Gold Pocket Watch

IHC656

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Jul 17, 2023
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I inherited my Great Grandfather’s Gold pocket watch. Found the serial number in the back.
Elgin information I found says it was made in approximately 1897. Can not verify it is solid gold. But weight makes me think it is.
Only curious on value. Will never sell. My son is next in line to inherit it.
Any watch guru’s on here?
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Back-of-the-boat

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Apr 18, 2013
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Beautiful watch.
 

OP
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IHC656

IHC656

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Information should be marked on the inside back cover about the case being solid gold or gold-filled.

I was not sure if I wanted to put my serial # on so I covered it.
Was not marked as gold. Only told it was.
In the video Keystone was mentioned as being popular with gold filled cases.
Which makes me believe it is only gold plated.
Very helpful video link thanks..
As mentioned this is a family heirloom and wanted to know more about it.
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tamrock

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I received by the wish of my grandfather his pocket watch after he passed. I cherish it very much. I now have a grandson who may receive it after I'm gone.
 

Red-Coat

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Dec 23, 2019
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Very nice.

Keystone did produce cases in solid gold, but the style of the marks you’re showing is for a gold-filled case. Even without knowing the serial number, those particular marks are post-1883. It’s what’s known as a ‘Boss’ case, after the patent granted to James Boss in May 1859 for a gold-fill process originally referred to as “stiffened gold”. Boss sold the rights to John Stuckert in 1871 and they passed to Hagstoz & Thorpe after Stuckert’s death in 1875, who patented an improved Boss case in 1879. Then, in 1883, Hagstoz withdrew from the company and it was renamed as the “Keystone Watch Case Company” shortly afterwards.

Keystone offered the ‘Boss’ case in a single grade of gold-fill with a 20-year guarantee until July 1889 when the range was expanded to include a variety of grades of gold thickness and purity, generally distinguished by Karat marks and/or the number of years for which the plating was guaranteed. Yours will likely be 14K gold-fill with a 25 year guarantee, first produced in January 1898... but I'm going from the style of the marks you showed without knowing the actual serial number or other unseen marks,
 

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IHC656

IHC656

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Very nice.

Keystone did produce cases in solid gold, but the style of the marks you’re showing is for a gold-filled case. Even without knowing the serial number, those particular marks are post-1883. It’s what’s known as a ‘Boss’ case, after the patent granted to James Boss in May 1859 for a gold-fill process originally referred to as “stiffened gold”. Boss sold the rights to John Stuckert in 1871 and they passed to Hagstoz & Thorpe after Stuckert’s death in 1875, who patented an improved Boss case in 1879. Then, in 1883, Hagstoz withdrew from the company and it was renamed as the “Keystone Watch Case Company” shortly afterwards.

Keystone offered the ‘Boss’ case in a single grade of gold-fill with a 20-year guarantee until July 1889 when the range was expanded to include a variety of grades of gold thickness and purity, generally distinguished by Karat marks and/or the number of years for which the plating was guaranteed. Yours will likely be 14K gold-fill with a 25 year guarantee, first produced in January 1898... but I'm going from the style of the marks you showed without knowing the actual serial number of other unseen marks,
You are spot on. I just opened the cover to the movement and found Boss 14k 25 year guarantee.
Elgin movement I serial # says manufactured 1903.
I didn’t realize the case and movement were two different manufacturers.
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Red-Coat

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You are spot on. I just opened the cover to the movement and found Boss 14k 25 year guarantee.
Elgin movement I serial # says manufactured 1903.
I didn’t realize the case and movement were two different manufacturers.

Thanks for confirming. It's not unusual for pocket watch cases and movements to be from different makers since different skills are involved.

Cases and movements were made in standardised sizes such that a retail jeweller could offer you a choice of movement and case combinations to suit your purpose and budget.
 

pepperj

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Beautiful family heirloom to keep and to pass onto the next generation.
Thanks for sharing
I take it that you got your information/date off the link site.
Great site for dating pocket watches.

 

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IHC656

IHC656

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Jul 17, 2023
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Beautiful family heirloom to keep and to pass onto the next generation.
Thanks for sharing
I take it that you got your information/date off the link site.
Great site for dating pocket watches.

Yes. Found the information on this site.

The eldest son is supposed to inherit the family watch. I received it since the eldest from the previous generation had no children. And my son happens to be the eldest for the generation after me.
 

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detectorcowboy

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If it's Gold and Not plated or rolled it will say so the inside of the lid
 

Red-Coat

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If it's Gold and Not plated or rolled it will say so the inside of the lid

Yes, but in this period there were many misleading marks used which cannot be relied on, as well as numerous instances of deliberate fraudulent marking.

We now have confirmation that this is a 'Boss' case and those are always gold-fill since that's the process covered by Boss's patents.
 

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