Waterbury Watch Co.

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Steven Thornberry, May 11, 2019.

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  1. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Benedict and Burnham established the Waterbury Watch Co. (WWC) in March 1880 to produce and sell the famous (infamous?) long wind watches they had been marketing under their own name since 1878. However, problems with the long wind watches had created financial problems, and in late 1888, they introduced the quick wind (short wind) model. By 1890, they seem to have discontinued the long wind watches altogether. Although the quick wind watches were sold in great numbers, financial problems persisted, and on July1,1898, the WWC reorganized as the New England Watch Co. The New England Watch Co. failed in 1912, and Ingersoll took over the company in 1914. For an account of the WWC, see Norman Tallan’s article in the April 2000 Bulletin, The American Dollar Watch – A Watch Everyone Could Afford, specifically pages 161-165.
    https://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/2000/articles/2000/325/325_159a.pdf

    This watch is a Series J. It is one of their quick wind models.

    Dial.JPG Movement.JPG

    It seems to have been first made in the late1880’s. For example, see this advertisement from 1889, indicating that the Series J and the Series L were “The new marvels of American inventive ingenuity.” Nonetheless, the long wind Series E still takes pride of place, receiving first mention.

    waterbury google books 1889 Convict Life in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, Volumes 1-2.jpg

    An 1890 advertisement also mentions the Series J and the Series L. Note the rather grandiose statement “Over 1,000,000 Sold in Three Years.” Does that refer to the Series J and the Series L alone? “Three years” would seem to indicate the two series were introduced ca. 1887-88.

    The Truth Newspaper December 1890 Waterbury watch.jpg

    In the 1890 advertisement, the “Old Favourite,” the long wind Series E receives only honorable mention almost as an afterthought, but after all:

    Series E Discont.jpg


    For the above three attachments, I am indebted to our Honorable APW Moderator (musicguy) for permission to lift them from his first post in the following thread:
    First watch purchase for 2018 Waterbury Watch Co. Series E


    Although the WWC reorganized in mid-1898 as the New England Watch Co., use of the WWC name seems to have lingered on for a few years, at least in some venues. In the April 2005 issue of the NAWCC Bulletin, pp. 237-40, is an article by Peter Gosnell and Snowden Taylor on the activities of Jerome & Co., Ltd. (J&C) in England. The article contains copies of several Jerome & Co., Ltd. advertisements found in various issues of The Jeweller and Metalworker publication. The following are of interest in the use of WWC vs. New England Watch Co.

    1. Figure 8A, page 237: The advertisement mentions that J&C are the sole European agents for Waterbury watches. I am here presuming, from what follows below that “Waterbury watches” refers to WWC watches rather than to watches by the Waterbury Clock Co. The advertisement is from Feb. 15, 1896, issue, over two years prior to the 1898 re-organization and renaming of WWC.

    2. Fig.8C, page 238: The advertisement indicates that J&C are the sole European agents for the Waterbury Watch Co. That advertisement appeared in the October 15, 1898, issue, 3 ½ months after the July 1, 1898, reorganization.

    3. Fig. 8D, p. 238, and fig. 8E, p. 239: These two advertisements again mention J&C as the sole European agents for the Waterbury Watch Co., but in each case, the words “New England Watch Co.” appear in parentheses beneath “Waterbury Watch Co.” These ads are from the Dec. 1, 1900, and Jan. 15, 1901, issues, respectively.

    4. Fig. 8H, p. 239 and Fig. 8J, p. 240: These advertisements (from the Feb. 15, 1903, issue and the Sept. 15, 1903, issue, respectively) mention that J&C are sole European agents for the New England Watch Co., with no mention of the Waterbury Watch Co.

    5. The above would seem to indicate that by sometime in 1903, use of the Waterbury Watch Co. name had been abandoned. Well, not entirely, it seems. Fig.8I on page 240 shows a J&C advertisement from the Sept. 1, 1903, issue that mentions a (price? stock?) reduction in “Waterbury and New England Watches.” I should also point out, FWIW, that in the advertisements mentioned in paragraphs 2-5, one of the telegraphic addresses is “Waterbury, London.” It seems that a good watch will always be in the running.

    Here is a link to the article: https://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/2000/articles/2005/355/355_229.pdf. (The dates on the advertisements do not show up well in the online article but are clear in the hard copy issue.)
     
  2. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Steven,

    Really nice series J and very good write up. I think you
    are spot on with your assumptions . You did some good
    research. I am absolutely going to follow up reading some of the
    refernces you posted.


    Rob
     
  3. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    :confused:
    Thanks, Rob, and don’t hesitate to correct me where I stumbled over my own verbosity. :confused:
     
  4. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Well you have posted quite a few rerences it would take me
    quite a while to look through all of it.;)

    The Waterbury Watch Co and the Waterbury Clock Company
    both made waterbury watches and I do see confusion out there
    because of this.


