Where Do The Old Pocket Watches Come From?

Where Do The Old Pocket Watches Come From?

Custer & Wolfe - Building a Watch Company

"The History of the Great American Watch Companies"


So many of you ask us "are there enough pocket watches out there to convert into wristwatches?" or "where do you get all the antique pocket watches?" This week on Building A Watch Company, R.T. answers those questions with a brief history of what we call the Great American Watch Companies. 

If you appreciate American history as we do, you'll love this video. R.T. also has a request... if you want to help us document these historical stories going forward, we'd love to work with you. There is not a singular source for all this information and we'd love to make videos about each company and document their stories in depth.


Watches That Truly Represent This History

As you likely know, each watch features a unique piece of American history inside. The dial, hands, and movements from antique American pocket watches are mounted inside Vortic's American Artisan Series wristwatch cases to preserve American history one watch at a time. Check out the webpage we build for each piece to read about that particular piece of history and what makes it so unique!


John Wannamaker's Department Store was one of the first department stores in the United States. This private-label pocket watch was built for them by the Elgin Watch Company, and we just love the elegance of the piece. It's simply spectacular.


Yes, that's THE Tiffany. The Elgin National Watch Company partnered with Tiffany at some point to make a set of pocket watches. We don't know much about this, and it doesn't come in a blue box, but it certainly is pretty.


The US Government Commissioned Elgin, Waltham, and Hamilton watch companies to manufacture pocket watches for the US Army Air Corps in World War Two. If you haven't seen our Military Edition yet, well... check it out! The Special Edition is definitely one of the coolest watches we've ever built.


"Ask the man who owns one" was a bold statement for the Packard Car Company to make back in the day, but it sure does create a cool logo on this antique Hamilton pocket watch built for the car manufacturer. If you look closely, you can also read the words "of a distinguished family" surrounding the logo. To us, the modern equivalent might be "the best... or nothing," or maybe “you never really own a Patek Philippe. You simply look after it for the next generation.” BOLD.


Did you like this email? Do you love historical nuggets like this? Reply and let us know! What else do you want to learn about?

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