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Classic watches, watchmaking, antique tools, history, vintage ephemera and more!

Learn about mechanical timepieces and how they work, the history of the American watch industry and especially all about the Elgin National Watch Company! Check back for new content daily.

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E. Howard

Here are some of the principle winding/setting parts for an E. Howard, Keystone era pocketwatch, made about 1915.

The "keyless works" as they're called are a little complicated on one of these. There's more moving parts than usual. But it is also a more advanced design, moving the "snapping" in/out action of the stem from the case to the movement. This type of system is called "positive setting."
The E. Howard Watch Company began in 1858 in Boston. All its trademarks, but no patents, were sold to the Keystone Case Company in 1902. Keystone continued on then producing E. Howard branded watches, although the later products are completely different. Watches from the earlier incarnation of the Howard company are significantly more rare than the later examples.
The fingered bridge is actually one single part. This is pretty common in American watches.

The balance cock has the serial number stamped in, and the words "friction staff" as a reminder that you don't have to cut this one when replacing the balance staff.

E. Howard watches have a tricky dial design. The dial have no feet. Rather there is a very thin metal rim around the outer edge that clicks over the edge of the base plate.


This works fine, but it has to be removed and installed very carefully, very even and straight. When putting the dial back on, the holes have to be lined up by eye. There are no guides or anything.



These watches are not as common as Elgin's or Walthams of their day, but they are nice looking, and well made.

Find more about E. Howard watches here.

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