Your weekly roundup of one-of-a-kind watches is below, but first...
It's A Wrap On Season One
Episode #11 is the finally of Season One for Custer & Wolfe, Building a Watch Company! This episode features another tour of the almost completed Headquarters. Take a walk around the new building with us while we talk about all the renovations, show you some before and after clips, and explain all the awesome things we're about to do in this new space!
Starting next week with the launch of Season TWO, we're bringing you WEEKLY episodes that will be a little shorter, a ton of additional behind the scenes video, and more camera time with our people individually!
Here's your Weekly Roundup!
Every Tuesday we send this Weekly Roundup of our most recent Watch of the Day watches. Many watches sell within minutes or hours, so be sure to check the website each day at noon Mountain Time or follow us on social media to get more frequent updates!
Click the images of the watches to learn more about them. Make sure to check the website at 12 PM Mountain Time for the Watch of the Day!
Today, we’re excited to bring you an incredible piece of history initially manufactured in 1906 by Illinois Watch Company — the Springfield 523. This remarkable watch features blue spade hands, strikingly contrasting the timepiece’s crisp white face and bold, black numerals. The face of this watch also features a unique sub-dial with an independent second hand, and we have elegantly encased the original movement with our robust machined titanium case and nickel-plated crown.
As you turn the timepiece over, you can see the watch’s inner workings through the case’s clear back. This watch features a 255-grade open-face movement with a going barrel. In addition to its intricate inner workings, the timepiece also features a ¾ plate with 17 stunning jewels and an engraving that reads, “Illinois Watch Co. Springfield.” We paired this one-of-a-kind watch with our black watch strap, complementing the contrasting color of the numerals of the watch face.
On April 18, 1906, the same year this watch was produced in Illinois, the infamous Great San Francisco earthquake rocked the west coast of America. The massive earthquake ranked at 7.8 on the Richter Scale and caused subsequent fires that resulted in the destruction of 75% of the city and caused nearly 4,000 deaths. Since that earthquake in 1906, San Francisco has endured seven more significant earthquakes ranked higher than 5.0 on the Richter Scale. Although earthquakes always cause destruction, architectural innovations have changed how people build on fault lines to minimize damage.
We’re delighted to present this magnificent and historic piece originally manufactured by the Elgin National Watch Company in 1914 — the Chicago 484. This antique timepiece features thinly-stylized dark brown numerals against a light tan background. The front of the watch also boasts teal solid diamond kite hands. We made this already-remarkable pocket watch even more breathtaking by encasing it within our Bronzed-Titanium case and adding a complementing gold-plated crown.
Our one-of-a-kind case comes with a transparent back, enabling you to view its stunning inner workings, including a 193-grade open-face movement with a jeweled safety barrel and gold train. The rear side of the watch also displays gold-plated gears powered by 19 ruby jewels with raised gold settings. Finally, we completed this sumptuous watch with our comfortable, hand-crafted Moss leather watch strap, making the final piece even more distinct and eye-catching.
The Elgin National Watch Company initially produced the Chicago 484’s pocket watch in Elgin, Illinois, in 1914 — the same year the Federal Reserve Bank opened in the United States. The US government created the Federal Reserve Bank through the 1913 Federal Reserve Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson. The government’s creation of the Federal Reserve led to the US dollar becoming the main international reserve currency in 1944.
We’re thrilled to feature a highly remarkable and memorable piece originally manufactured by the American Waltham Watch Company — the Boston 459. The watch’s eye-catching dial features a vintage image of a Pureoxia Ginger Ale, a now-defunct, Boston-based beverage producer. This antique piece also features bronze-colored numerals along with blue-tinted heavy moon watch hands. We encased this historic pocket watch within our stunning and robust Bronzed Titanium case, complementing the dial’s numerals, and equipped it with a nickel-plated crown. Our case features a clear back, enabling watch enthusiasts to view the brilliance of the pocket watch’s inner workings. The piece boasts a 1225-grade open-face movement with luxurious gold-plated gears. You can also view the watch’s Breguet hairspring and 17 sumptuous jewels throughout its bridge plate. To finish the piece, we paired it with our Moss leather watch strap, adding comfort and more style to this already-memorable historic watch.
It was not uncommon for these watch manufacturers to do small runs of special dials for companies and custom orders. Often, small companies would request a small run of watches with their branding on it to give out to its own employees, or would order a larger run of watches to sell at a smaller jewelry store with their own name on the watch. With this particular dial, we assume from our research that this is probably something that the Pureoxia company had made custom at an incredibly small quantity just for its own employees. We also found a very detailed map of the downtown Boston area where this beverage was served around town, so that you could find a local spot near you if you were looking for this particular brand.
