Waltham Serial Number Lookup Pocket Watch

Watch

The serial number database features include the ability to find information and view the source pages for the information about Waltham watches and view observaton information provided by other collectors. The Find Serial tab requests a serial number and displays the detailed information about that number on. Even though watches were produced with serial numbers up through about 850,000 it is believed that the total production of watches from the U.S. Watch Company of Waltham, Mass. Was significantly less than this number.

  1. William Ellery, solid steel balance wheel. Original Waltham sterling silver case. I have this pocket watch in my stuff from years ago. Notice my serial number of 1693701. Then notice the first serial number of this type of watch made by Waltham. 2/1/1882 End: 4/30/1882 First: 1693701 Last: 1694000 NOTICE the serial number.
  2. The name was changed to 'Boston Watch Company' in September 1853, and the factory in Waltham, Massachusetts was built in October 1854. The movements produced here (serial numbers 1001 - 5000) were signed 'Dennison, Howard,& Davis,' 'C. Parker,' and 'P.
  3. Let's say you have a Waltham watch with serial number 21,607,210 as shown in the photo below. Note that we're using the serial number from the watch movement, not from the watch case. Looking at the table of Waltham serial numbers (see example below), you can see that number 20,900,000 was made in 1917 and 21,800,000 was made in 1918 (marked in.

Including Serial Numbers and Production Dates

Waltham, Mass.

1885 - 1905

The U.S. Watch Company of Waltham, Mass. is NOT the American Waltham Watch Company. If you are looking for information on your American Waltham watch, go here.

The U.S. Watch Company of Waltham, Mass. should also not be confused with the United States Watch Company which operated in Marion, New Jersey.

The U.S. Watch Company of Waltham, Mass. began business as the Waltham Watch Tool Company in 1879, and was reorganized as the U.S. Watch Company in 1885. The founders of the company were Charles V. Woerd (Woerd's patent), formerly of the American Waltham Watch Company, and the Nutting Brothers, owners of a watch tool and machinery company in Waltham. Financial backers E. C. Hammer and T. B. Eaton became Treasurer and President of the company respectively.

Waltham Serial Number Lookup Pocket Watch Battery

An example of a late production US Watch Co. movement

A new factory was constructed, with a planned production of 50 watches per day. The directors of the new company wanted to name the company the Waltham Watch Company, but a suit was filed by the American Waltham Watch Company and the use of the Waltham name was prohibited in 1899.

The first watches produced were 16-size, 3/4 plate and were made in 3 grades. These early watches are called 'Dome Watches' because they used a wide mainspring barrel, the top of which was domed upward in the center to accommodate the balance wheel. The pallet fork was made of aluminum alloy and used a square ruby impulse jewel. The Dome Watch movement required a special case, which proved unpopular, and in 1888 a new watch was produced which would fit into a standard American case. The top grade watch produced by the company was 'The President,' an 18-size, double-roller watch which an 1894 advertisement claimed was accurate to within 6 seconds a month!

The U.S. Watch Company was purchased by the Philadelphia Watch Case Company in 1901, which subsequently merged with the Keystone Watch Case Company in 1904. It was through this acquisition that Keystone gained control of the factory, wherein they began production of their Keystone-Howard watches in 1905. Even though watches were produced with serial numbers up through about 850,000 it is believed that the total production of watches from the U.S. Watch Company of Waltham, Mass. was significantly less than this number.

U.S. Watch Company of Waltham, Mass

Total Production: Approx. 800,000 Watches

YearS/N
18873000
18886500
188910,000
189030,000
189160,000
189290,000
1893150,000
1894200,000
1895250,000
YearS/N
1896300,000
1897350,000
1898400,000
1899500,000
1900600,000
1901700,000
1902750,000
1903800,000
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Be sure to use the serial number on the movement (the works) of the watch. Do not use the serial number from the watch case.

Can’t find your serial number in the table? Click here for an explanation and example of how to use our serial number tables.

Need help finding the serial number on your watch? Click here for instructions on how to identify and open most common case types.

Including Waltham Watch Serial Numbers and Production Dates

Waltham, Massachusetts

1850 - 1957

The American Waltham watch factory on the banks of the Charles River

The American Waltham Watch Company had its beginnings in 1850 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The company was founded by David Davis, Aaron Dennison, and Edward Howard. Their vision was to form a watch company that could produce high-quality watches at a lower cost using interchangeable parts. With financial backing from Samuel Curtis, of small-arms manufacturing fame, the watch production began in 1851, and the first small group of watches were finished in late 1852. The first watches produced went to officials of the company, and it was not until 1853 that the first watches were offered for sale to the public.

Problems were encountered with the new production methods. The company was exploring innovative new ideas in watch manufacturing, such as using jewels, making enamel dials, and producing plates with a high-level of finish which required extensive tooling and resulted in a great financial burden. They also found that even though they were using interchangeable parts, each watch was still unique and had its own set of errors to be corrected. It took months to adjust the watches to the point where they were any better than other widely available timepieces.

In 1853, the factory building was completed and the company began doing business under the name 'American Horologe Company.' The name was changed to 'Boston Watch Company' in September 1853, and the factory in Waltham, Massachusetts was built in October 1854. The movements produced here (serial numbers 1001 - 5000) were signed 'Dennison, Howard,& Davis,' 'C. T. Parker,' and 'P. S. Bartlett.'

