European Private Label Watches for the American Market

Ethan Lipsig

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Many Touchons were private labeled by leading jewelers, almost all in the United States. Some of these, such as Agassiz, probably should be classified as separate brands, rather than a jeweler private labels.

The most common private labeler by far was Tiffany.

It appears from consecutive serial numbers that jewelers often ordered watches in batches. For example, ## 43,759 and 43,820 all are both Tiffany PL Type TO5 in my classification, as are all the other examples I have seen in the serial number range. It is possible that Tiffany ordered a batch of Type TO5 movements that at least ranged from 43,759 - 43,820.

1. Agassiz

2. Asprey (English)

3. G.W. Baltom

4. Bailey, Banks & Biddle

5. Bigelow Kennard

6. Birks

7. D.E. Black

8. Black, Starr & Frost

9. Black, Starr, Frost & Gorham

10. Blair & Crawford

11. Boas

12. Bohm-Bristol

13. F. Bonnet

14. Boucheron (French)

15. Bunde & Untemeyer

16. J.E. Caldwell

17. Charles & Grave

18. Charlton

19. Davis & Freeman

20. Jos. K. Davison’s Sons

21. Dickerson

22. Donovan & Seamans

23. Arthur A. Evert

24. J. Ferrero

25. G.H. Francis

26. Gattle

27. Greenleaf & Crosby

28. J.C. Grogan

29. Gubelin (Swiss)

30. Hallmark

31. R. Hemsley

32. Higgins

33. Hodgson Kennard

34. T. Kirkpatrick

35. Maier & Berkele

36. Marcus & Co.

37. A. Newsalt

38. Nordlinger

39. Pequignot

40. Phelps & Perry

41. A.C. Routier

42. Ryrie Bros.

43. Ryrie Century

44. Shreve & Co.

45. Shreve, Eacret & Treat

46. Siegler Bros.

47. Smith Patterson

48. Spaulding

49. Theo. B. Starr

50. Stowell

51. L.W. Suter

52. Tiffany

53. Van Riper

54. A.A. Webster

55. Welsh & Bro.

56. E.A. Whipple & Sons
 

Rick Hufnagel

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This is a neat Swiss watch for Mermod, Jaccard & co. St. Louis.

It was up for sale for an age, and I finally got tired of staring at it, so I wanted to add it with it's Mermod Jaccard friends in my watch pile.

It's a lever set, stemwind hunter. About the size of an American 10s. Nice lever escapement. There are some scratches and the Gilt is a bit discolored around the edges. That big fancy gold minute hand is also M.I.A.
IMG_20200321_213515939.jpg
It runs, but I won't do anything to get it going perfectly till I figure out how it's going to be housed. I have some ideas.. but I doubt I'll ever find an actual case for it.
IMG_20200321_213618696_HDR.jpg
It doesn't say on it, or match any of the "Lady standard" movements in my MJ&Co catalog. It does match the description however. Makes me think its probably later... Maybe the latter half of the 1880s?? Just an educated guess from the stemwind mechanism which I'll explain. If you compare my movement with this photo, they look to have the same layout, just a modified top plate on the listing.
Screenshot_20200321-221452.png
Another reason I purchased this was in hopes to see a "live and in living color" version of this patent. (Borrowed from PWDB). A stemwinding patent from Justin & Samuel Jaccard Jaques that is mentioned in the MJ&co catalog
US117782-0.png

In this clip from the catalog, the lady's stemwinding watches all had a patented SW attachment from August 8th 1871. An earlier patent, especially applied to women's watches. Sorry this is tiny, you'll have to enlarge it to read. It was great to match a patent to this!
Screenshot_20200321-221404~2.png

The note from the Mermod Jaccard Catalog states that the design of the stemwind is constantly changing and improving, and in this instance it is very much changed and improved. Definitely a simple and solid set-up. Does not much resemble the original button set patent.
IMG_20200321_220933972.jpg


Guess I'll have to look for an older version!

Thanks for reading my madness, enjoy your weekend!
 