    Rob
     
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  5. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    #5 4thdimension, May 12, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2019
    It sounds as though you are saying two companies made Waterbury watches? I don't believe that is correct. It does get confusing though when one sees the Waterbury name on wristwatches. Those were a product of Ingersoll (and later U.S. Time) and appeared after that company acquired New England W.Co. around 1912 I think.-Cort
     
  6. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    "Many people confuse the Waterbury Watch Co. with the Waterbury Clock Co. Although
    both shared the same founder in the Benedict and Burnham MFG Co, they were actually
    separate and unconnected enterprises. Waterbury Clock Co. actually did make millions of dollar
    type watches, "

    "In 1880 a stock company called the Waterbury Watch Co. was formed, with a capital of
    $400,000, and Charles Benedict {the company later named a watch after him} as its first
    president. The principal shareholders included the Benedict and Burnham MFG Co. Edward
    Locke, D.A.A. Buck, and George Merritt, who would became the chief selling agent for the
    company."
    http://www.oocities.org/waterburywatch/history.html
    Copyright 2003 C.L. Stephenson

    Waterbury Clock Co in 1892 began producing inexpensive low-end pocket watches for the
    Ingersoll Company, who sold them for dollar each. They were branded with the Ingersoll name
    and were highly profitable for both companies. These were not Waterbury Watch Co
    watches. My understanding is that the Waterbury watch company did not make watches
    for other companies like Ingersoll(un-like the Waterbury Clock company that did).

    In 1898 the Waterbury Watch Co was reorganized as the New England Watch Co.
    In 1914 the New England factory was purchased by Ingersoll Watch Co
    "Ingersoll Watch Company went bankrupt in 1921 during the recession that followed WWI
    and they were purchased by the Waterbury Clock Company in 1922
    In 1944 the Waterbury Clock Company was renamed United States Time
    Corporation (now Timex Group USA) "
    Wikipedia Ingersoll Watch Company - Wikipedia




    Rob
     
  7. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    I guess I was confused! I will definitely be rereading that history.-Cort
     
  8. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    1922 was an interesting period in the company's history. In early 1922, Waterbury Clock Co. renamed the Ingersoll models, had announcements in various trade magazines such as Druggists' Circular and Hardware Dealers' Magazine, as well as an ad campaign announcing the change. Attached is a photo of a 1922 ad during this period from The Saturday Evening Post. Just a few months later, the ads were once again showing the Ingersoll name and models as shown in another ad from The Saturday Evening Post. The later ads are by artists such as Frederic Stanley and Emmett Watson.

    1922 Waterbury Ingersoll ad.jpg 1922 Ingersoll work school art reduced.png
     
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  9. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Great research Steven....
    To me the post above is Key, and I believe you are 100% correct.
    Even though the Waterbury Watch Co was reorganized
    to the New England Watch Co in 1898 no one had heard of the New England Watch Co
    at that time and they wanted to continue to
    use the "great" name of the Waterbury Watch co . Probably
    until they got a cease and desist order.................

    or more likely they used up all their inventory by1903(of Waterbury Watch Co branded watches)


    Rob
     
  10. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    I am going to try and gather these Waterbury threads together
    and make a sticky in the informational section.


    Rob
     
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  11. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Hoping not to confuse the issues, I am adding a watch that is a product of the New England Watch Co., the successor to the Waterbury Watch Company. It is called the Padishah.
    Dial.JPG Movement1.JPG

    The Padishah seems to have been introduced sometime in 1899. An advertisement in the Jewelers Circular of May 10, 1899, gives the impression it was recently introduced (previously posted by Kent Singer).

    https://mb.nawcc.org/attachments/1899_may-10_new_england_the_padishah_watch-jpg.247846/

    The Jewelers Circular of May 24, 1899, refers to it as “new.”

    Jewelers Review

    An ad from a 1903 Keystone magazine shows that by then the Padishah was sporting various “handsomely colored dials” (previously posted by Jerry Treiman).

    https://mb.nawcc.org/attachments/padishah_1903keystone-jpg.248405/

    So, why the name Padishah? Padishah is a superlative sovereign title of Persian origin. By itself, the name might suggest a watch a cut above all others, or some such. The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire was a ruler who was styled Padishah. The Sultan may have been much in the news ca. 1899 as a result of the German Kaiser’s visit in 1898 and the incidents occurring thereafter, particularly the building of the Bagdad Railway. Perhaps these incidents provided the immediate impetus for adopting the name Padishah. However, I can’t be sure.

    The Bagdad Railway, 1899-1914.
     
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  12. Steven Thornberry

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    The is another New England Watch Co. product, a Series U called the Putnam. (The Padishah above did not have a series designation on the movement.)

