21st August 2017 

American watches other than Waltham.

Waltham are by far the most common American watch to be found in UK but a number of others do crop up.


Unless otherwise stated all watches have 7 jewels, are working, keep at least reasonable time for their age and wind and set correctly. Lids and bezels are secure, stay closed and where appropriate open when the button or crown is pressed. Any inscriptions, dedications or monograms (other than jewellers and makers marks) and any gold plate worn through to the core will either be shown in the photographs, described in the text or both. Movements carry a 6 or 12 month warranty as described under “Warranty info”.

Click on image for another picture and on "More pictures" for more on Zenflio. Please remember that hi-res photos are several times life size and will make some tiny flaws, marks, etc. look huge!




American Watches: Elgin, Howard, Seth Thomas etc.. Elginf

Elgin National Watch Company

Founded in 1864 and operated until 1968 and based in Elgan, Illinois 30 miles from Chicago it was for many years the largest single watch making site in the world, larger than Waltham but more of a technology follower than a leader it still made some excellent watches. They are not common in the UK, Waltham having set up a UK office dominated the trade in imported American watches.

Not to be confused with unsigned movement in a watch case by the "Illinois Watch Case Company of Elgin", passing off became such an issue that Elgin Watch successfully went to court to get "Elgin" recognised as their trade mark.


American Watches: Elgin, Howard, Seth Thomas etc.. HowardF

E. Howard Watches.

The history of this name is quite complicated this is the bare bones: E. Howard started making clocks then moved onto watches and made about 108,000 watches between 1858 and 1903 (in the factory shown to the right). In association with Dennison he founded the Boston Watch Co which morphed into Waltham. Whilst the original Howard company continued to make clocks the Howard name was sold to the Keystone Watch Case Co (not Keystone watch!) who also purchased the buildings of the failed United States Watch Company of Waltham, MA and made watches of their own designs signing them "“E. Howard Watch Company."” "Howard" watches after 1903 are often referred to as being "Keystone Howards".



American Watches: Elgin, Howard, Seth Thomas etc.. W677f

W677. Keystone Howard Duracy, c1910

Whilst not overtly using the Howard name this well-made movement was clearly designed to look like the high end Howard Series 11 "Railroad Chronometer" having the same plate design but has 7 jewels rather than 21. It has a Swiss Lever escapement with a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring and is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

Oxford Pocket Watches: W677 Keystone Howard Duracy c1910 &emdash; W677 Keystone Howard Duracy c1910 (9)


For comparison the Howard Series 11 looks like this:

Oxford Pocket Watches: E. Howard &emdash; W613. E. Howard Series 11, 21J Railroad Chronometer, 1913.


The screw backed case is a Silveriod type nickel alloy and is marked "Silvernus" and with the trade mark of Thos Russell of Liverpool. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a very good mineral glass crystal.

BRACKLEY £275 More pictures on Zenfolio


American Watches: Elgin, Howard, Seth Thomas etc.. STF

Seth Thomas Watches

Seth Thomas started making clock in 1814 in Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut and the business became the Seth Thomas Clock Company in 1853. They continued in business as one of the premiere American clock makers.

From 1884 they also made watches, small in numbers by comparison with other American makers but still several times bigger than the largest English maker. Their watches are rare in this country and not common in the USA.


American Watches: Elgin, Howard, Seth Thomas etc.. Next

Recently Sold Watches


Following requests from buyers who are giving watches as presents I no longer show the price of sold watches.

The web site has recently been reorganised to move the non Waltham American watches to this page but sold watches have generally been left on the original pages.




American Watches: Elgin, Howard, Seth Thomas etc.. W657f

W657. Hamilton 956-1, 17J, 1921.

A high grade size 16, split plate adjusted movement with 17 jewels, a Swiss lever escapement and Breguet sprung cut compensated balance with screw micro adjuster. Crown wound and set with a high quality 3 piece dial. Production records show that the movement went into the finishing shop on the 15th April, 1921

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring and is keeping excellent time, 12 months warranty.

The American swing out 25 year case is in Filled Gold and signed by Hamilton. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new mineral glass crystal from old stock.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio


American Watches: Elgin, Howard, Seth Thomas etc.. w662f

W662. Elgin 382 17J Masonic Watch, 1918.