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richiec

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Cabin fever does strange things, I'm a watch guy but I bought three clocks last weekend because there was nothing else horological to buy. You can find them in an old thread in the recent clock purchases section. I like that watch, Rick, simple and easy to work on, no non-essential doodads complicating it. Good luck with the case, I guess you could always make a display figurine.
 
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Clint Geller

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Rich - I associate your case mark with Margot Brothers, but perhaps that name is a later incarnation of the same firm. The cartouche is, I think, distinctive. Here is the Margot Brothers mark in a case I have from the 1880s.

View attachment 460352
I have seen Howard Series I's and II's in "MB" cases with the same cartouche, and I always associated that mark with Margot Brothers as well. A separate roughly contemporaneous "M & B" mark also occasionally turns up, which I have associated with Mathey & Brother.
 

Springdale Ben

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Hi

Could anyone help me identify the maker of this private label movement? Signed Anderton & Eberhardt & Co, Dayton O (Ohio). Serial number 100590

Anderton & Eberhardt & Co, Dayton O - listed on Ticktalks list of V&C private label, but not sure this is V&C?

Many thanks

Ben

thumbnail_IMG_1228.jpg thumbnail_IMG_1227.jpg
 
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Jeff Hess

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Moderator feel free to remove, but I am going to cross post this interesting Tiffany in an attempt to figure out (or get opinoins) as to maker. The 5 digit serial seems to not really quite fit in with Agassiz or Meylan. Case is very bulky and Patek-esque but not even close, movement wise to Patek or V&C. I could be very wrong. Triple date moonphase btw.

thoughts?

tiffany18k.jpg
 

Springdale Ben

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Hi Jeff

I've been doing research to try and find out more about my Anderton Eberhardt & Co pocket watch (movement above).

I am not an expert on Swiss movement makers, but purely based on the serial number yours would tie in with Audemars Piguet known Tiffany examples. I've attached two Audemars Tiffany pocket watches with serial numbers 19742 and 19826. These watches date from date from circa 1917. If it is Audemars it may well be signed under the dial.

The serial number also fits with "European Watch and Clock Co" who made watches for Cartier and Tiffany in the 1910-20's.

I think the serial number would rule out Patek, V&C, Longines & LeCoultre.

I hope this gives you somewhere to start! I'll I come across anything else I'll let you know.

Thanks

Tiffany Audemars 1.png Tiffany Audemars 2.PNG
 

Springdale Ben

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Hi Jeff

I also came across this Audemars Moonphase Calendar pocket watch from a 2012 Auction catalogue, earlier date than yours but not too dissimilar movement configuration.

Ben

Audemars Moonphase Calendar.PNG
 
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John Cote

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I posted this watch a while ago on in the complicated watch forum but it fits here so I will post it again. There is a photo of similar looking watch with an equivalent movement on page 130 of the book, "Audemars Piguet" authored by Brunner, Pfeiffer-Belli and Wherli. So, I wrote to AP and their archivist confirmed to me by eMail that this watch with matching serial number (7791) on both the movement and 18k case was manufactured by AP and sold by them in 1906. They also confirm that the movement is an AP Calibre 18SMCRV. I have to say that the people at AP were very cooperative and easy to deal with and my thanks go out to them.

The watch was made for Touchon who sold it in the US with a private label engraved on the barrel bridge to prominent and early Los Angeles jeweler S. (Simon) Nordlinger & Sons. I collect and love high grade Swiss watches with US jewelry store private labels and have always wanted a Nordlinger so I am twice proud to have found this one.

The watch case is 48mm and the movement is about 39mm in diameter on the back. The case is plain polished with plain inner cuvette. The gentleman who sold it to me said he bought it an estate sale around 50 years ago and that it had sat in his bank box most of the time since then.

AP-SplitMinute_DialSide-Web.jpg
AP-SplitMinute_Mvt-web.jpg
 

Rick Hufnagel

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Hello guys and gals,

I found a book called "Industries of Pittsburgh, statistical and trade review" dated 1879. This book has become an absolute invaluable tool for Pittsburgh private label watches. I now have two to match the book, one Aurora and this imitation model 57.

