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Rare and unusual Helbros alarm watch. I cannot find anything about it

Codozalator

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Jul 4, 2022
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Hi there:

I found this rather unusual Helbros alarm watch, and I can not find one like it anywhere searching the internet.

It is a 1950s Helbros alarm watch except the dial is different. Instead of the numerals for the hours, it has the word LAMPLIGHTER circling the dial.

There is what appears to be a beam of light shining down from the center of the dial onto where 6 should be and it reads, "IT'S TIME".

Has anyone ever seen one like this anywhere?. What does it mean...LAMPLIGHTER?. Lighting lamps, I presume, but with reference to what?.

I attached a photo of this one plus a photo of the standard version. As I said, I searched and searched and can not find one like it.

btw, it works well. The alarm even works. I wear it regularly.

different Helbros alarm watch.png regular Helbros alarm watch.jpg
 

John Cote

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I believe these were associated with a Christian organization which may still be in business. They probably had these dials made to be put on award watches. I have never seen on before and it may be rare or at least scarce. Don't ask me what that does to the value of the watch because I don't know. Rarity does not necessarily make a watch valuable. Demand is what makes anything valuable.
 

Codozalator

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Wow...OK...that's cool and makes sense. Thanks.
The watch was made in the 50s. I will try to research from that angle.
Yes, I am aware of demand determining price. People often equate rare with automatic high price. NO!. Things can be super rare, but if folks do not even know about them, how are they going to demand them?.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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I think it was originally associated with the Salvation Army and it still has connections but it seems that the name is now associated with a separate incoroporated ministry.
 
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Codozalator

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Yeah, it's rather cool. It's a Helbros alarm watch, but with a different dial. There is indeed a Lamplighters Ministry, but it wasn't founded until 1994. This watch dates to the 50s. As mentioned, it is a AS1475 movement, model 233. Yes, I like the IT'S TIME reference at 6 as well.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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It has been a long time, but I lived around the corner from the Salvation Army Mission in Kansas City from 1946 to 1952 and that is why the association with the name occurred to me. I actually was a member of the Della C. Lamb Neighborhood house which was a competing Methodist institution at the time.
 
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Codozalator

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So, it was likely commissioned by the Salvation Army back in the 1950s?. That's cool. Appropriate to wear it at Christmas time then.
As was previously stated, perhaps they were given out as awards or something. It would be interesting to find out the specifics, but knowing that much is something. Thanks Everyone.
 

JTD

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So, it was likely commissioned by the Salvation Army back in the 1950s?
I may be wrong, but I don't think it has anything to do with The Salvation Army. The Lamplighters were not Salvation Army affiliated either.

JTD
 

Tom McIntyre

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I am just going from memory, but the current Lamplighters are much later than 1950.

Currently there is an Old Lamplighter business that offers Old Lamplighter decorative items. Salvation Army
 

JTD

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I am just going from memory, but the current Lamplighters are much later than 1950.

Currently there is an Old Lamplighter business that offers Old Lamplighter decorative items. Salvation Army
I think the business is called The Old Lamplighter, but I don't think the items it offers are anything to do with either the Lamplighters or The Salvation Army. They just happen to have some Salvation Army dolls for sale.

Just my opinion - others may know better.

JTD
 

Codozalator

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It's rather obscure then, isn't it?. I can't find anything definitive on the web about it. I did find a Christian ministry using the name Lamplighters and they even use the It's Time motto, but it wasn't formed until 2003. There was a Lamplighter motel at Disneyland Anaheim back in the 50s. I wonder if it couldn't have something to do with that instead. This turns out to be a rather popular title for various things besides Christian messages. There was a movie named that. Not to mention the men who lit the street lamps back in the Victorian era. The Lamplighter serenade was an old song.
This watch dates to around the late 50s. I just know I like it and it works.
 

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