The American Waltham Watch Company initially produced this pocket watch in Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1924 — the same year the Wrigley Building skyscraper opened in Chicago. William Wrigley Jr. began the construction project in 1920 in order to create a headquarters for the Wrigley Company, which produces notable American gum brands, including Juicy Fruit and Hubba Bubba. Wrigley hired the architectural firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White to design the building. They combined a French Renaissance style with Seville Cathedral’s Giralda bell tower, located in Seville, Spain.
"Rockford didn't manufacture many pocket watches, so when we see a dial like this in such pristine condition, we get very excited. I also love the way the machine marks show so well on the titanium case. It's not for everyone, but to us, it's a signature on our work!" - Tyler
We’re pleased to feature this remarkable piece initially produced by the Rockford Watch Company in 1914 — the Rockford 042. The front of the watch boasts a pristine, light-cream colored dial with elegant black hour numerals and red minute numerals. The dial also displays a matching sub-dial with black numerals as well as black spade & whip watch hands.
We encased the stunning original pocket watch within our robust and scratch-resistant Machined Titanium case and equipped it with a matching nickel-plated crown. On the back of the watch, you can view the timepiece’s impressive inner workings, including its 335-grade open-face movement. The movement features luxurious and powerful gold-plated gears powered by 17 screw-set jewels throughout its ¾ plate. Finally, we matched this one-of-a-kind watch with our comfortable, artisan-designed Stout leather watch strap. This finishing touch makes the antique piece even more sophisticated and unforgettable.
The Rockford Watch Company originally manufactured the Rockford 042’s pocket watch in Rockford, Illinois, in 1914 — the same year the United States Navy launched the USS Nevada (BB-36). The battleship was a huge step for the US Navy’s dreadnoughts, the primary type of battleship that militaries used during World War I. The USS Nevada featured key innovations used by subsequent battleships, including triple gun turrets and geared steam turbines. The ship fought in both World War I and World War II, and Japanese pilots bombed the powerhouse cruiser six times during Pearl Harbor. Miraculously, the USS Nevada survived the attack. The Navy decommissioned the battleship in 1946, and two years later, the Navy sank the ship for target practice.
"This dial is extremely similar to the dial on my personal watch that we call Exhibit A (the watch I wore for our day in court with SWATCH). We used the same styling as my watch too with a bronzed titanium case and red strap. It's beautiful." - R.T.
We are pleased to be able to showcase another one of our Bronzed Titanium cases on this exquisite timepiece from the Hamilton Watch Company, our Lancaster 152. We have a lot of requests for a bronze option within our lineup of watches, and this process turns the case color to mimic bronze, without the long-term aging that a bronze case will get over time. We love the pairing of the gold-colored numerals with our gold-plated crown and hardware.
The vertical accents on the dial add to the visual appeal that draws you in and is continued into the stitching on this oxblood cordovan strap. As we turn the watch over to reveal this 916-grade movement, we see more of this incredible craftsmanship with these perfectly machined Geneva lines that decorate the entire 3/4 bridge plate. Stainless steel hardware holds all 17 screw-set jewels in place and brings some shimmer to add to the precious metal gears that show from beneath. This watch was originally manufactured in Lancaster, Pennsylvania by the Hamilton Watch Company in 1926.
In November of this same year, the United States officially established the numbered highway system, including the world-famous Route 66. It was originally built as a way to easily travel from Chicago, Illinois to Las Angeles, California. The country fell deep into the deep depression by 1929 and construction was hard to keep on track due to the economic crisis across the country. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stepped in and made the highway part of his “New Deal” that was eventually passed, and the project was finally completed in 1938.
We’re thrilled to present this eye-catching piece originally manufactured by the Illinois Watch Company — the Springfield 520. The watch boasts an elegant dial with bold black hour numerals and orange minute numerals that look stunning against its pristine white background. The front of the watch also features black diamond kite hands and a matching subdial. We paired this one-of-a-kind pocket watch with our robust and stylish Gunmetal case and equipped it with a copper crown.
Our Gunmetal case has a transparent back, enabling you to view the watch’s remarkable inner workings, and the piece features a 405-grade open-face movement with a center bridge and going barrel. The movement also features gold-plated gears powered by 17 stunning jewels. Finally, we paired the piece with our comfortable, handcrafted Stone leather watch strap, making this piece even more unforgettably sophisticated.
The Illinois Watch Company initially produced this marvelous pocket watch in Springfield, Illinois, in 1917 — the same year that Columbia University gave out the first Pulitzer Prize. Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer created the Pulitzer Prize in his will. He allocated $250,000 for a series of awards, including four journalism awards, four traveling scholarships, one education award, and one award in letters and drama. The first Pulitzer Prize winners include Jean Jules Jusserand for With Americans of Past and Present Days, Laura E. Richards and Maude How Elliott for Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, and Herbert Bayard Swope for articles he published in New York World.