cool howard turned into a hamilton?

Jim Haney

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Donor
Sep 21, 2002
7,470
2,757
113
73
Decatur, TN.
Country
Region
Re: Amazing

Kevin,
I moved this to the European section. I am having connection problems with the message board, so you may get this message twice.
Thanks
 
M

Michael R. Dutton

Re: Amazing

It looks like a Keystone Howard 10s movement ........... "Pat'd '21" engraved on the pillar plate along with the arrow and the ciricle with a V inside the circle. I am certainly not an expert, but this thing looks like it might qualify for being some sort of "Franken-watch."

Come to think of it..... looking at the origination country of the auction. Doesn't Vietnam pride itself on upholding patent and copyright laws? Of course, I could be wrong........
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kevin Scott

Registered User
Aug 2, 2011
570
9
0
Country
Re: Amazing

Jim, take another look at it. I think it belongs in the American section. Even though it is marked "Geneva".
Kevin Scott
 

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
7,317
5,063
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region
Very peculiar. Maybe they had never heard of Howard but when they looked it up found out that the name was bought by Hamilton? Hamilton is undoubtedly a better known name in wristwatches. There is a lot of refinishing effort there. But they did not even know that it is a 19 jewel movement (unless they broke one).
 

RON in PA

NAWCC Member
May 18, 2005
1,913
11
38
S.E. PA
Country
Region
Not only did they change a Keystone Howard into a Hamilton, but they also made it into a Swiss watch from Geneva.
 
M

Michael R. Dutton

This was also posted here yesterday, in a thread titiled "Amazing", by another user but was moved to European & Other Pocket Watches.

Maybe both threads should be merged here in American Pocket Watches.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Dr. Jon

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Dec 14, 2001
7,485
1,890
113
New Hampshire
Country
Region
My guess is that this is the work of an ETA trainee, a school project. Hamilton put their name on a few Howard movements to maintain a public awareness that they had taken ownership of the Howard name. ETA owned Hamilton and therefore Howard.

The jeweling is probably a conversion, a removal of the lower center wheel jewel to bring the watch into the jeweling style of top grade Swiss watches.

I suggest the person or people who did this knew what they were doing and had I seen this I would have bid more than it got.
 

Jeff Hess

Moderator
Gold Business Member
Sep 3, 2000
7,155
427
83
Florida
www.ballwatchusa.com
Country
Region
My guess is that this is the work of an ETA trainee, a school project. Hamilton put their name on a few Howard movements to maintain a public awareness that they had taken ownership of the Howard name. ETA owned Hamilton and therefore Howard.

The jeweling is probably a conversion, a removal of the lower center wheel jewel to bring the watch into the jeweling style of top grade Swiss watches.

I suggest the person or people who did this knew what they were doing and had I seen this I would have bid more than it got.
---------

That was exactly my initial thought!

Jeff
 

Larry Treiman

Registered User
Jan 18, 2009
3,290
91
48
So. Calif.
My guess is that this is the work of an ETA trainee, a school project. Hamilton put their name on a few Howard movements to maintain a public awareness that they had taken ownership of the Howard name. ETA owned Hamilton and therefore Howard.

The jeweling is probably a conversion, a removal of the lower center wheel jewel to bring the watch into the jeweling style of top grade Swiss watches.

I suggest the person or people who did this knew what they were doing and had I seen this I would have bid more than it got.


Dr. Jon, apparently you have some information about the Hamilton - Howard relationship of which I have always heretofore been blissfully unaware!

It has always been my understanding that Hamilton put the Howard name on some Hamilton movements (10-size 917, designated H917, and 14/0 980, designated H980. I had heard that they did so to protect their legal rights to the Howard brand name or trademarks.

I have never heard of Hamilton putting the Hamilton name on any Howard movements, but I'd be fascinated to learn more! Where would Hamilton have gotten the Howard movements? I was unaware of Hamilton having acquired any tooling or "in-the-grey" Howard movements along with the rights to the Howard name for watches. I think that would have been necessary if they had actually put the Hamilton name on any Howard watches.

As for the comment that ETA owned Hamilton and therefore Howard, that's another startling bit of news. ETA never owned Hamilton, though I guess you could say that they became relatives by marriage during the 1970s, when Hamilton was acquired by SSIH, which evolved into SMH and ultimately Swatch Group, of which ETA was just one part. However, Howard had disappeared decades earlier. And as far as I know, all Hamilton acquired of Howard from Keystone was the rights to use the name Howard on watches, as I mentioned above.

I'm looking forward to additional revelations on all this!

Larry Treiman
 

Tom McIntyre

Technical Admin
Staff member
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Ruby Member
Sponsor
Golden Circle
Aug 24, 2000
85,205
2,951
113
86
Boston
awco.org
Country
Region
I too suspect Doc Jon got a little carried away with all those relationships spread over time. However, I could imagine an engraving student being given the job of putting the writing on the movement.

