GW Ladd watch cases

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by peg leg, Jun 2, 2008.

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  1. peg leg

    peg leg Guest

    I had another opportunity to aquire a model 83 11 jewell from 1887 in an open face gold filled GW Ladd 18s key wind case. The different designs I find interesting along with the movements they house (so far Illinois, New Yorks, and Walthams for a total of seven). All have under the bezel the 1867 patent date. Some with the GW Ladd eagle on inner lid, some with the anchor for 25 year gold filled, some with the right facing head stamp, and some with GWL on inside lid. I have also seen these on Elgin key winds.

    I also received a wealth of information on GW Ladd KW gold filled cases from Jerry Bryant (thanks Jerry). I'm assuming that other key winds post 1867 wound up in these cases. Other examples or comments would be welcome. Keith R...
     

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  2. peg leg

    peg leg Guest

    Oops, forgot Hampden.........
     
  3. bernie levine

    bernie levine Registered User

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  4. oldmetal

    oldmetal New Member

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    I have a Marion with a case that only has G.W.L stamped in it. Were there any solid gold cases made? G.C.
     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The Ladd cases are all composition with gold and base metal. The patents include solid gold additions at wear points. The best Ladd cases are close to 9K gold. The marks described in the first post are both quality related and changes over time.

    My personal view is that, apart from intrinsic value, the Ladd cases are almost always superior in appearance to contemporary gold cases.
     
  6. oldmetal

    oldmetal New Member

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    Thanks for the info. The case I am talking about is a barrellcase very ornate key wind hunter. Thanks Greg C.
     
  7. dweiss17

    dweiss17 Registered User
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    It should be noted that the Ladd cases (gold filled) often contained more pure gold than the average gold filled cases offered in that period of time.

    I have had only one such case in my 46 years of NAWCC membership, leading me to believe these Ladd cases are not too common.

    Dan Weiss
     
  8. terry hall

    terry hall Registered User
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    Hi ya Dan!!

    No, not seen very often... but at the recent national there were quite a few Ladd cases just a few rows over from you in the Lancaster/Keystone collection that was offered for sale there... and many sold...

    probably the most Ladd cases I had seen in a while.
     
  9. Nigel Harrison

    Nigel Harrison Registered User

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    An older thread but I have some comments: I own two 18s Ladd Cases and they are truly superior pieces, one very close to mint condition which I don't think I could ever part with. The exterior presentation of these Ladd cases initially fool me when I see them for sale online as they look like a solid gold case, they must have such a thick external layer of gold, it is rare to see one with excessive brassing. I would agree with Tom to say that the amount of gold in these cases would be the equivalent of a low karat solid gold case. One thing I do notice on some or most Ladd cases is that the back of the case lids and dust covers seems finished differently and definitely not too the standard of the exterior finish, it is like a gold flashing finish and sometimes these interior areas do show some age spotting (possibly due to the gold being thinner and the brass reacting through?). Did Ladd apply excessive amounts of gold filling to the exterior of the case as he knew this was the high wear areas, then did a fairly basic gold filling for the interior of the case? It would have been a very smart decision and very forward thinking for the long term life of the case.

    Another case model very similar in quality but newer is the Elgin Pride case with its 1/4 content of 14k gold. I just picked up one of these at couple of weeks ago and can't wait for it to arrive, it too looks solid gold and has features only seen on solid gold cases, such as the reinforced stem extending from the outer case lids. It is a 16s Hunter with plain engine turning, but I could not resist it as it is close to mint.

    In regards to the Lancaster/Keystone pocket watches mentioned above, I have to say that a lot of those original pieces appear in some very high end gold filled cases. Did they factory case a lot of these movements as they seem to appear in the same trademarked cases a lot, I believe a lot of these cases were trademarked with 3 acorns and again look solid gold but are in fact gold filled. I have seen so many of these Lancaster/Keystone in these cases that their must have been some factory casing or some case maker with a very close relationship with the factory. They sure did seem to have spent some good dollars on these cases.
     
  10. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Nigel,
    I am not sure if you have seen these cuts before.. the acorn I believe is the Metropolitan Case Co and I have had at least 5 Keystone 18 size full plate dust proof with those marked cases.. The photos are from Ehrhardt's Watch Case Trademark Book..
     

