While wearing an old watch I always wonder how many things it has seen and experienced on the wrist of its previous owners, as well as when I touch the stones of the Colosseum I wonder if there, right on that block, some Roman Emperor may have put his hand.
Now I like to share with you a "discovery", that gave me the opportunity to get in touch with exquisite persons.
The subject of the research is this LeCoultre Powermatic.
The watch (manufactured on March 1954 and delivered to Longines-Wittnauer on the late July of the same year) has an engraving on the inner caseback:
"I. M. MYERS - NEWTON IOWA "
Newton, Jasper County - Iowa, is little town of about 15,000 inhabitants nestled in the Great Plains, so I wrote to the Director of the local newspaper - the Newton Daily News - asking if he could help me in the search of the first owner of the watch.
The Director, told me that the last name Myers (of German origin) is very widespread in the County, and he suggested to contact the local Genealogical Society.
Ms Barbara Hug, President of the Jasper Co. Genealogical Society, immediately took the matter very seriously, but despite all her researches (records of births, schools, cemeteries and obituaries) throughout the county, she didn’t find any I. M. Myers.
Then Ms Hug published an article in the newspaper, hoping to stimulate the memories of her countrymen.
The online page
A few days later Barbara told me that the Newton Daily News had received several phone calls and email from people who thought to remember who this person was.
One of these reports seemed interesting and Barbara got in touch with someone who appears to be a nephew of Myers. He knows nothing about the watch, but he provided the phone number of the Myers' widow, living in Florida. Again a round of phone calls, but Mrs. Patricia Myers didn’t remember any details until Barbara sent a pic of the watch and…..
This is the history of Max
Ivan Max Myers, son of the manager of a service station on Highway 14 and of a dressmaker, was born in 1935, first male after four daughters. He was known by everyone simply as Max, and he was always recorded in this way, hence the difficulty to trace his name initials. He attended the schools of his town and graduated from Newton Senior High School in 1953.
This a pic of that period.
He then moved to Detroit (Mich.) where, following his vocation for agriculture, enrolled at the Ford Motor Company Training School to become a designer of agricultural machinery. In 1958 he enlisted in the Army and served for six years.
In 1964, after his discharge, he was hired by Ford, where he became responsible for managing the storage of spare parts, a position which brings him to live in Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, New Jersey and, for a short time, even in Taiwan.
He liked to spend the holidays on his motor-home going around for places where he can go fishing; he liked playing golf and he also ran some NASCAR races.
He retired in 2001 and settled in Taveres (Fla) and spent the spring in Maine, where he died on August 2002 in Bristol.
And the watch?
It was a gift by his sister Rose, the most profligate of the family, on the occasion of his 21st birthday; Mrs Meyer said that nobody in the family would spend so much for a watch ($ 89.50 at the time).
Patricia also said that Max loved that watch, souvenir of his beloved sister.
According to the widow, the watch has been probably lost during a trip to Chicago where Max attended the wedding of the son of a collegue.
Behind every object there is the history of its owner