Roy Watch Case Co.

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  1. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    #1 Kent, May 14, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
    The Roy Watch Case Co. was a manufacturer of 14K and 18K pocket watch cases. This high-end firm started in 1885 and remained in business until 1929.

    Roy Watch Case Co.: A Brief History

    According to the book "History of the American Watch Case," Warren H. Niebling, Whitmore Publishing, Philadelphia, PA, 1971, page 49 (available on loan by mail to members from the NAWCC Lending Library), the Roy Watch Case Co. started in Brooklyn, NY in 1885, a fact confirmed by an article in the Brooklyn Eagle (uncovered by Robert Sweet). The company's name was based upon that of one of its incorporators - and until 1889, a stockholder - Augustin X. Roy. It was a successful operation, recognized as making quality cases. Roy only made 14K and 18K gold cases, which were usually heavily engraved, often having raised gold ornamentation and enameled decoration. Embedded jewels were also set into cases. However, Roy also had plain cases in their line. Robert Sweet found the following obituary in the May 13, 1952 edition of the New York Times: "Albert L. Stearns, president and treasurer of the Roy Watch Case Company from 1904 until the firm was dissolved in 1929, died yesterday of a heart attack." Thus it is seen that the company lasted just about up to the depression.


    The Hand Trade Mark

    By the early 1890s, Roy had started using a hand as a trade mark, symbolizing the hand-engraving of the cases. This trade mark continued to be used at the turn of the century, when ads show its appearance as a tag for the case. The hand trade mark remained in use at least as late as 1914, as seen in an ad. However, the name "Roy" in an arch is more frequently seen stamped in the cases.


    Photo Miniatures

    Roy was also known for the use of a photo-reproduction process to customize cases by placing photographs on the cap (cuvette), seen in an early ad (1891) showing photo miniatures on their cases. This service was apparently run at Roy by, or contracted out to, Léon Favre, who was featured in Roy's 1893 Chicago World's Fair exhibit, and who, following the fair in the Fall of 1893, ended the relationship. Nevertheless, Roy continued to offer the photo-on-case service which continued to be promoted in ads.


    The Ægis Case

    By 1908, Roy was promoting a new case design, the patented Ægis case. In this design, the movement is held in a "movement cup" which is then friction fit into a one-piece center ring and bezel. The design was claimed to be dust-tight.


    Roy vs. Camm-Roy

    The Camm-Roy Watch Case Co. was a separate company entirely from the Roy Watch Case Co. Its name was originally the Roy Manufacturing Co. This firm was started by a group of investors including Frank L. Camm and Augustin X. Roy, the person who was one of the founders of the Roy Watch Case Co. and for whom it was named. Upon the name change to Camm-Roy Watch Case Co. on May 18, 1899, the Roy Watch Case Co. brought suit and sought an injunction to prevent Camm-Roy from using that name, claiming that it led customers to believe that the Roy Watch Case Co. was associated with Camm, which it wasn't. Additionally, the Roy Watch Case Co. took out ads in the trade press pointing out that there was no association of two and that legal proceedings had been started; and that its only sales representative was A.L. Stearns. This was to ensure that its customers didn't inadvertently give their orders to Camm-Roy. However, it was nowhere alleged that Camm-Roy salesmen either misrepresented themselves as the Roy salesman, or that the two companies were one. The injunction was granted, favoring the Roy Watch Case Co. in late June 1899, whereupon Camm-Roy changed its name again, this time to the Camm Watch Case Co. Nevertheless, testimony was still being given on the subject in November of that year.


    References


    Online Information

    Roy cases are shown on pages 315, 320 and 326 of the 1897 Lapp & Flershem Twenty-first Annual Illustrated Catalogue.

    Watch case makers
     
  2. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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  3. Kerry Chipman

    Kerry Chipman Registered User
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    #3 Kerry Chipman, Oct 28, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
    Here's an example of a Roy Mfg Co. watch. Tested 10K.

    Solid 14k Mermod Jaccard (2 of 10).JPG Solid 14k Mermod Jaccard (4 of 10).JPG Solid 14k Mermod Jaccard (6 of 10).JPG Solid 14k Mermod Jaccard (10 of 10).JPG
     

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