WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. I am simply joining these forums, not knowing anything about watches or vintage watches in general but I have become quite curious during the past week over this one watch I recently acquired from my mother. She told me it used to be owned by one of her friends that passed away about 25 years ago'. The watch looks like it might've been made during the 1950's-1960's, but I don't exactly know for sure. It was made in England, that's where they got it, and it says "Ingersoll" on it. I'm assuming that's the company that made it? Please fill me with any info? Thank you.


Here's my picture:


Wow! I just realized how huge that pic was. Sorry for the size. :roll:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,743 Posts
Hi and welcome.

Ingersoll started out as an American company but at the time your watch was made it was British. Your watch was not made in England but Wales - at Ystradgynlais near Swansea.

See http://history.powys.org.uk/history/ystrad/tockmenu.html

and Ingersoll Watch Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

These watches were inexpensive when new and not of the finest quality. However, they were well made and have proved to be very robust so a lot have survived. I think late 50's early 60's is correct regarding the date. Hope that helps.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Marrick, thank you for the heads up. Will check those pages out soon.
On a closer inspection, it appears to say "MADE IN GT BRITAIN" on the near bottom. So now I know you're correct.
I'm still curious about it's date/year whenever it was made and I believe that it's late 50's/early 60's now that I hear from you. Would like to hear from others though.
 

·
Mod. Russian, China Mech.
Joined
·
18,209 Posts
Hi Marrick, thank you for the heads up. Will check those pages out soon.
On a closer inspection, it appears to say "MADE IN GT BRITAIN" on the near bottom. So now I know you're correct.
I'm still curious about it's date/year whenever it was made and I believe that it's late 50's/early 60's now that I hear from you. Would like to hear from others though.
A look at the movement, or even a side view of the case to get an impression of the thickness, will tell us if the movement is the rather thick 13''' RY (late 1940s to mid 1950s) or the somewhat thinner 10.5''' TY (mid 1950s to mid 1960s). The difference is enough that they are not found in the same cases, so far as I'm aware. I'm not sure if there was an overlap of production of those two movements.

...but from what I can see I'm pretty sure that your Ingersoll is in the same case as my 1952 Smiths Empire 'Anzac' (and the second hand matches, too)



...which would suggest the earlier date range. But as I mentioned, I'm not sure how long they continued production of the RY-type watches.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,045 Posts
Are there numbers at the bottom on the dial? If you could look and post the numbers, I can tell you the date.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,743 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,166 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,045 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,347 Posts
Pickie of the movement, please. The back should click off if you carefully use the edge of an old knife. Or wait until yer missus ain't looking and then reach for a knife from yer wedding set. That's what I did...

Ric
Well that explains your avatar........ha ha.
 

·
Mod. Russian, China Mech.
Joined
·
18,209 Posts
Ingersoll is now Timex, I learned by checking out Mickey Mouse watches recently.
This is not the same Ingersoll. The original Ingersoll company in the USA became Timex. The British branch had already become a separate company long before that.

I haven't got my copy of Cutmore's Watches 1850-1980 at hand, but as I recall, the story goes something like this:
In the early 1900s, Ingersoll set up a London office. Local assembly of the 'Yankee'-style pocket watch developed into full local production and the British branch came under local ownership. Production wound-up during the Great Depression but the brand continued (no idea where they bought their watches from, but probably the USA). Post-WWII the British government brokered a joint venture between Ingersoll, Smiths and Vickers-Armstrong to make watches in Wales. The first watches produced were the old Ingersoll-designed pocket watches, followed shortly after by a locally-designed wristwatch. Vickers-Armstrong dropped out before production commenced and Ingersoll pulled out in the 1960s. Smiths continued to operate the factory until 1980. After leaving the joint-venture, Ingersoll continued putting their name to imported watches. The brand is currently based in Germany selling mechanical watches of their own style but produced entirely in China. These watches draw their inspiration primarily from American culture but the connection to the USA is really ancient history.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,045 Posts
Here is an interesting advert, it is in my 1947 copy of DeCarle's "Practical Watch Repairing", along with many other watch ads.

IMG1015-1.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,166 Posts
Good info. Most of the vintage Ingersoll watches came from the US company which is now Timex. Your info explains the confusing Wikipedia entry. The existent Ingersoll is more like Invicta - once a local producer now (mostly) a Chinese importer.
 

·
Mod. Russian, China Mech.
Joined
·
18,209 Posts
Here is an interesting advert, it is in my 1947 copy of DeCarle's "Practical Watch Repairing", along with many other watch ads.
1947? Fantastic :-! That's just before manufacturing commenced at Ystradgynlais, which pretty much proves that Ingersoll Ltd, London, continued to have a brand presence in the UK through the 1930s and '40s (e.g. supplying watches to the military) even though they were not producing their own watches in Britain during this period (according to Cutmore).

I'd be very interested in seeing a few examples of such watches to find out:
1. where they were made
2. whether they were a proprietary or generic design.


That ad also shows that Ingersoll Ltd not only maintained their head office in London, but regarded that city as an important element of their brand image, even when the product was being manufactured elsewhere. (cf. Bubba48's 1950s Welsh-built Ingersoll Triumph above in this thread)
 
  • Like
Reactions: bobbee

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,045 Posts
Glad you liked, Chascomm. There was an earlier 1946 impression of the book, but I don't know whether it had these same ads.
Best, Bob.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thank you for the replies everyone. I really appreciate it. Another thing I should add is that on the watch it says, "S. JEWELS" below the right below Ingersoll and "SHOCKPROOF" below the hands. I'm not sure if it's of any importance but interesting to add I guess.

Are there numbers at the bottom on the dial? If you could look and post the numbers, I can tell you the date.
Hmm. This post intrigued me, excuse my ignorance of "watch parts" but where on the watch are you referring to?

And sorry Ric, my watch back was unable to click off. I even tried a phillips screw driver. (x It's possible that the back is sealed on the watch so I'm unable to remove it.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top