Internet Horology Club 185
Just One Look

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April 22, 2003, 18:53
Stephanie O'Neil
Just One Look
Do you believe in fate? I do, as it all began three years ago at an out of town Flea market when I happened on an older couple selling a number of different items along with a display case full of pocketwatches for sale. (I always liked and admired pocketwatches, even as early as the 1970's when I purchased my very first).
The lady was very friendly as she struck up a conversation and showed me her favorite pocketwatch from her husband's collection of some 35 years. I became interested and listened intently as she went on about one particular watch. She was so fascinated with the inscription that she opened the hunting case and began to read "Garland C. Park From Father May 25'96". She showed me the face which was incredibly beautiful and flawless. It was a colored (blue) porcelain, fancy dial and made by American Waltham in 1893. I asked her if the watch was for sale and she said yes, that all their watches were. She and her husband traveled throughout the U.S. and acquired the timepieces along the way; a collection she said at one time totaled over 250 pocketwatches.

I wanted that watch. I knew I had to have it. The price was somewhat steep and unfortunately, I did not have that kind of cash with me nor did she accept credit cards. Oh well, I thought, this watch was not meant for me.

Several weeks passed and I thought more and more about that beautiful watch. I decided to go back to their location the following weekend, making sure this time to take the needed amount of cash. I arrived at the Flea Market, searched for the couple, and was told they departed the week before. Needless to say the disappointment I felt.

And so began, from that day forward, my quest of antique pocketwatches. From that day forward I knew to always take enough cash on future excursions.

Three years went by and along the way I acquired a beautiful collection of assorted pocketwatches and wrist watches.

One day, I happened on a booth with a few pocketwatches for sale while at another out of town Flea Market location. To my surprise, there stood the couple who once had the infamous pocketwatch! I was so thrilled to see them and told the lady how much I admired "her favorite watch" from her husband's collection and my regrets for not purchasing that watch, as it came back to haunt me many times over. As it turns out, she still had the watch for sale. She took me to her mobile home close by where she kept most of their watches, as she did not want them to be "handled". She said the pocketwatch in question hadn't been displayed since the day I saw it three years before.

I bought that pocketwatch that day, a day I will remember for a very long time and the day I WAS
meant to have the watch after all.

It's like the song goes, "Just One Look, That's All It Took, to the beginning of a never-ending search of beautiful timepieces of yesterday!

Stephanie O'Neil
NAWCC # 0143979
Creole #43 member
Printed in Creole Chapter #43 newsletter of 9/9/01
Vol. 2001,Issue 4
April 22, 2003, 19:56
Lindell V. Riddle
Hi Stephanie,

What a terrific story! We all have a tale to tell of what brought us to this fascination, or is it obsession? However, few could tell it as well as you have. Keep the great stories coming, you're doing really well.

Now Linda Ronstadt is singing in my head, cool... I like Linda Ronstadt.

Best Wishes,


December 22, 2003, 19:31
Stephanie O'Neil
The watch that I was meant to have. Captivating 1893 American Waltham, fancy dial, pie crust, hunting case

Stephanie O'Neil
NAWCC Member 143979

December 22, 2003, 19:35
Stephanie O'Neil
and, wonderful inscription!

Stephanie O'Neil
NAWCC Member 143979

December 23, 2003, 03:08
Jim Cope
....great dial!!!great pics!!!great story!!!well done Steph!!!Jim C
December 23, 2003, 10:59
Kevin Pestor
Nice watch and a terrific story and the hunt was definitely worth it.
Your pictures are comming out really great, do you have a movement picture for the watch? Cool Cool

Kevin "Veritas" West
IHC Member 261
Chapter 111,Ottawa
NAWCC Member 158976,
Nepean, Canada
December 23, 2003, 21:53
Stephanie O'Neil
Jim C.,

Thanks! Smile


Thanks. An unbelievable outcome huh? I'm still in the experimenting stage in taking digital pictures and will be for a while I'm sure. Working on mastering movement shots.

Stephanie O'Neil
NAWCC Member 143979