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Columbus 11j vs 15j Movements (Pressed vs. Screw-Set) "Click" to Login or Register 
I am currently researching the different grades that were manufactured at Columbus Watch Co.

As many already know, it is often difficult to determine whether a movement is 11j or 15j by simply looking at the top plate of the movement due to the practice of some manufactures to only jewel the top plate.

While researching, I have yet to see an 11j Columbus example (4 top plate hole jewels) that had screw-set jewels. All examples I have evaluated and grade descriptions I have researched always indicate pressed jewels if it is an 11j movement and screw-set if it is a 15j movement.

Thus, I wanted to throw it to the community to corroborate this. Has anyone ever observed and confirmed an 11j Columbus movement with screw-set jewels?

Grades 22, 92, 21, and 91 are all 11j and have pressed jewels.
Posts: 49 | Location: Tennessee in the USA | Registered: February 20, 2012
I should have specified that I am referring to 18s and 16s movements before the "New Columbus" movements began.

Posts: 49 | Location: Tennessee in the USA | Registered: February 20, 2012
IHC Life Member
Picture of Donald Trumble
Welcome aboard Nathan,

Your observations on those Columbus watches dovetails with what I recall seeing. Some of what you need to find is confirmed with images from factory advertising and detailed notations on pages 163-177 of "American Pocket Watch Encyclopedia, Volume 1" compiled by the late Roy Ehrhardt and Bill Meggers which is long out of print but still readily available from resellers.

Specifically in response to your questions, on page 166 left hand column of the volume cited above, references to Grades 22 and 92 as well as Grades 21 and 91 are listed as "Unadjusted-Friction Jewels" by the authors. See image below this post.

We are so focused on Railroad Watches we often lose sight of some of the lesser but interesting examples.


Posts: 504 | Location: Pennsylvania in the USA | Registered: April 02, 2005
Don -

Thanks for the response. Yes - I, too, have referenced the APWE book regarding the Columbus grades you mentioned. Thanks for posting the scan.

In my other research, I have found that sometimes grades were omitted from the APEW book, or simply were unknown at the time of publishing. This becomes apparent when comparing the APEW book with the "Gold Book," published a decade later. I have also run across errors, which are expected, considering the amount of data management that is required to compile such comprehensive reference materials.

The only "Old" Columbus 18s 15J with pressed/friction jewels that I have seen is the North Star grade, which all have friction jewels.

I am attempting to compile data on Columbus observations and attributing grades, when possible. Especially for the nameless grades, it would be beneficial to distinguish 11j from 15j by evaluating the jewel settings.

Instead of assuming this distinguishing characteristic exists, I wanted to see if anyone has noticed something that would contradict this.

Thanks again!
Posts: 49 | Location: Tennessee in the USA | Registered: February 20, 2012
IHC Member 1555
Hi Nathan,

I have a few of these Columbus watches and have just gone through to check-out the jewelling. Of the 14 examples in 18 Size checked which range from Serial#110298 to Serial#326398 all of which are marked just with Columbus Watch Co (not New Columbus) the 11 jewel varieties’ are all pressed and the 15 Jewel are all screwed jewels, this applies to gilded as well as the nickle movements.

I also have an early Keywind serial#20622 which is 11 jewel and these are pressed.

Looking at the 16 Size Columbus Watch Co movements in 11 Jewel I have, they are all pressed jewels. This does change when you move to the later New Columbus movements in the 16 Size as they are then screwed jewel for the 11 jewel movements.
Posts: 2265 | Location: Gladstone in Australia | Registered: January 14, 2011
Bila -

Thanks for your assistance - much appreciated and very helpful.

Out of curiosity, is your keywind a true model 1, or is it a transitional keywind model 2/3?

Thanks again.
Posts: 49 | Location: Tennessee in the USA | Registered: February 20, 2012
IHC Member 1555
True Model 1 Keywind Nathan, as far as my limited ability can tell, these very early ones had the different gearing (tooth count) wise to the later model 2.

Posts: 2265 | Location: Gladstone in Australia | Registered: January 14, 2011
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