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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife inherited 2 pocket watches from her father. I can't find any information using Google about this watch maker.











I've had no luck finding Ed F. Fowler pocket watch. My Father-In-Law's family lived in Boise, ID for a long time so I'm guessing he was a local watch maker. There are some things hand etched on the inside back: 131689, 3-24-51 WL, 05727, 06506, and 9930. Are these standard codes used by watch makers to keep track of repairs or parts? My wife's family thought the watch was their Grandfathers, but my Father-In-Law was born in 1928 so if 1951 is when the watch was made I would guess it was his.

Is this watch worth getting repaired? it needs glass and doesn't work right now. Is there a way to find out when it was actually made by the serial number?

Thanks for any help to a new guy trying to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just found one that is a different style then this one that sold on eBay. The seller said "Super Rare Ed. F. Fowler Pocket Watch Only one Online anywhere", so he didn't find any information either. He did say it was made by "Master watch maker Ed. F. Fowler of Boise Idaho". I guess nobody can refute it if they can't find anything about Mr. Fowler.
 

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I'm pretty sure your watch is a private label Waltham 16s model 1899 or 1908. I can't read the serial to provide an approximate date. I'd be surprised if it was later than the 20's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guy0783. The serial number on the watch is 13277258. I was thinking it may have been that the watchmaker bought the unit and put his/her name on it. Would the Waltham name be somewhere inside the mechanics? I didn't see anything along the edge. Is TRADE MARK the name of the case maker?
 

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That crescent and star is the trademark for the Crescent Watch Case Company
 

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Your Waltham private label watch was made in approx. 1904 and is a size 16 model 1899, grade 625. It is a hunting case movement that was recased into an open faced case sometime in its history.
 

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According to the fantastic resource for American made PW's https://pocketwatchdatabase.com

Grade: No. 625
Manufacturer:Waltham
Manufacturer Location: Waltham, Massachusetts
Movement Serial Number:13277258
Grade:No. 625
Model: 1899
Estimated Production Year: 1903
Run Quantity: 2,500
Total Production:334,450
Size:16s
Jewels:17j
Jewel Setting:Screw-Set
Movement Configuration:Hunting
Movement Finish:Unknown
Movement Setting:pendant
Plate:3/4 Plate
Regulator:Micrometer
Hairspring: Breguet
Adjusted: No
Railroad Grade: Unknown
 

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Your Waltham private label watch was made in approx. 1904 and is a size 16 model 1899, grade 625. It is a hunting case movement that was recased into an open faced case sometime in its history.
Sorry,I was typing and couldn't see your almost identical answer from few minutes earlier...
 

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Ed Fowler wouldn't have been a "watchmaker", he'd most likely have been a Store operator (jewelry store, or watch jobber). In other words, a retailer who spent a few extra pennies to have his name engraved on the movement and fired into the dial. This was a service that most watch companies provided as a means of adding a bit more profit. Such watches were sold as "house" brands.

Yes, the scratched in marks on the inside of the caseback are from watchmakers who serviced the watch over the years. These marks generally refer to a ledger entry or invoice number that the watchmaker could use to see what they did; obviously, without knowing who did the service, there's pretty much a 0% chance of being able to get anything useful out of it. The one that looks like date could refer to a service done in 1951; that's quite a number of years after it was made, so signs that the owner cared about their watch enough to keep it serviced regularly.
 

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from "History of Idaho, the gem of the mountains"

Ed. F. Fowler, the pioneer jeweler of Boise and one whose business record
measures up to the highest commercial standards, was born in Stephenson county,
Illinois, June 20, 1856, his birthplace being a little one-room log cabin on a farm
near Freeport. His parents were Harry G. and Sallie Marie (Pickard) Fowler.
The father was born in Vermont and when eighteen years of age went to Illinois
with his father and brother. He took up farming in early manhood and also
devoted a part of his time to school-teaching. Later he conducted a harness
shop in Lena, Illinois, but business interests were accorded none of his attention
when the country needed his military aid. He enlisted for service in the Civil
war as a member of Company G, Ninety-second Illinois Regiment, and remained
at the front until victory crowned the Union arms. He died in Lena, Illinois, in
1883 and is still survived by his widow, who is now nearly eighty years of age
and resides with a daughter in Roscoe. Illinois.
Ed. F. Fowler spent his boyhood and youth at Lena, Illinois, his parents
there removing from the farm when he was a little lad of but four summers. He
attended the public schools until he reached the age of eighteen years, after which
he worked in his father's harness shop until he had attained his majority, thorough-
ly learning the harness maker's trade save cutting and fitting. His father wished
him to become a harness maker hut on reaching adult age Mr. Fowler decided
upon another course in life. He did not dislike the trade but the extremely high
temperature of the harness shop in cold weather proved detrimental to his health,
as it was necessary to keep the leather warm and soft. Accordingly he decided
to learn the jeweler's trade and apprenticed himself to a local jeweler in Lena,
Illinois, serving a term of three years and two months In that store. In 1882 he
made his way westward to Nebraska and for eight years was engaged in the
jewelry trade there. In 1890 he arrived in Boise, where he opened a jewelry
store and has been engaged in the business here ever since, being the pioneer
jeweler of the city engaged exclusively in that line of trade. He belongs to the
Idaho State Jewelers Association and is a member of the Idaho Association of
Optometrists, of which he has served as president. He has always carried an
attractive line of goods and his reasonable prices and earnest efforts to please his
patrons have been the foundation of a growing and profitable business.

regards enrico
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone for the great information. My wife had thought the watch didn't work so I never tried to wind it. I just wound it and it looks like it works fine. Is there any value to the case? It doesn't have the name or C.W.C. inside, any way of knowing how old the case is? Would it be better to have the watch put back into a hunting case or just see if the glass can be replaced on the current case?
 

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Not sure what kind of metal the case is made of, nickel maybe. The crescent and moon means it's a CWCC's case. That was their trademark, so anybody in the know, will know it's a CWC.

Here's some info on the company

Crescent Watch Case Co.
 

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Hi Fropa,

as I occasionally blame people for squeezing light through a hole in a phone, I should also occasionally compliment on such amazingly well done photos. :-! :-! :-!

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 
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