I'm Back!

Steve Settle

Registered User
Nov 16, 2005
93
0
0
Hi All:
Couple years ago, a customer brought in a Howard watch to be restored to it's former glory. I thought the case back was interesting, so here are the photos.
Best Regards,
S 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg teve Settle
Bloomington, IN
 

Paul Sullivan

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 15, 2011
875
1,338
93
71
Massachusetts
Country
Region
Hi Steve,

Neat case! I'm assuming Mr. Polan was RR time inspector. I like the bridge movement on the watch. It looks like a 1907 model produced after Keystone acquired E. Howard and this may have been made by Waltham, which Keystone bought control of also. The caseback makes it unique. Nice.

Paul
 

rrwatch

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Member
Sep 4, 2000
1,495
590
113
76
Pooler, GA USA
www.antiquewatchmaker.com
Country
Region
The movement appears to be a Howard Series 5, made by Keystone Howard, not Waltham.
The micrometer regulator whip spring and lead screw are missing.
Not the original case, as it is NOT marked Howard, and there appear to be additional screw marks.
 

Paul Sullivan

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 15, 2011
875
1,338
93
71
Massachusetts
Country
Region
The reason I mentioned Watham because it does not have the arrow and star of a Keystone Howard in that serial no. range and Waltham made the 1907 models for them also. The odd thing about the watch is that it has a jeweled barrel. I haven't seen that in a 19j watch before. So maybe it has different parts in it.
 

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
7,270
4,815
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region
A small correction for Paul - Waltham did not have any part in the 1907 model Howard (nor the 1905 model). Waltham made what was sometimes referred to in Howard literature as the 1903 model. Also, Keystone never owned any part of Waltham, although they did collude, along with Elgin, to control prices.
 

Paul Sullivan

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 15, 2011
875
1,338
93
71
Massachusetts
Country
Region
Thanks for the correction Jerry. I've only been collecting for about a year and am still quite new. Collecting American pocket watches is like and onion; many layers! I mentioned this because Shugarts mention that Keystone got a controlling interest in Waltham and I saw that some E. Howard - Keystones were supposedly made by them and shows 23j to 17j models made by Waltham, with a few being bridge models. That being said I wonder what you think about Steve's watch having a jeweled barrel? So far I've only ever seen a 23j watch with this.
I've learned that you have to take Shugarts info. with a grain of salt also! Lately I've been trying to acquire some of Roy Ehrhardt's ref. books. I have the Amer. P/W id guide and the Waltham P/W id guide but what I'd like to get is his Hamilton guide, which is now very expensive on used book sites.

I know Keystone as a big case company, but am curious as to where they made their movements. I recently bought a 12s E. Howard bridge model and got the idea that it was made by Hamilton. Did Hamilton have a connection with E. Howard?

Paul
 

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
7,270
4,815
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region
Waltham made movements for E.Howard & Co. in 1902-03. Keystone bought the Howard name in February 1903 and Waltham continued to make movements for them until Keystone got their own movement production under way - first with a 3/4-plate movement in 1905 and then their new bridge model in 1907. As a member you can look up old Bulletin articles - I published some preliminary information in the June 1998 Bulletin (p.330-332) but have learned much more since then. As for the 12-size movements, Waltham initially made some for them around 1904 and 1905 and then Keystone started making their own 12/14 size movements in 1908.

Shugart did not say that Keystone acquired a controlling interest in the Waltham Watch Co. -- it was the U.S. Watch Co. of Waltham. Keystone re-tooled the old U.S. Watch Co. factory to make their new E. Howard Watch Co. movements.

Hamilton did not have a connection with Howard until much later, when they bought the rights to the Howard name in 1931, after which Hamilton made a limited number of "Howard" pocketwatches and wristwatches.
 

Larry Treiman

Registered User
Jan 18, 2009
3,290
90
48
So. Calif.
The odd thing about the watch is that it has a jeweled barrel. I haven't seen that in a 19j watch before. So maybe it has different parts in it.
In a circa 1909 catalog, Howard (Keystone) offered two versions of the 16-size, 19-jewel new bridge (1907) model watch. One version, made pendant-set only and in open-face or hunting style, had conical pivots with cap jewels on the escape wheel.

