Finding A Watch

Era Fashions from Teresa Gissible

Happy New Year Everyone! Well, we’e off to a fresh start 2014. So, let’s start with time. Because we never seem to have enough of it. I thought this article would give you a better idea of what to watch for when shopping for both men and ladies time pieces. Enjoy!

It’s About Time!

by Peggy Gill

(Posted on the MAFCA website – November 2013. To read the entire article prlease refer to the website.)

Finding a Watch from the Model A Era

During the Model A era, both pocket watches and wrist watches were being worn.

New watches purchased during our era were still mechanical but were styled differently from earlier
watches. But that didn’t mean you dumped “Grandpa’s” watch and bought a new one.

However, if your intent is to enter fashion judging and use a watch as one of your accessories, you need to look for a watch that was available for purchase during the Model A years.

Watches are readily available at many or on eBay, and if you know what to look for, you can often find a

The best way to know that your watch is from the Model A era is to determine the date of your watch. American watches, such as Elgin and Waltham, can generally be dated by their serial number which was stamped on the movement itself. If your watch happens to be an Elgin, the company maintains a data base online ( that you can type in the serial number and get detailed information about the movement itself. Another resource is an article written by Kevin James entitled “How to Determine the Age of a Watch” which is available at You do need to be familiar enough with how pocket watches work, as far as opening the cases without damaging the case or the movement
to locate the serial number. The same article mentioned above has further information on how to open your watch case. Please note that many antique dealers do not know how to do this and are often unwilling to try to do so without the booth owner’s presence; if you are a pocket watch aficionado, they will usually allow you to do so if you ask permission.

The number of “jewels” in the watch movement is evidence of the quality of the watch. The jewels are used as bearings for the moving parts of the watch. Lower grade watches typically contained 7, 15, or 17 jewels. Higher end watches contained 19, 21, and even 23 jewels.

Pocket Watches of the Era

Wrist Watches

As stated earlier, wrist watches were becoming more and more popular due to their practicality. Below are some examples of both men’s and women’s watches from the Model A era. Most watches could be interchanged with different watch bands, given the owner’s preference and occasion. Men’s and women’s watch bands could be found made of woven mesh, available in nickel or in and “natural” gold filled. For men, also popular were leather straps, adjustable metal expansion bands, or flexible metal wristbands. Women’s watches also came with black silk ribbon bands with gold-filled or solid gold clasps (depending upon the quality of the watch), flexible expansion metal bracelets, gold-filled or 14-karat solid gold. Many high end women’s watches were sold with a gold or gold filled bracelet and included the black silk ribbon band as well.

Wrist Watches