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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello... It's been a long time since I've visited this forum. Many of the regulars have changed. I am getting back into watch collecting and I mainly collect vintage Hamilton and Elgin solid gold watches.

While looking at the big auction site recently, I saw a listing for a Howard wrist watch. It looks like a Hamilton watch, and even the movement looks like a Hamilton, but the markings on the dial and movement are different. What's a Howard? I see lots of pocket watches by Howard, bit no wristies. Can anyone tell me the story on this watch?

Thanks, Jim.
 

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Howard was a well-known pocket watch brand based in Roxbury, Massachusetts around the time of The Civil War until 1930 when The Great Depression forced the company to shut down. In 1931, Hamilton bought the rights to The Howard Watch Company (or as it was known by then, The Keystone Watch Company). Hamilton had intended to run wrist watches under the brand much like they did with The Illinois Watch Company. But after Illinois faded, Hamilton pretty much abandoned the Howard idea as well. They produced only a small run of Howards sometime in the 1940s in order to keep the trademark alive.

You said the movement looked like that of a Hamilton? Good eyesight! Hamilton used their 980 movement, stamping it as H980 for use in their Howards. There will also be a HWxxx number as the serial number, starting with HW001. The total number of Howards produced is in conflict. A Hamilton report dated from 1957 suggests only 637 pieces were ever produced while other sources claim a total as high as either 1,000 or 1,021.

Bottom line: Yes, they are rare! And one still in it's original box is almost unheard of. Excellent photos of both can be seen at Rene Rondeau's own website hamiltonelectric dot com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Comethunter. With that info, I was able to search this forum and some other sites. That's a very interesting story and those look rare. That means I have to have one! Thanks, Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is a 14k Seneca listed now....same exact case. It is much better deal? $2600 seems like a shill bid to me.
Why would you say it looks like a Shill Bid? The last two records I found show that the price is right in the range. There is another for sale on a Hamilton site that is even more expensive and it's not even solid gold (though it comes with a cool original box). Just curious since it all seemed good to me, except it was out of my price range.
 

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often it's not the dollar value of the winning bid but the bidding behaviour that indicates shill bidding.
 

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Sorry to be so late to this thread. I don't get over here too often. According to data compiled by Hamilton Watch Co. president John Gelson, the following was the production of the grade H980:
HW001-HW075 1942
HW076-HW600 1946-47
HW601-HW1075 1948-49

Prior to the wristwatch production Hamilton produced a "Howard" pocketwatch -- there were twelve of these numbered HWR1 to HWR12 made in 1939. I posted a picture of my example in this thread -- http://www.watchtalkforums.info/forums/hamilton-watch-forum/44723.htm

I am keeping a database of known examples (pocket and wrist) and I missed the auction that WatchHappy asked about. Would anyone be able to tell me what the movement number was and which style case it had?
 
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