SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENTS

Brief History: Rockford Watch Company

Including Serial Numbers and Production Dates

Rockford, Illinois

1873 - 1915

Rockford Watch Company Ad

The Rockford Watch Company, located 93 miles from Chicago on the Rock River, began operation in 1873 using equipment purchased from the Cornell Watch Company. Two of Cornell's former employees, P. H. Wheeler (Wheeler's Patent, etc) and C. W. Parker became key employees of Rockford. Their factory building was built in 1875-76, and was located on the 300 block of South Madison in Rockford (parts of the original factory building were later used by Rockford High School).

Early

Early "stereopticon" postcard

of Rockford watch factory

Their first watch, a key-wind, 18-size, full plate with expansion balance was placed on the market on May 1, 1876. By 1877, the company was producing its own 3/4 plate nickel movements that fit standard size cases. The highest grades of early Rockford watches were signed "Ruby" or "Ruby Jewels" which later became a stylized letter "R" engraved next to the jewel-count. Rockford watches were quite popular with railroad men, as 3 railroads went through Rockford, and the company advertised heavily to them. Many of the later Rockford watches are signed "RG" for "Railroad Grade" The company had financial difficulties in 1896, and after reorganization the name was changed to Rockford Watch Co. Ltd. They finally closed their doors in 1915.

Rockford is one of the companies that produced a relatively small number of good-quality watches, and as such they are quite collectible.

SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENTS

Rockford Watch Company

Rockford Serial Numbers and Dates

Year S/N
1876 1,200
1877 22,600
1878 43,000
1879 64,000
1880 97,000
1881 138,000
1882 169,000
1883 200,000
1884 226,000
1885 247,000
1886 267,000
1887 287,000
1888 308,000
1889 328,000
Year S/N
1890 349,000
1891 369,000
1892 390,000
1893 410,000
1894 430,000
1895 450,000
1896 470,000
1897 490,000
1898 510,000
1899 530,000
1900 550,000
1901 570,000
1902 590,000
1903 610,000
Year S/N
1904 630,000
1905 650,000
1906 670,000
1907 690,000
1908 734,000
1909 790,000
1910 824,000
1911 880,000
1912 936,000
1913 958,000
1914 980,000
1915 1,000,000
- -
- -
IMPORTANT:

Be sure to use the serial number on the movement (the works) of the watch. Do not use the serial number from the case.

Can’t find your serial number in the table? Click here for an explanation and example of how to use our serial number tables.

Need help finding the serial number on your watch? Click here for instructions on how to identify and open most common case types.

At Renaissance Watch Repair, we are experts in the repair and restoration of Rockford watches. Please contact us if you have any questions about the repair of your vintage Rockford watch.

SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENTS