New York Standard Watch Company

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by proconsul, Aug 10, 2018 at 1:13 PM.

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  1. proconsul

    proconsul Registered User

    Dec 22, 2012
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    I recently bought a pocket watch because it had a much older sterling silver case that I wanted to put a better movement in. This watch is a 16s 7 jewel New York Standard Watch Co pocket watch with a roman numeral dial...In doing research on this company I found they folded right after the crash in 1929 and the ending serial numbers are 3 million. This watch I have has a serial number of 5 million plus. Ordinarily I would not waste my time on this cheap watch but I felt I could fix it with a good cleaning .I removed much green hard grease that looked like paraffin that would not come off in my vibrasonic cleaner and it ticks and keeps perfect time for an old turd and is immaculate. I was wondering if it was possible that someone kept making some of these watches on the sly as it does look like many New York Standard watches that I have seen. I have this thing about restoring history and need to stop wasting my time of insignifigant watches.I have seen this thick green waxy grease on several other watches and it looks to me that they put one glob under the spring barrel and a couple other spots and it is hard to get off
     
  2. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    Feb 11, 2005
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    I think you might be off by a digit on your ending serial number. Total production by NYS is estimated at 30,000,000.
     
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  3. proconsul

    proconsul Registered User

    Dec 22, 2012
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    I have looked at 2 different sites on the history and serial numbers and the numbers state 3 million in 1930 when the company ended. It really doesn't matter as it is an insignificant watch and I'll probably put it into a cheap case and give it away to the grandkids.I was just curious as it is in mint condition......here is one of the links...New York Standard Watch Company: History, Serial Numbers, Production Dates
     
  4. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Jan 15, 2004
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    Reading the article I noted the statement that the serial number table is not correct and wildly inaccurate. So, I would go with what Dave said above.
     
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  5. viclip

    viclip Registered User

    Jul 20, 2018
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    The cited article near its starting point contains the sentence "New York Standard operated from 1885 until 1929 and produced over 8 million watches". The table further down doesn't go beyond the 3 million level for whatever reason.

    The 2018 edition of the "Complete Price Guide" at page 329 thereof states that "Total production maybe, as high as, 30,000,000".
     
  6. viclip

    viclip Registered User

    Jul 20, 2018
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    I just remembered something. Within the past year I bought some NY Standard watches including parts movements. I quickly realized that numerous watches had the same "serial numbers" thus, they weren't really serial numbers but rather akin to product or part numbers. Thus they might make a run of 10,000 watches configured some such way or other, then if they changed a screw or gear or something, they proceeded to assign the next number to the following run of 5,000 watches or whatever.
     
  7. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    The serial number issue has come up many times before. Bob Olson is the person who has explained it before. I was able to track down this post quoting what he said in 2002: Quest for Hampden Pocket Watch Information. Don't be put off by the reference to Hampden.
     
  8. viclip

    viclip Registered User

    Jul 20, 2018
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    Thanks Steven!

    Now I understand why I have NY Standard pocket watch movements bearing the same numbers ~ those are model numbers rather than serial numbers.

    And this explains why the company generated as many as 30 million pocket watches, but the numbers on the movements don't go anywhere near that high ~ they made numerous iterations of the same movement all bearing the identical model numbers instead of unique serial numbers.
     
  9. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    It might be useful to think of them as design codes rather than model numbers. For example manufactured parts change the part number whenever a change is made to the master drawing even if it has no impact on the function and maybe only reduces production cost.

    Watch models would likely be limited to different functional behavior or a lack of interchangeability.
     
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