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Level of interest in Private Label watches

musicguy

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I know that it would be a lot of work(probably way too much) but it seems(at least to me) that
if Private Label watches could be filed by their State(and not just the Illinois examples) people could look up
their state(or one they have interest in, lived in etc) to see the watches from
Jewelers in their geographical area(maybe even their own city/town). You could still have this thread dedicated to
Illinois watches, but people would add their own watches to the centralized State
list. I know I would add all of my examples. It would be a centralized area for American
PL watches(non existent on the web at this time). I know that there are already too many suggestions and ideas
that would need to come first, and not enough time(by volunteers who already do great work),
but it may spark some more interaction/action on the message board.

Rob
 

Jim Haney

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Rob,
It is a good idea and yes, it would be a little extra work for our Moderator Dave Coatsworth. If you will volunteer to make up a list, first a list of all the PL in each thread and then you could arrange them by state, etc. and send to Dave by PM or email he could incorporate the list into the 1st thread of each company, Hamilton , Illinois, etc.
Then it could be updated on a schedule.

Look at Fred Hansen's post 90 in this thread.

https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/hamilton-private-labels-please-add-to-the-list.87442/
 
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Dave Coatsworth

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The only way I see this working is to have 51 different threads, one for each state (plus DC), that members can add their private label watches to. (Maybe Canadian provinces, as well.) These would automatically be kept up to date by virtue of them being active threads. They would not require anyone to make/keep lists and perform periodic maintenance, something that will fall apart sooner or later. If we do create the threads, we could have a "Private Label" sticky that has links to all the individual threads.

Another thought is to introduce another forum for Private Label Watches. Several European makers made private labels for the American market and we would want to include them. This would not necessarily be appropriate if the threads are in the American Pocket Watch forum.

Let's hear what others think. How much interest is there in Private Label watches?
 

musicguy

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I do think there would need to be a sub forum with 51 threads(as you said above), and as you
know I do think it's a great idea. It would be the only centralized PL database
out there. I would send a email to everyone on the forum(and NAWCC) and invite them
to post their PL watches in this format.

Rob
 

topspin

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I wonder what are we actually trying to achieve here?
What is the benefit (to whom?), and how to we quantify that against the cost, and against some of the other potentially beneficial / worthwhile horological uses that the available time / resources could be used for?

I guess what I'm asking for here, is a business case.
Doesn't need to be a massive, formal document - sometimes a paragraph or two is all it needs to get the point across.
 

Dave Coatsworth

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Topspin,
That is exactly what I am after - a business case. And, I'm not the one to determine it because, as a collector of PL's, I am biased. I broke this discussion off into a separate thread to see...

1. What members would want out of it
2. What format would be most useful
3. Given the desired format, is there enough interest in PL's to justify the work

...yes, a business case.
 

Greg Frauenhoff

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My two cents.

If people want to catalog PLs by state, etc., then go for it. However, I'm doubtful that a simple continuous listing of PLs would amount to anything unless something is eventually done with data. Otherwise it strikes me as a bit like compiling a phone directory of phone numbers that no one ever uses (other than to verify that someone has or has not seen a particular name/city).

And FWIW, I certainly like some PLs.
 

PatH

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It seems the Illinois thread was created for Illinois Watch Co. PL watches rather than a thread for Illinois state. Would we lose the ability to see the private label watches by maker if the were posted by state rather than maker?

Could it be possible or more beneficial to include a state name, dial and movement names in each post so a search function could be utilized?

I don't have strong feelings on how it's done - as long as people continue to post their pictures. To me it's wonderful to see the variety and examples of PLs, and it has certainly been informative and enlightening.

Pat
 

musicguy

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First, I didn't really think it all out when I asked the initial question. So
it's obviously a "concept in progress".

People collect PW 's for many different reasons,
and a connection to their city state or local region makes some people buy a watch that they
would normally not buy(outside of their watch collecting focus) . It it Horologically motivated, maybe not.
But for me as a collector I came across a turn of the century Illinois watch from the town
my son goes to college in and I bought it. I also came across a late 19th century Hampden from one of my favorite
historical towns(that I visit often), and I bought it. I did a fair amount of research about those watches,
and the people associated with them(even contacting the local historical society).
Not unlike the highly collectible watches that were used during the civil war(and their connection to history).
The Private Label watches connect the watches to local
history and people, giving them another dimension in collecting. They connect us to Jewelers, Railroads, etc
and tell stories that help us understand where they fit in to the society at the time.