The bulk of the casing of these 10 size movements into oversize wrist watches seems to be coming from the Balkans, but the cases themselves are being made mostly in China.

I would be willing the make a small wager that the entire job had been done in the last 3 years.

I wonder if the person that did it noticed any jeweled banking pins set into the corners of the well.
 

Dr. Jon

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Dec 14, 2001
7,485
1,890
113
New Hampshire
Country
Region
I my theory called it a guess. Mea culpa for confusion who really owns "Hamilton" and the names Hamilton owned.

However in buying Hamilton whoever it was may have gotten some Howard stock. They may have used it as project material for trainees.

The engraving looks to have been well planned and executed and I doubt anyone who took that much trouble would get the jewel count wrong. I donlt have the watch so I have no way to find out.

If done by a student as a project it was probably adjusted and probably a lot better than when it left the factory asdjsutment room (It may not have left the factory for a long time).

I have no idea when it was done.

I suggested ETA but it could have been a student affilaited with the Hamilton group, which is an explanation of why it was not signed by the person who did it.

I love this kind of thing

1) It gets me thinking
2) It's nice looking at least to me
3) We can enjoy speculating on what was done and by whom
4) There was no attempt to deceive any one.
4) There was not enough mioney involded for reasonable peopel to get upset.

I imagine this work took a very long time and produced a really fine timekeeper that will be a lot of fun to show off.

No mystical insight except that

Most of what a modern "Hamilton" employee might do is engrave a name on an ETA ebauche. More likely this too is done at ETA so I suggest it was done by an ETA trainee. If it was a design person the person who did it may have indeed missed the jewel count but it is also possible that it was done by a watchmaking trainee who actually did the adjustment. It seems to me that this is the kind of project I ETA or Hamilton would want one its new people to have.

Since Hamilton owned the Howard name and it may have come with Howard material, or they may have just found the movement somewhere. I associate the two names but it may have been coincidence that this is moverment they hadf at hand and it made more sense to practice writng Hamilton, a brand they use, than Howard.
 
Last edited:

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Gold Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,669
2,483
113
Country
... If done by a student as a project it was probably adjusted and probably a lot better than when it left the factory asdjsutment room ...
I wouldn't be too sure about this. That triangle inside of a circle with the arrow symbol indicates adjustment to temperature and five positions, and this from a factory whose products were condiered a cut about the usual watches.

... (It may not have left the factory for a long time). ...
Perhaps, but it was the 21 and 23 jewel watches that had the higher price tags and would have been the slower sellers.


... Since Hamilton owned the Howard name and it may have come with Howard material, or they may have just found the movement somewhere. ...
I think that it is much more likely that they found the movement somewhere as opposed to the material finding its way from Massachusetts to Switzerland and hanging around for eighty years. The E. Howard Watch Co. went out of business in 1930. and the wrist watch is believed to have been made recently.
 

Kevin Scott

Registered User
Aug 2, 2011
570
9
0
Country
I am surprised about the reaction to this watch.
To me it is a good example of what the Vietnamese are doing today with old watches. I have seen a few of them, and heard they are for sale over Vietnam. Often they take a ordinary ebauche and make a new case and sign it with a good name. I have seen cases with very good Movado and IWC logos and signatures. And with very nicely done new dials. And they sell them for under $100. I knew a Vietnamese watchmaker in Philly who used to regularly go back to Vietman and bring back and show me what they were making.

They have high quality tooling, as shown by this dial and case. Also quality machinery to engrave the movement, like this one, which is not hand engraved. All in all, pretty amazing what they can do, and for little cost-profit, like what this watch sold for.

Where they go wrong is that they really don't understand or know about what they are trying to knock off. Like this Howard that they engraved Hamilton, then proceeded to mark it Geneve with swiss type markings. A total mismash.

I would bet this watch never was in Switzerland, or worked on by anyone associated with ETA or Hamilton. Or any attention was paid to adjustments etc since it left the Howard factory unless by a watch repairer while it was still a pocket watch.
Kevin Scott
 

Larry Treiman

Registered User
Jan 18, 2009
3,290
91
48
So. Calif.
I my theory called it a guess. Mea culpa for confusion who really owns "Hamilton" and the names Hamilton owned.

However in buying Hamilton whoever it was may have gotten some Howard stock. They may have used it as project material for trainees.

The engraving looks to have been well planned and executed and I doubt anyone who took that much trouble would get the jewel count wrong. I donlt have the watch so I have no way to find out.

If done by a student as a project it was probably adjusted and probably a lot better than when it left the factory asdjsutment room (It may not have left the factory for a long time).

