Montgomery Ward Private Label Watches

John Cote

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I would like to start an ongoing thread on the subject of watches retailed by the Montgomery Ward Company of Chicago. Montgomery Ward was a very important, historical and innovative US company. They sold watches through their catalog and retail operations for a long part of their history. These watches came with various names such as the obvious "Montgomery Ward...(Railroad Timer or whatever)" to "Washington Watch Company" etc.

There is a thread listed in the saved threads section here that I started a long time ago but it is sort of specific and has been long dead so I think a new thread is appropriate. A lot has been written in the NAWCC bulletin etc about MW but most of this came before the internet gave us access to more information. Maybe this thread will develop into a Bulletin article.

Anyway, I will start off the thread with pictures of an MW watch I just acquired. It is a Swiss Watch, specifically a very high grade Longines product but obviously made for MW. It was found in the box shown and although the box had no markings the box sure seems appropriate for the watch and the chain. I have a few more MW examples which I will post as this thread hopefully expands but I would love to see what everybody else has in their collections.

Thanks....and here's my new Monty which is something I have never seen before. It is, as I said, a Longines. It is American 18s in an American GF case. I haven't had the dial off but it appears to be a 19 or a 20 jewel watch. It is lever set and the lever is in the typical American position. I have seen this Longines ebauche used for other private labels, including some Canadian RR watches but I can't remember seeing the raised jewel settings etc. I have seen it with a simple and with this snail regulator.

Please post more MW watches...even if you have already posted them in another thread.

MontyBoxClosed.jpg

MontyBoxOpen.jpg
MW-Swiss-Dial.jpg

MW-Swiss-Mvt.jpg
 

John Cote

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Pat H has suggested that anyone who has access to any original MW advertising related to watches, including catalog pages should show it here too. I totally agree. Bring on the Monkey Ward stuff.
 

Greg Frauenhoff

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Pat H has suggested that anyone who has access to any original MW advertising related to watches, including catalog pages should show it here too. I totally agree. Bring on the Monkey Ward stuff.
Years ago I went through a number of the old MW catalogs (at the Newberry Library in Chicago) and copied many of the watch pages. I will dig them out and post pics soon.
 
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John Cote

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K...here's one more from my collection. It's history is interesting. I originally bought it at the NAWCC Lexington Regional years ago. Then, in a weak moment, I sold it, along with a bunch of other Illinois watches I wish I still had to the late Jerry Barko. Jerry was a great friend and a collector in the best sense of the word. When Jerry died a lot of his collection was consigned by his son the Jones and Horan. I ended up buying this back for about what I paid for it originally in Lexington. It is one of two hunter versions I have ever seen of this 21j Bunn Special labeled "Montgomery Ward Extra RR Timer."

00-AWCI_0032.JPG
 

John Cote

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Greg, do you recall if the catalogs mentioned who the maker was, or if images were available to determine the maker?
Pat,

I believe all of the watches in Greg's list were made by the Illinois Watch Company.
 

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