The second version, made hunting (pendant set only) or open-face (pendant or lever setting), did not have the cap-jeweled escape wheel or conical pivots. Instead, it had a jeweled safety barrel and it was noted that the "going parts of the barrel were ruby jeweled. The catalog specifically mentioned that the open-face, lever-setting model (with the jeweled barrel) was recommended for railroad men.

The reason (not mentioned) was that the watch requirements of many railroads specifically stated that in 19-jewel railroad watches, the two additional jewels above the basic 17 had to be in "the going part of the barrel" which meant that the jewels had to be functional when the watch was running, not just when it was being wound.

It is somewhat surprising to me that the jeweled-barrel version of the 19-jewel 1907 model was slightly less expensive than the version with the cap-jeweled escape wheel. It seems to me that it would be more expensive to make the jeweled safety barrel version!

Apparently, in later years that requirement was relaxed and some makers (notably Elgin) went to cap jewels and conical on the escape wheel or even on the pallet arbor in their 19-jewel railroad grades. Hamilton and (I believe) Waltham continued to use jeweled barrels on their 19-jewel railroad grades. Maybe the railroads dropped the requirement for a jeweled motor or safety barrel on 19-jewel watches because it was hard to justify when 21-jewel railroad standard watches weren't required to have jeweled barrels. Go figure!

By the way, if another reason is needed to show that the case couldn't be "original", note that the case was made by Wadsworth, a competitor of Keystone. It seems highly unlikely that Keystone would have bought an "original" Howard case from a competitor.

One more correction: Keystone did not buy Howard. All they bought was the right to use the Howard name on watches. The old Howard company continued in business making clocks. During the depression, when Keystone decided to stop making Howard watches, Hamilton bought the rights to use the Howard name on watches, probably to prevent such a valuable asset from falling into some competitor's hands.

Subsequently, probably to protect their rights to the Howard name, Hamilton made a limited number of wrist watches based on the Hamilton 14/0 grade 980 movement but with Howard markings. They also made a very small number of 10-size pocket watches based on the Hamilton 917 movement, but with Howard markings.

Larry Treiman
 

hans

NAWCC Member
Sep 11, 2008
12
3
3
Dear Steve Settle,

I saw the Howard that you restored with the AI Polan case. My father worked for Mr. Polan in the 1930's. Do you know the owner of the watch and if he might wish to sell it?

K Kittle
 

Steve Settle

Registered User
Nov 16, 2005
93
0
0
Hi Hans:
Highly unlikely watch would be for sale. The watch belonged to my client's grandfather, who worked for a railroad in the east somewhere. He was given the watch by his father, and will pass it on to someone else. He has done, what Kent, "That Guy from Georgia" says to do, compiling a history of the watch and it's owners. My customer had no idea this was a somewhat unusual case that you don't see everyday.
It would be interesting if you could share any information you have about your father's career with Mr. Polan, and any info on Mr. Polan himself. There are a few threads on the board about Mr. Polan - perhaps you could contribute more from a personal view.
Best Regards,
Steve
 

Paul Sullivan

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 15, 2011
875
1,338
93
71
Massachusetts
Country
Region
In a circa 1909 catalog, Howard (Keystone) offered two versions of the 16-size, 19-jewel new bridge (1907) model watch. One version, made pendant-set only and in open-face or hunting style, had conical pivots with cap jewels on the escape wheel.

The second version, made hunting (pendant set only) or open-face (pendant or lever setting), did not have the cap-jeweled escape wheel or conical pivots. Instead, it had a jeweled safety barrel and it was noted that the "going parts of the barrel were ruby jeweled. The catalog specifically mentioned that the open-face, lever-setting model (with the jeweled barrel) was recommended for railroad men.
Larry,

Thank you for the detailed post of the Keystone-Howard watches. That clears thing up for me.

Paul
 

Forum statistics

Threads
176,402
Messages
1,544,016
Members
53,286
Latest member
ferkor
Encyclopedia Pages
1,064
Total wiki contributions
3,031
Last update
-