Dollar watch

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A Waterbury Dollar Watch

A dollar watch was a pocket watch or later, a wristwatch, that sold for about one US dollar.

Attempts to make a watch that could be sold for as little as a dollar began in the 1870s.[1] By 1880 the Waterbury Clock Company had lowered costs to the point where they could sell their so called long wind watch for $3.50.[1] In the early 1890s the Ingersoll Watch Company started selling a Waterbury clock company clock in a watch case for $1.50[1]

The dollar price point was reached in 1896 when Ingersoll introduced a watch called the Yankee, setting its price at $1. This made it the cheapest watch available at the time, and the first watch to be priced at one dollar.[2]

Later, Western Clock (Westclox) in 1899 and the E. Ingraham Company also began manufacturing them. Dollar watches were practical, mass-produced timepieces intended to be as inexpensive as possible. Trademarks of dollar watches were their simple, rugged design, movement (usually with a pin-pallet escapement, although sometimes with duplex escapements) which has either no jewels or just one jewel, width of about eighteen size (two inches), and sale price of about a dollar from 1892 until the mid-1950s. Many other companies made them, with literally hundreds of names on the dials. From around 1905 Ingersoll started selling their watches in the UK as Crown watches.[1]

To keep costs down, the watches were often sold in flimsy cardboard boxes, which are now highly collectible.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bruton, Eric (2000). The History of Clocks & Watches. Little, Brown and Company. pp. 186–189. ISBN 0316853550. 
  2. ^ Cutmore, M. "Watches 1850 - 1980". David & Charles, Devon, UK. 2002.