Dollar watches? How about a twenty five cent watch!

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  1. #1
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Dollar watches? How about a twenty five cent watch!

    We were speaking of ephemera in watches in another thread - the no-jeweled every day watch of the masses. Often called 'dollar watches' this Leonard appears to be much cheaper than that...





    I believe this is a silverine case, "an alloy was developed specifically to meet the needs of the American pocket watch case that answer the question of durably and affordability. This combination of 45% nickel, 54% copper and 1% manganese was called silveroid, silverore, silverode or silverine. It was easy to polish, very hard and looked just like coin silver." From silverjewelryinfo.com.



    This one hundred year old watch still has its guarantee... note the $0.25 cost for 'repair or replacement'.

    1 Washington Street is now near the most expensive real estate in downtown Boston. It could not have been cheap a hundred years ago. This is an indication of just how profitable it was to make dollar watches.



    The dating is pretty easy to obtain -- evidently the dollar watch industry protected every improvement (or, at least, difference) with a patent.



    The working end of the watch...



    I got this one early in my collecting days. It will still run though I no longer wind it. I am not even sure it if can be serviced. If it is ever going to be serviced, it will have to wait until I can do it



    I have a bunch of pocket watches and took a few pics of others which I will post later. In the meantime, any one think they can identify this one?


    (...there is a big hint in the pic!)

    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  2. #2
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    Re: Dollar watches? How about a twenty five cent watch!

    whats a cool warranty!
    thanks for sharing

  3. #3
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    Re: Dollar watches? How about a twenty five cent watch!

    Why do you think your watch sold for less than a dollar? It is of typical "dollar watch" quality and in fact probably sold for several dollars. Never heard of Leonard and I'm guessing that it is a private label watch, ie., made by one of the dollar watch companies and labeled Leonard for sale by some other company.

    Dollar watches were not meant to be serviced, use them for a couple of years and when they stopped working or became very inaccurate toss them. Note the pressed and riveted construction. They were not jeweled and had pin lever escapements.

    Westclock dollar pocket watches were sold into the 1960s, had one as a college student in the early 60s. The Timex wrist watches of the 1950s were made on the same idea.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Dollar watches? How about a twenty five cent watch!

    Great Post!! It really reflects a segment of the watch industry at that time....so nice that the guarantee is intact

  6. #5
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Dollar watches? How about a twenty five cent watch!

    Quote Originally Posted by hctaw View Post
    Great Post!! It really reflects a segment of the watch industry at that time....so nice that the guarantee is intact
    Yes, if you look at production figures over ten times as many dollar watches were made as 'highly jeweled' (7 or more) watches.

    As to wither this actually sold new for $0.25, I suspect not. But that is certainly what they sold replacements for. No doubt about that.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  7. #6
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Dollar watches? How about a twenty five cent watch!

    Eeeb, your Leonard was made by New Haven Clock and Watch Co, the movement was their model 8. Look in your Shugart, it is mentioned there but without pictures. Picture of movement is shown in Roy Ehrhardt's old books though.
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

  8. #7
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Dollar watches? How about a twenty five cent watch!

    Timex's weren't just the same idea, they were (sorta) the same company. Timex grew out of the Waterbury Watch Company, which bought Ingersoll in 1922. Ingersoll sorta "invented" the whole "dollar watch" concept (The watch that made the dollar famous!).
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  9. #8
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Dollar watches? How about a twenty five cent watch!

    Quote Originally Posted by RON in PA View Post
    ...
    Westclock dollar pocket watches were sold into the 1960s, had one as a college student in the early 60s. The Timex wrist watches of the 1950s were made on the same idea.
    Here is one I posted previously. It is a Westclock pocket watch movement from a promotion done in the 1980s or 90s...



    These watches are 70 years apart but seem very similar.



    But Timex movements evolved to a higher level...

    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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