P.W. Ellis & Co., Toronto, Ont., Canada was a major jobber as well as a manufacturer of pocket watch cases and chains.
P.W. Ellis & Co.: A Brief HistoryP.W. Ellis & Co. was established in 1872 (Men of Canada, Vol. 1, Bradley, Garretson & Co.) by Philip Wm. Ellis and his twin brother, M.C. Ellis (who went on to become the president of the Canadian Association of Dealers in American Watches and Cases by 1891). The firm was located at 4 Toronto St, Toronto in 1877, moving to 31 King St East, Toronto in 1880 (History of Toronto and County of York, Ontario, Vol. 1, C. Blackett Robinson). Besides the usual lines that would be expected of a jewelry jobber, the firm carried Omega, Waltham, Hamilton, Illinois and other, lesser, lines of watches. In addition to this, Ellis was a manufacturing jeweler. The company made an assortment of jewelry and cut glass items including, of special interest here, pocket watch cases and chains, using the same trade names on all, to indicate the quality (material) of the grades (see list, below). The company was still in operation under the P.W. Ellis name in 1915, but according to Doug Sinclair's November 210 Message Board post "Ellis later merged with Ryrie, and then the firm Ellis & Ryrie was bought out by Henry Birks & Sons Jewellers, likely circa the late 1920s."
The Ellis Line of CasesThe key trade mark used on the Ellis line of solid gold (and silver) and filled cases was a maple leaf containing the letter 'E' sometimes used along with the notation that the case was made in Canada. It is not clear if these appeared on the base metal Ellis cases (nickel & gun metal).
Case GradesThe below referenced 1915-1916 P.W. Ellis & Co. catalogue lists these Ellis watch case grades (listed in order of descending quality, based upon catalog pricing):
Case Grade Case Material 18K Solid Gold - May be set with diamonds. Regal 14K Solid Gold (posted by darcykamloops) - May be set with diamonds. Sovereign 14K Gold-Filled - 25-Year (posted by orlimarko) Banner Gold-Filled Dominion Gold-Filled Alpha Gold-Filled Regina Gold-Filled (posted by testguy) Regal Sterling Silver Nickel Gun Metal
See the Case Material Encyclopedia article for an explanation of the terms.
CatalogsP.W. Ellis 1915 - 1916 Illustrated Catalogue (found online by Gordian).
Page No. Description 3 Catalogs of other P.W. Ellis product lines 4-12 P.W. Ellis Cases 6 Sovereign & Banner 0 & 6 Size Gold-Filled Cases 7 Sovereign & Banner 12 Size Gold-Filled Cases 8 Sovereign & Banner 16 Size Gold-Filled Cases 9 Sovereign & Banner 18 Size Gold-Filled Cases 10 Regal Gold Cases 11 0-Size 18K Gold Cases Set w/ Diamonds and Demi-Hunting & Mason Style Cases 12 Regal Sterling Silver Cases 13-18 Bracelet Watches 15-17 Champ Mvt - Bracelet, Convertible, Strap & Pocket Watches 19 Civic Non-Magnetic Strap Watches 20-26 & 47 Omega Watches 20-21 Omega Strap Watches 23 Omega 0-18 Size Mvts 24 Omega Desk/Traveling Watches (Clocks) 25 Omega 12, 14, 16 & 18 Size Complete Watches & Motor Watches 26 Omega Railroad Mvts - Louis Brandt et Frere Model 27-31 Waltham Watch Co. 28 Waltham 0-18 & Jewel Size Mvts 29 Waltham Military & Nurses Strap Watches 30 Waltham Convertible Bracelet Watches 31 Waltham 16-Size Equity Complete Watches 32 Ingersoll Climax 16-Siae Watch & Leather Folding Desk Watch 33-38 Hamilton Watch Co. 34 Hamilton 12-Size grade No. 920 Cased Watches 35 Hamilton Other 12-Size & 0-Size Cased Watches 36 Hamilton 16-Size Pendant & Lever-Set Mvts 37 Hamilton 16-Size Pendant-Set & 18-Size Grade Nos. 946, 942 & 940 Mvts 38 Hamilton 18-Size Mvts, Other Grades 39-42 Illinois Watch Company 39 Illinois 18-Size Mvts 40 Illinois 16-Size Mvts 41 Illinois 16, 0 & 3/0-Size Mvts 42 Illinois 12-Size Mvts 43-45 Civic Non-Magnetic Watches (also see page 19) 44 Civic Non-Magnetic 0-Size & 12-Size Watches 45 Civic Non-Magnetic 16-Size & 18-Size Watches 46 Eagle & Patria 12-Size & 14-Size Thin Model CompleteWatches 47 Omega Chronographs, Decimal Chronographs & Repeaters & Himalaya Timers 48 Gold-Headed Canes 49 Umbrellas 50 Waterbury Kitchen Clocks 51 Alarm & Gilt One-Day Clocks 52 Waterbury 8-Day Striking Clocks 53 Sovereign Gold-Filled Watch Chains 54 Banner Gold-Filled Watch Chains 55 Alpha Rolled Gold Plate Watch Chains 56 Sovereign Gold-Filled Waldemar & Coat Watch Chains 57 Banner & Sovereign Gold-Filled Ladies' Watch Chains 58-139 Misc. Jewelry: Necklets, Pendants, Fobs, Bracelets, Rosaries, Rings, Lockets & Etc. 140 Index
Men of Canada; or, Success by Example, in Religion, Patriotism, Business, Law,
Medicine, Education and Agriculture, Vol. 1, Publisher: Bradley, Garretson & Co.,
Brantford, Ont, Canada, 1891, Pg. 148.
History of Toronto and County of York, Ontario, Volume 1, Publisher: C. Blackett Robinson, Toronto, Ont, Canada, 1885, Pg. 386.