I have no idea when it was done.

I suggested ETA but it could have been a student affilaited with the Hamilton group, which is an explanation of why it was not signed by the person who did it.

I love this kind of thing

1) It gets me thinking
2) It's nice looking at least to me
3) We can enjoy speculating on what was done and by whom
4) There was no attempt to deceive any one.
4) There was not enough mioney involded for reasonable peopel to get upset.

I imagine this work took a very long time and produced a really fine timekeeper that will be a lot of fun to show off.

No mystical insight except that

Most of what a modern "Hamilton" employee might do is engrave a name on an ETA ebauche. More likely this too is done at ETA so I suggest it was done by an ETA trainee. If it was a design person the person who did it may have indeed missed the jewel count but it is also possible that it was done by a watchmaking trainee who actually did the adjustment. It seems to me that this is the kind of project I ETA or Hamilton would want one its new people to have.

Since Hamilton owned the Howard name and it may have come with Howard material, or they may have just found the movement somewhere. I associate the two names but it may have been coincidence that this is moverment they hadf at hand and it made more sense to practice writng Hamilton, a brand they use, than Howard.
Dr. Jon, I was just curious, because I had never seen anything indicating that Hamilton ever acquired anything other than the Howard name (for watches only) and maybe (this is speculation) the usual, nebulous, "goodwill". However, I have never seen much on the transaction, and nearly all I know about it I probably heard decades ago from a variety of sources that I couldn't remember now if my life depended on it!

All this reminds me of when, some years ago, the prototype for a Bunn Special 21-jewel "161B" based on the Hamilton 992B was being auctioned on eBay. I had first learned of the watch back in the 1970s, and it had impeccable provenance. It had belonged to Ernie Drescher, who had headed the design team for the "B family" of watches (992B, etc.), and it was being sold as part of his estate. The watch had been made up (my guess c.1939) to show to the top management in case they wanted to continue to offer a Bunn Special (obviously they didn't).

It was a really laughable to hear of some of the the speculation that was going on in various watch collector circles. I didn't read or hear much of it "first hand" but one of the funniest things that was alleged to have appeared on "another" MB that we don't mention was that the watch could have been a school shop project, and I'm not sure if they meant a horological school either. It is too bad that Mr. Drescher wasn't around to hear that, but I'm sure that the lucky NAWCC member who placed the winning bid got the last laugh.

Along the same lines, after Hamilton took over Illinois they did mark some medium quality, 16 and 12-size Illinois movements with the Hamilton name. Based only on having seen one at the Portobello Rd. market in London, and perhaps having seen some things (long since forgotten) that the watch might have been intended for export, I came up with the speculation that maybe Hamilton thought that it would be easier to get rid of some surplus Illinois watches in the U.K. as Hamiltons, where fewer customers would be aware of the difference.

I mention this "speculation" only to show that I completely understand why you enjoy it. I sometimes think that it would be fun to have a forum where people could speculate all they wanted on horological "what ifs" without having to be concerned that anyone will necessarily take it seriously.

Larry Treiman
 
Last edited:

Dr. Jon

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Dec 14, 2001
7,485
1,890
113
New Hampshire
Country
Region
I like my theory but I am sure Kevin's is much likely to be right. Very nice to learn an useful lesson so cheap. Thanks
 
M

Michael R. Dutton

I am surprised about the reaction to this watch.
To me it is a good example of what the Vietnamese are doing today with old watches............

They have high quality tooling, as shown by this dial and case. Also quality machinery to engrave the movement, like this one, which is not hand engraved. All in all, pretty amazing what they can do, and for little cost-profit, like what this watch sold for.

Where they go wrong is that they really don't understand or know about what they are trying to knock off.........

I would bet this watch never was in Switzerland, or worked on by anyone associated with ETA or Hamilton. Or any attention was paid to adjustments etc since it left the Howard factory unless by a watch repairer while it was still a pocket watch.
Kevin Scott
You said all that in a much nicer description of the watch than I said. But all-in-all it appears to me to be a Franken-watch from a country that has little or no respect for copyrights and patents. Otherwise, it is an interesting adaptation a Keystone-Howard 10 size pocket watch movement into a wrist watch case. Okay, maybe not a Franken-watch, but just something of interest.

Knock-off - Franken-watch: Is there such a big difference? The high quality machinery probably came from Russia or China and originated from specs and drawings of machinery originated in some other country..........

I guess I am just displaying a bit of a cynical attitude.....
 

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
7,317
5,063
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region

Forum statistics

Threads
177,734
Messages
1,557,860
Members
53,664
Latest member
00035Skip
Encyclopedia Pages
909
Total wiki contributions
3,061
Last edit
E. Howard & Co. by Clint Geller