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Discussion Starter #1
I picked this watch up at an estate sale this morning. It was kind of out of place among the costume jewelry and missing the crystal, crown and having the hour hand broken it looked like it needed a home.

I noticed that it was engraved, so I popped it open and was pleasantly surprised at seeing the 14K mark. Instantly it went from a much over-priced watch to a very good find. I snapped it up and then headed to work.

When I got home I put a leather band on its 19mm hooded lugs and dug up a crown that fits, although not correct it works for now.

The engraving reads: "Presented to Hon. Donald L. O'Toole March 23rd 1947 with sincere appreciation for a most valued friendship Executive Board Retail Jewelers Assoc. Greater New York"

The 'Hon." part of that engraving is what got me wondering, 'Who is Donald O'Toole?'. Turns out he was a long-time New York congressman! That's different that most of the 50yrs service watches I come across.

I haven't been able to find out a whole lot about him yet, or what his relationship with the jewelers association was, but if anyone has any information I would love to hear it.

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Wow! Shrouded lugs seem too paltry a term to describe that design!
Stunning watch, great find and interesting story - thanks for sharing
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It appears Congressman O'Toole had a strong opinion on the controversial 1946 Joe Louis-Billy Conn boxing match, which is interesting.....
 

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What a find.
Now that's a deco watch, amazing sculpted case.

That engraving has to be the longest inscription/dedication I've ever saw on any watch, pocket watches included.
I'll bet the engraver rubbed his hands when he was commissioned for that job as he'd probably charge per character, amazing
and very interesting.
Nice one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It seems he went as far as calling the fight a real 'stinkeroo' and also called for an investigation into the sport leading to lawsuits etc. What strong language!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Updating an old thread....the following is a response I received from the New York historical society:

"Thank you for writing. I am afraid I could not find the exact circumstances
under which the Retail Jewelers Association of Greater New York presented
the watch to O'Toole on.March 23, 1947, but I believe I know *why* they
gave it to him. Earlier that year, there was a debate over the rate of
excise taxes on furs, liquors, and jewelry, which remained at high, wartime
levels. The rates were scheduled to drop on July 1st. Certain parties
sought to freeze the taxes at their wartime highs; others, like O'Toole,
sought to lower them. That would have put more money into the jewelers'
pockets; hence, their gratitude for O'Toole's efforts. For more details,
see the attached article from the *New York Times* of.January 18, 1947.

O'Toole died in 1964, and I have attached his obituary from the *New York
Times* from September 14th of that year.

I hope this helps put your watch into context.

Best wishes,

Joseph Ditta
Reference Librarian"

I find it an extremely interesting watch, I enjoy the history that is tied to it as well as its amazing deco styling, and over-sized hooded lugs.
 

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Great research. Kudos to you
a
 
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