Canadian Watch Case Factories?

Robert Sweet

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Does anyone have a list of the watch case manufacturers that were located in Canada?

Robert
 

Kevin W.

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I do not, only can think of one name off the top of my head right now, Cashier.
Perhaps someone else has more names than i do.
 

Kent

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Here's tome:

American Watch Case Co
Sturdy (descendant of AWCCo)
Montreal Watch Case Co.

There was a maker in Toronto who used a Maple Leaf as a trade mark.
 

Robert Sweet

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Kevin,
Thank you. The "Cashier" was a trademark of the "American Watch Case Co". LTD of Toronto as shown below.

Kent,
Thank you. Do you know if the "American Watch Case Co." of Toronto had any connection with the "American Watch Case Co." of New York?

The ad below is from 1911.

Robert

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Kent

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Robert:

The American Watch Case Co. (AWCCo) seems to have been a Canadian company and all of its cases are believed to have been Canadian-made. However, this fact doesn't appear in their ads in The Jewelers' Circular - Weekly and Horological Review and the address of their sales office is listed originally on John Street and later on Maiden Lane, both in New York City. A [colour=red]1908 Ad[/colour] serves as an example. Canada, Mexico and the United States are all part of North America, hence the word "American" doesn't necessarily mean "from the USA." However, it is suspected that the American Watch Case Co. was so named as to give the impression that it was a U. S. company, especially in light of the fact that their plant location isn't revealed in their ads.

Some of their case grades are:
Cashier = 25-year Gold Filled case.
Fortune = Gold Filled case.
Empress = Gold Filled case.
Silveroid = Nickel Case

Regarding Sturdy
It seems that there was some sort of transition from the American Watch Case Co. to Sturdy during or after the Great Depression. Whether this was just a name change, a merger or a buy-out is unclear. Post-WWII watches have been seen in cases bearing the names:
Sturdy - Fortune = Gold Filled
Sturdy - Empress = Gold Filled, or Rolled Gold Plate
Sturdy - Derby = Rolled Gold Plate (The Derby grade was used earlier by the MWCCo, which may have been YGF or RGP)
Sturdy = Nickel Silver

An example of the difference in value between the Fortune and Empress grades can be seen in the prices of the Waltham Vanguard watch in either of those cases in a [colour=red]1953 T. Eaton Catalog[/colour].

Do you have a date for that AWCCo ad?
 
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rrwatch

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Here re a few more Canadian case companies from data in Roy Ehrhardt's "Trademarks" book:

Canadian Watch Case Co.
692-694 Craig St.
Montreal
Trademark: Santa Claus style hat

P. W. Ellis & Co.
31 Wellington St
Toronto
Case Grades:
Alpha
Banner
Regal
Sovereign

W. J. Gardiner Watch Case Co.
Toronto
Trademark: Maple Leaf

Goldsmiths Co. of Canada, Ltd.
Younge & Wellington Streets
Toronto
Case Grade : Peerless

Montreal Watch Case Co.
Trademark: Crossed swords with letters M W C Co. in shield.

 
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Robert Sweet

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Kent, Ed,
Thanks for adding all the really nice info.

Kent, the ad was dated Dec. 23, 1911.

The following is listed on page 54 of "Trade Marks" by R. Ehrhardt:

------------------------------------------------
"American Watch Case Co."
ca. 1857 to 1892
Sold to "Crescent Watch Case Co." & later "Keystone Watch Case Co". in 1904"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It (appears) from the above statement that the "American Watch Case Co." LTD, Toronto, Canada (may) have originated from the "American Waltham Watch Co." case department.

I know that "Crescent Watch Case Co." purchased the "American Waltham Watch Co." casing department abt. 1890-92 and that later (1903-04) the "Crescent Watch Case Co." was purchased by the "Keystone Watch Case Co".

Robert
 

Jerry Treiman

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I have been trying to explore the relationship between the two "American Watch Case Company" businesses. I have learned that the Canadian company was organized in 1885 and opened their main Toronto case factory in 1893. The U.S. case company was founded in New York City in 1893 by Henry Oppenheimer. Around 1903 the capital stock of the American Watch Case Co. (Toronto) was bought by Keystone, Waltham and Elgin. I believe that Keystone also eventually owned the New York case factory, but I do not have a date yet for this acquisition. I have been recording case serial numbers from both factories to see if they used a common sequence although I am not sure if that will prove anything.
 

Robert Sweet

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Jerry,
Thank you. With the information you have provided, I was able to research the "American Watch Case Co." of Toronto more deeply and found the information shown below.

According to the letter posted below, the "American Watch Case Co." was in operation from 1885-1939.

In 2001, the city of Toronto designated the former watch case factory as "having Architectural and Historical value or Interest".

