Pocket Watch, c.1918
Dueber-Hampden Watch Company
John C. Dueber owned one of the largest companies manufacturing pocket watch cases in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Many other watch case manufactures united together in a boycott against the Dueber Watch Case Company after an anti-trust law was passed in 1886. Dueber had a major business decision to make. Could he go up against this threat and keep his business going or would he have to give in to the competition? He decided to buy the Hampden Watch Company of Springfield, MA and form the Dueber-Hampden Watch Company producing both watch movements and cases. He moved the newly merged company to Canton, OH in 1889 and by the end of that first year, they were producing 600 watches a day! The first 16 size watch was produced the following year.
The company continued until 1930, when the entire factory was bought for $325,000. Twenty-eight freight cars full of machinery and parts made their way to Moscow to establish the first Soviet watch factory. Twenty-one former Dueber-Hampden watchmakers, engravers and various other technicians helped to train the Russian workers in the art of watchmaking as part of the Soviet's first Five-Year Plan. The new company, Amtorg, continues in operation today.
This pocket watch has a Model 5, 555 movement with a double-roller escapement. Specifications include: 16 size, ¾ nickel plate, 21 jewels, 5 adjustments, stem-wound, pendant set, open-face. The white enamel dial has black Arabic numbers with the word "chronometer" appearing in the center of the single-sunk seconds. The movement bears the serial #3696919.
The word "chronometer" on this pocket watches dial implies that the movement passed a series of various tests, including exposure to extremes in heat and cold and placement of the watch in specific positions. Such watches received certification.
Donated by Dorothy Teskey in memory of Walter J. Teskey, NAWCC #13346.
October 21, 2005
Copyright © 2005 National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors