Brief History: Keystone Standard Watch Co.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

1886 - 1891

The Keystone Standard Watch Company was started by Abram Bitner with the purchase of the factory and production of the Lancaster Watch Company in 1886. Almost 9000 Lancaster watch movements had been completed but not sold when Bitner assumed control of the company, and these were sold by Keystone Standard under the Lancaster name. Keystone continued to produce a relatively small number or watches, about 48,000 in total, until their sale to the Hamilton Watch Company in 1891.

Some Keystone Standard watches featured their patented "Dust Proof" design, which used a small "window" (originally made of mica) to cover the only opening in the plate of the movement, thus sealing the movement completely from dust. Not many of the original mica windows have survived, so it's not unusual to find the mica window replaced with thin acrylic in extant watches. The "dust proof" feature appeared on several different 18s models and also on their 8s model. Pictured below is a nice example of the 18s Keystone Standard Dust Proof.

Keystone Standard 18-size "Dust Proof" model

Keystone Standard is NOT the same as Keystone-Howard

The Keystone Standard Watch Company should not be confused with the Keystone Watch Case Company, which purchased the rights to the "E. Howard" brand name in 1902 and subsequently sold watches under that name (known today as Keystone-Howard watches). For more information on Keystone-Howard watches, see the Keystone Howard page of this web site.

No known serial number or date information exists for

Keystone Standard watches