    Dial.JPG Movement2.JPG

    I favor the possibility that the name “Putnam” refers to Gen. Israel Putnam, a famous French and Indian War and Revolutionary War officer.

    Israel Putnam - Wikipedia

    It seems that many towns, counties, streets, etc. were named for him. There is, in fact, a Putnam, CT., and there is a Putnam street in Waterbury, which was probably named for him. Certainly, Volume 2 of Joseph Anderson’s book, The Town and City of Waterbury from the Aboriginal Period to the Year Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-Five (isn’t that a wonderful title!), mentions on page 86 that Putnam Street was named for a “Gen. Putnam.” (Use Control F to search the document.)

    https://www.cga.ct.gov/hco/books/The_Town_and_City_of_Waterbury.pdf

    There are other possibilities, I guess, for the provenance of the name Putnam. For example, there was an Edwin H. Putnam who was associated with the Novelty Manufacturing Co. in Waterbury. See p. 220 of the following.

    History of Waterbury and the Naugatuck Valley, Connecticut : Pape, William Jamieson, 1873- : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

    All in all, however, I prefer the General.
     
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  13. PW Collector

    PW Collector Registered User

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    Copyright 1887 Waterbury "TIME" Booklet.
    Carry the Waterbury. It is the athlete's watch.
    Over the 132 years, probably a child used it as a coloring book.
    Dave

    Scan 2019-6-5 15.55.02 1.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 15.56.01.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 15.56.53.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 15.57.52.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 15.58.58.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 16.00.10.jpg IMG_0008.jpg
     
  14. PW Collector

    PW Collector Registered User

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    Here are a couple of The Short Wind Waterbury Watches note booklets, with a calendar September 1890 to August 1891.
    Dave

    Scan 2019-6-5 18.35.59.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.36.51.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.37.40.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.38.28.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.39.16.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.40.04.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.40.53.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.41.40.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.43.19.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.43.19.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.44.13.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.45.03.jpg Scan 2019-6-5 18.45.38.jpg
     
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  15. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    An 1884 Waterbury Watch Co ad and the Tick, Tick, Tick booklet that it mentions. The Company's use of advertising was nothing short of masterful.

    Waterbury ad 1884 mentions tick tock tick booklet.jpg scan0006.jpg scan0007.jpg scan0008.jpg scan0009.jpg scan0010.jpg scan0011.jpg
     
  16. TimeAntiquarian

    TimeAntiquarian Registered User
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    Round and Round: The Wheels Go Round
    1887

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg 8.jpg 9.jpg 10.jpg 11.jpg 12.jpg
     
  17. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Here's another example of optimizing advertising imagery with Mikado themed trade cards that could include jeweler imprints on the front and back and another booklet. The front of the card advertises a free watch given with cash retail sales of $12. The Series C watch is pictured.

    Waterbury maids giveaway Brigham front.jpg Waterbury maids giveaway Brigham reverse.jpg Scan 57.jpeg Scan 58.jpeg Scan 59.jpeg Scan 60.jpeg Scan 61.jpeg Scan 62.jpeg Scan 63.jpeg Scan 64.jpeg DSC04385.JPG DSC04387.JPG DSC04390.JPG
     
  18. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    The Addison seems to have been a fairly popular ladies’ watch. In my brief searches, I have found it in different case styles as well as with different series markings. It was offered by the Waterbury Watch Co., but it is unclear that it was offered by the New England Watch Co. For instance, see this earlier thread.

    Waterbury Addison update

    However, see pages 317-18 of the following Answer Box article in the April 1966 Bulletin, where an Addison is mentioned as a product of the New England Watch Co., but with no supporting documentation.

    https://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/1960/articles/1966/121/121_313.pdf

    The one shown below, a Series N, has a plain nickel-finished case whose only adornment is a coin edge. That simple look and the use of minute numerals in 5-minute increments made me at first wonder whether it had been a “nurse’s watch” or such, whose sweep seconds hand had gone missing. As I looked at it more, however, I abandoned the idea of a sweep seconds hand. There seems to be no room on the hand arbor for one, and the movement doesn’t seem geared for one.

    Dial.JPG Movement2.JPG Coin Edge.JPG

    I have no idea of the origin of the use of the name Addison, but that name was registered as a trademark on December 2, 1890. The Waterbury Watch co. filed the registration application on October 16, 1890, stating that the name had been in use since May 15, 1890. (I believe the number “15” is correct; the document is unclear at that point.)

    Addison Trademark.pdf

    The watch bears six patent dates. Below are the dates and the patent numbers I have found associated with them. Most of these are in Townsend.

