I purchased this watch some time ago on eBay. In looking at it today, I discovered that it was made on August 23, 1918, which turns out to the be exact same day my 1918 Touring car was made!!!
The dial has art work of a Model T touring car, and in red letters says "Ford Special" The art work shows a black radiator car with the top of the hood matching the cowl, yet the car has flat front fenders?
It is not a high quality movement.
Does anyone know the history of these watches?
Interesting a few years ago some guy was advertising the same watch only with a Cadillac logo same date however the Cadillac logo was earlier.
He had a number of different cars on the dial. After a few disgruntled buyers chatted the guy disappeared off of ebay
Might be a fantasy piece.
Starting around 40 years ago, antique pocket watches with recently altered faces started to appear. Images were silk screened onto the face, applied with a decal or the original face was covered over with a new face.
Back in the 1970s, I saw an antique pocket watch with a Waverley Electric car on the face. The pocket watch was an antique, but the Waverley image was a later addition.
Thanks for the info and feedback. It could be something that was "made up", but the dial looks to be well aged, and not faked. If the dial had been nice and white, and the "Ford Special" had not been faded, I would have been very suspicious. The dial, even under magnification, looks consistent with a cheap dial that has faded and aged for 100 years. I'll do a more detailed analysis of the dial based on the comments, and I do appreciate the opinions.
I have seen some of the fakes in the past, so I know what they looked like, and this one seemed different.
who is the maker of the watch? it would be engraved on the movement
There is no name engraved on the movement. It is what watch collectors call a "Dollar" watch. They were cheaply made by many manufacturers, and were the "Timex" of pocket watches.
The only markings on the movement are
PATD OCT 28, 1902 OCT 8, 1907, DEC 15, 1908 PDG
PDG means patent(s) pending
I've been examining the dial under high magnification, and I really think it is an original piece from 1918. The dial is not metal or porcelain, but appears to be a paper composite. It is not applied to another material, and the sunken sub second hand register was part of the forming of the dial, probably with some type of press die. The edges of the dial are not white but the same aged color as the rest of the dial. The aging of the dial actually goes into the graphics, and there is no evidence of anything having been added to the surface. It would make sense that an inexpensive watch would have a very inexpensive dial material. I've owned and collected a lot of pocket watches over the years, mostly Hamiltons, Illinois', Waltham, Rockford, and Elgin, I've never seen this dial material before, and even if someone wanted to fake this dial, I don't know how they could make it without first investing in a special dial, and I have no idea how you could be able to artificially age it so realistically.
That said, I am very interested in getting other opinions.
It was supposed to say "without investing in a special die"
What determined that the watch was made on August 23, 1918? "Dollar" watches can rarely be accurately dated.
Although a few watches were made specific to an automobile company, I have never seen one from the era with a picture of a car on it. Most notably, family members of the Studebaker Company bought out a local watch maker that had gone broke in 1903 (I had to google the year), and made watches under both the Studebaker name and "South Bend" (Studebaker's home town). These are prized collectibles in the Studebaker crowd.
Occasionally, sales and promotional watches were made by other watch companies, for other automobile manufacturers. these were usually as a prize for a top salesman, or a retirement gift for a company executive. These were rarely if ever the "dollar" watches. Advertising memorabilia can sometimes turn up automobile marque watches, but they usually just have a company logo, again, usually not a picture of a car.
Still and all, a fun item to carry with you when driving your model T. Personally, I like carrying a pocket watch. I used to carry one almost every day.
The date is stamped on the movement. I've attached a photo.
I'm very familiar with South Bend pocket watches and have owned several. They do indeed have great collector
An inquiry could be sent to the National Watch & Clock Museum. Or if you do the Hershey Meet thing you could do a side visit about an hour away.
National Watch & Clock Museum
514 Poplar Street
Columbia, PA 17512
found this on google https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/