Fitch's patent dustproof watch cases.

Tom McIntyre

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I8 size screw front swingout cases are rather plentiful. Most are marked with the date of Ezra C.Fitch's patent of Apr 22, 1879. I think some other makers may have still made them after Fitch's original patent expired.

Although the 18 size Silver and Silveroid are relatively common, these cases often appear in smaller sizes.

I will start off this thread with a "standard" example with a cap. There are several variations in the style of the cap and I think this is the simplest one.

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Tom McIntyre

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This watch is similar to the previous one except that it is in an 18K case. Otherwise it is the same implementation of the patent (but it is missing the screw on cap to cover the inner crown). This watch or one essentially identical (also missing the cap) was shown here on the forums some years ago.
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Tom McIntyre

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Fitch's patent was written to apply to watches in an open face case, but I think one of the patents included a reference to a design for a hunting case watch. This is the only example I have seen of such a watch and it is marked Patent Applied For. I have not been able to find a patent that would describe this watch.

This watch is a much smaller model 1873 6 size watch. It is in a closed cover case, but it represents some challenges when trying to examine it. With the front cover closed, there is a lip beneath where the cover lies and you can pull up on the crown (this one does not have a cap provided) and swing out the movement still covered by the front cover.
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Tom McIntyre

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The fourth example of Fitch's patent is an 8 size1873 model in an open face case with a dial that omits the sconds bit. This watch is much simpler than the HC example and is covered by the original patent for a swing ring case. This example has an Am'n grde movement with 16 jewels It is the best quality watch made in the 1873-8 model.

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BillyHelbender

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I just picked up a Waltham 1883 18s PS Bartlett in a swing out case like these. My case doesn't mention a patent and only says Alaska Metal. I think that would place it at Early 1900's?
Beautiful watches by the way! I love the capped versions.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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I just picked up a Waltham 1883 18s PS Bartlett in a swing out case like these. My case doesn't mention a patent and only says Alaska Metal. I think that would place it at Early 1900's?
Beautiful watches by the way! I love the capped versions.
The P. S. Bartlett watch at the beginning of this thread is an 1877 model. It is easy to confuse the 1877 and 1883 models because the shape of the cock and barrel bridge are similar. However, the 1883 is quite a bit taller in that design element.

If the watch has a serial number below 7.4 million, it can be dated pretty accurately. P. S. Bartletts were usually sold as soon as made and the start and end of production in each run are close together.

The 8 size Am'n grade shown above was intended for the high end of the lady's market and the run of 200 was in production from September 1880 to July 1887.
 

Tom McIntyre

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I put together a presentation of Ezra C. Fitch some time ago that discussed this material along with other patent areas.


Somehow or other I managed to forget I had found the HC dustproof patent - 224670 Feb 1880 Watch Case NY.

The primary drawing of the patent shows the face cover jointed to the body of the case with the swing ring also joined independently at 90 degrees. However the patent claims also includes the attachment arrangement in the watch shown in this thread with the face cover attached to the swing ring

Here is the USPTO link to the patent Patent Images
 
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mikeh

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Although the 18 size Silver and Silveroid are relatively common, these cases often appear in smaller sizes.
Interesting thread and examples. I have always had a thing for these cases, but they seem to house modest grade movements and they are often well worn.

I haven't seen many smaller ones, but as I learned with my 14s below, they can sometimes hide in plain sight. Had I not noticed the proportionally smaller size of the the seconds bit, I would have assumed this one was 18s.

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Tom McIntyre

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Interesting thread and examples. I have always had a thing for these cases, but they seem to house modest grade movements and they are often well worn.

I haven't seen many smaller ones, but as I learned with my 14s below, they can sometimes hide in plain sight. Had I not noticed the proportionally smaller size of the the seconds bit, I would have assumed this one was 18s.

View attachment 710278 View attachment 710279 View attachment 710280
Nice example. We now have an1874 model Fitch's patent case.
 

Clint Geller

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I8 size screw front swingout cases are rather plentiful. Most are marked with the date of Ezra C.Fitch's patent of Apr 22, 1879. I think some other makers may have still made them after Fitch's original patent expired.

Although the 18 size Silver and Silveroid are relatively common, these cases often appear in smaller sizes.

I will start off this thread with a "standard" example with a cap. There are several variations in the style of the cap and I think this is the simplest one.

View attachment 710155 View attachment 710156 View attachment 710157 View attachment 710158
That looks like a very thick, heavy 18K case, Tom. Any idea what it weighs?
 

Tom McIntyre

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It is heavy, but I have not weighed it. I will check it soon.
 

Tom McIntyre

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That is a nice example, but I think the case in the ad has a removable cap over the winding stem and the one in your picture is the improved version with the cap and stem permanently joined.
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luvsthetick

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the one in your picture is the improved version with the cap and stem permanently joined.
Tom,

Correct, the one I have pictured has the cap and stem joined. As I said in my post, as close as possible. My watch does have the same dial and hands.

At one time I had a case identical to the case in the ad. It also had a short cap (same design as the cap in the ad) and was joined with the stem. The case in the ad has a short cap.

In your posts, picture #2 of post #1 or picture #1 of post #15 your case has the tall cap since it has to cover a crown on the winding stem.

I could wrong but have always thought all short caps were joined with the stem and tall caps (like your case) were needed to cover a crown.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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I have a recollection of one where the cap was removable, but it did not look quite as tubular s my current example. The difference was that the top was wider than the tube and had some rounding to look (very slightly) like a crown.

I know I have seen one with a chain attached to the cap similar to the English Blockley watches made for rough environment exploration. I do not have any pictures of that one.
 
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