Brief History: E. Howard Watch Company (Keystone)

Including Serial Numbers and Production Dates

Waltham, Massachusetts

1902 - 1930

The rights to the "E. Howard" name, at the time one of the most highly-regarded American watch brands, were purchased by the Keystone Watch Case Company in 1902. There were no patent rights transferred, just the use of the "E. Howard" brand name. The watches of the Keystone era are typically marked "E. Howard Watch Co. Boston U.S.A." and were sold as complete watches only i.e. they were cased and timed at the factory. These watches, dubbed "Keystone-Howards" by collectors, are not as highly prized by collectors as original E. Howard watches, though many were fine watches in their own right. For information on original "pre-Keystone" Howard watches, please see our Howard Company History page.

Keystone-Howard is NOT Keystone Standard

Keystone-Howard watches should not be confused with watches from the Keystone Standard Watch Company which operated in Lancaster, Pennsylvania from 1886 to 1891 when it was sold to the Hamilton Watch Company. See our Keystone-Standard History page for information on your Keystone-Standard watch.


Keystone-Howard (1902 - 1930)

Keystone-Howard Serial Numbers and Production Dates

Total Production: Approx. 600,000 Watches

Year S/N
1902 850,000
1903 900,000
1909 980,000
1912 1,100,000
1915 1,285,000
1917 1,340,000
1921 1,400,000
1930 1,500,000

Note that the 10-size Keystone-Howard "Thin Model" used its own serial number list starting at 1001, and cannot be dated using the chart above. The 10-size watches were produced in the early 1920's, in 17, 19 and 21-jewel models, and are marked "Pat'd '21".

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