Industries of Pittsburgh, null.
https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=691PAQAAMAAJ

Jos. Koenig, Pittsburgh PA!
It has a flat, unsigned dial

IMG_20200625_161522913_HDR.jpg IMG_20200625_161538773.jpg

The movement itself is in better condition than any imitation American watch I've seen in hand. It's a good looker. It has 11 "jewels". 2 each balance hole balance caps, pallet stones and a roller that actually look like real jewels, and the 4 clear jewels on the top plate.

Someone has loved it in the past. It has an alloy mainspring and is pretty clean inside. New dial washer.

Anyways, here is the excerpt from the book linked above.

J. Koenig & Bro. Watchmakers and jewelers, No. 579 Penn Av.

One of the most noticeable establishments along Penn Avenue is the tastefully arranged and elegantly stocked store of J. Koenig & Bro., located in the three-story brick building 17.5x50, and No. 579. This house was founded in 1865 by Mr. J. Koenig, with a capital of only $1.000. In 1875 Mr. August Koenig was admitted. Both gentlemen are practical and experienced watchmakers. Their average stock is valued at about $30,000, comprising a full line of Foreign and American watches, solid and plated silver ware of the latest designs, French, German and American clocks, rings, brooches, chains and fine jewelry of every description. Their annual sales amount from $8,000 to $10,000, and their business is steadily increasing. Fine watch repairing is the specialty for which this house is particularly celebrated. Both members of the firm are natives of Prussia, but have for many years resided in Pittsburgh.

So, an exciting addition to the hometown private labels! 579 Penn Ave is right in downtown Pittsburgh in the cultural district (theaters and such). Unfortunately, the building is not there anymore.

Thanks for checking it out and have a good day!
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Here is Mr Koenig all done up in new case. Running well and looks pretty good. It's a nickel pair case that came in a lot recently and I think this is a good match.

Should have shown these with the last post but the mainspring was putting up quite a fight. It didn't want to stay hooked on the barrel. The whole watch had to come apart (again) to get the barrel out..... So... A little frustration.

IMG_20200625_205532033.jpg IMG_20200625_205557161.jpg
 

Jerry Treiman

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I collect Waltham movements made for and cased by Bigelow, Kennard & Co. (Boston), but I could not help adding a couple of Swiss examples. I have shown these elsewhere, but they belong in this thread, too.

First is an 18-ligne Longines in a Sterling case.
Longines_18,65.jpg

Next is a 12-ligne Vacheron & Constantin (20 or 21j) in a Jeannot & Shiebler case.
VC_313350_f.jpg VC_313350_m.jpg

Here is a 13-ligne V&C (20j) from a little later (recased orphan movement).
345120_f.jpg 345120_m2.jpg

And a 17-ligne 21-jewel V&C in a Jeannot & Shiebler case.
VC345309f_replaced.jpg 345309m.jpg

Here is a lever fusee (movement only) made for an earlier iteration of the company (prior to 1845).
BigelowBros2305d.jpg BigelowBros2305csig.jpg BigelowBros2305m2.jpg
 

Rick Hufnagel

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I found my little Mermod Jaccard "Lady Standard"!
Its a nice little 15 jewel movement
IMG_20200728_153227047.jpg IMG_20200728_153259617.jpg

If you look at post #52, this is close to setting mechanism i was really looking for.
IMG_20200803_185146118.jpg





The mistake came in movement sizes. The watch in post #52 is about a ten size. This Lady Standard is something like 4 size. This particular watch is a lever, instead of the button set shown in the patent from the previous post. The Keyless works shows similarities, but its still an updated version. Looks like i have to find an even older one again!
 

musicguy

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The dial(dial signature) and movement on that watch are really interesting and I think a really
cool find. The case I would guess is a replacement but it fit's the watch well.

Nice find

Rob
 

musicguy

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John,
I could be wrong but I really think these are case screw marks.
I felt that way because his case screws have not really left circular marks yet.

DSC_0003ar.jpg


Edit to me the beauty of this watch is the dial and movement.
I've re cased many a watch too.


Rob
 
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musicguy

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Rick Hufnagel

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There may have never been an original case, as we think of them.