Robert
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scottc302

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I have recently found a Monroe pocket watch at my Grandmothers house which has a Derby case marked "Derby Rolled Plate Sturdy Case Made in Canada". Is there anyway to date it with serial number 4725241?

Thanks,
Scott
image.jpg
 

MINI

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I have recently found a Monroe pocket watch at my Grandmothers house which has a Derby case marked "Derby Rolled Plate Sturdy Case Made in Canada". Is there anyway to date it with serial number 4725241?

Thanks,
Scott
228140.jpg
This should be posted as a new thread... and you need to include good clear photos of the movement and the dial.
 

Kevin W.

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There are no records that i know of for serial numbers on watch cases.
 

Kent

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Sturdy seems to have taken over the case grades formerly made by the American Watch Case Co., Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As such, it dates no earlier than WWII.
 

darrahg

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I have an open face 6s Sovereign case made by the P.W. Ellis & Co., Ltd., Toronto. It is listed in Ehrhardt's Trademarks book in the upper left corner of p.59. It has the maple leaf and gold filled impressions but no year warranty.

Sorry, I just noticed Ed U. listed the company.
 

Kent

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I have an open face 6s Sovereign case made by the P.W. Ellis & Co., Ltd., Toronto. .. It has the maple leaf and gold filled impressions but no year warranty. ...
P.W. Ellis & Co. Sovereign cases were guaranteed for 25 years.


attachment.jpg
(posted by orlimarko)
 

darrahg

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Now I understand why 25 years is not stamped into the watch. Thanks Kent.
 

onsite

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Kent, or anyone, do you know of any other P.W Ellis case papers with time guarantees?

I don't think I have ever seen one of their cases with the guarantee stamped on the case itself.

From the 1915-16 P.W. Ellis Catalogue

Regal - Solid Gold or Sterling Silver


Gold Filled
Sovereign 18s - SB&B - $10.50 (25yr)
Banner 18s - SB&B - $6.00
Alpha 18s - SB&B - $4.30
Dominion No pricing info provided


Ordinarily one would assume, based on the prices, Banner=20yr and Alpha=10yr except the Dominion throws a monkey wrench into that theory until we know where it fits in.
 

Kent

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Kent, ..., do you know of any other P.W Ellis case papers with time guarantees? ...
Sorry, not offhand. If I see one, I'll try to remember to find my way back here.
 
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Fred Hansen

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Figured this thread was a good place for this pic of a Montreal Watch Case Co. "Imperial" marking. Case is a heavy gold-filled 18 size swingout housing a Waltham Model 1883 with Canadian 24 hour fancy dial ...

136.jpg
 

Andy Dervan

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Hello Kent and Fred,

Do you believe these factories really existed manufacturing watch cases?

Canada was a small market compared to US and case factory requires significant specialized machinery, smelting operation, and expensive raw materials (gold silver) that it is difficult to believe investors would be willing to put up the money.

It would seem more likely an operation assembling cases from parts, also it would be cheaper from customs standpoint bringing in parts rather than paying duty on finished cases.

Andy
 

MINI

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Hello Kent and Fred,

Do you believe these factories really existed manufacturing watch cases?

Canada was a small market compared to US and case factory requires significant specialized machinery, smelting operation, and expensive raw materials (gold silver) that it is difficult to believe investors would be willing to put up the money.

It would seem more likely an operation assembling cases from parts, also it would be cheaper from customs standpoint bringing in parts rather than paying duty on finished cases.

Andy
We're not that 'backwoods' up here.... :D

I know that the AWCC factory on King St in Toronto did manufacture watch cases as i had a great-uncle who worked there during the '20's and I believe the PW Ellis location also manufactured watch cases as it seems he worked there also. I cant speak for any of the other places mentioned.
 
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onsite

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The AWCCo. factory was in a four story and basement brick building, 34 X 200 feet in dimensions. (Bsmt., grnd. and 3 floors = 34,000sq. ft.)

The basement was devoted to melting & refining, the ground floor to offices and machine shops, the first floor to turning , polishing etc, while the second floor was utilized for the engraving department and the third floor for plating.

The various departments were fully equipped with the latest improved tools, machinery and appliances, and operated by electric motors, aggregating thirty horsepower.

One hundred and twenty highly skilled workmen were employed.


Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 6.45.16 AM copy.jpg
 
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JON1964

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Just by chance I have taken delivery from Argentina of a Hamilton 940 18s which has an unusual Hamilton Monty 24 hour dial, which I was guessing could have been for the Canadian market. The case is rather nice, engraved with a swallow in flight, but importantly is just marked with a logo, a leaf design with the letter E in the centre of the leaf, and reads Banner, Gold Filled, and number 135083 which would tie in with PW Ellis and Co Toronto.
Will post shots when I get chance.
Jon



Kent, or anyone, do you know of any other P.W Ellis case papers with time guarantees?

