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I was thrilled to come across this timepiece! Approximately a 17 size, 17 Jewels, Adjusted, stem wind & set movement.
The dial and movement are both signed "J.J. Higgins". Movement also marked "Du Quoin, Ill.".
According to Greg Frauenhoff's 2003 edition of Railroad Watch Inspectors, Higgins is listed on page 19 under the names "J.J. Higgins, Jly. Higgins & Co. & Jly. Higgins." Anyone know what the name Jly. is abbreviated as???
Apparently, he had ties to Illinois Central & Illinois Central Gulf lines.
My question is concerning the case. The movement comes housed in a super heavy solid 14K yellow gold American Watch Case Co. case (#155968). I can find no other case screw marks making the case/movement appear to be an original combination but I want to confirm this before I start adverstising it as such. Was it common to find Swiss movements in American cases like this? Any help from the experts is greatly appreciated! More photos available if needed.
|IHC Life Member|
RR Watch Expert
I believe that Jly is an abbreviation for Jewelry.
Many high grade Swiss watches made for the U.S. or Canadian markets were made to American case size dimensions and shipped as movements only, to be cased in the U.S. or Canada. This saved shipping costs and customs duties, since the movements were considered "parts" and had a lower duty rate than complete watches. My guess is that your watch is a standard 16 size and would fit into any regular American case. Based on the foregoing I would think it reasonable that the case might very well be original. The problem is, while you can prove that a case is NOT original, without original sales papers it is not possible to prove that a case IS original, only that it could be.
Sure is a nice looking watch.
IHC Member 34
I know that this is an old post, 2005-4-3? but I while going through all, AMERICAN WATCH CASE CO. Information, I found this post, and thought I would mention that THE CASE IS CANADIAN, made in Toronto.
I have never found anything about the AMERICAN WATCH CASE CO. 511 King Street, W. Toronto, Ont., being sold or changing names at all.
But.... The American Watch Case Co. (as the header) is listed in Ehrhardt's trademarks book, that is actually what we know as American Watch Co. makes things a bit confusing.
I realize that many know the difference NOW. However I still continue to see things that are just mixed up.
AWWCO (American Waltham Watch Co.)
AWCO (American Watch Co.)(Waltham)
AWCCO (American Watch CASE Co)
Thank you for the additional trademark. It's always nice to add one to their list.
Actually, there was an American Watch Case Co. (A.W.C.Co.) in the U.S. as well as Toronto. I am not sure if they were different plants of the same company or separate companies originally, although I believe both were eventually owned by Keystone. Most of the Canadian A.W.C.Co. case that I have seen also have a Maltese cross stamped along with the karat value (even stamped on the bow) and often have a winged wheel as well. David's case above looks like one of the American cases to me.
I don't think that American Watch Case Co (Waltham) trademarks were the same. They DID make one like it, however it had the Waltham name, or an indication of it being a Waltham product, and although it had the same shape as the one above, there is a distinction between the two.
There ARE Solid Gold AWCCO Canadian cases, and I only have the same information others have, that the SG have the cross included, however, I have noticed a few on ebay that are AWCCO sg watches without it.
Does this one have a cross? is the X in place of the K or ct mean anything?
I'm trying to get more information on these cases, so any inforamtion would be great.
They must have made watches too, because I have seen them on ebay too!!! There is one on now!
At least, that what I think it says. Bad picture.
|IHC Life Member|
RR Watch Expert
The watch you referenced may have been ordered by the American Watch Case Co., but as it is marked "Swiss" on the plates, I do not believe that they actually manufactured it. Now, as to why they ordered it as a private label, I have no idea.
The "X" designation on solid gold cases sometimes stands for extra heavy, meaning it contained a greater weight of gold than their standard weight cases. I know this was done on the Keystone cases made for (Keystone) Howard.
IHC Member 34
Here is the case mark (and bow stamp) from the American Watch Case Co. of Toronto, Ont. The other American Watch Case Co. was located at 58 W. 40th in New York City.
Ed, thank you, I had read about the x, but was not sure if I remembered it correctly. I can now mark that down.
Jerry, Yep, those are the ones I know of. It's the ones like the one above, that stump me. It's hard to know what your looking at, especially when your not sure if the Company is the one in Canada or here, and even if they are the same.
I wonder if we will ever know for sure.!!!!
Thanks for the pictures, very good examples.
Someone needs to put down a definitive sequence on these watch case companies.
Waltham had case departments in both Waltham and New York. When they ran out of room at the factory they decided to sell the case business in Waltham to the Crescent Watch Case Co.
The Crescent Watch Case Co. had originally been the Chicago Watch Case Co.
I have thought with no evidence that the American Watch Case Co. was the spin off of the Waltham gold case shop in New York and was eventually merged with all the other pieces into Keystone.
This is all very fuzzy in my mind and I would appreciate someone doing the leg work to sort it all out.
It would also be useful to sort out the marks on the Waltham gold filled gold cases that were high karat on the outside and low karat on the inside but "solid" gold. I think that some of the AWWCo marked cases are this material.
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