I've been working the angle that these are salesman display samples. Sort of the opposite of the base metal display cases used to show off movements. After speaking with a few collectors, I've been under the impression that these are used to show off cases as compete watches.

I've found no proof yet. If anyone has anything that could confirm it or prove it wrong... It would be great to see it.

If you search around the forum board you will find Trenton's, Illinois, and Swiss movements, all like this. Economical movements with watch case company names on the dial.
 

musicguy

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I like that theory Rick I was going to say promotional piece.


Rob
 
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watchATL

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I'll add my Bailey Banks & Biddle private label pocket minute repeater with so far unknown movement maker....love to hear your thoughts!

ser # is clearly 127953
I inherited a watch with a similar case from FW Bromberg (Birmingham AL). The face and numerals are similar to the posted watch above...the movement is marked "Swiss" and I've also been unable to identify the manufacturer.

20210315_133808.jpg 20210315_133442.jpg 20210315_125719.jpg 20210315_134129.jpg
 
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Clint Geller

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Here is Mr Koenig all done up in new case. Running well and looks pretty good. It's a nickel pair case that came in a lot recently and I think this is a good match.

Should have shown these with the last post but the mainspring was putting up quite a fight. It didn't want to stay hooked on the barrel. The whole watch had to come apart (again) to get the barrel out..... So... A little frustration.

View attachment 597392 View attachment 597393
Another Pittsburgh watch, this time with the h. Cool!
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Thanks Clint!

So many interesting watchmakers and jewelers in the area back then. I couldn't imagine the hustle and bustle of the Business district at the time!

Koenig was in stone throwing distance of both Kennedy & co( making their cure all tonic) and J.H. Johnston. It's neat to have watches linking all these fellows together.

Purple dot in Koenig, Red is Kennedy & co, Green is J.H. Johnston. Screenshot_20210315-145250~2.png
 

Jerry Treiman

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This is one I acquired since my last post. The ebauche has also been used by Meylan, but I am not certain of the source. It was finished by Robert Cart for The Webb C. Ball Co., basically for Webb Ball’s jewelry store in Cleveland, Ohio. It is marked "Extra Superior" ... and it certainly is. The case is from the American Watch Case Co. (New York).
Cart_24054_f.jpg Cart_24054_m.jpg

Ball imported many fine European watches for his jewelry store. I tried to start a discussion here - https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/ball-watch-co-private-label-watches.170749/ , but did not get much participation.
 
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John Cote

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This is one I acquired since my last post. The ebauche has also been used by Meylan, but I am not certain of the source. It was finished by Robert Cart for The Webb C. Ball Co., basically for Webb Ball’s jewelry store in Cleveland, Ohio. It is marked "Extra Superior" ... and it certainly is. The case is from the American Watch Case Co. (New York).

Ball imported many fine European watches for his jewelry store. I tried to start a discussion here - https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/ball-watch-co-private-label-watches.170749/ , but did not get much participation.
I have no way of knowing if this is true or not but an old timer once told me that Ball bought these from Touchon, who basically turned into an importer of Swiss movements and watches with HQ in NYC. People have argued against this theory but it sort of makes sense.
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Jerry, in post #77, you said "The ebauche [oy your Ball] has also been used by Meylan, but I am not certain of the source." I am guessing that the comparable Meylan movement design is D3 in my classification of C.H. Meylans, C.H. Meylan Serial Number Database.doc, as illustrated by this platinum Cress Arrow-cased example.

z Meylan Plat.jpg IMG_7965_edited.JPG IMG_3119_edited.JPG IMG_7966_edited.JPG IMG_6128_edited.JPG

Meylan did not designate any watches "extra superior" as far as I know. Touchon, in contrast, did use that designation. See Touchon Serial Numbers.doc.

