Northwestern Watch Case Co.

The Northwestern Watch Case Co., Rockford, IL, is mostly known for making the Muckle case. This reversible case, actually named "The Climax Watch Case" was designed and patented as a convertible case, one that could be used as either an open-face case or as a hunting-case. Greg Frauenhoff has reported that, based upon patent abstract No. 275251, it was filed for as the Magic Watch-Case by Edward A. Muckle, Rockford, IL on August 5, 1882 and that the patent was granted on April 3, 1883.

These were manufactured, mostly in silver by Northwestern (frequently appearing hyphenated as "North-Western"), but some were made in gold. According to information in a thread posted by Greg Frauenhoff on the NAWCC Message Board, American Pocket Watches Forum, entitled "Muckle Case Data," the Rockford Watch Case Co. evolved into the Rockford Watch Case Co., a firm whose main business may have been case repairs. The same thread has a list of surviving examples of Muckle cases, organized by serial number and which discusses the cases in detail, describing their history. Those knowing of a case whose serial number has not previously been listed are urged to post it in this thread, along with a description.

An undated Northwestern ad, from approximately 1884, shows a Muckle case and indicates that it was referred to as "The Climax Watch Case," as does a colored advertising card from the same era. The rights to produce the case seem to have been licensed to H. Muhr's Sons, as depicted in an 1889 H. Muhr's Sons Ad, which shows "The Climax Watch Case," indicating that it is a Muhr Crown grade, gold-filled case. A later 1891 Muhr's Sons Ad shows that "The Climax Watch Case" was available as 10K (Lion grade) and 14K (Crown B No. 2 grade - marked in cases as BII) gold-filled cases.

Quoting from Greg Frauenhoff's post on 17-Jan-08 in the above linked-to thread:
Climax was the formal name used by Northwestern for cases made with Muckle's patent. So it's clear that, with an example and a catalog entry, that Muhr made some of these treasures.

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