American Watch Manufacturers: Production Summary
How many watches were produced by American watch companies?
When looking at the total output of American watch manufacturers, a natural distinction can be made between companies producing higher-quality jeweled pocket watches and those producing lower-quality "dollar-style" (or otherwise minimally-jeweled) watches. Over 500 million low-cost watches were produced by companies like Ingersoll, Ingraham, New Haven and Ansonia, accounting for a large percentage of total US production.
We are more concerned with the production of higher-quality, jeweled pocket watches of at least seven jewels; the type that might be considered collectible today. Obviously, a rare watch tends to be more valuable than a common watch, so an understanding of which companies made more or fewer watches is worthwhile information for any watch collector.
The passage of years and incompleteness of factory records means that it is probably impossible to create a completely accurate accounting of American watch production, but production numbers are known for many of the major makers, and can be estimated from known serial numbers for others.
Total Estimated US Production of Jeweled Pocket Watches
The table below is our best estimation of total production of jeweled (non-dollar-style) pocket watches by American watch manufacturers. Note that Elgin and Waltham together account for nearly 80% of total jeweled watches produced!
|NY Chronograph Co.||170,800||0.15%|
|All smaller makers (approx.)||500,000||0.44%|