Request for Rockford Serial Numbers from 1-255,000 ( now expanded to 500,001)

Nigel Harrison

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A Nice piece Nigel love them in nickel (had that one on the database), yes large lettering as you say, I notice someone (that probably should have not touched it) has been at the jewel settings:(
Yes this is the one I mentioned a month or two ago. Got some photos finally.

Yes someone did get at the two settings, seems they thought they were getting in the road of the balance. Very silly but still a great piece. Adjusted marking is larger than normal as well.
 
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Bila

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Thanks Greg, I have a identical one from 1885 (Otto Young & Co), interesting that this Benji. Allen & Co from 1888 does not show anything but the older 18 Size movements, not even the Model 6 by the looks. Yet at the 1888 stage we are in the production time-frame for the Model 7 & 8's, as well as for the 8 Size Ladies' and the first Ladies' 6 size model?
 
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darrahg

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Bila, here are a few more that I have confirmed as to their jewel counts. PM me if you have questions. DA
165023 18s m3 15J gilt g44
65615 18s m2 9J gilt
147844 18s m1 15J gilt (PL 'The Delaware')
58650 18s m2 15RJ nickel
 
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Bila

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Thanks Greg, a nice pick-up, a15 Jewel and with that lever it will very likely be a male stem in the movement, if you take her apart can you let me know about the stem type if you have a chance:)
 

Bila

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Yes Greg, this jewel grading system though does not appear for long, also even during the time they were using it, it was not used on all their movements.
 
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darrahg

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Yes Greg, this jewel grading system though does not appear for long, also even during the time they were using it, it was not used on all their movements.
It was only used on some model 1 movements.
 

Greg Frauenhoff

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Here is the underside showing factory stem-wind mechanism, verifying 15 jewels and with male winding pinion; just like Bila predicted (I'll buy you a beer if you ever get to Colorado).

img285.jpg

This one is also an uncommon example of a model 2 with one one case screw. Darrah showed #7221 above which also has only one case screw and is a model 2 (his is marked "B" and has 11 jewels in pairs).

Here is an old thread showing the "evolution" of Rockford's stem wind mechanisms.

 
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darrahg

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Very interesting. It's a lot of grunt work but Keep at it.

I don't know what I was thinking (in #161) as I also have another model 2 marked B with one case screw and winding train (#15365) like the 7221 and Greg's.
 
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James Wrobel

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Here are the details on my Rockford:
Serial: 23062
Size: 18s
Model: 1 (1 case screw)
Jewels: 9
Setting: key; Wind: key
Finish: Gilt
Date: 1878


move.JPG
 

Bila

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Thanks James, I have seen this reported originally as 15 Jewel & 7 jewel on a another site James, it is clearly at least 9 jewels (and should be only 9 going by other observations, but with these you never know most times until you look:)), have you had the dial off this one to check for any paired jewels regarding those pivots on the dial plate?
 

James Wrobel

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No, I have not had the dial off, but in the Rockford catalog, the 11-jewel movement is shown as having one more jewel on the top plate, and mine doesn't have it. Also, the top plate jewels are shown with screws, and mine doesn't have those, either. This is the best evidence I have.
 

Bila

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No, I have not had the dial off, but in the Rockford catalog, the 11-jewel movement is shown as having one more jewel on the top plate, and mine doesn't have it. Also, the top plate jewels are shown with screws, and mine doesn't have those, either. This is the best evidence I have.

There are a couple of different versions in jeweling of the lower grade early (model 1 & 2's) 9 & 11 Jeweled Rockford watches James;

9 Jewel watches are normally either jeweled on the Pallet fork & Escape wheel or on the 3rd & 4th wheels back plate side only (Plain Jeweling/Bezel Set, both are the same, just different terminology)

11 Jewel watches can be either 1/2 Jeweled (Plain Jeweling/Bezel Set or Faux settings with screws) once again these occur only on the back plate (4 train jewels) and not the dial plate. Or in the case of 11 Jewel watches with paired jeweling they have jewels on the Pallet fork and Escape wheel on both the dial side and back plate (hence the term paired, 2 jewels either side on the same pivots).

:)
 
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James Wrobel

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I guess I cannot eliminate the second possibility of my watch having 11 jewels without taking the watch apart. I prefer not to do that. I wish I would have asked the watchmaker when it was serviced. 9 or 11 is the best I can do.
 