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  11. Nigel Harrison

    Nigel Harrison Registered User

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    Thanks for posting up John, I do have the book but am away from home at the moment.

    I had not read the detail on the Ladd case there though, very interesting to hear the extra quality Ladd case was "half gold". I am guessing 14k gold though and not 24k.

    I have to say that I have not seen the Metropolitan cases used on anything other than Lancaster/Keystone watches, was this a case arm of the company? or an arm of Keystone Case Co?? or what developed into Keystone Case Co?
     
  12. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    You may find the Ladd Watch Case Co. Encyclopedia article informative.
     
  13. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    I was told some time ago that this was a Ladd case, but in the absence of a name on the case I can't say ?

    Mike 170-7019_IMG.jpg
     
  14. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Many Ladd cases carry this patent mark under the bezel.

    PatentMark.jpg
     
  15. Nigel Harrison

    Nigel Harrison Registered User

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    Thanks Kent.

    HUDD, Your case definitely looks Ladd quality, early Keystone cases also had some amazing quality like Ladd as well. Ahhh you can't beat the really early good quality stuff!!
     
  16. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Thanks Tom

    I never thought to look under the bezel ( blame age and eyesight ! ) I shall go and have a look and report back.

    Mike
     
  17. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi Tom

    I've now checked my Ladd ? case for any identification marks but can only find on the inside of the back cover a number ( 74850 ) plus a rectangular inset with a head in profile. No other marks, but as Nigel pointed out it does look to be a high quality case. If I didn't know I would say it appears to be solid gold as there is no brassing even on the winding stem. Could it still be a Ladd case ?

    Mike
     
  18. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    HUDD, I believe that mark is for a Ladd case. Can we see a pic?

    Tom
     
  19. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I agree. The head in profile is one of Ladd's marks but we would need a picture to be sure.
     
  20. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Many thanks Tom H and Tom McI

    Here's a picture of the head in profile from the inside of the front ( not back as previously stated ) cover. It's the best I can do I'm afraid as I'm not very good at photography ??

    Mike IMG_3904.JPG
     
  21. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    HUDD, Your pic tells me it is a Ladd case. Thanks for the pic.

    Tom
     
  22. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi Tom

    Many thanks for the confirmation. Much appreciated

    Mike
     
  23. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Many Ladd cases are gold clad rather than gold filled in the later sense of the term. They do not have a layer of gold on the inside and appear to have relatively light gold plating there. I suspect they cost nearly as much to make as gold cases, but were considered stronger/sturdier cases than gold cases were.
     
  24. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi Tom

    You've just solved another oddity with my Ladd case. Although the outside of the case looks to be nearly mint, the insides of both back and front covers are slightly spotted ( oxidization ? ), suggesting much thinner gold there. It ties in nicely with your observations. Many thanks.

    Mike
     
  25. jimpeghiny

    jimpeghiny Registered User

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    I have a national watch serial 199,011 (1872) with initials G.W.L in inner front cap plus G.W.Ladd's pat June 11 67. case is exceptional.
     
  26. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    I was originally attracted to a locally owned jewelry store by a sign in the window saying they bought unwanted jewelry and watches. I like how careful they are with watches when they get one and even replace the case screws into the movement. I have been doing business with them for almost 4 years now.

    Yesterday I got to save a great G. W. Ladd case and reunite it with its movement. I was 1st shown the 2 movements they had and when I saw the Elgin I said I wanted it. The owner indicated he still had the case and asked if I wanted to see it. I knew I wanted the case since Elgin convertibles require a special case. He went and got the beautiful Ladd case shown below. The Elgin grade 90 convertible movement is from the only run of this grade. Case and movement's divorce was short.

    DSC_0018-003.JPG DSC_0001-001.jpg DSC_0001-002.JPG DSC_0005.JPG DSC_0005 (2).jpg


    Whoever did the case back was quite an artist.
     
  27. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Great looking watch and presentation. I'm a bit of a GW Ladd case fan myself. The stamp can be found under bezel, stamped as an eagle in the rear lid, GWL, or the head facing left. I just picked up one similar to luvsthetick on a lever set Hamilton 924. They also made in early KWKS OF's and HC's, as well as lever sets. Having about 9 or 10 there appears none with the exact design, at least in my collection. Nice find there luvsthetick.

