1865 American Watch Co. / Waltham Civil War 18 Size Pocket Watch - Same Model Given to Abraham Lincoln

American Watch Co./Waltham

Item No. 7199

One of the iconic American pocket watch companies was American Watch Co., later known as Waltham for the city in which it was founded.

In 1860, as President Abraham Lincoln was elected, the country was in Civil War. Production ground to a halt. However, the company decided to downsize to the lowest possible level to keep the factory open. It worked: Upon his Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln became the proud owner of a Waltham Model 1857 "Wm. Ellery" pocket watch, the same model offered here today. President Lincoln's watch - made in January 1863 - resides in the collection of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian.

According to the company's hand-written ledger, this watch was finished between April and July 1865 (see a photo of the page below). Here is a little more about it...

  • Handsome and heavy nickel case 
  • Original porcelain dial in beautiful condition
  • 18 size, measuring 56mm in diameter
  • Key wound movement with winding key

The time period this watch was finished being manufactured falls closely with the ending of the Civil War, as General Lee surrendered on April 9th marking the effective end of the conflict, as Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured on May 10th, and as General Stand Watie was the final Confederate general to surrender on June 23rd.

We were fortunate to acquire it in such honest and pleasing condition. The dial is mint, and the bow is nicely, fairly tight still.

We acquired the watch from the estate of collector Joel Henry Beecher, who loved Walthams.

One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it making it ready for immediate enjoyment. Accompanying the watch is a period key.

Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. warranty on the movement and its function, a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity, and a new timing certificate.

This a rare opportunity to own an exciting historical timepiece from a prominent American watchmaker.

  • Manufacturer: American Watch Co./Waltham
  • Country of origin: U.S.A.
  • Serial no.: 160,565
  • Date finished: April - July 1865
  • Functions: Hours, Minutes, Subsidiary Seconds
  • Designed for: Men
  • Case material: Nickel
  • Case markings (inside): Silveroid, 515,946
  • Case condition: Excellent honest condition with a few light dings to the case back and light wear
  • Dimensions: 56mm diameter (excluding the crown)
  • Dial: White enamel with Roman numerals. Signed American Watch Co., original, mint condition with no cracks, chips, or hairlines
  • Hands: One "Spade" and one "diamond", period, blue steel
  • Movement markings: Wm. Ellery, Waltham, Mass.
  • Crystal type: Mineral glass, excellent condition
  • Serviced: One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
  • Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an experienced team of watchmakers both of whom each have over forty years of experience and a large number of parts.
  • Warranty: 1-year C.O.T. international warranty.
  • Box/Papers: BOX - Watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity; KEY - Period winding/setting key
  • Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee

We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our client's expectations throughout the buying experience.

All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail, and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier. International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.

The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.

Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed to be waterproof.

To get an idea of how this watch will look on the wrist, please use the Watch Sizing Guide


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