South bend grade 294 ... At least i hope so

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Bill Stockton, Jul 11, 2017.

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  1. Bill Stockton

    Bill Stockton Newbie

    Feb 4, 2017
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    View attachment 349792

    According to serial number look ups and picture comparisons plus the fact that I bought it from George Reitenour whom I think many of you know, I believe this is a South Bend grade 294. HOWEVER, I found an old thread from 2009 a few days ago comparing 294 and 295. It showed one with a 294 serial number but there were questions about whether is was authentic. I can't find that thread on here.

    There were in fact some dissimilarities on that watch. Different winding wheels, didn't indicate 21 Jewels. It also was engraved using black ink. A comment was made that 294's would have had gold lettering. And the few 294's I have seen (other than mine and the suspect one) have had gold lettering.

    My question is, since mine has black lettering, are there suspicions that it may not be authentic? Note that, at least as well as I can tell, all the visible parts of mine, match what would have been on an unmarked 294.

    Any comments will be appreciated,
    Bill Stockton
     
  2. topspin

    topspin Registered User

    Dec 14, 2014
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    I don't know the answer to the question you're asking, so I'll try asking a question back - If it isn't a 294 then what else could it be? What else is close? 292 perhaps, if such a thing exists?
    Or were you suggesting that your watch might be a deliberate fake of some sort?
     
  3. Bila

    Bila Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 22, 2010
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    Hi Bill,

    I have seen a few of these and all had gold font, everything on yours is correct bar not having the gold font, maybe someone thought introducing black font was better then having washed out gold font some time during it's history. Definitely a Grade 294, also to my knowledge none of these had the grade marked on them, they were all unmarked. A Grade 294 that I used to have shown below;

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bila

    Bila Registered User
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    Jan 22, 2010
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    Just noticed that possibly the wrong ratchet wheel on yours, looks like from a later model maybe.
     
  5. Brad Maisto

    Brad Maisto Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 1, 2000
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    Hello, here are my marked "294", #490,133 and unmarked "295", #469,931, so there were 294's marked South Bend movements made. I believe I may have posted this picture before, but it fits this discussion.
    [​IMG]
    According to the South Bend production date lists, both of these watches would have been made around 1905 - 1906. However the 294 is in a 14K W.W.C. Mfg. Co. Warranted HC with a 1937 inscription on the dust cover?
    Brad Maisto, Kentucky Floral #44 member.
    p. s. This Saturday, July 15, 2017 is KY Floral #44 "Buy Sell or Trade" at Ohio County Park, Building 1 in Hartford, KY, address is 2300 State Route 69N.
     
  6. rrwatch

    rrwatch Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 4, 2000
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    My Grade 294, S/N 490,184 and Grade 295, S/N 480,389 are both marked with their respective grade numbers and have gold filled lettering.
     
  7. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 18, 2002
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    Might be possible black lettering was used in these early 21J runs at 469K serials, with yellow used in later runs at higher serials. Someone like Lyle Stratton could probably tell us for sure.
     
  8. Bila

    Bila Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 22, 2010
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    Thanks Brad,Ed and Fred, learn something new everyday in this game.
     
  9. Bill Stockton

    Bill Stockton Newbie

    Feb 4, 2017
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    Thanks all for the input. I am convinced mine is a legitimate 294. Maybe it is just especially rare since it has black lettering. I do know that later runs of 227's have black lettering whereas earlier ones all had gold lettering. Hard telling what the reasoning was for some of the variations they made.
    Bill
     
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