    I am soon to re-unite a couple myself. That peg leg guy must have been on to something. BTW, one can tell that's a Deer. I like the varying designs they had.

    Keith

    100_5930 (800x600).jpg duplicates (500x375).jpg View attachment 264808 100_5923 (1024x768).jpg
     
  28. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    Keith,

    Great collection!

    This is my 3rd GWL. Just wanted to show you what the rear lid stamp looks like on my case. I assume none of yours have a similar stamp unless you meant head facing right.

    THANKS!

    DSC_0007-001.jpg
     
  29. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #29 Keith R..., Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
    That is a first facing right I've seen. Got friend in NC with several none facing right. I'm glad you posted this info, (just kiddin), I'm back to key winds.
    They sure do hold up well don't they. Some I have like yours, we call them sock drawer watches, (cause they never left them). Keep your eye out for a
    hunter case version, as I will. If it's lever set, I'll PM you. Great looking Elgin luvsthetick, thanks for sharing in a great looking GWL case.............. Keith

    I might have a few I can put in my album "Some favorite Americans" from a sock drawer so you can see all the logos and guarantee stamps from 1867 on.

    Still ticking 100_5850 (800x600).jpg
     
  30. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    Interesting!

    Wonder if this has significance?
     
  31. onsite

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    #31 onsite, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
    This is the only thing I have ever found regarding Ladd marks.

    Ladd Case Markings.jpg

    luvsthetick, is that right facing case you posted marked anywhere else? The head looks to me like a British hallmark of some sort.
     
  32. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #32 Keith R..., Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
    Ladd paper (500x375) - Copy.jpg
    Eagles facing left, GWL stamp, persons head facing left, horse facing left, marked under bezel with patent date, G.W.L., 18, anchor pic.

    Some eagles. Third eagle head down and left, also all of these same watches marked with patent date under bezel. Keith

    100_4766 (800x600).jpg 100_4768 (1024x768).jpg 100_4794 (800x600).jpg
     
  33. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Oh, almost forgot. The earliest is a combo of G.W.L. and size of case. So this one is G.W.L. 18 about 67/68. Keith

    G.W.L. (500x375).jpg
     
  34. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    No. In fact there are no marks on the cuvette, not even the serial number.
    Just the rear lid stamp and patent date under the bezel.
    DSC_0004 (3).jpg
     
  35. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    Keith, thanks for the pictures.

    My other 2 Ladds are virtually identical. Both have the same exterior design and are 10s 4 hinge hunting cases. One houses a Waltham and the other an Elgin.

    Here are pictures of the best one.
    DSC_0002.jpg DSC_0003.jpg DSC_0006 (2).jpg DSC_0008.jpg

    Both have the patent date under the bezel, the letters GWL on front and rear lids and nothing on the cuvette.
     
  36. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    #36 pmwas, Jun 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2017
    I've got a Ladd 10s case with snap on bezel. So a newer model, I take it...

    xyzzytom_199460

    xyzzytom_199461
     
  37. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    #37 luvsthetick, Jun 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
    PMWAS,

    Nice case.

    Your Elgin must be a Frances Rubie since it has a double sunk dial. I think the FRs were the only 10s to get a double sunk dial.

    Hope you saw in earlier posts the pictures of the stamp on my 16s case and the markings on Keith's cases.

    How is your 10s case stamped on the rear lid?

    THANKS!
     
  38. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    It is a Frances Rubie. The case is marked on the front lid only: GWL 15062
     
  39. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #39 Keith R..., Jun 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
    I picked up another watch for restoration in a GW Ladd lever set GF 20 year 18s case with a mans head as shown in this thread by Hudd. It's on a
    Rockford KW/SW/LS 66XXX. Besides getting it running, needs some hands. Thought I'd post for luvsthetick and pmwas. PS, mvt original to case. Keith

    103_6466 (800x600).jpg 103_6490 (800x600) (2).jpg 103_6471 (800x600).jpg
     
  40. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    Very nice watch! Ladd cases really were good looking! I hope you find a morning glory KS hand, it would be a shame to change the hands style :)
     
  41. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    Keith,
    Outstanding! Lucky you. Another beauty to add to your collection.
     