A size 16, bridge plate and 3 fingers adjusted movement with 17 jewels, a Swiss lever escapement and Breguet sprung cut compensated balance with double roller. Crown wound and set, the Masonic dial is not original to the watch but has some age. Dated from the serial number to 1918.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring and is keeping excellent time, 12 months warranty.

The screw back American case is by the Keystone Watch Case Company in Silveroid (A Nickel Alloy) and is marked "Genuine Imitation Silver". It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new crystal.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.


American Watches: Elgin, Howard, Seth Thomas etc.. W524f

W524. Elgin 292-6, Hunter, 1925

A 292 model grade 6 Elgin, it is a split plate movement with a Swiss lever escapement with cut compensated balance and Breguet Spring with double roller. Crown wound and set. The serial number dates it to 1925.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring and is keeping excellent time, 12 months warranty.

The dust cover is engraved:

Presented to
J.S. Spencer
by Grangemouth Dockers
in recognition of the Heroic act in saving life in Dock
5th July 1927

From the Falkirk Herald dated 8th July 1927:

The ship S.S Moorfoot was docked in Grangemouth unloading a cargo of steel. A deck hand Mr John Cowan Junior was struck by a load as it was being swung up from the hold and knocked overboard into the dock. Badly concussed and struggling to stay afloat he managed to get a precarious hold on the ships hull.

Mr Spencer, 2nd mate aboard the S.S Moorfoot, dived into the dock and having first divested Mr Cowan of his heavy oilskin clothing and boots pulled him to safety

They must have felt very strongly to have collected enough to buy this watch.

The English made double backed case is a "Moon" grade in 10 carat filled gold by Dennison. Note that the front cover is rather "wobbly" but is secure. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has what looks to be a new crystal.

Withdrawn for re-work. £325


W576. Seth Thomas model 8, 1896.

This is a size 18 lever set two-tone three-quarter plate with 7 jewels. The Swiss lever escapement has a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance and a "Safety Pinion" to protect the mechanism in the event of mainspring failure. The time is set by unscrewing the front bezel, pulling out the lever hidden under it at 1 o'clock and then turning the crown. The serial number dates it to 1896.

Serviced and with a new mainspring, it is keeping excellent time 12 months warranty

The Canadian made screw backed case is a "Banner" grade in Filled Gold by P.W. Ellis & Co. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new crystal.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio


American Watches: Elgin, Howard, Seth Thomas etc.. E682f

W596. Elgin 1-18-1, 11J, 1873.

An early Elgin size 18 -model 1, grade 18, class 1 movement (that I originally thought to be English), with a Swiss Lever escapement but laid out tangentially as an English Lever. It has 11 jewels and an over-sprung cut compensating balance. It winds clockwise from the back and is set from the front by using the key on the "hub" holding the hands. Dated from the serial number to c1873.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring and is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The English double backed, triple hinged, case has Birmingham hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1875 and the makers mark of A.L. Dennison. This is a rare and very early case by Dennison who came to dominate the English volume case making industry and was second to none in the field world wide. Dennison was one of the founders of the Waltham watch company but left them after a dispute on the direction of the business, had ago at watchmaking in UK which was not a success and, broke, wen into case making.

Priestley's "bible" on English watch cases says that Dennison family records show the business started in late 1874 but it also shows that the ALD makers mark was entered on the register (presumably now, not for the first time) on the 20th April 1876. The back lid of the case has the date letter used in 1875 and again in 1900 with the shield cartouche indicating 1875, the Birmingham Assay mark with it is also in a shield for the 1875 date series.

However the lion silver mark on the back lid and the date and silver marks on the dust cover (the assay mark is not required to be repeated) have the cartouche for the 1849 series hallmarks used up to 1874/5.

So the case was certainly made in the first 12-18 months of the formation of the Dennison company but the probability is that it was made as the hallmark date sequence changed in early 1875 making this a case from the first few months of production which were made in his attic or (literally) the garden shed.

The case is 2.1" / 5.3cm in diameter excluding the pendant etc. and is 0.75" / 1.9cm thick. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new crystal.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio