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While wearing an old watch I always wonder how many things it has seen and experienced on the wrist of its previous owners, as well as when I touch the stones of the Colosseum I wonder if there, right on that block, some Roman Emperor may have put his hand.

Now I like to share with you a "discovery", that gave me the opportunity to get in touch with exquisite persons.

The subject of the research is this LeCoultre Powermatic.





Caliber 481





The watch (manufactured on March 1954 and delivered to Longines-Wittnauer on the late July of the same year) has an engraving on the inner caseback:

"I. M. MYERS - NEWTON IOWA "​


Newton, Jasper County - Iowa, is little town of about 15,000 inhabitants nestled in the Great Plains, so I wrote to the Director of the local newspaper - the Newton Daily News - asking if he could help me in the search of the first owner of the watch.

The Director, told me that the last name Myers (of German origin) is very widespread in the County, and he suggested to contact the local Genealogical Society.

Ms Barbara Hug, President of the Jasper Co. Genealogical Society, immediately took the matter very seriously, but despite all her researches (records of births, schools, cemeteries and obituaries) throughout the county, she didn’t find any I. M. Myers.

Then Ms Hug published an article in the newspaper, hoping to stimulate the memories of her countrymen.



The online page




A few days later Barbara told me that the Newton Daily News had received several phone calls and email from people who thought to remember who this person was.

One of these reports seemed interesting and Barbara got in touch with someone who appears to be a nephew of Myers. He knows nothing about the watch, but he provided the phone number of the Myers' widow, living in Florida. Again a round of phone calls, but Mrs. Patricia Myers didn’t remember any details until Barbara sent a pic of the watch and…..

This is the history of Max


Ivan Max Myers, son of the manager of a service station on Highway 14 and of a dressmaker, was born in 1935, first male after four daughters. He was known by everyone simply as Max, and he was always recorded in this way, hence the difficulty to trace his name initials. He attended the schools of his town and graduated from Newton Senior High School in 1953.

This a pic of that period.




He then moved to Detroit (Mich.) where, following his vocation for agriculture, enrolled at the Ford Motor Company Training School to become a designer of agricultural machinery. In 1958 he enlisted in the Army and served for six years.
In 1964, after his discharge, he was hired by Ford, where he became responsible for managing the storage of spare parts, a position which brings him to live in Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, New Jersey and, for a short time, even in Taiwan.
He liked to spend the holidays on his motor-home going around for places where he can go fishing; he liked playing golf and he also ran some NASCAR races.
He retired in 2001 and settled in Taveres (Fla) and spent the spring in Maine, where he died on August 2002 in Bristol.

And the watch?

It was a gift by his sister Rose, the most profligate of the family, on the occasion of his 21st birthday; Mrs Meyer said that nobody in the family would spend so much for a watch ($ 89.50 at the time).







Patricia also said that Max loved that watch, souvenir of his beloved sister.
According to the widow, the watch has been probably lost during a trip to Chicago where Max attended the wedding of the son of a collegue.


--------------------------------------------------------

Behind every object there is the history of its owner



 

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That's a wonderful story. It always makes me very sad, though, to hear that people lost the watch a poster on such a forum now owns, or worse has had it stolen from them. After tracking them down, it would make me feel that I owe them something.....

Still, that is the flow of life. And when others post that they rescued something like a Wakman chrono from the garbage can, I can only shake my head in disbelief - the original owners certainly can't complain about their loss!

Many thanks for the write up!

Hartmut Richter
 

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I know Luigi and his splendid researches , it's always a relaxed and nice time when I read them . I'm deeply grateful to him , he is bringing me back in the past.......in a wonderful dream.....grazie Luigi , bellissimo LeCoultre ed appassionante storia!!!! E che ricerca!!
 

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Hi there,

Firstly, great looking watch.... even though it was 'lost', it looks like it was well looked after!

Secondly, great story! Thanks for spending the time to do the research and write it up. It certainly adds another level to the watch when you can track down its past.

Marc
 

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congrats on a nice lecoultre powermatic:-!, I have one in restoration at my watchmaker but mine is a stainless steel one but with a different case and dates from 1956-1957.
 

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wow thats a lot of research I wouldnt even know where to start, thanks for sharing this story with us. I do the same with things in life, always wonder where things have been etc.
 

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That is impressive. Thanks for taking the time to put that post together.:-!
 

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Woow impressive story. Maybe lost watch but lucky watch! to have such an owner now who cares what it is and from where it comes.
Use it in health and wealth.

What if you will run into some really sad stories one day? how will you treat the watch, don't you think it would change your point of view towards it? And effecting maybe the wrist time?

I like also digging in but I am not sure i would like to know each and every detail. Can't recall now where, but read a tracking of a Hanhart chrono, found in Italy in a jet crash from WW II and tracked to Mexico to its descendants.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Woow impressive story. Maybe lost watch but lucky watch! to have such an owner now who cares what it is and from where it comes.
Use it in health and wealth.

What if you will run into some really sad stories one day? how will you treat the watch, don't you think it would change your point of view towards it? And effecting maybe the wrist time?

I like also digging in but I am not sure i would like to know each and every detail. Can't recall now where, but read a tracking of a Hanhart chrono, found in Italy in a jet crash from WW II and tracked to Mexico to its descendants.
Thanks for your appreciation.
I consider myself a sort of "archaeologist" and so far in my research I have always found great understanding and cooperation from the relatives of the original owners. I have published several stories of this kind in an Italian forum but I never find the time to translate them into English.
Hoping not to break any WUS rules these are some links: I think you can grasp the meaning with the help of a translator.

Il Longines che venne dal freddo

Tavannes - L

Cronografo Movado - Storia di un orologio e di una famiglia

And some other historical research about watchmakers and little-known brands.
 

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This is a fantastic thread! Thanks for sharing, OP!

This is what I like so much about vintage watches - you don't get a just a watch, but a little time capsule, a piece of history of a brand or a person.

I have a watch that has an inscription in the back. Might be easier to track, since it's a retirement piece. I might do a little research of my own. This was an inspiring post!
 

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Beautiful watch, and the time and effort to find its original owner is amazing. I look forward to feature posts about the history of your other timepieces.

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
 
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