 
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