Can anyone tell me about the Union Watch Company New York

Wynot

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I picked up this pocket watch a few days ago at a yard sale. The case is stamped A.W. Co. along with a rampant lion stamp on the inside of the front and back covers. The front, back and cuvette all have matching serial numbers. This appears to be a solid silver case (except for the button on the top of the crown).
The key wound movement is engraved with Union Watch Co. New York and a serial number. The dial is unbranded. I can't find much of anything on the Union Watch Company. Does anyone know anything about it? Is there a resource or database out there for these watches? Thanks.

PS The watch did come with an interesting chain. The chain has an unusual ring on the attachment end that is stamped COIN.
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Bila

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That's a Swiss Look alike based on a Waltham model "57", as for the Union Watch Co., could either be a fake name or belongs/was used by some Importer back in the day.

In saying all of the above though, some of these look-alikes work and can keep time very well when serviced and can make an interesting sub-collection for any person.
 
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Wynot

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That's a Swiss Look alike based on a Waltham model "57", as for the Union Watch Co., could either be a fake name or belongs/was used by some Importer back in the day.

In saying all of the above though, some of these look-alikes work and can keep time very well when serviced and can make an interesting sub-collection for any person.
Thank you. It is currently not running as the balance staff is broken but, that's ok. The sterling case and coin silver chain should cover the $20 I paid for it. I wonder if a balance wheel from a Waltham model "57" would be a suitable replacement. It's probably not worth the time and expense to repair but interesting, none the less.
 

4thdimension

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Certainly a bargain. I am wondering if the original owner was of, ahem, substantial girth if he needed such a long chain. A sterling case on one of these is pretty unusual too. -Cort
 

PatH

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Does the ring on the chain that is marked Coin unscrew from the cap to allow the ring to open, or is there another way to remove the watch from the chain?
 

Wynot

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Certainly a bargain. I am wondering if the original owner was of, ahem, substantial girth if he needed such a long chain. A sterling case on one of these is pretty unusual too. -Cort
The chain is 26 inches in length but doesn't have a clasp. It is built as a permanent loop so, unless the original owner wore the pocket watch around his neck, I'm not sure how that would work.
 

viclip

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The chain is 26 inches in length but doesn't have a clasp. It is built as a permanent loop so, unless the original owner wore the pocket watch around his neck, I'm not sure how that would work.
Is the ring small enough to fit through a button hole?

Is so then the ring could be inserted into a button hole & then looped through its own chain, the chain thereby becoming affixed to the button hole. Try it with an elastic band to see what I mean.
 

Wynot

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Is the ring small enough to fit through a button hole?

Is so then the ring could be inserted into a button hole & then looped through its own chain, the chain thereby becoming affixed to the button hole. Try it with an elastic band to see what I mean.
The diameter of the ring is about 8 mm so, yes, it will fit through a button hole. The winding key is actually smaller so, the chain could be inserted through a button hole from either end.
 

viclip

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The diameter of the ring is about 8 mm so, yes, it will fit through a button hole. The winding key is actually smaller so, the chain could be inserted through a button hole from either end.
So the outfit was likely looped through itself at a button hole if used as-is to hold a pocket watch.

Of course various attachments existed which could have been affixed to the chain but have gone AWOL in the intervening years, such as the "shepherd's crook" posted by 4thdimension.

In my opinion it's highly unlikely that a man would have worn this outfit around his neck with a chain circumference of 26". While it was fashionable in the 3rd quarter of the 1800s for men to wear their pocket watches hung around their necks, those chains were some 4 or 5 feet long. That would allow the watch to be positioned around waist level where it could be conveniently handled & seen.

Women also wore pocket watches around their necks but again tended to use such longer chains, also out of the practical consideration of being able to comfortably handle their timepiece while observing the time.

And in the interests of protecting their watches, both sexes would usually nestle the watch in a pocket around waist level, with women often just using their sashes instead.

You may find the book How the Watch was Worn: A Fashion for 500 Years
by Genevieve Cummins to be of interest. While it deals largely with how women wore their timepieces in days of yore, there is also content dealing with men too.
 

Tom Huber

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These early coin chains are highly sought by Civil war aficionados. I have seen them sell at regional marts for over $400.

Great find.

Tom
 
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Wynot

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These early coin chains are highly sought by Civil war aficionados. I have seen them sell at regional marts for over $400.

Great find.

Tom
This got me thinking. Is it possible the Swiss look-alike movement based on the Waltham model "57" is also Civil War era? If so, would it also catch the interest of Civil War buffs?
 

thesnark17

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Swiss fakes of the Model 1857 with Civil War provenance exist. These watches can only interest Civil War buffs if there is a documented connection to the Civil War (e.g. dedication inscription to a soldier). With Waltham, we have a dated serial list, so we can at least prove whether a watch existed during the Civil War (allowing one to collect generic watches that "could" have been used in the war); though many Swiss fakes were around during the war, they cannot be positively dated.

See, for an example, this thread discussing a Swiss copy of a very early Model 1857, and dated 1862:
Other similar watches have been mentioned in passing on this forum.

The level of skepticism displayed in the thread is appropriate for any watch that carries a Civil War inscription. Many fraudulent inscriptions and pieced-together watches exist. I do not collect Civil War era, primarily because I only know enough to know that I don't know. Very interesting watches, though!
 
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Wynot

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Dec 16, 2016
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Swiss fakes of the Model 1857 with Civil War provenance exist. These watches can only interest Civil War buffs if there is a documented connection to the Civil War (e.g. dedication inscription to a soldier). With Waltham, we have a dated serial list, so we can at least prove whether a watch existed during the Civil War (allowing one to collect generic watches that "could" have been used in the war); though many Swiss fakes were around during the war, they cannot be positively dated.

See, for an example, this thread discussing a Swiss copy of a very early Model 1857, and dated 1862:
Other similar watches have been mentioned in passing on this forum.

The level of skepticism displayed in the thread is appropriate for any watch that carries a Civil War inscription. Many fraudulent inscriptions and pieced-together watches exist. I do not collect Civil War era, primarily because I only know enough to know that I don't know. Very interesting watches, though!
Thanks! I appreciate all this terrific information.
 

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