Cost of various pocket watch cases

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Andy Dervan, Jun 27, 2020.

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  1. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    I am researching Penn Watch Case Co. - I have an original 1891 catalog. The company was located in Philadelphia, PA was in business ca 1890's selling fully cased pocket watches by mail order directly to customers trying undercut local jewelers.

    It offered men's and lady's watches in Silver, Gold Filled, and Solid Gold cases with a variety movements from different companies.

    Two questions:

    What was the relative cost difference: Silver vs. Gold Filled vs. Solid Gold cases?

    What there cost approximate difference open face vs. hunter?

    Andy Dervan
     
  2. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    My 1886 Muhr's Sons catalog lists various cases and prices -
    H. Muhr's Sons

    Doesn't your 1891 catalog have prices?
     
  3. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    When I researched U.S. Watch Co. I noticed many advertisements in Jewelers' Circular for cases, but pages were difficult to print from microfilm.

    Company sold only fully cased watches with a variety of movements. Movements were not well described like 7 jewel Waltham or Elgin..

    It is difficult to compare prices.

    Would a Coin Silver HC be similar cost to 20 yr. gold filled HC?
     
  4. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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  5. John Arrowood

    John Arrowood Registered User
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    If you can get access to reprints of the Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs for the late 1890's you will find pages and pages of beautiful cases in various metals and the cost of a complete watch made up of the case and your preference of movement, such as Trenton, Elgin, Waltham, etc. The Sears catalog has illustrations of cases in coin silver, nickel, gold filled and solid gold. The Sears catalog shows 10 and 14K gold filled and some 10-year cases. And both catalogs have interesting products that could be ordered by mail: stoves, furniture, jewelry, clothes, shoes, tools, just about anything needed . There is an item in the Sears catalog telling how a gold filled case is made which I found interesting and a page with watch maker's tools and equipment.
     
  6. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Thank you, I can access original Sears Roebuck catalogs whenever I can get back to volunteering at The Henry Ford.

    The Penn Watch Co. catalog provides only limited explanation of their cases and movements being used, so I suspect the company was purchasing cases locally with their name on them. Company might have done some minor engraving or enhancements.

    Andy
     
  7. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

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  8. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Thanks Robert

    However, advertisements only illustrate completely cased watches not cases alone.

    Andy
     
  9. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

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    Andy,

    I may have missed one, but it seems that all of the Sears - Roebuck catalogs advertise only complete watches. They advertise James Boss cases, but include a selection of various movements.

    I have several catalogs from 1920 to the late 1930's that advertise watch cases only, but these probably will not help if you are looking for cases made in the 1890's.

    Robert
     
  10. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    I am looking for 1890s

    Just like today's advertising - they make it difficult to compare items because details on the cases is minimal and details on watch movements is just sketchy.

    I did find some information on Silver cases - the prices varied directly on the case's weight basically amount of Silver.

    Andy
     
  11. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

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    #11 Robert Sweet, Jun 29, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
    The link below is for a 1889 "Busiest House in American" catalog. This catalog is a little early, but you might find something useful in the several pages of watch cases.

    Robert

    13th annual illustrated catalog, 1889 ... containing illustrations and prices of a few leading and staple styles of diamonds, watches, jewelry, silverware, clocks, canes, umbrellas, opera glasses, gold spectacles, eye glasses, etc. : Busiest House in America. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
     
  12. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Thanks Roberts,

    Good information - the 20 yr. GFHC were almost expensive as solid gold cases. All the cases were highly decorated much different than plainer GFHC cases.

    Andy
     
  13. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    PatH, luvsthetick and viclip like this.
  14. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Hi Kent

    Great Piece - should probably start a new thread and show it. It highlights the jobber and retailers relationship and hints how individuals can not get around "the system".

    Andy
     

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