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Help choosing Erhardt Books

rjb13

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Hello, Ive tried to search for an answer to this, but I cant seem to find an answer to my question. I have several Erhardt books, the American Pocket Watch identification and Price guide book 2, and Foreign and American Pocket Watch Identification and price guide book 3. (pics of the covers posted)

My question is this.... I love these books because they are mostly period jeweler/jobber catalog entries, which really help me see price differences and hierarchy of grades at the time of manufacture, as well as great descriptions of grades. Are there other Erhardt books that are similar in nature, that use catalog entries? I think he authored other books with mostly serial numbers and movement diagrams, and those books are of less interest to me. Because he has so many books, i dont want to waste money buying books that I wont use as often. I also notice some of his books are just updated prices, and im not sure if they have new information in them, or are the same books with updated prices ie "1977" prices vs "1980" prices. I hope this makes sense.

Thanks in advance for any help. Also if possible, please post pictures of the covers of recommended books, so i can look for the correct book. (alot of his titles sound the same to me, so covers help!)

Thanks again.

20210722_064130.jpg 20210722_064154.jpg
 

Clint Geller

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A very valuable Ehrhardt book is what is often referred to as "the gold book," because it has a gold cover. The title is: American Pocket Watches: Identification and Price Guide, Beginning to End, 1830 - 1990. This book has nearly a thousand so called "EA drawings" of watch movements. It also has a long list of dial foot locations and movement weights by make, model and size of movement. I find that list extremely useful if you need to figure out what kind of movement a dial was made for, or if you need to estimate the weight of gold in a watchcase when all you are given is the total weight of the watch. You can often find copies of this book on ebay or at Amazon.com, but they aren't cheap.

If you are a serious Waltham collector, there is also a dedicated Waltham Pocket Watch Identification and Price Guide that you should want to have on your shelf. This book has various information about Waltham watches by serial number run.

And there is Ehrhardt's Encyclopedia of American Pocket Watches Volume 2, which is very useful for Waltham collectors in particular:

Ehrhard pocket watch gray book - Bing images

If you are a serious Illinois collector, you will of course want his Illinois book, in which Bill Meggers created a nomenclature that has become the standard vocabulary for communication among Illinois collectors ever since.
 
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rjb13

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A very valuable Ehrhardt book is what is often referred to as "the gold book," because it has a gold cover. The title is: American Pocket Watches: Identification and Price Guide, Beginning to End, 1830 - 1990. This book has nearly a thousand so called "EA drawings" of watch movements. It also has long lists of dial foot locations and movement weights by make, model and size of movement, which I find useful. You can often find copies of this book on ebay or at Amazon.com, but they aren't cheap.

If you are a serious Waltham collector, there is also a dedicated Waltham Pocket Watch Identification and Price Guide, often called "the gray book," that you should want to have on your shelf. This book has various information about Waltham watches by serial number number lot.
I appreciate the reply, but Im mostly need to find out which of his other books have jobber catalog entries. Thats mostly what im looking for. I tend to look up dial foot locations online as its faster for me. Thanks again.
 

Clint Geller

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I appreciate the reply, but Im mostly need to find out which of his other books have jobber catalog entries. Thats mostly what im looking for. I tend to look up dial foot locations online as its faster for me. Thanks again.
Sorry, I should have read your OP more carefully. Bear in mind, though, that jobbers' catalogs don't always list all the grades of a particular watch that were made, only the grades or kinds that the particular jobber was selling at the time. I also know of at least one example where a period sales catalog listed a kind of watch that was never actually made, a nickel keywind G Size Howard, and I'm sure that is not an unique example. E. Howard & Co. was one company that seldom named their watch models and they had no formal grading system until 1884. Perhaps there were others as well.
 
