"Keystone Watch Case Company" Key Wind Watch

Bila

Registered User
Jan 22, 2010
1,366
467
83
www.ozwatchstore.com
Country
Can someone enlighten me on the origins of the "Keystone Watch Case Company", was this a similar line to the "Illinois Watch Case Company", who contracted watches from various Watch Manufacturers to sell in their own cases for export?
 

Nigel Harrison

Registered User
Oct 30, 2005
799
193
43
Brisbane, Australia
Country
Region
Hi Bila,

All I can say is I have seen their private label on many different watch manufacturers pieces that is for sure. Most commonly on Illinois and Trenton from memory, usually low jewelled pieces.

I just assume they wanted to have another market option to make money and they decided to sell complete watches as well as cases etc. They must have been partially successful in this as I have seen a fair few of these movements over the years.

I have a really interesting and uncommon Illinois 14s early model piece from them from around 1880's which I have held onto for many years which has a two digit serial number on it. I would like to think their selling of watches started on this run hence the low serial number...and no it is not the jewel number. :)
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
7,336
3,861
113
New York State
Country
I have a really interesting and uncommon Illinois 14s early model piece from them from around 1880's which I have held onto for
many years which has a two digit serial number on it
Nigel please post some photos of that movement.

Thanks
Rob
 

Keith R...

NAWCC Member
Nov 27, 2012
5,766
2,489
113
South
Country
Region
Interesting, here's a Keystone key wind as a second generation case for an
Auguste Saltzman movement. Obviously the Saltzman lost it's gold case in
one of the many gold rushes, I would suggest a long ago gold rush on this
one.

Oddly, the cuvett chased holes can fit an E Howard N series key wind
movement.

Keith R...

100_2631 (800x600).jpg 100_2635 (800x600).jpg 100_2641 (800x600).jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: viclip

PatH

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Dec 5, 2014
2,112
1,558
113
Texas
Country
Region
Can someone enlighten me on the origins of the "Keystone Watch Case Company", was this a similar line to the "Illinois Watch Case Company", who contracted watches from various Watch Manufacturers to sell in their own cases for export?
Bila, there is an Encyclopedia page for the Keystone Watch Case Company that you might enjoy.
https://mb.nawcc.org/wiki/Keystone-Watch-Case-Co
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Keith R...

Bila

Registered User
Jan 22, 2010
1,366
467
83
www.ozwatchstore.com
Country
Thanks Nigel for the info and the picture of yours, I will upload pictures of mine when I receive it, a Keystone Watch (the non dust proof model) so one of their own in a Keystone Case, Key wind & set, 7 jewel, so in keeping with your statement of lower jewel counts. Thanks PatH for the link to the article, have read it before so a good refresher lesson, interesting thought that that encyclopedia article mentions nothing of their foray into fully cased watches, once again a bit like the Illinois Watch Case Company.
 

Bila

Registered User
Jan 22, 2010
1,366
467
83
www.ozwatchstore.com
Country
Interesting that that case has the same winding and setting hole configuration as a Howard Keith, didn't Howard originally source some of his jeweling and dials from the Swiss, if so it looks like his plate set-out was similar as well.
 

Tom McIntyre

Technical Admin
Staff member
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Ruby Member
Sponsor
Aug 24, 2000
83,864
1,874
113
84
Boston
awco.org
Country
Region
Keep in mind that the Keystone Watch Company and the Keystone Watch Case Company were unrelated.

When the Keystone Watch Case Co. signed a watch, they signed it Keystone Watch Case Co. like Nigel's example shown above. (Which interestingly enough appears to have been made by the Illinois Watch Co. which also had no relationship to the Illinois Watch Case Co.)
 

Bila

Registered User
Jan 22, 2010
1,366
467
83
www.ozwatchstore.com
Country
Yes Tom, the watch I am talking about is signed "Keystone Watch Case Company" (and is a Keystone Watch Company "Watch) and the case is manufactured by "Keystone Watch Case Company". I also have a "Illinois Watch Case Company" marked Watch, which is a 16s "Illinois Watch Company" manufacture in a "Illinois Watch Case Company" case, very interesting that you say there is no relationship between the two in the case of either examples?
 
Last edited:

Tom McIntyre

Technical Admin
Staff member
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Ruby Member
Sponsor
Aug 24, 2000
83,864
1,874
113
84
Boston
awco.org
Country
Region
very interesting that you say there is no relationship between the two in the case of either examples?
That is correct. If the watch says Keystone Watch Case Co. on the dial and/or the movement, it is one of a relatively small number of such watches that were sold by the watch case company with their name on it. These are mostly low grade watches. I suspect, but do not know, that the acquisition of the New York Standard Watch Co. ended the need to buy these movements from others. They also bought the rights to the name Howard for their high grade watches manufactured in their E. Howard Watch Co. subsidiary in Waltham. This provided an outlet for their highest grades of cases.
 

Bila

Registered User
Jan 22, 2010
1,366
467
83
www.ozwatchstore.com
Country
Yes Tom, it has the "Keystone Watch Case Co" on dial and movement and is in a old Keystone Watch Case Co coin silver case, the Illinois is marked "Illinois Watch Case Co on the dial and movement, and also is in a Illinois Watch Case Co Case and both from memory are 7 jewel examples in gilded plates. I just wonder if these were made for export, as the Illinois is marked USA on the movement and the Keystone is in a Keystone case fashioned similar to the British style pendant and push button style key wind cases?
 

Keith R...

NAWCC Member
Nov 27, 2012
5,766
2,489
113
South
Country
Region
Bila, as far as I know, E Howard never had anything going with the Swiss. Here is a
series III OF Howard case. Looks to be a tad off to the Keystone case above, so not
a good fit.

BTW, I got on this thread to begin with, because title said Keystone case key wind
watch.

Keith R...

103_6977 (800x600).jpg
 

Bila

Registered User
Jan 22, 2010
1,366
467
83
www.ozwatchstore.com
Country
Here is some photos of that Keystone Watch Case Co marked watch I was talking about, housed in a Keystone Case Co coin silver case with an Albata cap. By the way please disregard my previous info about the movement manufacturer above. Looks to be an Illinois made gold flashed movement, I.W.Co grade produced somewhere around 1887-88:)

WP_20180823_16_03_12_Pro_LI.jpg WP_20180823_16_03_36_Pro_LI.jpg WP_20180823_16_04_16_Pro.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Rick Hufnagel

Forum statistics

Threads
164,793
Messages
1,433,850
Members
85,803
Latest member
Chas99
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,863
Last edit
Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff