Internet Horology Club 185
South-Bend Purple Ribbon Watch

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September 23, 2021, 17:27
Leo Horishny
South-Bend Purple Ribbon Watch
I noticed last night, on one of the pages of ads I scanned, there was one, mid 20s?, referencing South Bend and a purple ribbon standard of some sort with a watch chain included.

Does anyone have an actual South Bend Purple Ribbon watch device? I have noticed occasional watch ribbons, when searching around for watch chain images, but that I remember, most I believe I’ve noticed have been black.

Any comments or information to add?

Leo Horishny
Sun Valley, NV
October 21, 2021, 13:17
Bill Stockton
Hi Leo
Not sure what you were looking at but to my knowledge there was never a purple ribbon "device". What the purple ribbon refers to is a cloth ribbon that was over the front of South Bend watches in the original display box. Just a marketing thing. I don't have an available photo but if you search "South Bend Watch Purple Ribbon" I assume one will come up.
October 22, 2021, 10:20
Dr. Debbie Irvine

Using the "Find or Search" feature on our IHC185 Discussion Site, I did a very cursory look at South-Bend Catalogs and Literature and found "Purple Ribbon" with this information...

(That second link includes the "free watch chain" they offered at times as an enticement, an offer like that is likely what Leo found in our archives and referenced in his posting above.)

This is a Grade 227 from Lindell's collection, factory-cased example of a desirable Railroad watch...

October 22, 2021, 11:19
Dr. Debbie Irvine

Ultra-rare "South-Bend Director's Watch" far less than 100 produced (also from Lindell's collection)

October 23, 2021, 02:18
Leo Horishny
Thank you both. I have to track the ad down again, I'm remembering what I saw different and what I think I was seeing was a watch fob, with a swallowtail edge, that was a purple ribbon.

Maybe I misremembering what I saw, but I thought there was a purple ribbon watch fob. That was the "device" I was thinking of. I'll have to dive back in and try to find it. It was a circa 1920s era drawing, as I recall.

Those purple ribbon photos are cool looking though, definitely a distinctive ad campaign!

October 23, 2021, 10:59
Ethan Lipsig
I don't think the purple ribbon was anything more than a marketing ploy, as shown in this ad.

October 23, 2021, 18:12
Leo Horishny
That seems to be the case[sic]. A clever one though.