The company went through a series of financial reorganizations and renamings over the next decades. The Boston Watch Company failed in 1857 and was sold at auction to Royal E. Robbins. It was reorganized as 'Tracy, Baker & Co.' and later that same year the name was again changed to 'Appleton, Tracy & Co' and watches 5001 - 14,000 were produced. The first movements carried the Appleton, Tracy & Co. marking. The C. T. Parker movement was reintroduced as the model 1857 and sold for $12, no small amount in those days!

Waltham During the Civil War Years

In January, 1859 the Waltham Improvement Co. and the Appleton, Tracy & Co. merged to form the 'American Watch Company.'

The dial department of the Waltham Watch factory.

Waltham

In 1860, as Abraham Lincoln was elected President and the country found itself in the throes of the Civil War, the American Watch Company was faced with serious financial problems. By 1861, business had come to a standstill and bankruptcy seemed inevitable. The factory was kept in operation through these years by cutting expenses to the lowest possible level... a strategy that proved successful.

According to the biography by Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln owned and carried a Waltham 'Wm. Ellery' watch. The watch was an 11-jewel, 18 size, key-wind in a silver hunter case, and was produced in January of 1863.

In 1885, the company became the 'American Waltham Watch Company'. In 1865 prices for movements only (no case) were: William Ellery $13, P. S. Bartlett $16, Bartlett-Ladies $30, Appleton Tracy $38, A. T. & Co Ladies $40, and American Watch Grade $175!

In 1906 the company was renamed the 'Waltham Watch Company'. In 1923, they became the 'Waltham Watch and Clock Company' reflecting the new importance of clock manufacturing, but then in 1925 the name was changed back to 'Waltham Watch Company'.

American Horology owes much to the brilliant visionaries of the Waltham Watch Company. Bacon, Church, Dennison, Fogg, Howard, Marsh, Webster, and Woerd all contributed greatly to American watchmaking.

Waltham continued to manufacture watches (and clocks) until 1957, when they ceased production and became the Waltham Precision Instrument Company. The rights to the name 'Waltham Watch Company' were sold to the Hallmark Watch Company of Chicago, Illinois who continued to sell imported watches using the Waltham name. Several of the original Waltham factory buildings are still standing, and were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Waltham Serial Number Lookup Pocket Watch

Waltham Named Grades

In addition to using grade numbers, Waltham also used many grade names on their watches, often choosing the names of Board members, company investors, or other prominent individuals. The grade name basically designates the model and/or level of finish of the watch. Some of the more popular Waltham named grades were:

P. S. Bartlett, Appleton Tracy & Co., William Ellery, Crescent Street, Colonial, Riverside, Central Park, Broadway, Royal E. Robbins, Vanguard, Bond Street, Sterling, Premier, Royal, and Maximus.

Waltham Serial Number Lookup Pocket Watch Band

Modern Waltham Watches

It is still possible to purchase modern quartz watches that bear the Waltham name, but these watches are unrelated to the 'genuine' American Waltham Watch Company. In fact, a 1961 ruling by the Federal Trade Commission prohibited any inference that a relationship to the original Waltham Watch Company exists.

The bustling traffic outside the Waltham Watch factory at noon

American Waltham Watch Company

Value

Total Production: Approx. 35 Million Watches

Waltham Look Up Numbers

YearS/N
185250
1853400
18541000
18552500
18564000
18576000
185810,000
185915,000
186020,000
186130,000
186245,000
186365,000
1864110,000
1865180,000
1866260,000
1867330,000
1868410,000
1869460,000
1870500,000
1871540,000
1872590,000
1873680,000
1874730,000
1875810,000
1876910,000
18771,000,000
18781,150,000
18791,350,000
18801,500,000
18811,670,000
18821,835,000
18832,000,000
18842,350,000
18852,650,000
18863,000,000
18873,400,000

American Waltham Pocket Watch Value

YearS/N
18883,800,000
18894,200,000
18904,700,000
18915,200,000
18925,800,000
18936,300,000
18946,700,000
18957,100,000
18967,450,000
18978,100,000
18988,400,000
18999,000,000
19009,500,000
190110,200,000
190211,100,000
190312,100,000
190413,500,000
190514,300,000
190614,700,000
190715,500,000
190816,400,000
190917,600,000
191017,900,000
191118,100,000
191218,200,000
191318,900,000
191419,500,000
191520,000,000
191620,500,000
191720,900,000
191821,800,000
191922,500,000
192023,400,000
192123,900,000
192224,100,000
192324,300,000

Waltham Serial Number Lookup Pocket Watches

YearS/N
192424,550,000
192524,800,000
192625,200,000
192726,100,000
192826,400,000
192926,900,000
193027,100,000
193127,300,000
193227,550,000
193327,750,000
193428,100,000
193528,600,000
193629,100,000
193729,400,000
193829,750,000
193930,050,000
194030,250,000
194130,750,000
194231,050,000
194331,400,000
194431,700,000
194532,100,000
194632,350,000
194732,750,000
194833,100,000
194933,500,000
195033,560,000
195133,600,000
195233,700,000
195333,800,000
195434,100,000
195534,450,000
195634,700,000
195735,000,000
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Waltham Pocket Watch Identification Guide

Be sure to use the serial number on the movement (the works) of the watch. Do not use the serial number from the watch case.

Can’t find your serial number in the table? Click here for an explanation and example of how to use our serial number tables.

Need help finding the serial number on your watch? Click here for instructions on how to identify and open most common case types.

At Renaissance Watch Repair, we are experts in the repair and restoration of antique watches made by the American Waltham Watch Company. Please contact us if you have any questions about the repair of your vintage Waltham watch.