Home Forums General Discussion Forum Dating Pocket watch case styles

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      Is there a book or publication or anything that gives good dating to the different pocket watch case styles. not really a specific date to the case but more dating of a particular style. mostly out of curiosity but also as a quick reference to know how close a case is to the movement date wise.


        Hi Mike,
        I personally don’t know of a book or site that deals with case dating. If the case is gold or silver it may have assay marks which you can date. You may also get a rough idea of date if the case is designed for crown set as opposed to key set. the watchmaking guys on here should be able to give you more infor than I can.


          thanks,, Im not really looking for specific dates.. more like the style changes and the years they changed… just rough dating based more on the style of case if that’s possible. I know the big thick heavy ones are older than the thinner ones… then you have the ones with small wrist watch style crowns and the ones with the round crowns that sit higher on a stem…. did the styles come and go with time, or were they always there and just a matter of personal choice

          chris mabbott

            Hey Mike,

            As Paul as already stated, the Euro watches are easy because of their hallmarks, and each country had their official stamps, so origin can also be determined, that is if they contain precious/semi precious metals.

            American watches are more challenging as they were marked with the manufacturers name and not subject to the location identifying hallmark system, that and there aren’t any publications per se that deal with cases, although there should be.

            The thick heavy cases were around from the late 1800s until the 1920s, they were a low cost, depending on material, alternative for the work horse style and mostly for the big 18s movements. They seemed popular and there are plenty of them around in various styles. They were also made in various karats of gold, but many of these have been melted down.

            The types you see from the 1920s are distinguishable from their thinner construction, low bow, and as you say, wrist watch style, button winder. Art deco I think they’re referred as, but they also have many grade names which I can’t remember.

            Here’s a link you may find interesting…


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