Mike M.

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Here are two:

My favorite, #1111, marked ”extra”
...also #108843, also marked “extra”

Does anyone know what the “extra” marking means? I never really thought about it.

I am sorry, but I am unable to photograph the top plate at the moment. I hope the pictures help.

81AD996D-305C-449F-B18D-5724299AF3DE.jpeg 5F37AFB5-66C2-445F-8582-67ED80F6EE94.jpeg
 
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Jim Haney

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It appears to me, that it was done after production.....? Maybe a watchmaker thought it was extra ?
 

Greg Frauenhoff

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Mike,

I can't say for sure what Rockford meant by the "Extra" marking but it is a factory addition. My recollection is (and Bila can probably say much more on this) that it shows up on some 11 jewel mvts. My favorite little company, Aurora, also made some mvts marked "Extra" that were 11 jewels. In the case of Aurora, 11 jewel "Extra" mvts have some nicer features such as jewels in settings, a fancier balance cock, and a dial with five minute numbers, as compared with "non-extra" 11 jewel mvts which lack such features. Rockford may have done the same.

Greg
 
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darrahg

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The term Extra stamped on Rockford movements has to do with locating jewels to the escape and pallet positions for 9j movements, and the pairing of them at those positions for 11j and 13j movements. I have also seen it on a couple of 15j movements which might be more of an advertising gimmick. Here is a slide from a presentation of mine on 18s size movements that will help in what I am attempting to explain.

from my 18s presentation 2021.jpg

.
 

Greg Frauenhoff

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This bit from an 1880 Rockford brochure confirms what Darrah said about the jeweling of the 11j "extra" mvts, i. e. jeweled escape and pallet in pairs rather than either half-jeweled or 3rd and 4th in pairs.

img370.jpg
 
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Bila

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With regard to you Mike M., there is a possibility that both these are 13 Jewel watches, with out lifting the dials you will never be a 100% sure as Rockford did some strange things in comparison to other Manufacturer's.

Rockford 11 Jewel Gilt plate early Stem-Winder & Key-Winder model watches come in a few different flavors, as both Darrah and Greg have mentioned. For instance just look below at the following configurations;

11 Jewel (plain jeweling/bezel set, which ever term you prefer, not marked with jewel count, Rockford Watch Co used the term "Plain Jeweling"), 1/2 jeweled or jeweling all on the back plate,
11 Jewel (faux settings, not marked with jewel count), 1/2 jeweled jeweling all on the back plate,
11 Jewel (plain jeweling/bezel set, which ever term you prefer, marked with the jewel count), 1/2 jeweled or jeweling all on the back plate,
11 Jewel (faux settings, marked with jewel count on the barrel-bridge), 1/2 jeweled or jeweling all on the back plate,
11 Jewel-"Extra" (plain jeweling/bezel set, which ever term you prefer, not marked with jewel count) (2 jewels back plate with 2 jewels on the dial plate, both sets on the Pallet & Escape pivots,
11 Jewel-"Extra" (faux settings, not marked with jewel count), (2 jewels back plate with 2 jewels on the dial plate, both sets on the Pallet & Escape pivots,
Then you have the movements marked with the Script "B" (which are 11 Jewel), in plain jeweling/bezel set and also faux settings with jeweling in pairs (which are marked "Extra" also) and also the 1/2 jeweled watches, jeweling only on the back plate in both the plain jeweling/bezel set and faux setting types.

This is why the early Rockford's are a mine field when trying to make a judgement on what you have without actually either having the dial pulled or the watch in hand to self-inspect, also photos are essential:)

:)

p.s. hopefully I have not missed anything.
 
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Mike M.

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The term Extra stamped on Rockford movements has to do with locating jewels to the escape and pallet positions for 9j movements, and the pairing of them at those positions for 11j and 13j movements. I have also seen it on a couple of 15j movements which might be more of an advertising gimmick. Here is a slide from a presentation of mine on 18s size movements that will help in what I am attempting to explain.

View attachment 636284

.
Darrah, I had the pleasure of taking part in one of your Rockford seminars in Houston a few years back. Unfortunately I don’t remember that slide. I also don’t think I had these watches then. I think I need to come to another one. Hopefully I can.:)
 
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Mike M.