John, the most realistic history of Touchon I have seen is Audemars Piguet & Co., Le Brassus for Touchon & Co., Geneva. No. 16,505, ca. 1913. | Coggiola Watch Roma, which backs up your account:

Touchon & Co. [was] a Geneva based retailer of high-grade watches . . . founded ca. 1907 with the expressed purpose of selling high quality timepieces to the American market. Nearly 100% of Touchon timepieces are to be found as originally sold in the United States. The illustrative site ‘Touchon-Watch.com’ contains some erroneous information [, p]rincipally, in failing to understand the role of established brands, such as Audemars Piguet, in the supply chain of watch retailers. During it early years, approximately until the early 1920s[,] Touchon & Co. of Geneva purchased high-grade watches from Audemars Piguet to resell as their own branded watches. At some point in the early 1920s, Touchon worked with the same ebauche supplier which furnished Audemars Piguet[] pieces (i.e., Louis Elisee Piguet et Fils –LEP) to manufacture [its] own caliber. After the manufacture of approximately 2000 pieces, the firm of Touchon & Co., was purchased by Wittnauer & Co. At that point the stock of Touchon pieces manufactured by LEP was co-stamped with Wittnauer’s signature (along with Touchon). Then new ebauches w[]ere developed, and finally before the closure of the Touchon brand, Wittnauer ebauches were signed with the Touchon logo.


However, I question the dates. The most typical Touchon movements clearly were made before the 1920s, based on earlier inscription, e.g., #40,167 has a 1911 inscription.
 

Alund

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This thread is for posting European watches that are made for, and contain private label markings for, the American market. Examples of makers who produced a significant number of watches for the American market are Vacheron-Constantin, Patek Philippe, and Longines.

When posting, please include photos whenever possible (obeying copyright law, of course). For the description, please provide the serial number, model and grade information, and any information you have obtained about the retailer who's name appears on the watch. The more information, the better. We would like to make this more than just a list. It will, hopefully, become a prime resource for private label research. Thanks in advance to all who contribute!
Hi. I have been sadly packing up my parents' home and found three pocket watches (the first is Keystone Howard solid gold I posted on another thread). Then I found two more!!! As I am completely new to this forgive any errors. These I think are Hodgson Kennard private label. One is clearly labeled Longines on the inside with 17 jewels. The case is 18k gold. Alas it does not work. The other does work(but is missing a second hand) it has Hodgson Kennard in barely legible letters on the face. Inside are the specs, the word Swiss, Golda and the initials A R with some engraving. The case has a squirrel emblem and is 14k gold. I've attached photos of both watches. Hopeful you can make them out as I think they apply to this category. The watches belonged to my grandfather and great uncle (engraved respectively)--and most probably purchased in Boston where my family is from. Please let me know if I can provide any more information. I'm new to this. Photos are attached.

IMG_0640.jpg IMG_0641 (1).jpg IMG_0642 (1).jpg IMG_0648.jpg IMG_0647.jpg IMG_0645.jpg IMG_0643 (1).jpg
 

Ethan Lipsig

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I don't know why the text in my post #79 is partially stricken out etc., but the correct text is as follows:

According to Audemars Piguet & Co., Le Brassus for Touchon & Co., Geneva. No. 16,505, ca. 1913. | Coggiola Watch Roma:

Touchon & Co. [was] a Geneva based retailer of high-grade watches . . . founded ca. 1907 with the expressed purpose of selling high quality timepieces to the American market. Nearly 100% of Touchon timepieces are to be found as originally sold in the United States. The illustrative site ‘Touchon-Watch.com’ contains some erroneous information [, p]rincipally, in failing to understand the role of established brands, such as Audemars Piguet, in the supply chain of watch retailers. During its early years, approximately until the early 1920s[,] Touchon & Co. of Geneva purchased high-grade watches from Audemars Piguet to resell as their own branded watches. At some point in the early 1920s, Touchon worked with the same ebauche supplier which furnished Audemars Piguet[] pieces (i.e., Louis Elisee Piguet et Fils –LEP) to manufacture [its] own caliber. After the manufacture of approximately 2000 pieces, the firm of Touchon & Co., was purchased by Wittnauer & Co. At that point the stock of Touchon pieces manufactured by LEP was co-stamped with Wittnauer’s signature (along with Touchon). Then new ebauches w[]ere developed, and finally before the closure of the Touchon brand, Wittnauer ebauches were signed with the Touchon logo.
 
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musicguy

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Nice find I've seen this Private label before a few times.

I fixed the name of the city in your post to Newark. :)




Rob
 

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