I don't think I have ever seen one of their cases with the guarantee stamped on the case itself.

From the 1915-16 P.W. Ellis Catalogue

Regal - Solid Gold or Sterling Silver


Gold Filled
Sovereign 18s - SB&B - $10.50 (25yr)
Banner 18s - SB&B - $6.00
Alpha 18s - SB&B - $4.30
Dominion No pricing info provided


Ordinarily one would assume, based on the prices, Banner=20yr and Alpha=10yr except the Dominion throws a monkey wrench into that theory until we know where it fits in.
 
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onsite

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Figured this thread was a good place for this pic of a Montreal Watch Case Co. "Imperial" marking. Case is a heavy gold-filled 18 size swingout housing a Waltham Model 1883 with Canadian 24 hour fancy dial ...
Fred, if you are willing and feel the movement is original to the case I would like the movement serial number to try pinning down some rough dates on these MWCCo. cases.

Does the hinge rotate back so far that the crown could touch the dial?
 

Jerry Treiman

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Now here is some interesting reading on an old court case involving the American Watch Case Co of Toronto and the quality of the watch cases they were producing in the late 1800's and early 1900's... : https://archive.org/stream/cihm_08454#page/n5/mode/1up
mikeyt - thank you for the link to that court case. I had no idea the company had such questionable practices at one time. However, they must have cleaned up their act as I have a couple of post-1900 cases that I believe are honest, well-made solid gold cases. These have a maltese cross stamped in them, even on the bow, in addition to the gold marks. I understand that a large block of capital stock of the company was acquired jointly in 1903 by the Keystone Watch Case Co., the Waltham Watch Co. and the Elgin Watch Co. Perhaps that is when their practices improved.

AWCCo_mark.jpg
 
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testguy

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Here is an interesting P.W. Ellis watch case marked Regina. P.W. Ellis were Omega retailers, and I am wondering if there is a connection since Regina was an Omega brand name used in North America.
IMG_9250.jpg IMG_9251.jpg IMG_9253.jpg
 

Kent

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[main="P.W. Ellis & Co."]P.W. Ellis & Co.[/main] were more than a retailer, they were a jobber, selling on the wholesale level, as well as a manufacturing jeweler.

Since they handled the Omega line, its possible that they marketed complete watches consisting of Regina movements in P.W. Ellis' own cases. However, I think that its just as likely that, given the widespread distribution of P.W. Ellis cases, that particular watch was put together by some Canadian jeweler outside of Toronto.

However, this is the first time I've seen a "Regina" marked case and it might have been created to bundle with a Regina movement with the two being sold as a complete watch.
 
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testguy

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Kent, My thinking was a complete watch as well. I am not familiar with GOLD FILLED PAR QUALITY, but the case has similar characteristics to a Banner.
 

Kevin W.

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Any information on Derby cases, made in Canada. My Marathon watch i bought, has this case.
 

Andrew Eilers

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Jon - I, too, have a case with the same wording as yours..."Banner". Below this is a what appears to be a maple leaf, with a capital E in the center. The "GOLD FILLED", and below that is the SN 174114. Have you ever discovered the name of the company that manufactured such cases? Mine does not appear to be original to the Elgin G161 16s movement SN 6608585, manufactured around 1897.
 

onsite

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Jon - I, too, have a case with the same wording as yours..."Banner". Below this is a what appears to be a maple leaf, with a capital E in the center. The "GOLD FILLED", and below that is the SN 174114. Have you ever discovered the name of the company that manufactured such cases? Mine does not appear to be original to the Elgin G161 16s movement SN 6608585, manufactured around 1897.
This should help you: P. W. Ellis & Co. Catalogue 1915-16
 

Kent

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Yes.
 
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This private label 12s Illinois returned home recently, being a Model 3 Grade 405. It caught my eye in as much as the timepiece was retailed in Canada by the Eaton's chain of department stores under the "Birkdale" handle as is evidenced by the co-signed dial to that effect.

The movement is housed in what appears to be its original case. The case is marked "Chester" with made in Canada attribution.

Was "Chester" a model amongst others outputted by a Canadian pocket watch case company or was "Chester" a stand-alone case manufacturer?

Ill Birkdale Dial.jpg

Ill Birkdale mvt.jpg

Ill Birkdale caseInfo.jpg

Ill Birkdale caseBack.jpg
 

Jerry Treiman

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I can't shed any light on the "CHESTER" marking, but I am pretty sure the case is a product of the American Watch Case Co. of Toronto
 

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