United States Watch Case Manufacturing Companies:
19th & 20th Century
In parallel with the development of the American watch manufacturing industry came a large number of companies producing watch cases. Until the 1920s, cases were almost always made by different companies than those that made the watch movements, and watches could be cased at the factory, or by the distributor, or by the individual retailer at the point of sale. Often, a customer could select the watch movement they wanted, and then select the case they wanted to place it in. This sometimes results in unusual pairings of a top-quality movement in a lower-grade base-metal case, or a top-of-the-line karat gold case, with a pedestrian 7-jewel movement inside.
The list of companies that manufactured watches in the United States in the 1800s is far longer than most people realize. These companies were known to have operated and produced watch cases in the United States in the 1800s and 1900s. A few of these companies survived well into the 20th century and underwent multiple name changes and reorganizations. Dates may overlap when tracing the "family tree" of a particular company. Dates are approximate as company records are inconsistent in many cases. We do not suggest that this list is 100% complete or accurate; in fact, we can almost guarantee that it is not, but it presents a fascinating picture of the case-making industry during this important period in the American watch industry.
This information was first compiled and published in "History of the American Watch Case" by Warren H. Neibling... an excellent resource for those interested in doing further research into American pocket watch cases.
Watch case companies are listed alphabetically. Please select from the letter-index below.
|American Watch Case Co.||New York||1893|
|American Waltham Watch Co.||Waltham, Mass.||1857|
|Anderson, S.||Chicago, Ill.||1857 - 1860|
|Appleton, Tracy & Co.||Waltham, Mass.||1857 - 1876|
|Assoc. of Silver Case Mfgrs.||?||1866|
|Atlantic Watch Case Co.||New York||?|