The VERY FIRST American Made Men's Wrist Watch

The VERY FIRST American made "MEN'S WRIST WATCH" made its debut 112 years ago this month! Published in "The Keystone" magazine on September 1, 1911, a watch & jewelry trade publication. It was NOT made by Elgin, Waltham, Hamilton, Hampden or Illinois. It was made by the New England Watch Company in Waterbury Connecticut, a company that has been largely forgotten. The proper name for this watch was the "New England Lever Cavour". It was available in sterling silver, gold fill and gun metal. All cases featured gold filled crown and swivel lugs. They even had a private label version for Mark Cross, a high-end goods retailer in New York & Boston. I was fortunate enough to obtain all 3 versions and a factory case opener. The New England Watch Company would eventually become Timex through mergers/acquisions. Enjoy!

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Why is the one marked Cross and has different hands? Was this private label?

Can some font expert fill me in on the 4 and how they all have the little back tail part crossed? I have never seen that before.

PoorMansRolex

Why is the one marked Cross and has different hands? Was this private label?

Can some font expert fill me in on the 4 and how they all have the little back tail part crossed? I have never seen that before.

Yes, it was a private label for Mark Cross, I high end goods retailer in this era.

Agreed, the "4" is a bit odd.

LRFAntiqueWatches

Yes, it was a private label for Mark Cross, I high end goods retailer in this era.

Agreed, the "4" is a bit odd.

Oh, they make stuff again. Holden Caulfield mentions his Mark Cross luggage in "The Catcher in the Rye."

An amazing collection. Thanks for sharing

PoorMansRolex

Oh, they make stuff again. Holden Caulfield mentions his Mark Cross luggage in "The Catcher in the Rye."

You are a veritable font of information 馃嵒 I've read Catcher in the Rye and there's no way I would have remembered that detail 馃榾

Such a great collection! Beautiful watches!

Gorgeous watches. I knew the bit about Timex, but I didn't know they made watches for Cross. I'm old so I remember when Cross pens were a status symbol.

PoorMansRolex

Why is the one marked Cross and has different hands? Was this private label?

Can some font expert fill me in on the 4 and how they all have the little back tail part crossed? I have never seen that before.

Great post, @LRFAntiqueWatches ! Thanks for putting this up!

The "4" often featured distinctive serifs. This Illinois 6S featured a crossed serif as well:

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This Hampden has an interesting split serif on the 4:

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And this South Bend has a tapered curved serif:

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ayadai

Great post, @LRFAntiqueWatches ! Thanks for putting this up!

The "4" often featured distinctive serifs. This Illinois 6S featured a crossed serif as well:

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This Hampden has an interesting split serif on the 4:

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And this South Bend has a tapered curved serif:

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Aha, the South Bend seems to show the possible origin from a handwritten curlicue. One more thing for a dilettante paleographer to look for.

evilgnome

Gorgeous watches. I knew the bit about Timex, but I didn't know they made watches for Cross. I'm old so I remember when Cross pens were a status symbol.

Here is another watch marketed by Mark Cross, never seen this patented design in real life!

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Very cool!

The collection of timepieces you have presented is truly mesmerizing, evoking a sense of admiration. Moreover, it beautifully captures the essence of the classic trench watches, reminiscent of a bygone era. 馃槏