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PatH

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There is a Vol 1 of the American Pocket Watch Identification and Price Guide to go with your Vol 2. There are also annual updates that will have the year in the title. I just flipped through several of mine (1977, '78, '79 I think), and they seem to have updated pricing, followed by different catalog/jobber pages, copies of brochures, etc. Not to say there aren't some duplications of the extra materials, but for the most part, they do seem to contain different items. For instance, my interest is in early Waterbury Watch Co and New England Watch Co watches. Some of the updates include additional materials from these makers, while others don't. As has already been mentioned, there are also books specific to one maker.

If you keep an eye out, you can sometimes find these books at very reasonable prices. If you're looking at reprints or a photocopy, I've found that for the most part, they are quite readable, but you might want to see scans or photos of a few of the pages to ensure they are readable.

Others will likely be along who are able to provide additional insight as to differences that may be useful to you.
 
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Jerry Treiman

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I have Book 2 (1974) and the all of the "Price Indicator"s (1976-1980). I have never even looked at the prices and updates. Each publication presented new information and catalog reproductions. Roy traveled to many (if not all) of the shows and brought his camera set-up to take pictures of watches that other members brought. The Indicators for 1978, 1979 and 1980 have a wealth of photos of rare and special watches from the shows. I consider these and most of Roy's other publications to be important references for research.
 

ben_hutcherson

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The Price Indicators are, IMO, some of his best books for the sheer number of advertising cuts and the like in them along with photos. The pricing information of course isn't that useful, but it's a tiny part of what's in the books.

Encyclopaedia Vol. 1 has a lot of this too. Vol. 2("The Blue Book") has photos and ads as well, but is Illinois specific.

I often reference Encyclopaedia Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and the indicators specifically for factory movement descriptions and configurations offered, as well as pricing when new, which I understand to be what you're looking for. You will find it in these books.
 
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vintageguy

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I myself own Vol. 2 (Illinois) and Vol. 3 (Marion), as well as the Hamilton and Elgin Identification and Price Guides. Because I was inspired by this thread, I just bought a used copy of the Gold Book on Amazon and a brand new copy of Volume 1 on Ebay. Used copies of the Gold Book on Amazon can be had for $15 - $115 used depending on condition, and $250 new. Used copies of Volume 1 on Amazon can be had for $75, but new will cost you $920! However, I found one seller on Ebay with new copies for 59.99 plus tax and shipping - I think he has 2 left if anyone is interested.
 

ben_hutcherson

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I haven't checked recently, but Vol. 2 use to be tough/valuable one.

I lucked into my copy, or rather I should say benefited from someone else's kindness. Back in 2011, I went to the old Drawbridge show in Northern KY for the first time(Southern Ohio Regional, now in Wilmington, OH north of Cincy after the Drawbridge hotel closed). I met a bunch of folks for the first time at that show, including but not to leave anyone out intentionally, Bryan Eyring, John Cote, the late Larry Burwell, Terry Hall, Richard Warner, Don Barrett, and I know a bunch of others. I'd been fortunate to walk into the show knowing some other folks from my first show ever, Lexington, like Jim Haney and the Hansens.

In any case, I track down Terry Hall to introduce myself, and he says "By the way, I heard you were looking for a copy of the Illinois book:" He then proceeds to say that he'd bought a copy from Freddy Hansen that morning intent on having a backup copy for himself, but was glad to sell it to me for what I paid for it. It was a fair price at the time, but was one of my first experiences of paying what seemed like a lot of money(then) for horological books. I THINK I paid $75 for it.

I also bought my copy of Volume 1 and I think one or two indicators off Fred's table at that show.

Later on, I lucked into another copy of it that I bought as part of a lot of a couple of other books. It was actually nicer than mine aside from stinking of smoke. I passed it along to someone else who I knew was looking for what I'd paid for it.

My first copy is more dog eared than when I bought it, and has a piece of packing tape on the binding. Still, though, it remains one of my favorite horological books.

Vol. 3 actually took me a long time to find. I THINK Jon Hanson offered it to me when he got hold of a spare copy but may have that wrong. I know Jon's sold me a fair few books that were on my want list.
 

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