But I do agree it may not be worth the effort when there are other valuable things
to research. I would think it would be self sustaining once it was set up. It's just
an idea, maybe it wont go anywhere. It seemed to be a good idea at the time.
If it turned out just to be a list, that may not be satisfying(or worth the time and effort), but if they also
included some historical information that would be interesting.


Rob
 
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Dave Coatsworth

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To answer Greg's concern, I would hope that members would deposit whatever research they have regarding the jeweler or retailer in addition to listing the name and city. This could grow to a significant repository since it would include all makes.
 

John Cote

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I wonder if we could do this with a search function? Make sure that each post in a thread has the state name in the title so that you could search titles with a state name.
 
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Kent

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John:

It seems to me that we would uniformity of state names for this to work. Posters would need to mention the state as perhaps all of these:
a) U.S. Postal abbreviation
b) State name spelled out entirely (and correctly)
c) State name as appears on the dial and/or movement
 

Dave Coatsworth

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The other problem we face with just using the search function is that we don't currently have private label threads for every maker. We have a significant one for Illinois and a pretty good one for Hamilton. We have the Waltham '83 thread, but that has been abandoned and was really nothing more than a simple list anyway. So, what do we do? Create a thread for every manufacturer and then rely on searching for the state by state info? Or, do we just start the state by state threads to begin with? (Assuming we do anything...)
 

Jim Haney

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I think it would be unpractical to start anything with 50 threads for states.

I will fall back on my post #2 and will Volunteer to organize the Hamilton PL thread with a list of everything in that thread, by state, and Dave can insert it in the 1st post and I can update it every few months and that will satisfy Rob's request to organize the PL threads, at least on Hamilton's.
 

Jerry Treiman

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One difficulty in trying to create private-label threads or forums is that these watches have too many ways to be categorized. Some people focus on a particular jeweler, some on a state, some on a city, some on a manufacturer. And as has already been pointed out, you also have the mix of foreign and domestic makers for many brands. Also, some private labels apply to several locations. I have seen another board where there were so many specialized forums that one does not know where to post if more than one category applies. I love private label watches, but I am not sure I would be in favor of a dedicated forum. The best way may be to just continue with individual threads, as we have been doing, and hope the search function can integrate these for anyone interested in a state, a jeweler or a company. If posters remember to use appropriate tags (I admit I have never used them) the search might be easier. The hard part will be getting people to search for a prior thread before they post.
 

Dave Coatsworth

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I honestly don't understand what you are proposing, Jim.

Actually, I think the 50 threads approach is the ONLY practical approach. It maintains itself. It also provides a place for ANY brand of watch, which we don't have today.

The problem with relying on the search function is that it only points you to the thread containing the search words. For a thread like the Illinois thread, you still need to look through 1000 posts.
 

Jim Haney

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I honestly don't understand what you are proposing, Jim.

Actually, I think the 50 threads approach is the ONLY practical approach. It maintains itself. It also provides a place for ANY brand of watch, which we don't have today.

The problem with relying on the search function is that it only points you to the thread containing the search words. For a thread like the Illinois thread, you still need to look through 1000 posts.

I didn't think it was that hard to understand?

Example would be what you have stated about 1000 posts on the Illinois thread.

If someone made a list of those 1000 posts and organized them by state and you posted it in the 1st post you would have an INDEX of states for anyone to see.
 

Dave Coatsworth

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OK, I get it. I don't see how that offers much value over just searching, however. It also doesn't solve the problem that we don't have threads for some manufacturers, so we still need more threads.

Personally, I would like to do the '50 threads' approach.
 

ben_hutcherson

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Whatever the case, I am willing to contribute all I have on KY PLs as time allows.

I have a lot of PLs, but aside from interesting/high grade/rare for the grade or model my main focus is in Kentucky. I did a presentation on them at a regional a few years ago and have since expanded my research. I'm also have some plans to sit down with a friend who is "eventually" going to re-write the Kentucky silversmith book and hammer out information with him, but for now that's what I have.
 

Tom McIntyre

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We could turn on the thread prefix feature and have the states as an option. We can also have makers as an option so you could say Columbus PL Nebraska then the tile of the thread. If we did that, the reader could select to display only the threads with the prefix(es) they selected in the view options. I am not sure what is needed to make that work properly since it has been turned off.