    Feb. 3, 1874: No patent found for that date

    March 21, 1878: Should be May 21, 1878 – 204,000

    October 13, 1883: Should be October 13, 1885 – 329,401

    Feb. 5, 1884: 263,046; 293,018; 293,142; 293,143; 293,169; 293,170; 364,109 (take your pick)

    March 30, 1886: Townsend specifically mentions 338959; however, several patents were issued to Waterbury Watch Co. on that date:

    https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/reference/patents/2?manufacturer=&q=&month=3&yearStart=1886&yearEnd=1886

    March 31, 1881: Should be March 30, 1886
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    A little additional information....
    I don't know if we have permission to show information from Ehrhardt's books, but in American Pocket Watch Identification and Price Guide Book 2, pages 117 and 118 are some interesting reprints from the 1897 Green Brothers Material Catalog. There are pictures of Waterbury Watch Company movements with logos for the following:
    P117
    The Trump Movement Series I
    The Charles Benedict Movement Series K
    Long Wind Movement Series E Discontinued 1890
    The Elfin Movement Series S
    The Old Addison Movement Series N (shows the movement you pictured above)
    Tuxedo Movement Series R
    P118
    The Columbian Movement Series H Hunting Case
    The Americus Movement Series J
    The Addison Movement Series W (Addison in all caps block font with Trade Mark immediately below Addison)
    The Rugby Series P
    The Oxford Movement Series T
    The Waterbury Movement Series L

    There are no pictures of the Addison K or Addison unmarked as shown in Post #2 of this thread that you included Waterbury Addison update

    I have a box of New England Watch Company parts that includes this detail in the lid. There are no model numbers listed, but the series are included.

    Most literature says that early on NEWC focused on small women's watches. The Blue Book features the Elf (possibly renamed Elfin?), Cavour and Queen Mab (second bit). Will have to see what else I find.

    DSC00667.JPG DSC00668.JPG DSC00669.JPG
     
  20. TimeAntiquarian

    TimeAntiquarian Registered User
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    Fortunately, this catalog is in public domain and has been digitized for online viewing at Archive.org.
    Illustrated catalogue.. : Green bros. [from old catalog] : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
     
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  21. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    Regarding whether or not NEWco made Addisons I can point to this information. The name change from Waterbury to New England occurred July 1st 1898 but the 1900-01 NEWco price list contains no Addisons. An earlier NEWco catalog would provide more conclusive evidence. The origin of the Waterbury Addison name is something I've wanted to know for years. There is an Addison St. near the old factory but there is one here in Berkeley too. Thank you Steve for posting the Addison tm. info. It really helps to bracket the years of production.-Cort
     
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  22. PatH

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  23. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I also noted the existence of an Addison Street in Waterbury, but, in a fit of diffidence, I did not bring it up. Naming after a street? Why not? After all, there is the Waltham Crescent St.
     
  24. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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  25. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Thanks for the above info. Here are items that used some of the listed trademarks, as well as a letter that has a different letterhead. The last image is a price list that accompanied the third image. Although it doesn't have a trademark, it shows what the watches were selling for about the time of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago where Waterbury Watch had a remarkable presence.

    I wonder what the Waterbury Watch tie in is for the LLADNEK trademark?

    scan0001.jpg scan0006.jpg scan0008.jpg Waterbury Watch 1895 letterhead.jpg Addison W movement 2.JPG DSC04109.JPG scan0005.jpg
     
  26. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    Neat paper Pat. The price list should put to rest any arguement that these were "dollar watches" (not that there's anything wrong with those) I had thought the R watches had more than six jewels but I haven't dismantled mine. The ones I've seen are sleek well made hunters and signed "Addison" on the case lid. -Cort
     
  27. PatH

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    These watches were made after Waterbury Watch Co had stopped widespread distribution that focused on large orders, and returned to working through retail watch dealers (this happened in 1887). They had moved from long wind to quick-wind (short-wind) and focused on smaller, thinner, more attractive watches. As the price list demonstrates, they were still affordable, but definitely not of the dollar watch variety that the clock manufacturers were beginning to provide.

    Here are examples of a few WWC watches - definitely attractive watches and in great shape many years later.
    Addison Series K
    Charles Benedict Series K
    Addison Series N
    Addison Series W

    DSC04079.JPG DSC04080.JPG DSC02800.JPG DSC02801.JPG DSC03959.JPG DSC03960.JPG Addison W.JPG Addison W back.JPG
     
  28. PatH

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    Just ran across this in the August 1890 Jeweler's Circular & Horological Review. These were in packages of 100, free to dealers who requested them.

    1890-08 JCHR notepad .jpg
     
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  29. Gregory

    Gregory Registered User

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    That meant they had to be selling on average 913 watches per day in order to sell 1,000,000 of them in 3 years.
     
  30. PatH

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    Your observation convinced me to go looking for some numbers that might support this advertising statement. I found that perhaps this was feasible, if the following bit from the Oct 1889 Jeweler's Circular is believed to be accurate.

    1889-10 JCHR WWC 10k watches daily.jpg
     
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