Need help finding information about this watch

Moops

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May 25, 2011
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I recently inherited my grandfather's wristwatch and am having difficulty finding any pertinent information about it. Supposedly my grandfather received it in 1932. The face is labeled Hallmark which has an underline connecting the H and K. Additionally, it is self-winding and the back cover has "L&K" stamped on the back. Inside the cover has the digits 2798 stamped and L&K stamped. There are some additional numbers and letters that appear to be hand inscribed; however, I can't completely make them out without a jeweler's lens. I don't believe the day of the week hand is original and I don't believe the wrist band is original. The band is made by Speidel.

If there's anyone that can give me some info on this watch, I'd be grateful.
 

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Weight Driven

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May 24, 2004
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Nice watch. Hallmark is one of many lesser known Swiss watch makers. The day, date and month function make it more collectible than most standard watches and it appears to be in original condition. The scribe marks you speak of are old repair dates and initials of watch repairmen. The date hand does appear to be original. All in all, a nice watch that should be restored and worn.
 

Weight Driven

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May 24, 2004
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also, forgot to mention that the watch is probably from the late 1940's or the 1950's. Hope this helps.
 

Moops

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May 25, 2011
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Thanks for the info. My father had the watch serviced several years ago and it works perfectly.
 

AbslomRob

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Jun 21, 2009
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In the U.S., Hallmark (with the H and K connected) was originally registered to "United Jewelers, inc., Wilmington, DE". They filed for it in 1923, with use claimed since 1915. It was registered a second time in 1945 to "Aisenstein, Louis & Bros, NYC", also with use claimed since 1915. I suspect this watch belongs to the latter period. Near as I can tell, "Louis Aisenstein and Bros." was originally the importer for United Jewelers.
 

brad

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Dec 11, 2007
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looks like an AS movement. 15**? i can't remember their triple date caliber designation.
 

Mikrolisk

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Feb 16, 2011
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Hallmark, or the Hallmark Watch Co., was connected to the Waltham Watch Co. to trade swiss watches, it was a sub-company of them, but independend.

Andreas
 

Larry Treiman

Registered User
Jan 18, 2009
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So. Calif.
I recently inherited my grandfather's wristwatch and am having difficulty finding any pertinent information about it. Supposedly my grandfather received it in 1932. The face is labeled Hallmark which has an underline connecting the H and K. Additionally, it is self-winding and the back cover has "L&K" stamped on the back. Inside the cover has the digits 2798 stamped and L&K stamped. There are some additional numbers and letters that appear to be hand inscribed; however, I can't completely make them out without a jeweler's lens. I don't believe the day of the week hand is original and I don't believe the wrist band is original. The band is made by Speidel.

If there's anyone that can give me some info on this watch, I'd be grateful.

Actually, Moops, AbslomRob pretty much hit the nail on the head. Hallmark, with an underline connecting the H and the K, was the trademark used by the Hallmark jewelry stores, a buyers' cooperative organized under the United Jewelers name. Similar cooperatives operate in many areas of retailing. Independent, locally-owned jewelry stores could join the co-op and take advantage of lower prices due to mass buying that might otherwise be available only to large chain stores. They could do business under the Hallmark stores brand (no connection as far as I know to the later Hallmark greetings cards stores) giving them some of the prestige of being part of a chain, as well as the buying power advantage. There were Hallmark jewelers in many parts of the country.

Among watch collectors, they are probably best known for the variety of private-label Illinois watches they sold under the Hallmark trademark. There were some very high-grade Illinois pocket watches made with the Hallmark label, and I have also seen a variety of Swiss watches made for Hallmark.

However, the Hallmark trademark was not limited to just watches but was found on a wide range of items that might be found in any fine retail jewelry store. A quick "Google" search that I did in response to an earlier query turned up products with the Hallmark Jewelers' trademark ranging from a silver thimble to fine crystalware.

I'll leave the identification of your watch movement to those who are more familiar with Swiss self-winding movements than I am. However, I can tell you that the L & K stamped on the watch case stands for Lutringer & Kammerer, a watch case maker located in New York City. You can disregard any marks that appear to be hand-scratched inside the case. Those marks were put there by watch repairers who overhauled or repaired the watch at various times and usually have meaning only to the person who put them there. They might be some code known only to the person, or could be a reference to a ledger entry for the repair/servicing.

Larry Treiman
 
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