An alternative is tags. We could have pre-defined tags for each state or other region, similar to our flags and people could enter arbitrary tags for towns as well. I do not see the tag feature here at the moment, so you probably need to select more options to see it.

Nope, nothing here either. It may only be enabled at the thread level.
 

Tom McIntyre

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I think I have figured this out as well as it can be done. There is no mechanism for marking posts in a thread except by content. On vBulletin, each post could have its own title, but with Xenforo, the unit is the thread and message titles are not supported.

However, you can, while viewing a thread select the search function and check "search this thread only." I believe that was probably what Dave meant with just use search. For example, if I search the Hamilton Private Label thread for iowa I get this result:
upload_2018-1-22_16-46-31.png
If I search the Illinois Private label thread for Kansas, I get this result.
upload_2018-1-22_16-50-24.png
The results are much longer than shown in both cases.
 

Jim Haney

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Tom,
The 3rd Download attachment makes me go my download files in the computer to download it to see it?

This would be an easier way to organize the Hamilton & Illinois threads as I have suggested.

Until some decision is made about this Private Label information, I was only suggesting a good way to organize what we have now, not the future.
 

PatH

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Tom seems to be going the direction I had wondered about. I guess the question is....what are individuals normally looking for? PLs by state, or PLs by maker? Either way, some consistency in state, city and name (dial and movement) entry would be beneficial. Just my 2 cents.

Thanks for looking for a good solution.
 

Tom McIntyre

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Tom,
The 3rd Download attachment makes me go my download files in the computer to download it to see it?

This would be an easier way to organize the Hamilton & Illinois threads as I have suggested.

Until some decision is made about this Private Label information, I was only suggesting a good way to organize what we have now, not the future.
The notation on this site provides a thumbnail to view each of the screen captures, or a download button to download both of them. Normally, I would just click on one of the thumbnails and view them in the lightbox. If they are not clear enough to read, I click the image a second time to enlarge it in its own window and perhaps a third click to make it full size. The other image in this case remains in the light box and I can click on it also.

If you execute the search itself, each of the responses has a link to the actual post. The second line shows the text in the body of that message centered on the word you used for the search. i.e. the name of the state. To avoid losing the list, you need to right click on the link and open the target in a new tab or window. I suspect most people would not bother to try to save the search results since you always get a currently up to date result when you do it the next time.
 

Dave Coatsworth

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OK, shall we just rely on the search function and see how that works? There are two things I would like to do...

1. Make a sticky for "Private Label Research", that includes links to all of the private label threads. Also, some instructions on what information to include in your private label post. I'll also include some of the 'research resources' information from the private label presentation I just gave to Chapter 190.
2. Start a few more private label threads for watches that don't exist today, such as Waltham (we have the '83 thread, but no general thread that I know of), Hampden, foreign for the U.S. market, smaller watch companies.

Sound OK?
 

PatH

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Although not private label, do you think there is sufficient interest to have a thread for dollar watches with advertising dials or cases?
 

Tom McIntyre

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We might want to lump all dollar watches and ads for/with them together with an introduction that suggests searching for various combinations. Would that be too complicated?
 

PatH

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We might want to lump all dollar watches and ads for/with them together with an introduction that suggests searching for various combinations. Would that be too complicated?
Works for me, especially since many of the early ones had trade cards, booklets, etc. that were "part of the package." I can't recall what is included under dollar watches in the encyclopedia, but it might warrant including a link to the encyclopedia in the introduction?

Thanks, Tom!
 

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OK, shall we just rely on the search function and see how that works? There are two things I would like to do...

1. Make a sticky for "Private Label Research", that includes links to all of the private label threads. Also, some instructions on what information to include in your private label post. I'll also include some of the 'research resources' information from the private label presentation I just gave to Chapter 190.
2. Start a few more private label threads for watches that don't exist today, such as Waltham (we have the '83 thread, but no general thread that I know of), Hampden, foreign for the U.S. market, smaller watch companies.

Sound OK?
That sounds just fine!
 

musicguy

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We all know that there are many different motivations behind buying private label watches, but
I have found(from reading many posts here) that many people
just like to see a watch that was sold by a jeweler locally to them(regardless of the Company, but even better if it's a company they like).
I've seen it here and also in the UK PW forum about UK Fusee jeweler marked watches.
I've seen many people in the clock section who only collect Clocks from their own
geographical area(and have met many of these at local marts).
Other people are Company specific and collect just Illinois or Hamilton or Waltham PL's only(or other Companies)
This is why I originally talked about a geographical search mechanism because I may not want to
look through 25 pages of Illinois watches from all over the USA to find the one I'm looking
for. As of now, finding something using the search feature here does work
"kind of" but in reality it's not always that great because the older posts are not tagged, or titled
well enough to search them out, and some of them are in threads pages and pages long.
Making PL a sticky with "instructions on what information to include in your private label post"
is a great start.

