• For those of you who were having issues connecting to the Forums, it turns out that our modem was not functioning properly. We have replaced it now and the connection to the Forums has been restored. Thank you for your patience.
  • For those of you who were having issues connecting the Forums it turns out that our modem was not functioning properly. We have replaced it now and the connection to the Forums has been restored. Thank you for your patience.

Hartford Watch Co.

Jethrow

New Member
Aug 5, 2008
2
0
0
Have been trying to find information on this old 'Hartford Watch Co.'. The movement resembles a 83 model Waltham. But seems not exactly right. Is it an old Swiss "fake"? Or private Label? Serial#928356 marked 'Adjusted' and '15 jewels'. I have tried to search this site and Google but may have failed to understand the system here. Thanks for any help.
 

Jethrow

New Member
Aug 5, 2008
2
0
0
Thank you Bill for confirming my thoughts on this watch. If there are no further comments. Should this thread be closed or moved to the European Watches? Because I was not sure where to post as it resembled a Waltham.
 

samtibalfarst

New Member
Apr 20, 2009
2
0
0
I have so many questions for Hartford Watch Co. Serial#928356 marked 'Adjusted' and '15 jewels'.

This Serial I have of my watch Hartford Watch Co

http://www.ceske-kralovstvi.cz/watch2.jpg
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,508
1,907
113
Country
Hi samtibalfarst & Jethrow:

Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

Your watches appear to be of a type referred to as a “Swiss Fake.” This is a term used to describe inexpensive watches made to resemble medium-to-high grade American watches. They are marked with names similar to those of American watches, or with names that sound as though they should be an American watch. They frequently have a distinctive lettering style on their plates. Another distinctive feature is the lack of a fine finish on exposed parts, such as the winding wheels and regulator (which may be gilded). Many “Swiss Fakes” made to resemble 16-size, American railroad standard watches also have "21 Jewels" on the dial, in an arc over the seconds bit. This too, is in a distinctive (red) lettering style. These watches were imported from the last quarter of the nineteenth century through the end of the American pocket watch era in the 1960’s. On some, their jewels seem to be larger than on most American watches and they may not all be functional. The Elgin Watch Collectors Site contains a 1908 Article Describing One Such Watch.

Also in 1908, C.D. Rood, president of the Hamilton Watch Co. testified before congress during tariff hearings. The text of his testimony is Available Online (although you might have to copy it and blow it up a little to read it) thanks to Robert Sweet.

The markings on “Swiss Fakes” as to adjustment are not to be trusted. No American watches come to mind whose adjustment markings are to less than 3 positions, or 5 adjustments (heat, cold and 3 positions). Markings on “Swiss Fakes” may be 1, 2 or 3 adjustments. The deception occasionally goes as far as simulating a temperature compensated balance. On a true compensated balance, the rim of the balance (wheel) has two cuts, all the way through the rim, one near each of the two arms that support the rim. Sometimes, these cuts are faked by the use of a slot that goes half way through the rim. A real temperature compensated balance has the inside of the rim made of a different color material than the outside of the rim. A faked compensated balance is made entirely of the same material. Most “Swiss Fakes” don’t bother doing this and the balances don’t have any cuts at all. These are not to be confused with post-1930 quality watches whose anti-magnetic, temperature immune balances are not cut.

The Trans Pacific is one of the better-known, 16-size "Swiss Fake" pocket watches, while the Time Ball Special is a well-known 18-size "Swiss Fake." Another 18-size "Swiss Fake," named Howland, made by a different company, Exhibits the Same Style of Lettering and has another attribute which serves as a tipoff. It has an upper plate above the normal top plate. This is hard to see in the image of the Time Ball Special (visible in the manner in which the balance is recessed), but it stands out in the Howland watch, not only because of the recessed balance, but because of the way that the upper jewels are mounted. I cannot think of any high grade watches, American or otherwise, that have this arrangement.

Some "Swiss Fakes" such as the "Frisco Special" have locomotives on the Dial or engraved on the Movement. The nearly identical "Engineers' Special" Dial and Movement movement also bear a locomotive. Very few American watches have this embellishment and when they do, the locomotive will be of American design, not European, as seen on the examples shown in the above links.

In recent years, “Swiss Fakes” have come to appeal to some collectors. They have a charm all their own and those examples in good running condition, that have been serviced properly, keep reasonable time - nothing spectacular - but within a couple of minutes a day or better.

Having said all of the above, perhaps this thread should be moved to the European & Other Pocket Watches Forum.
 

Don Dahlberg

NAWCC Member
Aug 31, 2000
3,425
17
38
It looks better than most Swiss fakes until you look at the balance. It appears from the picture not to be split.

Don
 

blur1281

New Member
Jul 9, 2011
1
0
0
I unfortunately bought a fake also. Hartford #973384 "Highly Jeweled" 17 jewels adjusted etc =(
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,508
1,907
113
Country
Hi blur1281:

Welcome to the NAWCC European & Other Pocket Watches Message Board!

Would you please post some pictures of your Hartford #973384 so that they can be used as an example of what one looks like?

To post an image, scroll to the top of the thread and click on "FAQ," then scroll down to "vBulletin FAQ" and click on the "How to post images." Once in the "How to post images" box, go about halfway down to the statement "There are two ways to attach images while editing a post on the message board." and follow the instructions there. Note that there is no indication of attaching a file (picture) until you go to actually post your thread or your reply. The picture does not show up in the "Instant Reply" text box in which you've written your thread or your reply, nor does the picture appear in the "Preview." Once you see an indication in the "Manage Attachments" box that your files were uploaded, be sure to submit the post from which you opened the "Manage Attachments" box. If you don't, your files will not really be uploaded. You can test your efforts in the Just Practicing and Learning Forum. If you have a problem getting the picture(s) to load, check your file size and make sure that it is less than 500Kb. If it is, it should load to be posted. Too large of a file size is probably the most common problem in trying to upload a picture.

Thanks,
 

SCinBZ

NAWCC Member
Mar 14, 2019
20
1
3
49
Country
Two guys above with the same serial number watch. Add me as either the 3rd owner, or they made a lot of 928356 serial number
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
7,094
3,644
113
New York State
Country
Yes with these "Swiss Fakes" they were made to resemble medium and high
grade American watches. I guess it was easier to make them all identical
including the serial number. It didn't matter anyway it was a fake serial number
in the sense that they were an indication of how many were made.


Rob
 

Forum statistics

Threads
163,683
Messages
1,422,511
Members
85,047
Latest member
Elgin113
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,861
Last edit
Bread Upon the Waters by Tom McIntyre