Early 20th Century Prestige Watches

The early 20th century saw fierce competition among American watch companies. Every watch company in the country produced a “top of the line” watch, of the best production and high grade. These were, of course, lesser production because they required more time and effort.

These companies took the competition one step further and started producing what they called “Prestige Watches.” This was such a specialized watch with very limited market demand, and relatively few were produced. They became the priceless possessions of a few.

These watches are highly sought after today, are hard to find, and bring a pretty penny when they do surface. I have listed in my Items column the watches separately, as each watch should be looked at individually and closely inspected to be appreciated.

In my opinion, the top watch is the Waltham Premier Maximus, with the Edward Howard a close second. But each one of these watches is a marvel of the “Machine Age,” and it’s hard to say which one is better than the other. They were, and still are, the “priceless possessions of a few.”

WorthPoint: Get the Most from Your Antiques and Collectibles

  • Elaine Rakoczy

    I have inherited an Elgin Pocketwatch , 14K gold, with the inside case inscribed with “Keystone, 14K, and then in a “V” the numbers, 1264102.

    The outside is beautifully engraved with one side having a bird and then florentine like images. Please let me know if you have any advice about where I can get an estimate of it’s value . I am in ATL. Thank you! Elaine

  • Dave

    Elaine, 14K are becoming Very SCARCE… Dealers Will LOW BALL YOU, & NEVER MAIL A WATCH TO ANYONE ! Be careful Not To Overwind It, & if your not sure, Dont….. Cooksey Shugart Complete Guide To watches, Will probably list it…. Make Sure You KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TYPE & GRADE IT IS, IF YOU DECIDE TO SELL IT…. WE CANT EVEN TRUST OUR PRESIDENT, MOST DEALERS ARE WORSE.THEY OFTEN WILL TRY TO TAKE YOUR WATCH IN THE BACK ROOM… Be safe & Enjoy.

    • ithink the watch i have is silver its a very old watch.i want to repair it but i read ur article someone told me they think is is platiumn how can i check it and be safe

  • I am looking for information on a T Lundy(San Francisco) watch Made for the Equity Watch CO Boston Phila WC.Co Serial No 317459 its Silverode.If any one got any info that can find out moro please contact me.Thanks Dawn

  • Kerry Moore

    I was wondering if anyone has seen a Gruen 50th Anniversary
    pocket watch with a round body instead of the pentagon body?

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