Rob
 

Jerry Treiman

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I appreciate the energy and enthusiasm going into this effort, but I also see some aspects of it that are going to be awkward.

One of my favorite PLs is the Boston jeweler Bigelow, Kennard & Co. Posting examples of their watches would require posts under Waltham, Vacheron & Constantin, Longines and some anonymous English makers. A fan of Mermod, Jaccard & Co. will be posting under Illinois, Elgin, Hamilton and some Swiss makers. “ELITE” watches were made by Elgin, Waltham and Illinois. You get the idea ... Hopefully the tags or other key words will allow a searcher to find them all. But someone might have wished to discuss all the variants under one topic. Cross reference to other threads will become a necessity.

Do we hope to have any comment or discussion when we post a PL watch? With numerous posts about different examples in the same thread, comments will often be separated from the post they are a response to. Successive posts may not relate to each other and attempts at discussion of an individual item may be quite difficult.

What if a newbie, or even someone with more experience, does not know who made the particular PL movement? How will they know which thread to use?

Maybe I am just being a humbug and none of this will matter.
 

Dave Coatsworth

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Hi Jerry,
I don't think anyone would object to starting a separate private label thread on a major retailer. We can add these to the private label sticky. I think it would be great if you started a thread on Bigelow, Kennard & Co. Perhaps I should start one for the Jaccard family.

As far as the newbie and what thread to use, we have always had that problem. Hopefully it is better now that we have near complete coverage of the American watch companies. (I can add more of the minor companies as they come up.) In any case, if they post in the wrong thread or start a new thread, I can move the post.
 

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Before all the PL lists are constructed, it might be a good idea to scour other sources for them. There are many threads on this site that have PLs but are diluted into various topics. Fred Hansen and Greg Frauenhoff are a couple of members that have listed many PLs previously and I am sure there are others as well. There are also lists made by a few outside of this site that might be available for combining, with the author's permission, into sticky lists for a grand beginning. John Fogarty made PL lists of Elgin and Rockford watches that have hundreds of records in them. It might be worth contacting John and persons like him for permission to use instead reinventing the wheel. These authors would and should be recognized for their work. Admittedly John's work is out of date, at least the ones I have since I have added a few hundred (Rockford) of my own, but would really be a good beginning for the stickys. Chapter 149 has had members collating information like this and it might be worth investigating this source as well. I mention this since I feel that much information is already available but not in a suitable unified form (format) which is what appears to be the goal. I am not a serious PL person and only track them since many of the watches are what I find to be unique in plate finishes and worth collecting for that purpose.
 

musicguy

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Hey Dave:
If we had posted some private label pocket watches(in the past) in their own threads
do you want people to repost(duplicate) them again in their correct category(Company Specific) thread.
There are many of these on the message board(from different members, including myself).
Or, should we just post photographs of the watch, and a link it to the other existing
thread(with it's group discussion) of that watch? Hope that made sense.

Also I've noticed that in the long existing threads on PL's there is less discussion
of the watches posted vs when posted in their own threads. And if people do discuss
each PL posted in the longer threads they may get too big(long) to sift through.


Rob
 

Tom McIntyre

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I think of the company threads as being catalogs. If there is also a story about the watch that deserves a thread of its own, it should be linked from the catalog thread. If a particular jeweler had several private label examples that were listed, there might also be a story about that jeweler.

Once we get the Encyclopedia tuned up and a bit better integrated it would probably be appropriate to have an article with links back to the discussion material also. The Dollar Watch article is an example of how that might be done.
 
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Dave Coatsworth

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Hi Rob,
I agree with Tom's post. So, either link to the 'catalog' thread or just repost the photos and info in the catalog thread (which is what I usually do). In my view, the catalog thread should be complete and should not force one to look elsewhere for more examples. As an example, I started the Jaccard thread to allow more discussion on the Jaccards, but I have also posted those Illinois watches in the Illinois Private Label thread to maintain its completeness.
 
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