USWC Royal Gold American Watch find

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Jerry Bryant, Feb 11, 2019 at 2:51 AM.

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  1. Jerry Bryant

    Jerry Bryant Registered User
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    #1 Jerry Bryant, Feb 11, 2019 at 2:51 AM
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 3:09 AM
    My latest find is one of the less seen Marion Royal Gold American Watch Pocket Watches, and appears to be in the original solid gold case. However, the eBay Seller that I purchased this 14 Size Marion from questioned the rose gold karat quality. The back case lid is clearly marked with an “18” (please see attached photos). Upon arrival of this Marion on February 7, 2019, I took it to a local jeweler who electronically (no acid involved) tested my Marion solid gold hunting watch case, and told me that it tested at 18K solid rose gold. In any event, I feel very fortunate to have this Marion Royal Gold American Watch now as part of my collection. This movement is a conversion movement, from a keywind/keyset, to a stem wind/lever set movement. The movement still has the remnants of being a keywind/keyset in place. The lever that allows setting the hands is a firmly-in-place “bar” that moves back and forth, rather than like a traditional “lever” that you pull out. Does anyone have an idea as to the year that this Marion was manufactured? Thanks!
    Jerry

    D49D218B-1507-40AC-86A0-46F7A2D2C555.jpeg 696AFCB5-DE08-4AF4-AD0E-C4939418C6AD.jpeg F86D6A7A-07AA-4E29-A2EE-4A527DCB8C32.jpeg B74E8CB8-C3DC-4FB1-A2CA-0ACB6817D315.jpeg A1715BB0-6B88-4DE0-A4D0-6D8D99ACE2A3.jpeg 44985985-5516-4F02-8036-FF86052FE4B6.jpeg 39757804-A167-4877-9B6D-6B99936476B0.jpeg 33CE1073-6FFF-408C-A726-D45CB7427480.jpeg 47BF88ED-54E7-4084-8144-6CCB960FC5D0.jpeg
     
  2. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    Beautiful watch! I am in no position to refute your jeweler's assaying ability but your watch would be quite an anomaly if 18k rose gold. "Royal Gold" was advertised as being an alloy of metals virtually indistinguishable from true gold. The Royal Gold American Watch company, as I understand it, bought movements from Marion and signed them RGAW but their marketing angle was their special alloy cases. If their cases pass your jeweler's electronic test then, heck, they may as well be gold!-Cort
     
  3. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    Allow me to quote from a "Certificate of the Royal Gold American Watch". "To Watch Speculators. The Royal Gold American Watch was awarded the First Premium at our Centennial Exhibition and Royal Gold was pronounced by all to be the best substance that had ever yet been discovered for a Watch Case. We have the best imitation Gold Watch in the Market. Royal Gold is a composition of other metals so closely resembling gold that the best judges find it difficult to detect the difference, except by chemical test and it has the virtues requisite to make it the best substitute for gold known". The address given on the card is "Atlas Manufacturing Co., Ashland, Mass". I would suggest removing the movement and doing a "chemical test" somewhere on the inside of the case to be certain your watch is truly 18k gold. I've always suspected these were made of pinchbeck. In any case, your watch is a scarce and wonderful find! -Cort
     
  4. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    I have an 18s model with the butterfly cutout. Mine is what I believe is in its original case. The case appears to have been a lacquered brass which now has the lacquer gone.

    This whole setup was lead by Ellis Elias, who was one of the foremost swindlers and bunko artists for that period. To fill the order for Mr Elias, Fred Giles, owner USWC pulled every watch out that he had stored. Got them running and shipped them to Elias for casing. He sold them mail order with exaggerated ads.

    My watch is in the 14,xxxsn range which puts it in with the Fayette Stratton grade.

    Anyway, a great find. Your case is very nice, and original 14s cases for USWC products are rare.

    Tom
     
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  5. Jerry Bryant

    Jerry Bryant Registered User
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    Thank you, Cort,
    I appreciate the valuable information, and especially the Atlas Manufacturing Co. advertising quote! I believe that you give sage advice concerning a chemical test in order to remove all doubt. Given the fact that Mr. Elias was a swindler and bunko artist, could certainly explain why he would have an “18” mark on the inside back lid. However, it seems odd that the Atlas Manufacturing Co. would publish that their cases had NO gold content, and then have “18” stamped inside their case. I am very pleased that this hunting case is in near-mint condition, showing almost no wear in the typical high-wear spots. It must have been worn only on special occasions.
    Jerry
     
  6. Jerry Bryant

    Jerry Bryant Registered User
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    Thank you, Tom,
    I appreciate your observations very much! The head of the case screw that secures the movement within the case is actually too small to properly secure the movement. I am going to be looking for a replacement, properly-fitting case screw. Any suggestions concerning finding a spare USWC exact-match case screw, or, a cross-brand case screw with a large-enough head, and having the correct threads? Soon I’ll also be sending this Marion Royal Gold Pocket Watch to be serviced. The eBay Seller said that it had not been serviced since 2003.
    Jerry
     
  7. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Jerry, Ihave another US Marion 18sthat has a broken case screw. I’ve been looking for one for several years. Wish I could give you a lead

    Tom
     
  8. geo.ulrich

    geo.ulrich Registered User

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    Jerry, Here is one of its siblings 14 size Ser.# 28284 In a silver case. Also both stem wind and lever set and key wind and key set....George

    SAM_0518.JPG SAM_0520.JPG SAM_0521.JPG SAM_0522.JPG
     
  9. Jerry Bryant

    Jerry Bryant Registered User
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    #9 Jerry Bryant, Feb 12, 2019 at 1:44 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2019 at 1:51 PM
    George,

    Thank you for posting your very nice Royal Gold “sibling” to my SN 28,273 Royal Gold American Watch. I am aware that some of the 14 size Royal Gold movements were also cased in coin silver hunting cases. Does your coin silver hunting case appear to be original to the Royal Gold movement?

    Jerry
     
  10. geo.ulrich

    geo.ulrich Registered User

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    Jerry, Yes there are no other screw marks. Case has a small dent at 12 oclock on face side other than that it is remarkably clean. Thanks George
     

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