• The NAWCC Museum and Library & Research Center will reopen starting Wednesday, January 6, 2021 as per Governor Wolf's reopening mandate.

Newark Watch Company - Historical Information Requested

vintageguy

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 27, 2013
279
417
63
57
Minnesota
Country
Region
Hi All,

Normally I would have posted this watch under Clint's "Most Recent Acquisition" thread, but because I'm asking for information about this manufacturer I've decided to post it here.

This is my first Jones & Horan acquisition. It's a Newark "Robert Fellows" movement with a "Newark Watch Works" dial. The watch is gorgeous all the way around.

I like to collect off-the-beaten-path watches, and there is very little publicly-available information I could find about Newark Watch Company. I know it was the predecessor to the Cornell Watch Company and the California Watch Company. Is there anyone who could provide some additional insight into this maker in general and this watch in particular?

img7.jpg IMG_8144x.jpg img4.jpg img1.jpg img2.jpg IMG_8149x.jpg Case.jpg

Thanks!

Mike
 
Last edited:

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 25, 2018
2,003
2,909
113
36
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
Hi Mike,

Very interesting. Here is a link to Google books for Henry Abbott's "Watch Factories of America Past and Present" which has a general overview of the companies and it's important people.
The Watch Factories of America, Past and Present, Henry G. Abbott.
The Watch Factories of America, Past and Present: A Complete History of Watchmaking in America, from 1809 to 1888 Inclusive, with Sketches of the Lives of Celebrated American Watchmakers and Organizers by Henry G. Abbott - Books on Google Play
 

vintageguy

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 27, 2013
279
417
63
57
Minnesota
Country
Region
Thanks Rick!
 

Andy Dervan

Registered User
Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Oct 23, 2002
2,791
106
63
Country
Region
Beware Abbot and Grossman's histories of watch companies are full of glaring errors.

Mike Harrold wrote a detailed book on 19th Century watch companies.

Andy Dervan
 

Fred Hansen

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Aug 18, 2002
5,402
451
83
Country
Congrats Mike, that's a very nice example!

Newark produced four primary grades of movement. All are gilt finish, full plate, 18 size. The four grade names are ...
  • Arthur Wadsworth (stemwind)
  • Edward Biven (keywind)
  • Robert Fellows (keywind)
  • "The - Newark - Watch" (keywind)
... and in addition to these they also produced a substantial number of private label marked movements, which I suspect as a class likely outnumber any of the individual grade names.

Newark serial numbers range up to a bit past 12,000, and this serial number sequence was continued by the Cornell Watch Co. of Chicago with their serial numbering beginning in the low-mid 12,000s. From Newark examples I've seen it appears that the 6,000 to 12,000(+) portion of their serial number range may have been fully utilized, but it appears only limited portions of the serial number range below 6,000 were used, so the total output of Newark is likely notably smaller than their upper serial number would suggest.

Newark was a very early entry into the American stemwinding market with their Arthur Wadsworth grade and occasionally these watches are seen with markings of "Keyless Watch" or "Keyless Watch Co." to their dial and/or movement.

Newark and its successive followers - Cornell (Chicago), Cornell (San Francisco), California, and Western - are great watches to collect and can keep a collector very busy looking to fill out the various grades and variants.
 

watchbob

Registered User
NAWCC Member
May 8, 2009
241
193
43
Spencerville Ohio & Winter Haven Florida
Country
I have large # of these & here is the break down from mine : 55% are private or jeweler marked - 9% Authur Wadsworth - 20% Edward Biven - 9% Robert Fellows - 6% The Newark Watch
Earliest ser# 2009 is Authur Wadsworth ---- Edward Biven New York #2560 ---- 1st Edward Biven Newark NJ #4767 ( many Edward Biven also marked same on the dial)--- Last serial # I have is 12,070 with the 1st Cornell I have recorded 12,213 is Robert Fellows - ( almost all jeweler - private label watches have similar marked dials as the movement )
Almost all up to 9,000 are Edward Biven or jewelers - private label - Many after sn. 9,,000 have Newark Watch Works dials
I've been going to start to compile everyones Newarks Grades - private labels & etc to put out once a lot are collected - Maybe it's time to start that in a different Post.
 

vintageguy

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 27, 2013
279
417
63
57
Minnesota
Country
Region
Congrats Mike, that's a very nice example!
Thanks Fred! Appreciate the history lesson, too!

Mike Harrold wrote a detailed book on 19th Century watch companies.
Thanks Andy. I've spent hours studying the Harrold book and it's one of the the main reasons I became interested in mid-century American watches. I also saw that that the Ehrhardt & Meggers Revised 1999 "American Pocket Watches" book noted that more research was being done by a fellow named Bernie Edwards of Northbrook, IL, but I'm afraid he's a bit before my time and I'm not sure if he ever completed his research.

I've been going to start to compile everyones Newarks Grades - private labels & etc to put out once a lot are collected - Maybe it's time to start that in a different Post.
Thanks Bob. I very recently purchased your Newark private label Taber Broth's KWKS movement #8774, so I now have two Newarks in my collection. It is time to start your new thread!
 

Andy Dervan

Registered User
Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Oct 23, 2002
2,791
106
63
Country
Region
Mike's book was originally published by the NAWCC in paperback and hard cover. They turn up occasionally at Marts and I used to pickup copies for watchmaker friends.

It is a great one to have around as a reference.

Andy Dervan
 
  • Like
Reactions: vintageguy

vintageguy

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 27, 2013
279
417
63
57
Minnesota
Country
Region
Mike's book was originally published by the NAWCC in paperback and hard cover. They turn up occasionally at Marts and I used to pickup copies for watchmaker friends.
I have a paperback copy that I lucked upon at a local chapter meeting. The typeface is so small I have to take off my reading glasses to read it!

The book also helped get me interested collecting in EH&Co, United States Watch Company (Marion), Tremont/Melrose, Cornell and Nashua watches . . . well, OK, maybe not Nashua watches ;) What a great effort by him!
 
Know Your NAWCC Forums Rules!
RULES & GUIDELINES

Find member

Latest posts

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
162,182
Messages
1,408,423
Members
83,924
Latest member
DBS246
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,854
Last edit
Waltham Watches by Clint Geller