  42. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #42 Keith R..., Jun 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
    Thanks guys, I'm starting to see higher grade movements in these cases. pmwas, I have a matching KW minute hand. Now I took the photo of this movement, but note the regulating needle was loose in the box when I opened it. The watch needs restoration anyway so I'll send needle/hand
    and watch off as next project. sn#66146. Keith

    103_6482 (800x600).jpg
     
  43. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #43 Keith R..., Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
    From my early days as peg leg, until today, I have enjoyed my association with
    GW Ladd watch cases. I have most all the 18s open case designs and one example
    for a lever set, but I have yet to acquire a GW Ladd hunter case, either in key wind
    or lever set. Today that has changed. I was not quite as fortunate as luvsthetick's
    latest Elgin, but do think I have at least a "sock drawer" watch as opposed to an
    unused watch. Here is one design that has alluded me for about 10 years and it's
    in a 25 year gold filled GW Ladd hunter case, note the eagle on the left lid and it
    is also marked 6/11/67 under bezel. The watch is in my album section for "Project
    Watches".

    Keith

    103_6717 (800x600).jpg 103_6724 (800x600).jpg 103_6733 (800x600).jpg
     
  44. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    I tried a few searches for "L Floom" 1874 in Illinois, the name in the car-touche, to no avail. Keith

    103_6744 (800x600).jpg
     
  45. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Keith, why do you call this a 20 year case? I have been interested in these for some time and do not recall anything from Ladd that referred to them that way.

    I think the outer surface of all the Ladd cases is at least the thickness of a 30 year case and likely much thicker.
     
  46. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #46 Keith R..., Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
    Tom this goes back on my early research, but I had read the GW Ladd cases with the head were
    of lesser gold guarantee than the Eagles and G.W.L. stamps. I probably, (and remember this is
    my first LS) was going back to my old key wind research on Ladds. The head is the same portrait
    in this thread by Hudd you responded to 8 years ago. All my other GW Ladds are key wind either
    eagles or GWL and marked under bezel. This LS has patent date under bezel and the head. If I'm
    incorrect that's ok, let's get it right in this thread.

    Thanks, Keith
     
  47. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I was hoping you might have some information on "warranty" claims for Ladd. I think there was no competition for years of wear when these cases were made. They are not really gold filled in the James Boss sense so far as i know.

    There may be differing processes, but my impression was that they are two layer gold over base metal with a light gold plating on the inside and that some or many of them have extra fillets of gold in the major wear points.

    I agree they were made in more than one quality level.
     
  48. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Here is part of my research problem, the PC I had and stored my research
    on crashed in early 2009 and I did not have off site back up. So, yes the
    process you describe is what I understand on the Ladd cases and it boiled
    down to medium/high quality (two offerings). The highest quality equal to
    between 9-10k gold but with a wear capacity much better than solid gold.
    The inner portions as described were some different type of gold flashing,
    if one notices such as inner cuvette and inside lids of Ladd case. I think you
    are correct on the exterior gold thickness with a Ladd, as I compare it to an
    early Jas Boss case shown in the last photo, (early case sn#). I believe the
    quality of the Ladd and the wear is a bit better than Jas Boss cases and if I
    remember correctly the actual gold content between the two leans to the
    Ladd cases. As one can see from all three examples, the first two photos
    Ladd, and the third Jas Boss all 18 size, the pendents seemed the first and
    most affected by wear on kwks. As always thanks for weighing in Tom. I
    hope to see a few examples on your site the next time I visit. Keith

    NY41.JPG View attachment 268562 100_3694 (1024x768).jpg
     
  49. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    Nice one Keith!

    Can't tell from your pictures but would like to know if the crystal bezel is hinged. I have 2 hunter Ladd cases and both are 4 hinge.

    Congrats on your find.
     
  50. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #50 Keith R..., Jul 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
    luvsthetick, your're to good, I knew I forgot something in that description. So I don't
    wear this thread out with photos, I'll explain. This one is a 4 hinge, this one hidden.
    Tucked underneath the bezel is a short hinge at the 12:00 position, If you look at the
    example there is a darkened mark about 1/4 inch long at 5:00, the slot opening for
    your finger nail or pocket knife. The bezel lifts directly up to 12 o'clock, so when I
    first open it I slide over to 6 o'clock to lift and shut it back in the normal manner.
    I 'm always careful when lifting on these. So yes the watch movement in it, is key
    wind back, key set front.

    Thanks, Keith
     

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