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Thanks for all the great info!
I mostly collect later later watches because I like damaskeening, but in the last year or two I have been gravitating more toward old key winds. They can be fascinating.

When I get a chance I will pull the dials and see what’s on top. I will likely need help counting jewels though, I‘m not quite sure how to do that.
 
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darrahg

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Darrah, I had the pleasure of taking part in one of your Rockford seminars in Houston a few years back. Unfortunately I don’t remember that slide. I also don’t think I had these watches then. I think I need to come to another one. Hopefully I can.:)
Mike, (I feel awkward about plugging my own stuff here but.....) I just completed that presentation on 18 size Rockfords for a March 7 Chapter 135 (Seattle) Zoom conference. Their Chapter typically has zoom meeting with some sort of presentation bi monthly and I volunteered to give one. You are welcome to join in as it is open to anyone interested. Here is a link that explains more about it.
 

Jim Haney

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Well it appears that rock bottom prices are the norm.

This watch sold on eBay for $285, unbelievable for a low serial number 1 star watch with a like new all original Coin case??
 

Jim Haney

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Serial number 76293.

I sold a nice 15J early Rockford tonight marked EXTRA,indicating it was upjeweled, also for a super low price of $88.

The case should have been worth that,it appears that our hobby has gone all to hell.........

It's time to be a buyer because the prices have never been lower.

DSCN4675.JPG DSCN4677.JPG DSCN4680.JPG DSCN4682.JPG DSCN4685.JPG DSCN4686.JPG
 

Bila

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I am very surprised Jim that the #909 Rockford only brought that type of money:(

Also that 2nd one you mentioned #76293; I would be very surprised if that is 15 Jewels:)
 

James J Nicholson

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Serial number 76293.

I sold a nice 15J early Rockford tonight marked EXTRA,indicating it was upjeweled, also for a super low price of $88.

The case should have been worth that,it appears that our hobby has gone all to hell.........

It's time to be a buyer because the prices have never been lower.

View attachment 640693 View attachment 640694 View attachment 640695 View attachment 640696 View attachment 640697 View attachment 640698
Jim,
Sadly this is one of the ones I missed. With everything there are dips and highs. You are correct it is a buyers market right now but what an opportunity to jump in while prices are bargain basement low. I myself had picked up a similar Rockford model 1 marked EXTRA. Mine has the Hurd micro regulator with an open balance cock, coin silver case and a very low 4942 serial number. This gem only cost me 150.00.
It seems to be all about supply and demand and right now with all these collections hitting the market, there is more supply than demand (for now).
James
 
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darrahg

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Wouldn't it be better if a new thread from 255,000 to 500,001 was started?
 

Bila

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Wouldn't it be better if a new thread from 255,000 to 500,001 was started?
That would also be alright Darrah, I just thought I would keep it all together, if a Moderator wanted to alter the title of this thread by just adding "now expanded to 500,001" that would be fine to:)
 

darrahg

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Sounds like a plan. I'll contact the moderator.
 

Bila

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Just on another note for those interested, I have been crunching some numbers on production of the Company and how it fits with newspaper & periodical reports of the day. It is glaringly obvious that some of the reports are so far over the top on daily production numbers that they are bordering on farcical. Also some of the reports on the amount of hands employed by the Company appear to be grossly exaggerated by some of these periodicals as well. I just wonder how much influence the Company Management had regarding some of the content in these reports; maybe a lot, just to keep the Company in a good-light for Shareholders?
 
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shinytickythings

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Oh!
Well then, I'd like to retract my former panic attack, but if you are open to up to #500,000 then I have like 70-80 to add, so I'll have to get to work.
I'll try and at least get a list of numbers together asap.
The "Our Own" labeled ones that I have, that I posted previously-
#274246
#274294
#276920
#329840
#406405
All of them except #406405 appear to have been 14 jewel. Presuming there was an impulse jewel and jeweled fork, if not, 11J , I guess. Basically what you see is what you get, except for the center wheel. There's no center jewel in the pillar plate.
#406405 is a whole different beast. No center jeweling at all, and only jewels for the balance in the pillar plate. 3rd, 4th, escape wheel and fork are just pivot holes in the pillar plate. No jewels.

021.jpg
 
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Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff