The Hampden Watch Company dates back to 1877. Another American company, the Dueber Watch Case Company bought a controlling interest in Hampden in 1886 and owned it outright by 1888. Both companies were relocated to Canton, Ohio. They were known for manufacturing high-quality watches; typically meeting the high specifications of the railroad companies.
This William McKinley edition watch has an inscription of McKinley's signature on the movement. William McKinley (1843-1901) was the twenty-fifth president of the United States, was born in Niles, but later studied law and opened a law office in Canton. McKinley became president in 1897 and was re-elected in 1900, but was assassinated in 1901. John Dueber was a personal friend of McKinley, and was the chief pallbearer at his funeral. Dueber sold the company in 1925 and its new owner went bankrupt in 1927.
This 120-year-old high-quality timepiece is in great condition. It has a beautiful porcelain dial with no damage or hairline cracks. It's hardly changed colour over the years and the black print remains very saturated. The hands are blued steel Poire style with a sunken small seconds sub-dial at 6. The hours are printed in black. The outer minute index is also black with each 5-minute marker in red Arabic numerals. It is signed Hampden Watch Co and Canton Ohio.
The chrome plated case is in excellent condition with only slight marks. The bezel and the case back are both coin edge to facilitate screw opening. The case back has to be unscrewed to reveal the movement and the bezel has to be unscrewed to set the time - *Unscrew and remove to reveal the lever found in about the 2 position. Pull the lever out then set the time using the crown. Push the lever back in and screw the bezel back on.
The movement is magnificent and reflects the precision engineering required by the railroad companies. Typically, movements of this quality represent less than 1% of all pocket watch movements. It is engraved with the company logo and Canton O (for Ohio) and with President McKinley's signature. There are 17 jewels, five double-screwed gold chatons and a patented regulator.
A superb pocket watch representing USA manufacturing at its best.
1902 Hampden Watch Co
Year 1902 Case Metal Chrome plate Back Metal Chrome plate Back Type Screw Diameter* 51.8 Power Manual Calibre Not known
* Excluding the crown